Ep8 & Allegory?  

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(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

Hi there! Just wanted to pose some thoughts on the latest episode.

FWWM and IE are my favourite Lynch works, after S2E1 of TP. I read IE as a self-referential film-about-watching-a-film and the nature of catharsis. When I see the Giant in the theatre I can’t help but see Club Silencio, yes, but moreover the cinema in which Dern sees Mr. K near the end of IE, with the prior events of the screen being played out. (This scene made me weep the first time and still gives me proper chills on the fourth viewing, bless you Angelo!) And the Giant *literally sees* the film we just saw!

Now this to me is very meaningful. I think we are seeing a… Lynch-filtered vision of heaven/White Lodge/whatever, but *self-acknowledgedly* so! As in, the Giant staring at the viewer is simply Lynch confronting us with the concept God/Guardian/Power That Be in a direct sense. It’s not that the Giant is a dude who stared in this or that direction for thirty seconds while we get a good look at his face. It’s that the Giant is a dude who is the best representation of everything Lynch wants us to see in him, all those benevolent factors which we attribute to him, and Lynch is gonna goddamn show us his frickin face for thirty seconds ok! The White Lodge isn’t a 1920’s hotel. The rectangle we enter through isn’t a window, it’s literally a hole that’s there for us to enter through. Briggs’ White Lodge is forested, understandably. Lynch, the finest of directors, shows us this White Lodge instead as its purest distillation. Beautiful.

Interesting that the Giant stays up there with his golden tree coming out of his head throughout, once he’s started it. One is forced to wonder if he is still poised there levitating in the air, and that this is how he maintains a watch or communicates with those on the earthly plane. Time flows differently there, right? Kinda sucks for him if he had to hang up there for like thirty years to start spying on Laura and chatting it up with Coop… Wonder if Dido’s been left alone so long she’s become Mother, and the pre-switch-flicking scenes from Naido’s room were set in this White Lodge realm, but years later… wonder what she’d look like in the colour-world of American Girl/Ronette…though I’m still holding out hope for Mrs Tremond as Mother… (This miss, the look on her face, [green with jealousy] like the for-mike-a tabletop...)

The finding of the penny and subsequent “good luck” intrigue me. We have already been told to associate good luck with a (not necessarily permanent) benediction from the Red Room entities (cf. Dougie’s amazing luck). If you take it as a straight narrative, her rubbing the penny summons the Woodsman, and you could even argue that her acceptance of the kiss guides him to the place from which his ideas can be broadcast.

(It also seems to me that the Woodsman is the only one who descends. In fact the way he is displayed strongly differentiates him with the only other direct example – the ravenous looking one, who approaches directly across the land, and skips in-and-out as though phasing between dimensions or whatever. The Woodsman smoothly descends, and walks directly, and never skips. I wonder if any of the other spirits we saw stumbling around would have had the same message had they found the radio station..)

It seems the Woodsman changes through his scenes. In an isolated place, with only the electric running through the cars, he seems genuinely interested in getting a light for his cig. When he enters the radio station he seems to realise he can use his words as a weapon, inflict slowed-time reactions on people, and seems to kill the woman *too quickly* - he hasn’t mastered his physical presence yet. (He learns quickly, as we see with the show host immediately afterwards!)

Gotta light?” should perhaps be translated as “Got a soul?”, and is to be read as a threat, as Fire is not a positively-associated element with these creatures. Does he “eat” the woman’s soul? He seems much clearer about his purpose with her out of his way, and holds his fingers out ready to grab the host’s skull, extract maximal garmonbozia...

The message is broadcast. The mechanic and waitress pass out, but the girl has a clear, edited-in opportunity to change the station she’s listening to but decides to lie down and sleep instead. She opens her mouth and accepts the mutant entity which has found its way through her window.

