Archive for Kyle McLachlan

Echo Chambers

Posted in FILM, Television with tags , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by dcairns

“It’s quite difficult to get inside David’s head,” reflected editor Anne V. Coates. “And then, once you do, it’s quite a strange place.” This post looks at recurring images from Lynch’s earlier works which find their way into Twin Peaks: The Return in modified form. Some of these images are, arguably, spoilers.

I’m taking the rushing white lines on the highway and the starscapes as read, and we’ve all noticed how the evolution of the arm mirrors not just the bare sycamore trees of Glastonbury Grove but the various dead twigs sprouting from different rooms in ERASERHEAD…

Funny, around the time of LOST HIGHWAY I felt Lynch was starting to repeat himself too much, but now I welcome the recurrence of each obsession.

Headless Henry in ERASERHEAD; headless Dougie in TP. Swiftly followed by another call-back ~

It’s the planet! Where the guy with the levers lives (or, anyway, works). And there’s a lever in TP too.

I like the hand-made quality of a lot of the sets, like this kind of crappy warped bell.

Something else the new series has which we haven’t see much of since Lynch’s early animated paintings — a quality of cartoonishness in some of the timing, for instance when Cooper falls with a whoosh and CRUMP into this familiar environment ~

Maybe it’s because it’s Kyle McLachlan, but the echoes of DUNE seemed yrev, very strong here. Though in fact DUNE doesn’t really offer a shot to match this. But there is a subterranean balcony overlooking a long, narrow chamber, and there is also a kind of underground sea/water tank.

Then there’s the big purple birth-splooge as Cooper incarnates in Dougie’s place. Directly following the smoke-cloud which billows out to suggest John Merrick’s birth. Lynch said pictures of the so-called “elephant man” reminded him of the eruption of Mount St. Helens — he looked like a cloud of smoke that had solidified.

The haunting image in THE ELEPHANT MAN is accompanied by the sound of a baby’s cries, echoing in some vast cavern.

And then there’s THIS ~

The mist, the halation, and the spectral woman’s face (TP opening titles) ~

Anything else? Oh yes, Laura Dern’s motel carpet vomit in WILD AT HEART and the heap of regurgitated creamed corn Dougie leaves in a house for sale. But I’ll spare you the images if you’ll trust me on the family resemblance.

 

 

My blog saw something that night

Posted in FILM, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2017 by dcairns

We very much enjoyed the first episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return. But what was it we were enjoying? I suspect we won’t know until the full eighteen episodes have aired, and maybe not even then.

What is Dr. Jakoby (Russ Tamblyn) going to do with all those shovels? And what answer to the question could possibly satisfy us?

I guess don’t read this if you haven’t imbibed the first four episodes and are concerned about spoilers.

This is certainly a sequel to Twin Peaks but, like FIRE WALK WITH ME, it doesn’t wholly inhabit the same genre/s. The soap opera aspects are largely absent, in favour of a kind of demented supernatural procedural, spread across various parts of the US and involving various familiar and unfamiliar characters.

So far, nothing much resembling a narrative has emerged in the town of Twin Peaks itself, except for Deputy Sheriff Hawk (Michael Horse) vaguely investigating clues suggested by the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson, one of a number of players who has sadly passed on after filming their scenes). Mostly, the TP scenes introduce familiar characters and let us see what’s going on in their lives 25 years later: Ben and Jerry Horne, James the soulful biker, Shelly the waitress, bad boy Bobby Briggs. These scenes don’t seem to be going anywhere, really, but maybe they are, just very very slowly. They do kind of resembled the MISSING PIECES from FIRE WALK WITH ME, some of which are enjoyable as cameos, but which rightly hit the cutting room floor since they didn’t advance the (disturbing, ambiguous) narrative.

But, while I want those characters to actually get properly involved in the story, at the moment what has me hooked is the adventures of the two Agent Dale Coopers, one a long-haired, permatanned outlaw, possessed by the spirit BOB (it seems), the other a total amnesiac wandering Las Vegas, unable to figure out his purpose in life or even how to go to the bathroom. This gives Kyle McLachlan plenty to do, which is great news.

But my favourite performances so far are Matthew Lillard, playing a Leland Palmerish type — respectable citizen with secret criminal life — who is just electrifying, even while looking strangely like Earthworm Jim in knitwear, and Michael Cera in a throwaway cameo… I guess stop reading if you haven’t viewed episode four, I think it was…

Cera plays Wally Brando, son of beloved regulars Andy and Lucy, who was just a twinkle in the eye back in season 2. He’s envisaged as the lovechild of Wally Cox and Marlon Brando, specifically in THE WILD ONE, and Cera delivers a spectacularly mean takedown of Brando’s more windy improvisatory moments from his late work. That combination of wistful musing on the surface, fatuous pontification by way of content, and an undercurrent of desperate what-the-fuck-am-I-going-to-say-next panic. With a convincing copy of Brando’s whistling lisp. We found it rather fine.

