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September 04, 2008


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Tony Dayoub

You're definitely onto something. Especially since, in the "Twin Peaks" series at least (don't recall in the film), the bar is named, and always referred to as the Road House. The Bang Bang Bar was the real-life location's name.

"The back room of the Bang Bang (whose saloon singer is the ethereal-voiced Julee Cruise) is not nearly so wholesome, as this shot of the aftermath of an evening there testifies"

Well, in the series, it actually was pretty wholesome, with the biker patrons being the ones on the right side of the law (represented by the character of James Hurley), and the high school jocks being the bad guys (Bobby Briggs) in the pilot's climactic brawl at the Road House. It's only in the film where we see such squalor at the Road House.

Just one of many inversions of expectations Lynch committed in "Fire Walk With Me", as if he was saying, "So you think you like the town of Twin Peaks? I dare you to like this version!"


I don't know. I'm a fan of Lynch, but I sometimes get the feeling that he never watches other movies, and that any similarities between his work and someone else's is purely coincidental.


I think you're onto something, even if it's just an interesting coincidence about how Lynch's taste for a by-gone rural America coincides with a depiction of such at the time.


I am inclined to agree with Bill. But I'm delighted to see you praising a Negulesco flick here.

D Cairns

Lynch SEEMS like he doesn't watch other movies, but they turn up on his work, transmuted, all the time.

I was quite surprised to see in The New Age, a scene where Peter Weller is accosted by a mystery man at a party. The man wears a cowl, and as he speaks, the background music fades out. The actual content of the dialogue is completely different, but I couldn't help recall Lost Highway.

In other news, I'm giving away free DVDs at my blog...


Add this to the ever-growing blogroll (my own included) of Twin Peaks posts over the last couple months - all of which seem to be unrelated. I guess that gum we liked is coming back in style...

Glenn, did you know this clip ("I am the Muffin") is provided on You Tube under the title "Worst Movie Scenes of All Time"? The back-and-forth commentary is pretty interesting (link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpH0imTHw6Y).

Anyway, since you provided the opening let me pimp my blog for your readers.

...or let me not as it appears to have triggered your blog's comment-spam function. Those who are curious, click on my name and check out August on my blog. There are lots of Twin Peaks posts (which will be continuing in September). I'm doing an episode-by-episode analysis of the series, which will hopefully resume with the funeral episode this weekend.

(retreats red-faced)

Tony Dayoub

Bill, to a certain extent you're right. At a lecture he gave in NY back in May, which I was fortunate to attend, Lynch admitted he is by no means a movie buff. But he said he does have certain movies and directors he admires.

D Cairns may also be right to an extent, he may only SEEM like he doesn't watch other movies, or may be modest about being a cinephile. "Lost Highway", for example, is rife with "Kiss Me Deadly" visual quotes.

Now whether the conception of the "Road House" quote was his or not, who knows. There are loads of audio and visual quotes in "Twin Peaks", from the name Gordon Cole ("Sunset Boulevard") to Waldo Lydecker ("Laura", I think). These could easily be attributable to Mark Frost, Robert Engels or Harley Peyton, all writer/producers on the show with a love for classic film. But whoever is responsible, I do believe that it is definitely a "Road House" reference.

Glenn Kenny

Ah dunno, Bill and Campaspe. I've followed Lynch since the days of "Eraserhead," and he always says he's no kind of cinephile..yet little quirks in his casting—Stockwell in "Blue Velvet," Calvin Lockheart in "WIld at Heart," R. Beymer and Piper Laurie in "Twin Peaks," Loggia and Blake in "Lost Highway," Ann Miller and several more in "Mullholland Drive," etc.—and errant references as cited by Tony, etc., suggest, at the very least, that he knows more than he's letting on. I'm inclined to keep digging!


Plus, now that I think about it, "Gilda" in "Mulholland Drive". All right, fine!

Glenn Kenny

Movieman, you need not pimp. You're on my blogroll—Tha Dancing Image. Check it out, kinds. D.C. your blog's been added to my roll, too. All good.

I checked out that "Worst Movie Scenes" clip. All I can say is, they keep using the word "worst." I do not think it mean what they think it means...

