Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

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N. Needleman
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:54 pm

I'm not using it as an excuse to dismiss the topic. I think it's just the way things are.

And I think the way Lynch treats women is the opposite of dehumanization. YMMV.
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Agent Earle
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:16 pm

God, Ebert-isms again?! It's 2017, people, not 1987. One would think we've managed to make some progress in how we interpret works of art - or how we allow artists to conceive them, for that matter... Let's leave moral panic where it belongs - in the Middle Ages.
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N. Needleman
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:17 pm

I think Roger Ebert had a right to his point of view, and I don't think he was a priggish moralist. I loved most of his work. I simply feel he fundamentally misunderstood Lynch.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:18 pm

When it comes to Ebert's "work" in the 1980's, calling it "priggish moralist" would be doing it a grand service.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby Venus » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:24 pm

N. Needleman wrote:Lynch's work deals in violence against women and almost always has. I don't find it to be exploitative or a private weapon to vent personal aggressions, I find it to be a preoccupation stemming from what is likely formative trauma and experiences. .[/i]


This is interesting. I've never looked really closely into his home life and real life background to do with women (formative trauma and experiences). Can you elaborate?
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby douglasb » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:01 pm

I'm interested in the idea of finding an integral part of an artist's work so troubling - and yet apparently still admiring the artist enough to join a dedicated fan forum.

That desire to keep looking despite oneself - pretty Lynchian, right?
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:19 pm

4815162342 wrote:The reason why this stands out to me is that in many ways his style is so idiosyncratic and so personal, but when it comes to women, he falls back on some of the oldest cliches in fiction.


I think Diane/Betty in MD is Exhibit A in refuting this as an absolute statement, at the very least. I think she's arguably the most complex and interesting character in DKL's entire canon. I would also argue that IE's Sue/Nikki is an incredibly complex character (although this is tougher to appreciate since she's seen through a fractured prism). Lula and Laura Palmer -- while arguably stereotypes in the sense that they're strong women with histories of sexual abuse -- are also fully-realized characters. Lula feels much more real than the cartoonish he-man Sailor, and honestly, Laura in FWWM is a more authentic character than Dale Cooper was on the original show IMO, as much as I love him (of course, this may change by the end of TP:TR). And for good measure, we have Rose in The Straight Story, a character who is never sexualized and doesn't feel quite like any other character in film that I can think of. Yes, he often skews toward looking at battered women, because he's fascinated with sex and violence, and because violence against women is a very real concern in our world. But I don't think he favors cliches in female characterization anymore than he does in males. If you want to talk about gender stereotypes, look no further than the Truman brothers.

(Disclaimer: As I stated earlier in this thread, I'm uncomfortable with the way DKL has been deploying Bell so far on the show. But I do think that, in spite of his uncomfortable "Emily Stofle flashing the camera" moments, DKL has done more good than ill for women in film in terms of writing strong roles.)
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby counterpaul » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:42 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
4815162342 wrote:The reason why this stands out to me is that in many ways his style is so idiosyncratic and so personal, but when it comes to women, he falls back on some of the oldest cliches in fiction.


I think Diane/Betty in MD is Exhibit A in refuting this as an absolute statement, at the very least. I think she's arguably the most complex and interesting character in DKL's entire canon. I would also argue that IE's Sue/Nikki is an incredibly complex character (although this is tougher to appreciate since she's seen through a fractured prism). Lula and Laura Palmer -- while arguably stereotypes in the sense that they're strong women with histories of sexual abuse -- are also fully-realized characters. Lula feels much more real than the cartoonish he-man Sailor, and honestly, Laura in FWWM is a more authentic character than Dale Cooper was on the original show IMO, as much as I love him (of course, this may change by the end of TP:TR). And for good measure, we have Rose in The Straight Story


Laura, to me, is bar-none Lynch's most fully realized character, and also his most heroic. Her victory is obviously tragic, but it is profound in a way that a million prototypically male heroes cannot come close to touching. And let's not forget Dorothy Valens, who is far more complex than Jeffry and whose ambiguous joy in the midst of almost unendurable pain closes the film.

