Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who Are You and Why Are You Here?



"Do you want to see?"

"Our producers know the history of this film and they've taken it upon themselves not to pass on that information to us. Purposefully."

"It's a story that happened yesterday but I know it's tomorrow."


I hadn't seen Fire Walk With Me since it had come out. I was so into Twin Peaks I decided to absolutely not watch any of the tv series again for at least ten years. It's much longer than ten years now that the show was on tv...but I still haven't re-watched it. I was wanting to see if I could watch the movie Fire Walk With Me and decide if it holds up on it's own outisde the tv show. It does. I watched the film last night and I really felt it was a true Lynch movie...and quite easily could be seen without knowing anything about the tv show. It does play out a couple of things not in the tv program...but the images provide mythological atmosphere and are so provocative even separated from the show. The trees remain haunting and with personalities, Bob might even be more frightening than ever, and it's clear in the film that evil is not supernatural.

Now I feel ready to work my way through the show. I believe that the program was more or less conceived as a mini-series. We find everything out and who killed Laura Palmer in the first season. What happened was Lynch didn't know people would want more so the rest of the episodes play with all the "layers of meaning" almost in over drive. I read somewhere that Lynch thought (paraphrase)...what could have been more obvious to the audience that evil is in our own lives rather than "supernatural" (supernatural represented by character Bob) but if they want more mystery...I'll write more shows.

I love the movie version because it contains the strange hyper aesthetic of his other movies...yet with the tv characters (who were just a tone less intense in tv storylines) and I love the night club scnee it really captured the allure of nightclubs and the atmosphere.

I found I was able to see how he had worked his way to his vision of Mulholland Drive. I love Lost Highway which is another stepping stone of Lynch aiming for zen storytelling and consciousness.Where in Twin Peaks he used the idea of "cousins" to represent identity, mistaken identity, look-a-likes is a metaphor for the soul of humans being "all one"...his zen vision of movie story telling came into full for the audience in Mulholland Drive. It is possible to logically figure out what the time related memories indicate about the characters. Lost Highway and Mulholland Drivehe used identity and the zen philosophy of "all one consciousness" among souls by using the same female actress in two different characters (in Mulholland Drive she is soul ignorant of her desires therefore ignorant of her own self)...to play with narrative and soul and memory. The main character of Naoimi Watts remains ignorant of her self and her karma except for self shame or failure (she kills herself), but the audience may acheive full understanding.

There is so much about storytlling in Lynch...an example with Balthazar Getty appearing in prison through transformation in Bill Pullman...we see his "memory" because he can't llow himself to see how he got where he was...murderer in prison so we watch Bathazar Getty travel the journey of Bill Pullman in youth. Patricia Arguette plays her younger self in the flashback portion of Lost Highway...often confusing the audience who is accustomted to a European/American storyline structure. The idea that we separate our own selves in memory and action...works beautifully for how our brains separate the idea of identity and spearate humans into separate souls. Lynch has been dedicated to movies that ask why not use a different world philosophy to structure story? Lynch's movies reject contemporary story structure based on Bible devices instead they are built around Buddhist and Zen ideas of consciousness and existence.

In the tv show Twin Peaks Laura could not allow herself to see that it was her father who was "evil" she manifested the image of Bob instead of seeing her own father being her molester. For tv viewers who never could accept that was what Lynch was working with...he actually switches the actors heads during a rape scene in Fire Walk With Me.

Laura is playing out with a "repression" in contemporary psychological understanding, but in Buddhism it is an act of Alaya-vijnana: The part of the subconscious that, in response to causes and conditions, sends pieces of illusion from the manas to the five senses and thought. This forms a cycle, that is endless, of delusion. We can understand how emotionally painful her abuse from her father so she protects herself by replacing her father's face with a "bad guy" Bob. ( considered an anagram for "Best Of Beasts" by many fans)

Lynch has fully produced a movie that plays with the separation idea of polarity in souls, at first seen as a repression in a psychological concept and by the end of the movie in a Buddhist philosophy of store consciousness.