Knowing what we do of the habits of BOB, I can’t help but wonder if this is a representation of loss of innocence, becoming too mature too fast a la Laura, or perhaps even straight-up rape? I mean, the guy tells her he *totally* isn’t bonking the girl named after God’s momma, and while it’s easy to read her response to his request as innocent playing-hard-to-get, she does refuse him, and only acquiesces under a bit of pressure. The mythic markers are there to read – he is a “bad boy”, and she is giving in to her “wild side”, tame as it may seem to us. She declines to turn off the broadcast, while the others are specifically shown to be *knocked out cold*. How can this be read but as her deviance having some special significance, when compared with the reactions of the others? The way it erm, crawls down her throat, gives the scene an uncomfortable fellatio-type aspect, no? Or are we to take sexualisation off the table entirely in this scene? (After the ways the rape of Laura was mythologised in its depictions?)

Those who seek to dominate others do so through coercion, temptation, intimidation. We see this in BOB’s actions towards Laura, and her rejection of his advances in favour of wedding herself (to the Arm?) shows us that the light is forced to acquiesce before the darkness. BOB could *kill* Laura, but he could not take her soul. Earle wanted to take Coop’s soul but BOB told him he couldn’t and took his instead – the willingness to take another’s soul only proved Earle wouldn’t be able to answer “Gotta light?” - he had only darkness inside. So pure force isn’t enough, goodness has to give itself up for it to be extinguished. Are we to take the acquiescence of 1956 girl as an allegory for this being “the evil that men do”? What is the lesson? There will always be forces seeking to infect our minds, and no one but ourselves can protect ourselves, by maintaining our self-control? We will be tested, and if found wanting the consequences could be disastrous? It’s such a terrifying moral from the story, but all the more true for it I suppose...

 

S3E8 is my new favourite Lynch work. Best hour of TV or film I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy, and worth the 13 year wait.

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Posted : 05/07/2017 7:44 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

Goddamn Lodge spirits, messin' with my formatting!

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Posted : 05/07/2017 8:20 pm
(@yeshe_zhonnu)
Owl

Interesting about the creature that crawls into the girls mouth. I thought it came from Laura Palmer's orb made in the White Lodge from the creation of the Giant and blessing of the Lady. The creature was a vehicle for Laura's soul to be lodged within her mother's body. I never interpreted it to have anything to do with BOB or any evil entity.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 4:43 am
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

That is of course an entirely valid take on what happened, and what follows may bear out that interpretation... I did consider that, but the sound of BOB's skipping record through the credits while we watch her sleep tipped me the other way.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 6:18 am
(@colinblackrock)
Lodger

Lot to take in here. I agree totally that the ????????? character is in some way an author. This scene is showing the origin of, not good and evil in the world, but of their representation in the show itself. It's not Laura herself that (I'm going to say the giant) gives birth to, but that image of Laura as prom queen. The image from the titles, the synecdoche, that the townsfolk mistook for the whole person. As they slide into monochrome and into the film which we've just viewed they are surely being delivered into the fiction of this world.

For me I think the Woodsman in asking, 'Got a light," because he's another representation of the misuse of technology. He's literally asking for light. He himself crackles with electrical charge although he's pitch dark. He's a consumer of power. In the radio station, whose light and power attract him, he misuses the power of broadcasting to lull the audience to sleep, unlike Jacobi who uses it to try to awaken, in his own mad way.

I think this is linked to the AC/DC theory that cooper was trapped by using the wrong current outlet to return to earth, trying as he did to access it by mains current leading to the car's cigarette lighter. 

But obviously the biggest misuse of power one can think of is the creation of the atomic bomb. 

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Posted : 06/07/2017 6:46 am
(@s0methingvagu3)
RR Diner Patron

There are definitely intentional allegories in the show. I am glad someone else has noticed. I am currently an Undergraduate at University, studying History, and I recently began to specialize in Italian history, specifically cultural influence in the Renaissance/Early Modern period. The inclusion of Venus statues has also intrigued me. Venus had massive cultural significance to the people of that period, and she was interconnected with their world views and social identities. There is a Venus de Medici in the Lodge. Venus de Medici was important to Cosimo I Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. The Grand Duke is probably the Father of surrealism. Why? Because he funded and commissioned the growth of Mannerism. Mannerism, in my view, is the direct predecessor to surrealism, as surrealism is essentially modern Mannerism. I am not hinting at a wider hypothesis here, but it is nice to notice these little connections, in appreciation of the influences of Lynch and Frost. Would strike me as bizarre if they themselves were not aware of this train of connections. 