Yes, Lynch is interested in depicting violence--and sexual violence especially. It is clearly an aspect of the world that he finds unignorable when he sets himself to telling stories. But he approaches the subject matter with open eyes and an open heart. In fact, I think there is a very solid argument to be made that Lynch--who does not consciously approach his work with politics in mind at all--has accidentally produced a profoundly feminist body of work. I've been arguing this point for 27 years.

Yes, he often skews toward looking at battered women, because he's fascinated with sex and violence, and because violence against women is a very real concern in our world. But I don't think he favors cliches in female characterization anymore than he does in males. If you want to talk about gender stereotypes, look no further than the Truman brothers.


He is extremely interested in stereotypes. It seems obvious, from his work, that he finds them both hilarious and tragic (just take a look at the sadly underrated, but quite brilliant in my mind, The Cowboy and the Frenchman, which exists only to be an extended riff on that very thing). Lynch's way of exploding stereotypes is often to simply present them pretty much as-is--they're absurd on the face--in a heightened emotional context where they, conventionally, don't belong. It's one of the tensions that has defined the term "Lynchian" throughout his career.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby KillerBOB » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:04 pm

4815162342 wrote:
KillerBOB wrote:I enjoyed the "male gaze" shot of Tamara... and didn't feel the slightest bit guilty, because, to be blunt, I'm a heterosexual man who admires a good butt, and that's okay. That's just how I'm wired. Enjoying the view doesn't mean I'm objectifying her.


It does when you have no interest in her as a person, she's just a "good butt", that's called objectification. Don't worry, Lynch clearly shares your viewpoint, along with pretty much every male director in Hollywood history.


LOL! What? I was geeking out when I realized that Tammy was Tamara Preston mainly because I found her to be an interesting person in the book! I can't help it if she's a little less interesting in the show, and I also can't help it if I find her attractive.

And who are you to judge people, anyway? Someone who's never looked at a member the opposite sex (who you didn't know) and thought "damn", apparently.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby sylvia_north » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:52 am

KillerBOB wrote:
And who are you to judge people, anyway? Someone who's never looked at a member the opposite sex (who you didn't know) and thought "damn", apparently.


Yes we all objectify! There's no reason to celebrate it, tho, and every reason to think critically about where the reflexive act comes from. It's damaging to the relationship between women and men in society. There is even more convincing evidence that it's not natural. Sociobiological theory from Freud, that has become pop-Darwinism, is just how our culture promotes a status quo; 'women's power over men is their 'sexuality' (as het men define sexuality), men are helpless cavemen- there, feminism won.' Liberal media sells it as fact but it's contradicted consistently in paleontology and anthropology, but that doesn't get the media coverage because the ideas aren't fun. It's not fun to be critical of the pervasive, dominant culture, or question that your desires didn't arise in a vacuum. It's basically 50's sexism repackaged and sold back to us as sexy sexism.
Film, mainstream and adult, and advertising are good places to think critically about how capitalism satisfies the market and simultaneously dictates the market/our values/social roles.

I also agree DL has created a feminist body of work. The feminist essay "Lynching Women" in David Lavery's Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks and Martha Nochimson's books inspired me to get deep into critical theory as a hobby and later as an academic major.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby onemoreshadow » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:33 am

I think the main issue for me with the character, besides Bell's questionable acting skills, is that despite Cole's assurances to Denise that Tammy "has the stuff," we haven't actually seen it for ourselves yet. So far she's just been this pouty person trailing Cole and Albert around with her slinky runway model walk. I'm holding out hope that there's a reason she's working with them on this case (presumably she notices something in the fingerprints that will showcase her skills). Definitely feel a bit of a disconnect between the Preston we got (admittedly in small, footnote-y doses) in Frost's book and the one we're seeing now in the actual show.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby 4815162342 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:07 am

sylvia_north wrote:
KillerBOB wrote:
And who are you to judge people, anyway? Someone who's never looked at a member the opposite sex (who you didn't know) and thought "damn", apparently.


