Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TWIN PEAKS AND THE BLUE ROSE by Rocko Van Buren

We here at the Daily Dirt Diaspora family of websites are proud to bring you this illuminating Guest Post about some of the more obscure elements of the magnificent Lynch/Frost creation Twin Peaks by our brilliant friend Rocko Van Buren. Enjoy! - YOPJ

“Through the dark of futures past
The magician longs to see
One chance out between two worlds
Fire walk with me”
- Bob
TWIN PEAKS, BLUE ROSE, AND THE UFO PHENOMENON

In the first few moments of Part 12 of the ongoing Showtime television event, Twin Peaks: The Return, the audience finally learns definitively what “Blue Rose” means in the context of Dale Cooper, Gordon Cole and the rest of the FBI. This exposition comes in a scene with FBI deputy director Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfield and agent Tammy Preston sipping fine wine while seated in a private room at a hotel in Buckhorn, South Dakota, surrounded by red curtains (reminiscent of the mysterious Red Room itself), Albert explains Blue Rose is a secret extension of the now-closed, real-world Project Blue Book conducted by the U.S. Air Force to investigate UFO phenomena.


As the Air Force describes in it's own documentation, some of which is now publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act and quoted here from Wikipedia:
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force. It started in 1952, and it was the third study of its kind (the first two were projects Sign (1947) and Grudge (1949)). A termination order was given for the study in December 1969, and all activity under its auspices ceased in January 1970.
Project Blue Book had two goals:
1 To determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, and
2 To scientifically analyze UFO-related data.”
Prior to this revelation in Part 12 of The Return, fan-favorite character Maj. Garland Briggs from Twin Peaks original two seasons was the show's clearest connection to Project Blue Book and how the classified Air Force investigation connects to the White and Black Lodges of Twin Peaks lore.

Following a mysterious disappearance in Season 2 in the original run, upon which we will touch in greater detail later on, Briggs tells Cooper that even though Project Blue Book was disbanded, “There are those of us who continue in an unofficial capacity, examining the heavens as before, or in the case of Twin Peaks, the earth below. We are searching for a place called the White Lodge.”

Back in The Return, Albert explains to Agent Preston that Blue Book was shut down in 1970 as part of a “cover-up” that concluded the UFO phenomenon was not credible, and there was no resulting threat to national security.

“A few years later, the military and FBI formed a top secret task force to explore the troubling abstractions raised by cases Blue Book failed to resolve,” Albert explains. “We call it, 'The Blue Rose,' after a phrase uttered by a woman involved in one of these cases just before she died., which suggested these hazards could not be reached except by an alternate path we have been traveling ever since.”

Albert goes on to name the agents involved in this secret task force created by Cole – himself, lead agent Phillip Jeffries, Chet Desmond and the original show's main character, Dale Cooper. All of the special agents involved in Blue Rose, excepting Albert and Cole, have since disappeared. All this exposition is by way of recruiting The Return's newest FBI agent, Preston, into the fold of the Blue Rose task force. And thus we have the first explicit delineation from Project Blue Book straight to Blue Rose and the strange, occult aspects that surround the FBI's investigation into the murder of Laura Palmer in the Washington town of Twin Peaks (in the original TV series) and the murder of Teresa Banks in nearby Dear Meadow (in the film Fire Walk With Me).

While the original Twin Peaks run of 1990-921 owes much of its nostalgic love to its soap-opera-style story-lines, Cooper's frequent references to “damn fine coffee,” “the best cherry pie in the tri-counties,” and scenes like Audrey Horne engaged in a strange and seductive dance to music composed by Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, it is the lore and mystery of Twin Peaks that always attracted me most. And while this aspect of the story was certainly included in the original run of the series, it was never as prominent on ABC prime-time as it was later on in the show's darker, stranger cousin, Lynch's 1992 film Fire Walk With Me (which was my introduction to the world of Twin Peaks). Nothing in the Twin Peaks ecosphere compares to the dark strangeness of Fire Walk With Me (which was originally intended as a series of three films; however, part two and three were never filmed because of the poor critical and financial reception to its first installment). While the inability of Lynch to continue the story in the 1990s was certainly disappointing to hardcore fans, without that failure, we may not have ever been able to experience 2017's revival of Twin Peaks via The Return, in which Lynch and Frost have continued their legacy of breaking new ground in television entertainment.