Allen Belz

Could be that his reticence to name possible references is part of his deep reluctance to talk about his work and what it "means." He has mentioned some favorites in the past. In his book "Catching the Big Fish" (and in a couple other interviews) he speaks very highly of Billy Wilder and the cinematic worlds he creates - especially "Sunset Boulevard." He also praises Kubrick very highly in the book (an admiration that was apparently very mutual). I also recall another interview where the interviewer said that Lynch must be a big Bunuel fan and Lynch replied that Bunuel wasn't bad but that in his younger days Fellini was his big fascination/influence.

Oh, and on the "Wild at Heart" DVD interviews he does say that a fellow walking by in the background of one scene carrying a long piece of colored tubing is a nod to Jacques Tati.

Allen Belz

Plus, c'mon...that distorto-50s-film-mise-en-scene he does so well has the feel of someone who watched a lot of those films and loved them dearly.


Yes, I think Lynch's "I'm not a film buff" claims are slightly (if charmingly) disingenuous - like many of his other claims. But it's part and parcel for the former Eagle Scout, drug-eschewing, ostensibly Reagan Republican who creates some of the most raw and disturbingly dark images and sequences in cinematic history. A far more interesting subversion, for my money, than the more obvious kind.


'Fire Walk With Me' is a minor masterpiece, something i've been saying since 1992. The opening half hour in partcular, with Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland, David Bowie, Harry Dean Stanton and Kyle MacLachlan is absorbing.

Scott Von Doviak

Actually, the Road House (Bang Bang Bar) in Twin Peaks and the Canadian bar pictured above are two different places. Julee Cruse sings at the former, while a grinding rock band plays the latter.

Glenn Kenny

I might be a little off on my "Twin Peaks" mythology/geography, but I always inferred, due to the transition (or non-transition, really) between the scenes—Donna's misbehavior at the Bang Bang, where Cruise sings, being met with Laura's cynical "Okay Donna. Let's go," then Laura, Donna and their new guy pals entering another room without being shown leaving the Bang Bang, or going outdoors, on in transit in any way—that they're in a back room of the original place.

Scott Von Doviak

I guess it's possible, but the first line after the cut to the new bar (or back room) is "Welcome to Canada," which certainly indicates they've crossed a border in more ways than one. And the Road House in Twin Peaks is a place where everyone hangs out, including the law. Hard to believe all that stuff could be going on in the back room with Sheriff Truman out front sipping a brew.

Glenn Kenny

Point taken. On the other hand, Lynch, except when he's off on a particularly wild flight of fancy, can be almost classically scrupulous about his scene transitions. One thing's for sure—it's a strange world.

I see the Wikipedia entry on "FWWM" calls the spot where Laura and Donna meet Jacques "the Pink Room," from one of the titles on the soundtrack album. I don't think we ever hear it referred to thusly in the film.

Perhaps the answers to all these questions lie in the over three hours of "FWWM" footage left on the cutting room floor...

Derek Jenkins

I'm not sure about the connection, but at least one contemporary surrealist--who's managed (weirdly) to earn comparisons to Lynch--definitely loves this film. The "Canadian David Lynch," aka Guy Maddin, from his the so-so interview book, KINO DELIRIUM:

"Richard Widmark is one of the all-time great sweaty-faced squealing cowards ever, and he gets shot to death orgasmically by Ida Lupino in this movie."

From the appendix, "A Trip Through Maddin's Video Collection"

Dan Coyle

Man, I don't think I'd want to be Olekwicz the first few weeks after that movie came out.

A Hot Bodybuilder

Glenn, I'm totally with you re: Fire Walk With me being underappreciated. If you asked me on the right day I might even say it's my favorite of Lynch's features (it's definitely my second-favorite on ANY day, my #1 being Mulholland Drive). Fire Walk With Me scares the living crap out of me in a visceral way that no proper horror movie has ever done -- it somehow cuts through my layers of desensitization. Admittedly, though, this probably has something to do with the fact that my dad made the ill-advised decision to watch Twin Peaks with me and my sister when we were far, far too young (this was back when Bravo aired the show in reruns) and it scarred me for life. I still like the series far better than any of Lynch's features, and I think Fire Walk With Me is an absolutely worthy companion piece to the show.


Not that anyone cares, but here's my own ranking of Lynch's films:


2) Everything else.

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