violence against women in 'The Return'  

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(@robin)
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Posted by: kdawg68

Deep in the male subconscious, especaially as depicted in our dreams, women appear to us in what are usually one of two common forms;  either they are motherly/teacherly and give us direction, or the are objects of sexual desire/conquest.  Those are the archtypes.  And there's a bit of that going on in the world of Twin Peaks here.

You make some good points but I want to highlight just this one. These archetypes you write about are the very definition of sexism, that women have to be either saint or whore. So, if you (rightly) see these in Twin Peaks, then you see sexism in Twin Peaks, by definition.

I would refute the fact that every single Caucasian guy is portrayed as bad, because that isn't true of the guys in the Bookhouse Gang or Cooper himself. Neither is it true in the new series of the investigating FBI agents, Hawk, Truman, etc. That's quite a lot of OK to decent males, none of whom get murdered in horrific ways.

I think that's the main point. Though it is certainly true that many characters are downright evil, the men do not get punished for their activities in the same way the women do. Women are repeatedly being treated with cold, heartless contempt.

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Posted : 21/07/2017 6:21 pm
(@ruskinowl)
Roadhouse Regular

I'd just like to say that genuinely, seriously and coincidentally, my local pub bartender told me a few (very recent) stories of ladies 'knocking out' leery/creepy guys in the (local) pub. Yes, really, and I live in an 'OK' area. I loved it!

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Posted : 21/07/2017 7:54 pm
(@octaviolemos)
RR Diner Patron

Just wanna say that moral and art don't get along too well. Never did btw.

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Posted : 21/07/2017 8:03 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective
Posted by: OctavioLemos

Just wanna say that moral and art don't get along too well. Never did btw.

O RLY? 

Guernica?

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 21/07/2017 8:19 pm
(@lynn_watson)
Roadhouse Regular

Obviously missed out on the saint/whore memo.  Oh well... 

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Posted : 21/07/2017 8:27 pm
(@silentbobni)
Roadhouse Regular

The violence shown in the show and in Lynchs work in general doesn't sugar coat it like most media. People get hit, people get hurt, badly. Blood spills and in most cases brain does too. Do I think he uses violence against women as a narrative tool, shock tactic or a device to show that women are less than men somehow? No but I can see why some people might. It's a dangerous line to walk and someone will always find something to object to whether it's used intentionally or otherwise. 

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Posted : 21/07/2017 8:30 pm
(@octaviolemos)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: SamXTherapy
Posted by: OctavioLemos

Just wanna say that moral and art don't get along too well. Never did btw.

O RLY? 

Guernica?

You can't say that they do get along just because you agree with the moral of a certain piece of art. That's too easy! And will easily be used against you the same way.

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Posted : 21/07/2017 8:39 pm
(@groovy-llama-fan)
Dweller

My problem with Lynch is sexploitation more than violence in regard to women. Take the scene where the young couple gets murdered by the glass box monster. The girl is not only practically naked, but her head is cut off in the shot where she slowly undresses for the guy (as we watch him stare at her transfixed), who keeps his pants on. This is literal objectification for no good reason.

There are so many female-friendly ways you could've shot that instead: Equalise the nudity and have them both gaze at each other hungrily; or have them undress each other; or keep the girl reasonably covered and with her face in the shot. 

Lynch get flak for this because he is a genuine artist and people hold him to higher standards than mainstream directors. He is so out of the box with everything else, so why isn't he the same with the male gaze? Would he have a different approach if he was a woman? Look at Jane Campion, who's just as stylistically distinct, but never sexploits her actresses like this.

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Posted : 28/07/2017 12:39 pm
(@groovy-llama-fan)
Dweller

And it's even worse when the sexualisation converges with the violence:

What was the point of Darya sporting Victoria's Secret-type lingerie while being beaten, frightened and murdered? Yes, she was in seduction mode to distract evil Coop, but she could easily have worn tight clothes for that purposes. Why make this ridiculously 'sexy' costume choice? Is a matter of throwing it in because it's expected of cable series? Lynch had complete creative control here, so the latter doesn't fly.

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Posted : 28/07/2017 12:45 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: groovy-llama-fan

And it's even worse when the sexualisation converges with the violence:

What was the point of Darya sporting Victoria's Secret-type lingerie while being beaten, frightened and murdered? Yes, she was in seduction mode to distract evil Coop, but she could easily have worn tight clothes for that purposes. Why make this ridiculously 'sexy' costume choice? Is a matter of throwing it in because it's expected of cable series? Lynch had complete creative control here, so the latter doesn't fly.

I think the only viable argument in defense of Lynch as scopophiliac... 

... is that the media environment and audience that receive his products are likewise lost in the feedback loop that plays out when scopophilia proves profitable ....  (the same logic movie producers have used to explain why they need to whitewash characters of color...)... but his films somehow still carry the promise of resisting or reforming troubled institutions and viewer subjectivities from within... 

Admittedly, this is not a very compelling defense-- it relies on the highly questionable premise that art can insidiously infiltrate amoral institutions via the regressive conventions enabled by amoral institutions... 

