Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Twin Peaks

Michael Parks R.I.P

Michael_ParksMichael Parks, a character actor who enjoyed a career renaissance in recent decades thanks to high profile roles in films by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Parks made his acting debut in a small role in 1961 on the sitcom The Real McCoys, and, racked up dozens of roles on both television and feature films, most notably as the casino owner and drug runner Jean Renault on the second season of Twin Peaks.

After years playing bit roles in made-for-TV movies, Westerns and slasher films, Parks was cast as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Rodriguez’ 1996 vampire flick From Dusk ’til Dawn. Quentin Tarantino, an associate of Rodriguez’, then cast Parks in a dual role for Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2; in the former, he reprised the McGraw role, while the latter found the actor playing Mexican pimp Esteban Vihaio.

Parks would portray McGraw once more for Tarantino and Rodriguez in the directors’ Grindhouse films. Tarantino also recruited Parks for a small role in Django Unchained.

Parks’ career revival also resulted in roles in Ben Affleck’s Argo, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and a pair of Kevin Smith horror flicks, Red State and Tusk.

“Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known. I wrote both [Red State] and [Tusk] FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much,” Smith posted on Wednesday. “He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set.”

At the time of his death, Parks was cast in the upcoming Christian Bale film Hostiles.


Wayward Pines

Based on a best-selling novel by Blake Crouch, and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan… let’s hope this doesn’t end with a terrible ‘twist’ ending. Here’s the overly-long promotion blurb for the forthcoming TV series Wayward Pines.

Secret Service Agent ETHAN BURKE (Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon; Crash, City of Ghosts) drives to the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, searching for two missing federal agents. Ethan is the logical choice for the mission. He’s one of the best Secret Service agents in the Seattle office. He’s also the man who knew missing agent KATE HEWSON (Carla Gugino; Watchmen, “Entourage”) better than anyone. They were partners. They were more than that. Their relationship nearly destroyed Ethan’s marriage.

Everything changes when a truck slams into his car and he wakes up in the Wayward Pines Hospital, with the intense and unpredictable NURSE PAM (Academy Award and Emmy Award winner Melissa Leo; The Fighter, “Treme”) at his bedside. It soon appears that Pam may be more interested in harming than healing. She and Ethan grow into deadly rivals, and her role in the town proves much deeper than anyone realizes.

As the mysteries within the town pile up and clash with his own version of recent events, Ethan starts to question his own sanity. He is confronted by the mysterious and charismatic DR. JENKINS (Emmy Award nominee Toby Jones; The Girl, the Harry Potter franchise, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), the psychiatrist who treats him at Wayward Pines Hospital. As he begins to meet some of the local residents, including toymaker HAROLD BALLINGER (Reed Diamond; “24,” Much Ado About Nothing), Ethan forms a bond with BEVERLY (Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Juliette Lewis; Hysterical Blindness, Cape Fear), a bartender who doesn’t mince words and is as wary of Wayward Pines as he is.

Back home in Seattle, Ethan’s wife, THERESA BURKE (Shannyn Sossamon; 40 Days and 40 Nights, “How to Make It in America”), a former Secret Service Agent trainee, gets a call from Ethan’s boss, ADAM HASSLER (Tim Griffin; “Prime Suspect”). He informs her that early testing shows Ethan was never in the car that was recovered on the side of the road outside of Wayward Pines. They’re still investigating. But this isn’t enough for Theresa. Along with their teenage son, BEN (Charlie Tahan; The Harvest, Charlie St. Cloud), Theresa sets out on her own search for Ethan.

Meanwhile, Ethan is challenged at every turn by the town’s die-hard residents and especially the town’s sheriff, SHERIFF ARNOLD POPE (Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard; Crash, Hustle & Flow), who takes offense at a Secret Service agent showing up on his turf and telling him what to do. Ethan believes Pope is out of his mind and visa versa. Ethan’s continuing investigation only turns up more and more questions, and each one leads him to the most important question of all: What’s wrong with Wayward Pines?


Piper Laurie

Carrie_movie postersPiper Laurie (born Rosetta Jacobs; January 22, 1932) is an American actress of stage and screen known for her roles in the television series Twin Peaks and the films The Hustler, Carrie and Children of a Lesser God, all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. In 1991, she won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Catherine Martell in Twin Peaks. 

Carrie_Margaret White_Piper LaurieRosetta Jacobs was born in Detroit, Michigan, the younger daughter of Charlotte Sadie and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Alfred Jacobs moved the family to Los Angeles, California in 1938, where she attended Hebrew school, and to combat her shyness her parents provided her with weekly elocution lessons; this activity eventually led her to minor roles at nearby Universal Studios.

In 1949, Rosetta Jacobs signed a contract with Universal, changing her screen name to Piper Laurie, by which she has been known professionally since. Her breakout role was in Louisa, with Ronald Reagan; several other roles followed before, she moved to New York to study acting and to seek work on the stage and in television.

