As an aspiring film director, I read with great sadness Robert Lloyd's review, "Splendid 'Twin Peaks' Reboot Is Very Much Itself in Its Long-Awaited Return on Showtime" [May 22].
David Lynch is arguably America's greatest avant-garde surrealist auteur, with trailblazing experimental films such as "Eraserhead," "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive." Unfortunately the premiere of "Twin Peaks: The Return" on Showtime lacks the creative originality of Lynch's 1990 "Twin Peaks." Tellingly, in the new first episode, when the one-armed man asks Agent Cooper, "Is this future or past?" the answer is the new "Twin Peaks" is stuck in the past. I cringed every time I watched the old, feeble, gray-haired original "Twin Peaks" cast members reappear as retro caricatures of themselves.
For a film buff this was déjà vu but not for the original series, rather for the Stanley Kubrick films to which it made over-the-top references.
The box was HAL from "2001: A Space Odyssey," even responsible for the deaths of those he/it was watching. If you are a fan of the film the references were unmistakable.
Then there's Dale Cooper's hallucinations or visions. The sequences so evoked "The Shining," you had to wonder if David Lynch was doing this on purpose, perhaps trying to see if anyone in the audience would notice.
Finally, Darya's scenes in bed in bra and panties with the obviously older Dale Cooper character so strongly evoked "Lolita" one had to wonder: Is this "Twin Peaks" or an intentional "Ode to Stanley Kubrick"?
The real price of making music
I appreciated John Densmore's insight ["Even Greats Pay to Play," May 25]. I have appreciated reading each of his other articles and interviews over the years. During that time I have even more appreciated Densmore's determination to keep Doors songs out of commercials, letting TV and movies bring the music to the younger set. I always wanted to write and thank him for that, but when we sadly lost Ray Manzarek (who championed the other side of that issue) a few years ago it just didn't seem right. Now, however, please let me say thank you for all you've done in your life, John.
John Densmore missed an important aspect of "the price musicians pay." My brother, Walter Benson, played trombone with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra and died at age 50. He went to work at 6 p.m. or later and was steadily offered alcoholic drinks. He seldom slept more than six hours a night.
Breaking to Canada? When?
Regarding "Reviews 'Wakefield' " [May 26]: I have been a fan of Bryan Cranston's ever since "Breaking Bad." He came across as totally believable in the role as a master meth cook/drug kingpin. The ending of that series truly left a hole in my heart that, to this day, has yet to be filled.
But his conduct during last year's election has destroyed any respect I had for him, to the point where I have decided I will no longer watch any performance of his, in any medium, ever again.
My decision had nothing to do with his politics. My decision was based solely on his childish promise to move to Canada if Trump wins the election.
Well, here we are, six months after the election, and the best Cranston can do in fulfilling that promise is to play a character in self-exile rather than actually exiling himself out of this country for good.
Rapid City, S.D.
U2 gets away from its roots
I mostly agreed with the review of the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl ["U2 Nurtures 'Tree,' " May 22]. One thing the reviewer missed was that U2's spiritual side, once prominent, has been diminished. I got into U2 in college because they were unabashedly Christian, singing anthems like "Gloria" and "I Will Follow." What they've done in the intervening years is replaced the righteousness with liberal self-righteousness.
Gifted author will be missed
Thanks for the moving tribute to writer Denis Johnson by David L. Ulin ["A Vision at Once Mystical, Worldly," May 30]. Johnson was one of our most gifted writers, and I would add to the works mentioned by Ulin the short novel "Train Dreams," the saga of an American working man in the northwest of the early 20th century. It is one of the most brilliant pieces of American fiction in many years and underscores our loss of its visionary creator.