Traditions of Tibetan Buddhism teach that all-encompassing foundation consciousness, or "storehouse consciousness" manifests in human brain as an unclear consciousness that underlies all moments of cognition before enlightenment. It serves as the basis for imputation of the habits of unawareness and of karma, continues from lifetime to lifetime, but ceases with the attainment of Buddhahood. Although Laura Palmer is a tragic figure, raped by her father, addicted to cocaine and eventually murdered by her father she is also in the process of attaining Buddahood: knowing who she is and that she is not a victim of her suffering, but a soul in the process of nirvana. Nirvana is knowing who we are and what our underlying motivations for decsions and actions. It's much simpler concept than sacred texts and religion would reveal. Laura uses cocaine in order "to stay awake" so she is not a sleeping victim of her father's desires, perhaps able to prevent the abuse by being awake as he comes to her bedroom when she is sleeping. She believes if she is awake she will not be abused, if she knows everything then she will be "saved". (this is the reason everyone takes cocaine: "to be awake" it is a misdirected spiritual craving)

Laura does reach nirvana or store consciousness, she is smiling at the end of Fire Walk With Me in the famous zig zag red curtained room with Agent Cooper. The room is gnostic, it contains and reveals mystic knowledge or self knowlege of the universe and roots of reality. (store consiousness) During the series there is the idea that her necklace with half a heart belongs to her "lover" when actually Laura is looking for her own completed full heart. The pop culture question "who killed Laura Palmer?" is really an inversion of the mystery to solve in the series. Fans sought to know Laura who killed Laura, but the real question is an inversion in Twin Peaks: can Laura find life? (store consciousness)

Lynch takes his vision of storytelling and the souls search for "all one" or store consciousness further with the director versus the actor versus the audience. We know how Shakespeare and Hitchcock loved this story structure and device...and now Lynch is their child of vision. Shakespeare has Hamlet speaking out loud his confusion and he gains self knowledge/truth through producing a play and by excercising his own journey out loud. Hitchcock has many stories about the ordinary person seeking knowledge in extraordinary circumstances. In Vertigo Jimmy Stewart fails to recreate his past in order to attain love and peace, like cocaine addiction, he misdirects a spiritual craving.

Inland Empire manages to use both Hamlet's and Veritgo's ideas to the act of producing and making a new story to create a past history but uses a film production as the metaphor for self knowledge/store consciousness. The director played by Jeremy Irons doesn't know how the movie will end, but he knows that the "producers" (god in Judeo-christian philosophy or store consciousness in Buddhism) know the history of the film...and are not telling us...we need to take the journey. Most importantly, the movie Inland Empire reminds us that we are well served if we know we are in this movie, we are writing the story and have the potential to see this very illusion. By seeing a connection between manufacturing the illusions of movie making with the notion of maya and store consciousness of Buddhism, Lynch aims to make us recognize the illusion of our own desires and motives in life. Inland Empire shows us the movies star actress finds out the movie was always in progress and she is smiling at the end.

When presenting screenings of the digital work, Lynch sometimes offers a clue in the form of a quote from a translation of the Aitareya Upanishad: “We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe.”

Is it possible the audience can watch the obviously titled Inland Empire revealing the location of the plot, characters and "the producers" and be smiling at the end of the movie just like Laura Palmer?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

So this movie is Fire Walk With Me Again???

Haven't seen it, but looks really scary!

Thanks, Candy

Candy Minx said...

Hi there again Anonymous...you realize of course, that according to this very post...it's impossible for you to be anonymous, because I already know you...you are me! And I am you!

Yes, INLAND EMPIRE trailer does look scary. And in many ways, it is a scary movie. It is scary because the journey of realzing "store consciousness" is a scary concept to Judeo-Christian and totalitarian agricultural sensibilities.

It's not scary at all when you see how the actress Laura Dern eventually might learn that she was walking through her own movie?

Here look at ti this way...go and read the cartoom satire here:

http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/search?q=toy+story

That is the Cormac McCarthy's Toy Story from the Village Voice. At one point Buzz Lightyear talks about "Andy" (the owner of the kids bedroom and the toys) He says "ther ain't no Andy and if there is he's a son of a bitch!"

Andy "god for Judeo-christians or "store consciousness for Buddhists" is portrayed in the cartoon as the kid who owns the toys...but we never see him. At the very last cell of the cartton...notice that Buzz has his shoe and on the bottom is "Andy"...in fact, "Andy does exist...and he is Buzz!

Now what's so scary about that?

I suppose the idea that our own peace, happiness or to save the world is our own responsibility?

Is that scary or actually means we can heal all our planets suffering ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Candy...you know me very well :)

So very insightful, you are!

thehealingroom said...

Omigod, Candy! You should be getting paid for this writing!
I am pumped to see INLAND EMPIRE.....and now even to watch Fire Walk With Me again.
Thankyou for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

..is INLAND EMPIRE a new movie?

Candy Minx said...

