Julee Cruise was the regular chanteuse of Twin Peaks, appearing on the soundtrack as well as performing in the show itself. This song was featured in one of the most intense and disturbing Lynch-directed episodes of the second series; if you aren’t afraid of spoilers (really big spoilers) and extreme unpleasantness you can watch the scene in question here, but I take no responsibility for bad dreams which may be incurred.
Kirk Demarais has a series of family portraits that are charmingly creepy. But these are not portraits of your next door neighbors. He focuses on fictional families who starred in your favorite films. Kirk covers them all, from National Lampoon’s Vacation to There Will Be Blood.
“I happen to hate New Year’s celebrations. Everybody desperate to have fun. Trying to celebrate in some pathetic little way. Celebrate what? A step closer to the grave? That’s why I can’t say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works. And don’t kid yourself. Because its by no means up to your own human ingenuity. A bigger part of your existence is luck than you’d like to admit. Christ, you know the odds of your fathers one sperm from the billions, finding the single egg that made you. Don’t think about it, you’ll have a panic attack.”—
All of these films are on this list for the same reason: The direct emotional impact they made on me. They have many other qualities, of course. But these evoked the emotion of Elevation, which I wrote about a year or so ago. Elevation is, scientists say, an actual emotion, not a woo-woo theory. I believe that, because some films over the years have evoked from me a physical as well as an intellectual or emotional response.
In choosing the list, I decided to bypass films that may have qualified for their historical, artistic, popular or “objective” importance. No lists have deep significance, but even less lists composed to satisfy an imaginary jury of fellow critics. My jury resides within. I know how I feel.
Almost the first day I started writing reviews, I found a sentence in a book by Robert Warshow that I pinned on the wall above my desk. I have quoted it so frequently that some readers must be weary of it, but it helps me stay grounded. It says:
A man goes to the movies. A critic must be honest enough to admit he is that man.
That doesn’t make one person right and another wrong. All it means is that you know how they really felt, not how they thought they should feel.