OUTSIDE OF TIME AND SPACE

Of the many oddities in Twin Peaks, the Black Lodge and its denizens, Bob, The One-Armed Man (aka Mike/Phillip Gerard) and The Man From Another Place (aka the arm) are it's most persistent and vexing. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? While there are many theories surrounding Twin Peaks culture about the meaning and origin of this place and its inhabitants, most of them ignore the connection to Project Blue Book, UFO phenomena and the possibility of alien life. My analysis will attempt to connect the line from Blue Book to Blue Rose, from the idea of UFO encounters and alien visitors to inhabiting spirits like Bob and his cohorts.

To understand this, we must first reconsider the popular conception of aliens – we are not speaking here about extraterrestrial beings in the sense depicted in Steven Spielberg's films E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. These are not little green men in flying saucers, nor necessarily “Greys,” “Reptilians,” “Nordics,” nor any of the other alien races promulgated by popular culture shows like Coast to Coast AM. (although some images in The Return do bear a striking resemblance to the alien “grey,” notably the being credited as “The Experiment/Mother” in Part Eight, the being in the black box in Part One, and the first scene in Andy's vision from Part Fourteen).

Instead, we are speaking of aliens as inter/extra-dimensional beings that inhabit our world and adjacent worlds unseen, the type of spirits discussed in dozens of Hindu and Buddhist legends, and, most eloquently in 'western' society, by well-known UFO researcher and PhD Jacques Vallée. Vallée, not coincidentally, was the inspiration for Spielberg's character Claude Lacombe, played in Spielberg's film Close Encounters by François Truffaut.

In an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove on the public television program Thinking Allowed, Vallée discusses his 1979 book Messengers of Deception:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

ACD PICKS THE GREATEST COUPLES IN HOLLYWOOD HISTORY!

It is always a pleasure to bring readers of the DDD family of blogs the wit, wisdom, and verve of one of our oldest, dearest pals, the venerable A.C. Doyle! In this enlightening and entertaining survey, Ace provides lovers of classic Hollywood a solid month's worth of programming choices, at least. Enjoy! - Jerky
There are a few on-screen pairings this past generation who have generated some heat and some laughs. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Their oeuvres are largely somewhere between bad and forgettable–does anybody remember Joe Versus The Volcano or By The Sea or True Detective or Blended? Gere and Roberts have starred twice together, in pretty good films, Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride. And Brangelina became a pop culture term, but Mr. & Mrs. Smith–where they met on the set and she spirited him away from Ms. Aniston–and By The Sea, Ms. Jolie’s directorial debut, were fairly awful.

And most of these pairs have only starred in two or three films together. Compared to Loren and Mastroianni in 13, Taylor and Burton in 11, Hepburn and Tracy in 9, Astaire and Rogers in 10, Powell and Loy in 14, Farrow and Allen in 7 (plus he directed her in 6 more). Bogey and Bacall were only in four together, but what a four!

So it seems the Golden Era of paired actors and actresses across multiple films is largely behind us. Which is a pity, because there were some wonderful collaborations (on-screen and off, as often as not). Moreover, fine actors and actresses can develop a rapport and sense of timing, both comic and dramatic, that, like a fine wine, matures over time.

There’s also a modern conceit that showing a couple firing machine guns at bad guys then rolling around naked and sweaty in flagrante delicto is the only way to convey sexiness, desire, allure, magnetic attraction. Whereas Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert stringing up a line and draping a blanket over it in the fleabag motel so that they can’t see each other change into pyjamas and snuggle into separate beds (It Happened One Night, one of only three films to win the “Big Five” Oscars) is deliciously titillating and arousing.

