WEIRDLAND: Doppelgängers and Multiple Personalities: Twin Peaks, Jerry Lewis, Ansel Elgort

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Doppelgängers and Multiple Personalities: Twin Peaks, Jerry Lewis, Ansel Elgort

David Foster Wallace defined the term Lynchian in 1997 as: "this weird confluence of very dark, surreal, violent stuff and absolute, almost Norman Rockwell, banal, American stuff, which is terrain he's been working for quite a while, at least since Blue Velvet." Lynch blurs the line between the fifties and the present in all his films since Blue Velvet and makes a botch of all the Southern accents and class distinctions; but one can reasonably argue that his only true subjects are inner landscapes. Yet insofar as inner landscapes are at least partially dependent on external realities, one should note that Lynch’s moral universe is made up of mutually exclusive categories: holy fools and scumbags. Was there ever a real Diane? Were her fashion choices intended to make her a counterpart to the White Lodge’s Naido? When Cooper woke and called the gold bead from Dougie a seed, did he mean Diane when he asked Mike for another? The innate goodness of Dale Cooper, which inspires trust even in those who are meeting him fully awake for the first time, is what Dark Coop abused in his meeting with Diane more than two decades ago. “No knock, no doorbell,” she says, “he just walked in.” Then he kissed her, and she felt how wrong he was, how far he was from the upright, forthright man of honor she’d worked with. “And he saw the fear in me. And he smiled… and he smiled.”

Audrey finally arrives at the Roadhouse and finds the dance floor clearing to “Audrey’s Dance.” Something’s wrong, and it’s not that she’s wearing heels instead of saddle shoes. Audrey isn’t at the Roadhouse but in a trembling, white room. Sherilyn Fenn swaying about with a self-assured smile on her face was lovely and tinged with melancholy. It also felt like our nostalgic hunger was being fed too richly until the rug was pulled out from under us and Audrey’s time in the Roadhouse was revealed to be an illusion. Like Cooper at the end of season two, she’s left looking at her reflection in the mirror. The rough white collar of her garment suggests a hospital; the stark brightness of her surroundings suggests something stranger. And the final shot of the roadhouse band playing Audrey’s theme in reverse suggests worst of all: that Audrey, like Cooper and Laura and Diane’s doppelgänger, is in some Other Place, some place out of time, some place out of our world. Source:

"In an odd way I had trouble relating to control and to myself in The Nutty Professor. I had trouble coming out of the character of Buddy Love because I was playing a dirty, lousy bastard. I didn't like him. I didn't even like writing Buddy Love, the despicable, discourteous, uncouth rat, much less playing him. I asked myself: How do I know so well how to be a heel? Was I leaning to a side of me that really existed? Certainly I was. There was truth in him. It was also in me. So I hated him, and couldn't wait to play the alter-character, the nutty professor. Yet I had to relate to both of them and try to play them equally well." —Jerry Lewis (The Total Film-Maker, 1971)

Ansel Elgort: "My work life and my regular life are very different - I feel like it's two personalities. There's actor Ansel, where I have to play a role and be 'on'. I take photos with everybody who asks, and I try to be professional. But when I'm real-life Ansel, I'm not on all the time. When I'm home in New York, I feel like that same kid that went to high school here and nobody knew. I can still blend in, which is nice. You can't lose that, you know?"

And the 23-year-old actor loves that his girlfriend Violetta Komyshan isn't famous. He added to Women's Health magazine: "I've never been with somebody from Hollywood, so I don't know what it's like, but I like having my love be away from my work. It's nice that she knows me as me before I was influenced by success or the stress and responsibility of being an adult. I feel like everyone's at their purest when they're just a kid."

Ansel previously admitted he thinks he is a "few different people": "You know, it might be a weird actor thing, but I think of myself as a few different people. Like, I think of myself as Ansel--that's one person. And then I'm Ansel Elgort. That's another person. And then I'm DJ Ansolo. I was so excited when Steve Angello, my favourite DJ, played my song 'Totem' for the first time. I started crying. Then when I heard he was going to sign it to his label, I was freaking out." Source:

In independent film “Jonathan,” (2017), tagged as drama/sci-fi directed by Bill Oliver from a script he co-wrote with Peter Nickowitz, Ansel Elgort will portray Jonathan and his twin brother John, who have agreed to not have girlfriends for the moment. Jonathan is a successful architect while John sleeps all day and spends the night socializing and starting to fall in love with a woman, Elena (Suki Waterhouse). Jonathan forces John to end the relationship, and then starts a new relationship with Elena out of curiosity and jealousy. John ultimately catches wind of the affair, which puts his relationship with his brother at serious risk and forces Jonathan to seek the help of Dr. Mina Nariman (Patricia Clarkson).

Speaking of Elgort: Hot damn is he great as Baby. Best known as the kid with the funny name who dies in The Fault in Our Stars, the cherubic-looking 23-year-old doesn’t naturally spring to mind as the marquee name for a crime/action movie or a musical. But in Baby Driver, he’s perfect. The kid’s a walking charisma bomb, and Wright takes full advantage of that fact at every turn, whether it’s in a grin-inducing long take that follows a celebratory Baby grooving down the street to “Harlem Shuffle,” or in a heart-pumping foot chase that highlights Elgort’s towering frame, obvious athleticism, and aw-shucks charm all at the same time. Baby is naturally taciturn, but smart scripting, thoughtful musical choices, and Elgort’s natural magnetism keep the kid from being the sort of brooding bore he could easily become in less skilled hands. Elgort’s Baby is so compelling that other characters become more interesting simply from being in his orbit, particularly Debora. Source:

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