 

NB: Cosimo I was obsessed with Alchemy. Alchemy, of course, if you subscribe to certain interpretations of Twin Peaks, plays a big role in the lore. 

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Posted : 06/07/2017 8:49 am
(@colin_basterfield)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: therealmandos

That is of course an entirely valid take on what happened, and what follows may bear out that interpretation... I did consider that, but the sound of BOB's skipping record through the credits while we watch her sleep tipped me the other way.

Oh now I need to watch at least the credits on part 8 again with headphones. In fact I'm going to do that right now.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:22 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

If it isnt the exact sound forgive me, but if not, it is at least highly reminiscent of it (to me...) In whichever case, I take it as a sound effect for "waiting for the bad thing" (it is happening again, etc.) So the portrayal is thoroughly negative to me, and BOB-suggestive.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:35 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

And thinking further about it, may just be the sound of the dead airwaves post Woodsman's exit...

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:38 pm
(@colin_basterfield)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: therealmandos

That is of course an entirely valid take on what happened, and what follows may bear out that interpretation... I did consider that, but the sound of BOB's skipping record through the credits while we watch her sleep tipped me the other way.

I am keen and intrigued having watched and listened to the last 5 or so minutes of part 8 to understand your interpretation of what one hears in the credits. As the Woodsmen first leaves there is the sound, or at least what sounds like a horse neighing, followed by electrical charge and a classic Lynch wind blowing.

As a result can you elaborate a little on the phrase, BOB's skipping please?

There may have been some discourse on here I've missed, so forgive the repetition if so.

🙂

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:43 pm
(@colin_basterfield)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: therealmandos

If it isnt the exact sound forgive me, but if not, it is at least highly reminiscent of it (to me...) In whichever case, I take it as a sound effect for "waiting for the bad thing" (it is happening again, etc.) So the portrayal is thoroughly negative to me, and BOB-suggestive.

Sorry, I didn't re-read this before commenting having watched and listened again.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:46 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

Colinblackrock I agree with much of what you say, I agree the Woodsman is a drainer of electricity of some sort, his power when applied bluntly (and without due care for garmonbozia reaped) literally ripped the woman apart - is this what happens when every electron in your body is violated?! I love the ac/dc theory, I agree something more fundamental is afoot.

 

Vagu3 thanks for the info, I was aware of some of the Venus connotations before but never have I seen them presented as in-depth. Something to google 🙂 Im a philosophy grad so I just adore finding hidden meanings... I guess the reason I made this thread was that it strikes me that everything in black and white in this scene can be taken to be allegorical... it's not so much that a specific girl got a specific frogmoth crawl in her mouth in 1956, but that culture post-A-bomb is *best represented* as this kind of... acceptance-of-the-demon...

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:53 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

No worries Mr Basterfield! Ive just relistened too. Its the electric charge sound I was mistaking for a skipping record. Nevermind me! But I stand by my assertion of creep-factor. The wind alone is ominous. To me, accompanied by the electric, I have a feeling of dread and nervousness not the feelings Id attach to the bug being Laura... not to disparage other interpretations of course!

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Posted : 06/07/2017 3:59 pm
(@nikolaj_nielsen)
RR Diner Patron

I just had a listen to it. After the horse sounds (the white horse is a bad omen), there's four layers (I'm a music producer so I'm used to analyzing and taking audio apart), the wind, the hum, the cicadas and the static.

The hum is a low frequency sinus curve probably made by or simulating an ungrounded electronic device, like a record player that has not been grounded or have bad wiring (bad wiring=evil spirits?).

The wind is an old TP classic from the woods, the the cicadas is probably meant to set the New Mexico desert-like scene and lastly, the static is a direct reference to the spirits as we now travel using electricity.

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Posted : 06/07/2017 6:09 pm
(@therealmandos)
Town Visitor

Nice, Nikolaj, thanks for that useful insight! I think I was only hearing the wind and static consciously, perhaps the hum and cicadas added to my feel for the scene subconsciously... need to get a decent set of headphones!

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Posted : 06/07/2017 6:18 pm
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