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  • Writer's pictureR Cipolletta

e31: Knocking Out Some Research

Writing & Fiction Research 02.11.20

Exploring (Quick) Recommended Scenes

Wrapped in Plastic (TWIN PEAKS):

During the mid-project presentation, the pilot episode of Twin Peaks was recommended to me to check out. In particular, Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic was mentioned on multiple occasions as reference point for the uncanny atmosphere I was looking to recreate.

Watching just the scene itself, with very little of the surrounding context, left me feeling like I was missing a lot of what makes this television series such an occult classic. For starters, it took me googling this title I'd never previously heard of for me to understand its potential importance to my project - and it would take far too much time that I don't have for me to fill in the gaps.

Said this, the clip was far from a waste of time, and got me thinking about the appearance of distinctly man-made items (like plastic) making an appearance in my character's story where there absolutely should not be any, to inspire an uncanny case. Immediately, the flaw in this concept is that foolish teenagers, regrettably, do exist, and it would perhaps not be too shocking to find a few bits of discarded rubbish in the wooded area around the Detective's house (where it can be assumed teens might naturally wander) - no. I would need to bring it up a notch.

Definite food for thought.

The video on Twin Peaks led me to another video, The Unsolved Murder That Inspired Twin Peaks - True Fiction, about a real life unsolved murder that allegedly inspired David Lynch and Mark Frost to make the series to begin with. It was implied in this video that part of the cult following was surrounding the cryptic unanswered lore questions left behind by the series' abrupt cancellation.

This immediately reminded me of the cryptograph and unanswered questions in the games that inspired my concept for the installation.

The series also features a theme involving possession and its relation to murder, which might be relevant to the Oroborous mythos that I have been pondering the inclusion of, wherein the truth would be that my character is persecuting themselves.

If I have the time, I will have a nosey around some of these theory communities.

Death of a Cervid (GET OUT):

I wish I had gotten a close up of that deer!

Get Out is undoubtedly famous at this point for its excellent use of atmosphere, hard-hitting societal themes, and clever plot. For this entry, it was recommended to me for one simple reason - a scene with a deer, functioning as a foreshadowing omen, which is hit by a car and dies after calling out in gargled screams.

According to some theories, this deer is symbolic of the protagonist's innocence (naivety in feeling safe) being killed, and is an animal which is also used again later (a stuffed bust, whose antlers are used as a weapon) to reinforce this theme.

The first of these two is most applicable to me, and is the one I watched. It is a heavy scene and I absolutely love it! Great use of cinematography for a subtle uncomfortable tension - but I wish I had gotten a close up of that deer!

Like with Twin Peaks, I found a few more videos detailing that the appeal of the film has a lot to do with the hidden messages scattered across it, however this is more along the lines of foreshadowing rather than cryptography. This leads me to question if I should, or if it would even be possible to, implement foreshadowing into my panels...

For my future reference here is a video I found where these little bits are listed chronologically.

Dark Horse (THE RING):

The last recommendation on my list is The Ring, for its famous use of a horse suicide, as it goes mad from contact with Rachel, ultimately jumping off a ferry as part of the tape's effect.

I was recommended this, with specific instruction to pay attention to the horse's eyes, which appear maddened and distressed. In fairness, horse eyes always seem to me to have a certain fearful quality, but I digress.

This was the video I was most fascinated with, throughout todays research but I honestly cannot really tell why. My best guess is that its a combination between the high action and high uncanny atmosphere - two things that I had originally thought wouldn't pair up well. I realise that the uncanny has always struck me as slow paced, perhaps because that it the formula that I've most frequently seen used.

I just genuinely liking the lore of this movie, and how the protagonist essentially goes on an Eater-egg hunt of her own to solve the mystery of what happened to Samara and how to remove the curse. It always struck me as a unique, and interesting concept and it's undoubtedly iconic.

This actually reminds me, I should probably check out It Follows, and maybe some theories surrounding it, in another entry for its paranoia and persecution themes. Something to think about.

- R Cipolletta



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