Yes we all objectify! There's no reason to celebrate it, tho, and every reason to think critically about where the reflexive act comes from. It's damaging to the relationship between women and men in society. There is even more convincing evidence that it's not natural. Sociobiological theory from Freud, that has become pop-Darwinism, is just how our culture promotes a status quo; 'women's power over men is their 'sexuality' (as het men define sexuality), men are helpless cavemen- there, feminism won.' Liberal media sells it as fact but it's contradicted consistently in paleontology and anthropology, but that doesn't get the media coverage because the ideas aren't fun. It's not fun to be critical of the pervasive, dominant culture, or question that your desires didn't arise in a vacuum. It's basically 50's sexism repackaged and sold back to us as sexy sexism.
Film, mainstream and adult, and advertising are good places to think critically about how capitalism satisfies the market and simultaneously dictates the market/our values/social roles.

I also agree DL has created a feminist body of work. The feminist essay "Lynching Women" in David Lavery's Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks and Martha Nochimson's books inspired me to get deep into critical theory as a hobby and later as an academic major.


Finally, reason! I'm not surprised Lynch attracts a certain kind of male fan, but it makes it difficult to raise these issues.

I would be interested in reading feminist defense of TP, or of Lynch in general, though I think it's an uphill battle. Good recommendation.
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby N. Needleman » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:56 am

sylvia_north wrote:Sociobiological theory from Freud, that has become pop-Darwinism, is just how our culture promotes a status quo; 'women's power over men is their 'sexuality' (as het men define sexuality), men are helpless cavemen- there, feminism won.' Liberal media sells it as fact but it's contradicted consistently in paleontology and anthropology


Wait, what?
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:22 pm

onemoreshadow wrote:I think the main issue for me with the character, besides Bell's questionable acting skills, is that despite Cole's assurances to Denise that Tammy "has the stuff," we haven't actually seen it for ourselves yet. So far she's just been this pouty person trailing Cole and Albert around with her slinky runway model walk. I'm holding out hope that there's a reason she's working with them on this case (presumably she notices something in the fingerprints that will showcase her skills). Definitely feel a bit of a disconnect between the Preston we got (admittedly in small, footnote-y doses) in Frost's book and the one we're seeing now in the actual show.


A lot of people seem to feel this way (re: the disconnect between book TP and TV show Tammy), but I've yet to read an explanation as to why people felt she came across as competent in the book. Can you explain? (Hope this doesn't come across as trollish. I'm genuinely curious.)
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Re: Tamara Preston - Chrysta Bell (Spoilers)

Postby onemoreshadow » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
onemoreshadow wrote:I think the main issue for me with the character, besides Bell's questionable acting skills, is that despite Cole's assurances to Denise that Tammy "has the stuff," we haven't actually seen it for ourselves yet. So far she's just been this pouty person trailing Cole and Albert around with her slinky runway model walk. I'm holding out hope that there's a reason she's working with them on this case (presumably she notices something in the fingerprints that will showcase her skills). Definitely feel a bit of a disconnect between the Preston we got (admittedly in small, footnote-y doses) in Frost's book and the one we're seeing now in the actual show.


A lot of people seem to feel this way (re: the disconnect between book TP and TV show Tammy), but I've yet to read an explanation as to why people felt she came across as competent in the book. Can you explain? (Hope this doesn't come across as trollish. I'm genuinely curious.)


Not trollish at all. I guess my disconnect comes from the fact that we don't know enough about Preston yet to really make an impression. So maybe I'm being a bit premature in saying that there is a notable difference between Frost's Preston and Lynch's Preston. I feel like the impression we do have of her so far are mostly things we have been told about her ("she has the stuff"), or the way Cole and Albert view her (i.e., ogling her). Which of course isn't the character's fault. She hasn't really had her chance to shine yet. Like all things with The Return, I suspect there will be more of a payoff when the work is viewed as a whole. :)

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