The Healing Room, well, I don't about any kind of job to pay someone for shooting the shit...but I suppose I would be good at such a fantasty job, heh heh. But listen...my observations aren't original at all. Herman Hesse wrote a beautiful story called THE JOURNEY TO THE EAST which has a student and their servant travelling...and eventually we learn that the servant is in fact, the teacher. The novel FRANNIE AND ZOOEY describes Jesus consciousness and his lessons as coming from Buddhism...that Frannie is in fact of course, "god". Besides, watching the last couple of Lynch movies at least twice, it becomes obvious his reference for storytelling structures....and he says as much in his quote about us being like the spider...

Anonymous, INLAND EMPIRE is a movie from last year...I believe it came out on dvd in the last week or so...which has partly inspired me to write about here again.

Anonymous said...

lmao @ Candy 'shooting the shit'

too funny...thanks for the info, never heard of this movie before

tweetey30 said...

Sounds like something Hubby and I are going to have to check out. We havent seen a good scary movie since Scream One. I hated the other two they made with it. I feel those other two should have never been made. But they did.

Joy Renee said...

'Lynch has been dedicated to movies that ask why not use a different world philosophy to structure story? Lynch's movies reject contemporary story structure based on Bible devices instead they are built around Buddhist and Zen ideas of consciousness and existence.'

where can i learn more about these concepts. how is contemporary story structure based on Bible devices? and what are examples of other kinds of structures?

as i read this paragraph, i saw the implications for my own story world which I have been working with so intensely for a month now. i am wondering if the problems i've been having are related to this very thing. maybe i am trying to force the story into a structure that mutilates its vision? of course it could just be the typical difficulties in translating from the imagination onto the page.

more discussion along these lines would be helpful or point me towards other material.

Candy Minx said...

Tweety and Anonymous...really, I am sort of hesitant to blanket recommend David Lynch movies to people who haven't seen them...he is a particular "taste". His movies have gore and violence...and are scary ona psychological level. Sometimes just the soundtrack can be very disturbing. If you enjoy scary movies, then he will likely be your cup of tea...if not. Well...think about whether or not you are interested. There are tons of movies about spiritual journeys that do not use the devices and formats of paranoia, violence to aim for the same themes. Like FEARLESS, any of Goddard's films, WHAT THE BLEEP, BRAVEHEART, SHADOWLANDS for example...where there is violence it is more traditional within a war genre etc.

Joy Renee...let's see, I would suggest that a Biblical story structure would have polarity with themes. To explore philosophy would tend to always use polarities as metaphors. The idea of "discovery" and "retribution" the idea of a "good guy and bad guy", suffering as noble or our destiny, sacrifice played out in a material/emotional reward system as a necessary aspect of being human...and as a reward or virtue.

Of course I believe that much of Christianity is rooted and taken from Buddhism...I believe that Jesus had practiced meditation and Buddhism...but it is often not adopted within many churches. For example the idea of turning the other cheek...is similar to Buddhism and game theory. Where analysing "the game" with one might begin to consider that the only way to "win" the game is not to play and to look for new rules or to tweak the rules of the game of life.The idea that we are able to reject social constructs rather than enforce them and work within existing economies is a Biblically supported concept.

There are tons of resources and websites online that define various doctrines of Buddhism...but ultimately the idea is to live an examined life and that takes practical application of meditation and discussion of experiences. Another difference would be that Christianity follows a sermon based practice where meditiation highlights the personal choices and responsibility for happiness and peace on the individual working within a community.

Nirvana is commonly mistaken as the idea that someone removes themself from society and the world when actually nirvana is realizing that we can walk away from many of the game rules...ignore them or change them.

Candy Minx said...

p.s. Joy...one of the reasons that Lynch's movies appear "artsy" and perhaps that he is adding layers of meaning just for the sake of it...and playing with psychological horror and suspense is because they are being viewed with the restrictions of polarity...and are fighting a logic of the "natural world"...but that is a definition of the natural world according to science and Christianity...he is actually working with the idea of the human as potential to be like "god" which is what makes Buddha and Jesus who they were. Their personal experience and realizations were that the human is directly connected to "store consciousness". The difference between them and all other humans is this awareness, not that either was a "magic person" in a Judeo-Christian understanding.

The idea that a regular human can have the experience and knowledge of "store consciousness" is foreign to Biblical teaching and foreign to Modern monotheist religions. Therefore is it foreign in the story structures of such religions.

Ink Casualty said...

damn woman but you gots to stop drinking so much coffee! I could "blurb" all three of those suckers in one percent of what you used....speaking of which...I'm doing my "review" of CITIZEN KANE today so you may feel free to check it out later.

Joy Renee said...

thanx candy. that was helpful. but now i've got more thots and questions. but this probably isn't the forum for them.

Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre modern noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD and Netflix through Vanguard Cinema (http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque