The Return as mass art surrealism - sounds familiar  

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(@pynchjan)
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Opening paragraph of Michael Richardson's Surrealism and Cinema (2006):

"The conjunction ‘surrealism and cinema’ is a seductive one. It evokes an undefined

relation, a meeting point between the opposites of light and dark,

presence and absence, actuality and imagination which suggests the actualisation

of the supreme point which André Breton identified as the aim of surrealism.

So evocative is this concurrence that it already seems present in the human

imagination long before either ‘cinema’ or ‘surrealism’ actually existed. At least,

the surrealist experience of cinema already seems to be familiar to the German

romantic poet Novalis, to judge from some of his aphorisms:

     Dark memories hovering below the transparent screen of the present will

     present images of reality in sharp silhouette, to create the pleasurable effect

     of a double world.

     The outer world becomes so transparent and the inner world so diverse

     and full of meaning that one finds oneself in a state of nervous animation

     between the two. (Novalis, 1979: 25–6)"

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Posted : 18/08/2017 4:43 am
KLynched liked
(@pynchjan)
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Taking responsibility but not credit for the surreal text layout. 

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Posted : 18/08/2017 4:48 am
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

Erm...

I don't think this series can qualify as a Surrealist work.  It has Surrealist elements - maybe - but follows a more or less linear narrative to arrive at a conclusion of sorts.

Surrealism doesn't do that, by and large.  Bunuel's "Obscure Object Of Desire" does follow a simple narrative but doesn't follow regular narrative convention because the "Object Of Desire", in this case, a beautiful woman, is different from scene to scene, undermining the idea of perception and desire itself.

Twin Peaks is a relatively straightforward story, even though it's wide ranging and features several strange non-human creatures.  The weird stuff all links back to a comprehensible story.  Surrealism doesn't depend on a conclusion or comprehensibility.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 18/08/2017 7:23 am
(@arcadesonfire)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: SamXTherapy

Erm...

I don't think this series can qualify as a Surrealist work.  It has Surrealist elements - maybe - but follows a more or less linear narrative to arrive at a conclusion of sorts.

Surrealism doesn't do that, by and large.  Bunuel's "Obscure Object Of Desire" does follow a simple narrative but doesn't follow regular narrative convention because the "Object Of Desire", in this case, a beautiful woman, is different from scene to scene, undermining the idea of perception and desire itself.

Twin Peaks is a relatively straightforward story, even though it's wide ranging and features several strange non-human creatures.  The weird stuff all links back to a comprehensible story.  Surrealism doesn't depend on a conclusion or comprehensibility.

You say that right now Sam. But I'll wait till the end before being positive about it.

I just started a thread discussing surrealism and how dreams are inspired by real events but don't point to specific meanings. I guess I could reduce my theory of the show to just refer to specific memorable yet incomprehensible scenes rather than the whole arc.... unless the end leaves us without any conclusion at all. 

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Posted : 18/08/2017 1:22 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

I think it will end in a comprehensible, if not conclusive, way.  Even if the underlying message is simply "We're all doomed!"

There's a lot of the Surrealist stock in trade going on but I'm certain the story itself is relatively straightforward.  That's not to say I understand it all, or even most of what's happening, mind you.  Like a Zip archive, you need all the pieces before you can unpack it.

Look at what happened with the end of the last series.  It was easy enough to understand, even if it was downbeat, left hanging and generally inconclusive to the whole arc.  It's possible the end of this one will be similar.

I'd even stick my neck out and say Episode 8 wasn't Surrealist in the least.  It was something very different from what we see on telly, sure, but not Surreal because there was a definite narrative thread throughout.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 18/08/2017 1:31 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

Addendum:

Dali said he'd moved beyond Surrealism and it's likely true, because his later work - commercial criticisms aside - showed a shift away from truly irrational juxtaposition of elements to a considered, conscious approach to portraying his own internal symbolism on canvas.  It's possible Frost and Lynch are doing the same here but time will tell.

Possibly.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 18/08/2017 1:33 pm
(@pynchjan)
RR Diner Patron

Thanks for the responses.

I'm thinking of TPTR as mass art film/television surrealism. To make the work more accessible, to find an audience and finance, Lynch/Frost piggyback a kind of popular cinematic surrealism (super-realism) on fairly conventional narrative (and spiritual) content. This highlights the "undefined relations" between the narrative ("actuality," "presence") and non/anti-narrative (or dream/fantasy/"imagination," "absence") elements, and "light" (Cooper) and "dark" (Mr C).   

Likewise, TPTR often reflects on the "dark memories hovering below the dark screen of the present," "pleasurable effect of a double world" & the "nervous animation" of existing in an outer-inner self-word too diverse & full of meanings  (for characters & audience, & also for the filmmakers) -  e.g. the part 8 frame narrative flashback, the Shelly-Becky repeated life pattern, the Naido arc, the drunk in the cells, Andy's awakening...

TPTR seems much closer to Bunuel's work (narrative, character doubling, dream-like structure, social critique, pop surrealism, female desire as thematic focus) than it appears. 

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Posted : 19/08/2017 1:35 am
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

Very well put, Pynchjan.  Not sure I agree with it all but it's definitely worth considering.  I completely agree with you about the Bunuel influence.  Sometimes, even the choice of lighting or framing seems to be from some of his work.  I don't know if it's intentional because there's the same kind of approach throughout most of Lynch's stuff, right back to Eraserhead.

Overall, I think you're on to something.  Which somewhat makes me contradict my earlier post but so what?  I'd be several kinds of a fool if I rejected your ideas out of hand.  As they stand, they are good, strong observations.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 19/08/2017 6:56 am
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