March 27, 2007

Re-Cooper-ating

Howdy pardners.

Thanks for all the well-wishes, public and private. To sate any curiosity as to exactly what went down, and without getting into the gory details, last Wednesday morning I woke up with an excruciating pain in my stomach that continued to escalate until the paramedics hauled me off to the emergency room. There, it was more or less discovered that a hernia I've evidently had a while had reached critical mass, and just a few hours later I was hustled into surgery, where they stapled my stomach and presumably discussed their love lives, per "Grey's Anatomy".


Since returning home on Friday evening I've been working my way through "Twin Peaks: The Complete Second Season", which is actually a rather soothing way to convalesce. Perhaps needless to say, I won't be able to file a review of it by street date (April 3rd), but preliminarily: don't hesitate to pick it up. I have some quibbles with the A/V presentation, chiefly that the Lynch-helmed segments--justifiably, but still--have obviously been given more TLC than the remaining episodes (though the screams of Ronette Pulaski do an unsettling 360-degree pan around the room at the beginning of episode 10). And on my player, the CBS "menu/previews" interface that opens the first disc refuses to acknowledge either selection, so you have to wait a full minute for it to play itself out.

As for the show itself...I really like the David Lynch instalments. If that sounds fanboyish, well, I hope to acquit myself in the near future.

Like it says on the mothersite, not sure when regular updates will resume, but I'm grateful your patience and certainly motivated by your voracious appetite for new material. In the meantime, I humbly return the asylum to the inmates.

47 comments:

James Allen said...

Bill,

Well, it could've been worse, you could've been taken care of by the guys from Scrubs.

A hernia, huh? Ouch. Get well soon!

Richard said...

I've yet to see any of Twin Peaks. A video store near me has the DVD set for rent but I read somewhere that the pilot isn't included and that the series doesn't feel complete without that first episode. Is there any truth to that or should I just start with what the DVDs provide?

I think I read about this on an IMDb forum, so there is a good chance that I am horribly misinformed.

Bill C said...

That's unfortunately true about the first-season set, Richard. The pilot is tied up in legal limbo because it was released abroad as a theatrical feature with an alternate ending, and various rights-holders can't agree on who's entitled to what, profit-wise.

theoldboy said...

*cue melancholy guitar music*
JD (VO): Things like Bill Chambers' hernia make me think about friends and love and shit. Whether you're doing this thing here, or doing this other thing over there, or even doing this mildly humorous thing over there, you've always got friends and people you love that affect you in some way.

I've only seen the first four episodes but I'm convinced that Twin Peaks is the greatest show in the history of television. I just saw Fire Walk With Me, which is very underrated despite its rough first half hour, but I'm wondering if anything in the series involves someone saying "I am the Muffin" as the phrase has been haunting me for days.

reel2reel said...

I'm a little behind on my reading, so I just wished you well in the last thread, Bill. Glad to see you're well, though. Might I suggest an added viewing of Mulholland Drive to your time of healing? No matter how many times you've already seen it, it's bound to do you some good, if only to bask in the light of Naomi Watts.

I too love Fire Walk With Me. When it hit the theatres many years ago, I dragged every friend to see it and couldn't get enough. It definitely played well on the big screen.

Does anyone have any idea what that monkey whispers, by the way?

theoldboy said...

Naomi Watts cures hernias with her mind.








And tits.





Mostly her mind, though.

Craig said...

The pilot is available on the Region 2 Series One boxset.

theoldboy said...

The pilot, along with every other episode, is on Youtube, although the quality is undoubtedly poor and it lacks some of the satisfaction of actually owning it.

Cap said...

Likewise R4 - I am flabberghasted at the concept of viewing Twin Peaks without seeing the pilot.

I hope the recovery continues well, Bill!

Norm Wilner said...

Glad to hear you're recovering, Bill. Take it easy.

Rick said...

I do not enjoy Fire Walk With Me, but I will pretend I do to be apart of the "Cool Inclusive People’s Club". Does it really matter what the monkey whispered? That and other disconnected scenes are so fucking arbitrary. Thank God for Lynch though, he can justify broken people's use of acid and abandoning of logic. This is not a generalization of all Lynch fans though, just those gutter ones that think they are smarter than they actually are. Actually I am probably just as moronic as them most of the time, but at least I am not delusional.

On a more positive note, I'm glad Bill is better!

Alex Jackson said...

Likewise R4 - I am flabberghasted at the concept of viewing Twin Peaks without seeing the pilot.