A friend said he found Harrison Ford’s appearance in the trailer for THE FORCE AWAKENS kind of dispiriting — “Just a reminder of your own mortality.” I guess because we’d been seeing Ford grow old and that was OK, but our memories of Han Solo were still young. Many of the cast of TP are still firmly associated with their roles in the show and little else — plus three of them have died since filming this. So there’s a certain amount of non-diegetic sadness floating around this show. I’d have been happy if they’d deleted a line of dialogue about Miguel Ferrer looking unwell. If Ferrer tried to act malaise, it didn’t come across, because the poor man looks unwell all the time here. But it’s still good to see him as Albert. Some kind of guardian angel allowed Lynch to make this just before the world lost Albert and Dr. Hayward and the Log Lady.

Euphoria #41: “I Am The Muffin.”

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2008 by dcairns

Two girls and a guy 

We are gathering together all the little moments of cinema that make you full of happiness the way John Travolta is full of puddings.

Writer, filmmaker and ghost tour guide Kristin Loeer sallies forth with this distinctive take on the subject. As we enter the low 40s, the Euphoria starts to darken, you see. This is noirphoria… 

“I realised that it’s hardly ever happy moments that seem to stick with me. It seems that the scenes that mean the most to me are those that make me recognise something about myself.

“Watching Twin Peaks Fire: Walk with Me was a great experience. The entire film sort of takes me back to my teens and growing up in a small town and facing so many new and scary things, suddenly growing up: sexuality, depression, dreams and fears.

“There are two particular scenes which remind me exactly of the feeling of being between the ages of 13 and 16 again. One is the nightclub scene. I am not saying that is what happened when I went out being about 14, but the general feeling of this scene is exactly the feeling I remember from that time. The raw sexuality, the characters and how they talk and seem to deeply understand each other when it is not making much sense. It is comforting somehow to recognise so much later that the first nights out are not necessarily experienced like the prom in Pretty in Pink, but more like this scene from Fire Walk with Me. It is not exactly a happy realisation or memory but makes you think that some people out there experienced it the same way you did. Which makes me feel better… even though I propably shouldn’t.

“The other is the one in which Laura is in bed at night and Bob comes through the window and crawls onto her bed and they make love and she realises it’s her father. I did not find the scene that disturbing compared to others. It just felt like that is just exactly what sexuality feels like to young girls between 13 and 16. –or is that just me?

Action!

“– well, even if it is just me, this scene makes me happy because it is not just me, Laura felt like that too — and no, you don’t have to be abused by your father for it!

“And then of course I remember that significant moment when I zapped through TV many years ago and suddenly saw that moment from Blue Velvet where Isabella Rossellini asks Kyle McLachlan to hit her. It was part of a very short trailer for the film which was going to be on that night. It made me feel very strange and I knew I had to watch this, what ever it was.

“It was one of those first moments I remember where I really thought to myself “Ohh, something is VERY WRONG with you.”

“But that’s all a bit… well, dodgy?” 

BV

We don’t judge, here at Cinema Euphoria. 

(I repeat: Kris is a ghost tour guide. She leads people into Edinburgh’s most haunted catacombs and tells them stories. Come to Edinburgh and she’ll scare the crap out of you for money.)

Interestingly enough, the extract already on Youtube comes as part of a series of “Worst Movie Scenes,” which shows once again that it takes diff’rent stroke / all kinds, etc. But the reasoning behind the scene’s classification as a “worst” seems highly dubious to me, suggesting that maybe it DOESN’T take all kinds, just a magical combination of weirdballs and dumb-asses.

Even interestinger, the very reasons given by the YouTube people for worst-tagging this scene are part of the reason Kris likes it: the baffling dialogue. It’s not that it makes sense to her as such, but it makes sense for the dialogue to BE baffling.

As a sign of how under-regarded this movie was when it came out, the British distributor accidentally released a version without any subtitles for the roadhouse scene,  so this scene was even more puzzling than Lynch intended, since it’s very carefully mixed so you can’t hear quite what anybody is saying (which, as Kris observes, makes it the perfect evocation of the clubbing experience).

The little guy who talks backwards was unsubtitled too, which made things pretty tough.

Of all the stuff you guys have chosen for Euphoria, this clip maybe loses most, firstly because it’s too short, so you don’t get the full oppressive effect of Angelo Badalamenti’s music (which eventually fades out with the longest decay EVER) and secondly because there’s no way it’s going to sound like it should sound in a cinema. I mean, I know our little boxes here are far from adequate at the best of time, I just think this time the shortfall is more than usually destructive.

(Incidentally, Badalamenti came to the Edinburgh Film Festival a few years back and turned out to be THE FUNNIEST MAN ALIVE.)

I think this is a fine example of Cinema Euphoria, even if a lot of people might find it strange. Film is a mental connector, a bridge between minds, and sometimes that projector beam shines out just to find a single person, somewhere in the darkness, and make them glow.