She was again lured to Hollywood by the offer to co-star with Paul Newman in The Hustler, which was released in 1961. She played Newman’s crippled girlfriend, Sarah Packard, and for her performance she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Substantial movie roles did not come her way after The Hustler, so she moved back to New York State.

Piper Laurie_Carrie_Margaret WhiteShe accepted the role of Margaret White in the film Carrie (1976), and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in that role. In the original film adaptation by Brian De Palma, Margaret is considerably more attractive than as depicted in the novel.

Her past was not explored as it was in the novel, and her husband Ralph was only mentioned briefly. Margaret claims that Ralph was carried away by the devil, but Carrie (Sissy Spacek) corrects her that he actually left her for another woman. As in the novel, Margaret reveals that she had sex with Ralph twice: once prior to marriage (after which she wanted to kill herself), and once more after they were married, when he was drunk and forced himself on her (she resisted, but confesses she enjoyed the act regardless), leading to the conception of Carrie.

Carrie_Piper Laurie_ Margaret WhiteUpon learning of her daughter’s telekinetic abilities, Margaret becomes convinced that Carrie is a witch, and recalls Exodus 22:18 from the Bible (“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”), which interprets as charging her to purify Carrie by killing her. While Carrie is at the prom, Margaret snaps mentally; she is seen pacing in the kitchen, then beginning to chop a carrot with a butcher knife, and continuing to chop the cutting board even after the carrot rolls away. After Carrie returns home, Margaret tells her about the night she was conceived by marital rape, then stabs her in the back with the butcher knife while leading her in the Lord’s Prayer. As Carrie tries to crawl away, Margaret makes a cross motion with the knife and stalks her through the house with a delirious look in her eyes. She corners Carrie and raises the knife to strike again, but Carrie flings various kitchen elements from the drawers at her, impaling her. Margaret dies in the same pose as the frightening statue of Saint Sebastian in Carrie’s “prayer closet”.

Twin Peaks_Piper LaurieAfter her 1981 divorce, Laurie relocated to California. In 1986, she received a third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Mrs. Norman in Children of a Lesser God. That same year she was awarded an Emmy for her performance in Promise, a television movie, co-starring James Garner and James Woods.

In 1990-91, she starred as the devious Catherine Martell in David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks. She also appeared in Dario Argento’s first American film Trauma (1993). In 1998, she appeared in the sci-fi thriller The Faculty. She made guest appearances on television shows such as Frasier, State of Grace, Cold Case, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She returned to the big screen for independent films such as Eulogy and The Dead Girl, however, she’ll always be remembered as horror fan favourite, Margaret White, Julianne Moore has big shoes to fill in the 2013 remake.


David Lynch

David Keith Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Known for his surrealist films, he has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed “Lynchian”, and which is characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound design. The surreal, and in many cases violent, elements to his films have earned them the reputation that they “disturb, offend or mystify” their audiences.

Born to a middle class family in Missoula, Montana, Lynch spent his childhood traveling around the United States, before going on to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he first made the transition to producing short films. Deciding to devote himself more fully to this medium, he moved to Los Angeles, where he produced his first motion picture, the surrealist horror ‘Eraserhead’ (1977). After Eraserhead became a cult classic on the midnight movie circuit, Lynch was employed to direct ‘The Elephant Man’ (1980), from which he gained mainstream success. Then being employed by the De Laurentis Entertainment Group, he proceeded to make two films: the science-fiction epic ‘Dune’ (1984), which proved to be a critical and commercial failure, and then a neo-noir crime film, ‘Blue Velvet’ (1986), which was highly critically acclaimed, not least for the maniacal Dennis Hopper character Frank.

Proceeding to create his own television series with Mark Frost, the highly popular murder mystery ‘Twin Peaks’ (1990–1992), he also created a cinematic prequel, ‘Fire Walk With Me’ (1992): a road movie, ‘Wild at Heart’ (1990) and a family film, ‘The Straight Story’ (1999), in the same period. Turning further towards surrealist filmmaking, three of his following films worked on “dream logic” non-linear narrative structures, ‘Lost Highway’ (1997), ‘Mulholland Drive’ (2001) and ‘Inland Empire’ (2006). Meanwhile, Lynch proceeded to embrace the internet as a medium, producing several web-based shows, such as the animation ‘Dumbland’ (2002) and the surreal sitcom ‘Rabbits’ (2002).

In the course of his career, Lynch has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, and a nomination for best screenplay. Lynch has twice won France’s Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film, as well as the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. The French government awarded him the Legion of Honor, the country’s top civilian honor, as a Chevalierin 2002 and then an Officier in 2007, while that same year, The Guardian described Lynch as “the most important director of this era”. Allmovie called him “the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking”,whilst the success of his films have led to him being labelled “the first popular Surrealist.”