I think the reason that it took so long for Season 2 to be released is that not many people bought Season 1. They didn't buy season 1, of course, because it did not have the pilot.

As they weren't making any money off Season 1, they didn't see the need to invest the resources into putting Season 2 on DVD.

Don't you love it?

Been waiting for this a long time. Here's a discussion topic: films you have yet to see because they have yet to be put on DVD but desperately need to.

Three that I've been thinking about:

-El Topo/Holy Mountain (this year I've heard)
-Looking for Mr. Goodbar (this year, I've heard also. A 30th anniversary special edition!)
-Patty Hearst (?)

Any others you can think of?

Rick said...

Alex, my friend's favorite movie is Holy Mountain. He has screened it a few times at the local theater, too bad you don't live near Albany. Sometimes we get access to the theater after midnight, so we can watch our movies and hang out. Last time he picked Forbidden Zone and Visitor Q, so maybe you aren't missing out on much. I know next time he is going to show Sans Soleil, which is directionless and maddening.

jer fairall said...

My biggest one: The Magnificent Ambersons.

El Topo, too. And Santa Sangre as well for that matter.

I'd also like to be able to finally see Trouble Every Day without having to buy it from Japan or France or something.

Glad to hear you're back home, Bill. Get well soon.

Bill C said...

Both of those Jodorowskys are due out in May from Anchor Bay; hope they don't get delayed. A restored print of The Holy Mountain has been touring the rep circuit, so keep an eye out.

Even though I now have a nice dupe of it, I eagerly anticipate that Ace in the Hole DVD, which was curiously at the forefront of my mind during my recent travails. Haunting movie, and dare I say Wilder's best. Did you know Spike Lee tried to remake it?

Naomi Watts indeed cures all manner of ailments, though she's been known to cause hairy palms.

Once again, thanks for all your kind thoughts and good vibes. Slowly but surely...

Rick said...

Ken Park US format

Raw Deal: A Question of Consent

My ideal one: The Magnificent Ambersons: Director's Cut (magically it turns up)

Alex Jackson said...

My biggest one: The Magnificent Ambersons.

Omigod, that's nucking futs! I did not know this was not on DVD. Does play TCM every so often though, so keep an eye out.

I actually broke down and bought an illegal version of Ken Park. I can now say that I have seen everything that Larry Clark has directed. Destricted really should be out on Region 1 by the by.

theoldboy said...

El Topo/Holy Mountain definitely.

Youtube's copy of the Peaks pilot is okay, seems to be VHS format and at one point there is a brief popcorn commercial in the middle of a scene. Overall still comes through intact, though.

reel2reel said...

Rick says: "I do not enjoy Fire Walk With Me, but I will pretend I do to be apart of the "Cool Inclusive People’s Club". Does it really matter what the monkey whispered?"

Does it really matter what you say? Probably not, but anyway...

Last time I checked Fire Walk With Me was the UNcool one to like amongst cheeseheaded Lynch fans. I don't consider myself a fan of much, thanks, just a lover of great films.

My guess is someone who likes Fire Walk With Me stole your last girlfriend. Sorry about that.

If anything is arbitrary, I'd say it's your taste in movies.

Rick said...

If anything is arbitrary, I'd say it's your taste in movies.

And THAT is why I am not allowed into the Cool Inclusive People’s Club

rachel said...

Brewster McCloud
If....


Also, it sucks to be a David Warner fan... I'll probably never get to see Providence, A Doll's House or The Sea Gull... I guess I should just be thankful that Cable Hogue's out?

Alex Jackson said...

If....

Oh yeah, definitely. Forgot about this one.

jer fairall said...

Forgot about Brewster McCloud. I need to see that too.

I'd never heard of Ace in The Hole until Bill's mention of it before, but it sounds compelling.

Also, I've always wanted to see Drowning By Numbers.

Jared said...

Santa Sangre is on an anamorphic DVD with DTS and 5.1 mixes and a disc of extras in the UK. El Topo/Holy Mountain have always had hideous DVD transfers but I think the US one dated for May 15th (The new Wilco CD and The Fountain too!) should remedy that

Besides Brewster McCloud as the first thing that comes to mind I'd also like to throw in a couple of Hal Ashby flicks that aren't on DVD, The Landlord and 8 Million Ways To Die wholeheartedly deserve a disc. Speaking of Hals, how about Hal Hartley's Trust?