Re: Lynch, I believe this debate has been going strong since Blue Velvet, and I'm not at all persuaded that a straight cis- male would have an epiphany about how he is implicated in structural violence against women by feeling his lust for isabella rosellini abruptly shade over into horror at the idea that he, like kyle machalachlan, has momentarily conflated lust, rape and battery.  Ditto nicole laliberte and madeline zima ...

But, at very least, the sexploitation doesn't take place without a moral center of gravity (as it does-- in a profoundly disturbing way, for this viewer-- in Game of Thrones.... )

 

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:03 pm
(@rbowser)
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Posted by: groovy-llama-fan

My problem with Lynch is sexploitation more than violence in regard to women...

It's an interesting post, groovy-llama-fan. I think you made your point pretty clearly.

I have a twofold response:

1)--I think Lynch is almost constantly making reference to conventional film and TV in his work. In the original TP, for instance, the general style and mood was a satirical send up of soap operas. The melodrama may have been gripping at times, but it was consciously over-the-top melodrama which made the undertone of satire always clear. Similarly, The story outline for Blue Velvet was a send-up of traditional murder mysteries. It's rare for me to notice a scene in anything Lynch has done which doesn't have his unique, quirky, dark sense of humor in it, and much of the humor is in the way he constantly is referring to established conventions in films.

--In the ep. 1 scene you're referring to with the young couple starting to have sex in the glass box room, I immediately had the impression that one of the layers in the scene's content was that the female's body had focus because that's the way it most often is in conventional entertainment. To me, it was if Lynch was saying, "Now I'm showing a scene which has a mixture of suspense, sex, and finally violence, and of course as in most movies dealing with those elements, I'm exploiting the girl's body more than the boy's."

To me, there's always a conscious element of arch commentary, even mockery of conventional film making.
 
2) I don't find it fruitful or legitimate to criticize anyone's work from the perspective of how We would have done something, or what our preferences are. It isn't relevant. Of course we're not going to like everything about most everything we see - there's always going to be things that bother us for various reasons. But in this case, I don't find it to be authentic criticism to say "He should have shown both the boy and girl equally nude, so I would find it more sexually/politically correct." I think that misses the point.

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:17 pm
(@mad-sweeney)
Roadhouse Regular

I've always felt that Lynch's satirical work was over-the-top enough to be blatantly obvious that he's going over-the-top to make a point. Evidently, however, over-the-top satire is much like dark humor, health care, and food: not everybody gets it. 

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:31 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: Randy Bowser
Posted by: groovy-llama-fan

My problem with Lynch is sexploitation more than violence in regard to women...

It's an interesting post, groovy-llama-fan. I think you made your point pretty clearly.

I have a twofold response:

1)--I think Lynch is almost constantly making reference to conventional film and TV in his work. In the original TP, for instance, the general style and mood was a satirical send up of soap operas. The melodrama may have been gripping at times, but it was consciously over-the-top melodrama which made the undertone of satire always clear. Similarly, The story outline for Blue Velvet was a send-up of traditional murder mysteries. It's rare for me to notice a scene in anything Lynch has done which doesn't have his unique, quirky, dark sense of humor in it, and much of the humor is in the way he constantly is referring to established conventions in films.

--In the ep. 1 scene you're referring to with the young couple starting to have sex in the glass box room, I immediately had the impression that one of the layers in the scene's content was that the female's body had focus because that's the way it most often is in conventional entertainment. To me, it was if Lynch was saying, "Now I'm showing a scene which has a mixture of suspense, sex, and finally violence, and of course as in most movies dealing with those elements, I'm exploiting the girl's body more than the boy's."

To me, there's always a conscious element of arch commentary, even mockery of conventional film making.
 
2) I don't find it fruitful or legitimate to criticize anyone's work from the perspective of how We would have done something, or what our preferences are. It isn't relevant. Of course we're not going to like everything about most everything we see - there's always going to be things that bother us for various reasons. But in this case, I don't find it to be authentic criticism to say "He should have shown both the boy and girl equally nude, so I would find it more sexually/politically correct." I think that misses the point.

Interesting points, Randy.  My response above was intended to ask the impertinent question:  Does anything come of the 'mockery' or 'send-up' of conventionalized sexualized violence you invoke?   

I think critics of Lynch's depictions of sexual violence have the upper hand when they point out the circularity of justifying representations of sexualized violence against women as some sort of meta-critique of representations of sexualized violence against women. 

along the lines of, "Supporters of capital punishment should be dragged out in the street and shot."  You dig?

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:32 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: James M Sweeney

I've always felt that Lynch's satirical work was over-the-top enough to be blatantly obvious that he's going over-the-top to make a point. Evidently, however, over-the-top satire is much like dark humor, health care, and food: not everybody gets it. 

James, no disrespect, but I think this is the problem with postmodern irony (or its vernacular expression as social satire, or 'prestige tv' or what have you) is that one can always say, "He's making a point, and if you don't get it, you don't get it."

But what actually comes of the point you say he's making?  

More postmodern irony, in my experience.

I don't blame women who feel impatient with this sort of infinite regression.  

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:35 pm
(@rbowser)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: Badalamenti Fan

... You dig?...

Yes, I dig! I've enjoyed all your posts on this thread, Badalamenti Fan. I think you ask unanswerable questions - All I can really say when looking at TP, Inland Empire - anything, is -"It is what it is."

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Posted : 28/07/2017 1:40 pm
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