So let’s take a walk down Memory Lane, and examine the great romantic/dramatic pairings. With the exception of a couple of Burton/Taylors when I was too young to see them, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, the Woody Allen films, and some Loren, most of these movies were produced well before I was born, and I’m in my mid-50s, so this nostalgic promenade will appeal to film buffs, but if you don’t watch anything before CGI and David Lynch, you might want to continue to the next article.

Let’s start with the flimsiest plots, and the least remembered movies nowadays, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

FIRE WALK WITH JERKY ~ EP. 6: REALIZATION TIME


Uh-oh! Looks like the sixth post-pilot episode of Twin Peaks begins with a pretty serious continuity error. The first thing we see in this episode is a clear and beautiful half moon hanging up in the sky. Unfortunately, the previous episode kicked off with a giant, up close image of a clearly FULL Moon, as seen through some pines! The events of the previous episode took place no more than two days previous to the beginning of this episode, and not the six or seven days it would have taken for such a drastic change in lunar phase. Oh well... I guess that's bound to happen when a series has directors hopping on and off willy-nilly, episode by episode. That's why I think having Lynch and Frost oversee the entirety of Season Three is such a brilliant move... and I can hardly wait to get started on it! The few sneak peaks I've had are driving me crazy with antici....pation.

"So do you want me to leave or what?"
Back at the Great Northwestern, Cooper is dealing with Audrey’s rather forward propositioning (he arrived to find her nude in his bed) by dealing out some pretty definitive rejection. In fact, his rejection of Audrey seems sort of forced, in a way... far more Boy Scout than necessary.


We don't suspect Cooper of being gay, but his odd, conflicting behavior with Audrey, particularly in this scene, is jarring.


I mean, he can barely stand to even look at her. I mean, I know Cooper is... "special", but how prudish can a worldly, Big City FBI man really be? And he's going to fetch them both some fries and a malted--traditional 50’s fare--over which, presumably, they will have a girly "dish" session? Come on.


Once again, this whole "everybody in this town has secrets" business is hammered home with all the subtlety of a truck driving through a plate glass window.


Andy and Lucy – what’s up with these two?


The show has been teasing their relationship problems, without ever really establishing that they're engaged in a relationship, for long enough now, it seems to me. And now Lucy's having a health crisis?


Hmmm...


Cooper pops into the Sheriff's office with his hand-carved pipe again, piping a jolly tune.


Dr Hayward and Sheriff Truman are working with Waldo the Myna bird, studying the species and trying to nurse it back to health by hydrating it and feeding it some fruits (Dr Hayward calls for fresh apples, as "these grapes are right on the edge").


Why apples over grapes? Both are Old Testament fruit (Genesis for apples, Exodus for grapes). Probably no significance, though.


Speech being a form of play for the Myna bird, Waldo should start talking again as soon as he's in better health. Cooper doesn’t want to feed him. Doesn’t like birds for some reason. Really? To the point of saying so? What’s up with that? Seems out of character. Also, the Myna species' origins are in southeast Asia. Could this be significant?


Hawk enters the office with a bunch of forensic findings. It turns out Rennault’s cabin was recently party to three guests – Laura, Ronette and Leo.


The one and only exposed negative in the camera found at the scene contains an image of Waldo perched on Laura’s shoulder.


Cooper considers Waldo to be a witness, because it can talk. In order that the Sheriff's office can go and do field work, Cooper sets up a voice activated recorder, which will kick in when and if Waldo decides to start talking.


Forensics has also finally traced the "J" fragment found in Laura's stomach to the 1000$ chip from One Eyed Jack's. Hawk points out that Jacques Rennault is dealing blackjack there, so Cooper suggest they pay a visit to One Eyed Jacks. And seeing as it's out of their jurisdiction, over the border in Canada, Cooper enthusiastically suggests that this is a task tailor made for the Bookhouse Boys.


Meanwhile, on the sleazier side of town, Leo, whose left arm is wrapped in bloody bandages, is spying on Shelly.


Through a pair of binoculars, he watches as Bobby Briggs shows up to romance HIS woman.