I have a copy of the Chinese Twin Peaks pilot, my friend bought it over there and I copied it and put it in a sleeve in with my Season One box set, the A/V presentation is borderline unwatchable, sub tape quality, but it did make Season One much more enjoyable. I can't believe Season Two comes out this week, I guess I'll have to dig into the old piggy bank for it. When the hell is Inland Empire actually coming to a theater near me?

I got Trouble Every Day from Netflix easily. Ken Park I can never find to buy online and i have an all region DVD player now so there's nothing stopping me. That's how I got Bernard Rose's "Paperhouse" and "Ivan's XTC" and of course David Lynch's "Lost Highway"

Jared said...

Oh, also Ken Russell's "Whore"; thought Lionsgate was doing it but no such luck.

jer fairall said...

El Topo/Holy Mountain have always had hideous DVD transfers but I think the US one dated for May 15th (The new Wilco CD and The Fountain too!)

and...And...AND a 3-disc (!!!) edition of Pan's Labyrinth

Alex Jackson said...

I got Trouble Every Day from Netflix easily.

Me too. Jer says that Zip (Canadian Netflix) doesn't carry it.

James said...

If... just got announced by Criterion.

Seattle Jeff said...

A fun link relating to a topic in the previous thread about sex scenes...this concerns Thora Birch. Note where her parents met...

Bill C said...

Saving my own encounter(s) with Jack Birch for the memoirs, but suffice it to say, this doesn't really surprise me.

Just a heads-up: the mothersite will be updated for the first time in 9 days tonight at 8pm EST.

Anonymous said...

Who are the other two horsemen of the film criticism apocalypse that you speak of, Walter?

Jared said...

If.... but no O Lucky Man? You're slacking, Criterion!

Oh, has anyone seen La Haine? Is it worth picking up, I'm sure it won't be cheap as it's a 2 disc Criterion set.

Alex Jackson said...

Oh, has anyone seen La Haine? Is it worth picking up, I'm sure it won't be cheap as it's a 2 disc Criterion set.

No, not really. While visually accomplished, it's heavy handed and self-important-- sort of the French version of American History X. Kind of fatty also.

Certainly, I would rent it first.

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

Glad you're OK, Bill. After going through traumatic bullshit in a hospital, Lynch is actually a good choice. The banality and horror combo, I guess. When I had an incapacitating back injury last January, I watched "Lost Highway" while recuperating, and appreciated it even more than I had the first time. Of course, it might have been the pain pills.

Rick said...

...and if you consider the gag of straight men touching each other's groins for the sake of a spectacle that's already beyond parody to be comedy gold, then have I got a movie for you.

FYI Roeper loved it.

Scott Weinberg said...

As a guy who's lived through hernia surgery, I definitely feel your pain. Get well soon.

James Allen said...

Speaking of Lynch, I watched his teriffic The Straight Story again. A sublime film that still has a few "Lynchian" edges.

There's one line in it that still gets to me: "The worst part of being old is rememberin' being young." Damn.

Hope your coming along OK, Bill.

jer fairall said...

FYI Roeper loved [Blades of Glory].

For the sake of my sanity, I think I may skip Roeper & Whomever this week.

I did like Roeper's new baby, The Lookout, btw, though I can't understand for the life of me how someone could consider it life-changing (as Roeper claimed). Basically, as Walter says, a fairly good caper film elevated by some excellent performances. It's not at all exaggerating to call Joseph Gordon-Levitt the best actor of his generation, even at this point (that said, having just re-read his atypically casually dismissive *1/2 review in the 2006 Annual, I keep thinking that if I could ever convince Walter to reconsider any more he's ever panned, it's Mysterious Skin), and this may be Jeff Daniels' best performance since, well, ever. I gotta say that I'd never thought of Daniels as one of our finest actors--it says little that the only thing I can really remember liking him in before this was Blood Work--so am I missing or forgetting something?

jer fairall said...

Ah crap, I just checked the IMDB. The Purple Rose of Cairo, Pleasantville, The Squid and the Whale...I've severely underrated this guy.

Seattle Jeff said...

Don't foget Dumb and Dumber... the guy was hilarious in that. What range Daniels has.

Cap said...

Why should he reconsider Mysterious Skin, jer? Why?

Rick said...

Why should he reconsider Mysterious Skin, jer? Why?

Exactly. 1/2* sounds about right, that director has not made one good movie in my opinion. I really hate The Doom Generation, especially when I walk into some person's house in downtown Albany and see it sitting next to The Boondock Saints in their movie collection. Plus, I do not think Walter has changed his mind on many films. The only ones I can think of in which he has were for 25th Hour, Palindromes and In the Bedroom.

Alex Jackson said...

Well, I liked Mysterious Skin also, but re-reading Walter's review in light of Jer's objection I was surprised at how well thought-out and carefully considered. The dislike toward Arakki isn't entirely vestigial from his previous films, Walter documents it:

The root of dysfunction, then, is homosexual little league coaches. Dig under the mysterious skin of the picture and maybe you find a row of them, offering their Lucky Charms and Twinkies to the picture's relentless gallery of grotesques, not the least of whom is tiny Michelle Trachtenberg, a limited actress weighted down by one of Araki's typical monologues of pop-art awful. (It's a comment on bad, see.) Her fag-hag Wendy warns a chum against falling in love because Neil has a big black sucking hole where a heart's supposed to be. Glib, but it's supposed to be, right?

That said, this statement kind of bugs me:

The problem with the picture is its suggestion that gays get that way in part because they've been molested, suggesting it no matter how early Araki has eight-year-old Neil (Chase Ellison) confess in voiceover that he finds his little league baseball coach (Bill Sage) sexually hot.

Listen: Not all gays were molested as children, in fact I doubt that even half were. And not all children who are molested grow up to be gay. But it does seem overly dogmatic and unbending to state that molestation does not inform sexual orientation to any extent. Or that there aren't many pathways to the general conclusion of homosexuality and molestation may just be one of them.

I mean, it's generally accepted that those who are molested go on to molest themselves right? I think that I could convincingly argue that pedophilia (in adulthood) is a sexual orientation.

Not a lot of research on this, to be sure, nobody really knows what makes gay people gay. What I know I know from anecdotal accounts. The claim that molestation leads to homosexuality is a cornerstone of anti-gay factions and feeds into the idea of rehabilitative therapy. But I don't think that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater here. I remember reading an argument against this line of thinking from a gay psychologist and he said that male-on-male sexual abuse is not homosexual sex because abuse is never sex. This is crazy talk if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Mysterious Skin isn't about homosexuality, it's about coping with molestation. The two leads represent damaged psyches and their differing trajectories in the wake of their abuse.

tmhoover said...

I see Mysterious Skin as one of Araki's failed road movies: like The Living End, The Doom Generation and to an extent Totally F****d Up, it's about people who move around to avoid their miseries only to have those miseries inevitably come calling at the end. And I don't think Araki was suggesting that Levitt's being molested made him gay; this would be a strange, strange position for the director of those other movies. All that Mysterious Skin said was that Levitt's molestation made him dive into repeating the experience in order to prove to himself that he was tough and unaffected by it. The other guy, of course, wished the experience away into a fantasy scenario that made things tolerable, giving us a both-sides-now view of trauma avoidance and accomodation.

O'JohnLandis said...

Well, all I know about Mysterious Skin is that after seeing Nowhere and Doom Generation, I vowed never to watch another Araki movie and have not broken that vow. I suspect that Araki is medically incapable of thinking, or writing a movie in which characters think, or writing a movie which provokes an audience to think. His is a different kind of horrible than, say, Adam Shankman, but I guess I prefer a bad whore to someone who's bad and, gasp, trying not to be.

Still, I can't imagine a valid argument that "pedophilia (in adulthood) is a sexual orientation." I think it's important for words to mean things. It may be convenient to change the meaning of terms like sexual orientation, but it seems the term is more helpful when it gives you quick and easy information. There may be a guy out there who can only get off while covered in latex, but that doesn't mean that latex is his sexual orientation. In this case, it's the pourer who counts. Latex is a fetish. And even in the extreme case that an adult's pedophilia was not a fetish, but rather his only sexual identity, the gender of the children determines his orientation. That's just what the word means.

The use of "sexual orientation" was really the only problem with your theory. If you phrase this theory properly, it becomes:

A molested child has a better than average chance of having the molestation experience (often pedophilia and often same-sex pedophilia) dominate his adult sexuality.

Cap said...

This is crazy talk if you ask me.

Yeah, and it's exactly what the film is saying - it isn't what Walter is saying. He's saying that it's reductionist, manipulative "sentimental" touchy-feely bullcrap, which I feel it is. That said, it does feel like the Araki piece that is closest to a real film, but I really don't find anything worthwhile in it - we suffer a lot with these characters and don't really benefit for it. There's no great revelations to be found in Mysterious Skin, I feel, but I can't deny it gets a reaction out.