The black book

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marksman
 
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The black book

Postby marksman » 11 Nov 2010

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Re: The black book

Postby blu » 14 Nov 2010

marksman wrote:This appears twice: Firstly in a scene which I consider to be part of a dream. A scene which is so surreal that it surely must be a part of a dream sequence. In this scene, it is referred to as "Ed's Black Book" and the "history of the world in telephone numbers". Here, it seems to represent either blackmail information or information that would be useful to a blackmailer. However, it's origin is in the real life scene (my opinion, reinforced by the blue key being normal at this time) in the diner. This real life scene actually precedes the dream, so that things which Diane notices in this scene can appear randomly in her dream.
I think that this is what happens with the black book:
If the black book really contained blackmail information (and Joe was blackmailing Diane, which some people believe), he wouldn't casually have the book on view, in a public place. We know how careful he is, over such things, because when Diane shows him the picture of Camilla, he says "Don't show me that fucking thing here!" The black book is probably something as innocent as a personal organizer.
But I think that Diane incorporates both the black book and Joe into the dream. This section of the dream is based on a events which Diane had heard of, or read in the papers.

I think this is a reasonable introduction to the book, and I think most people would agree with your assessment that Diane is incorporating Joe and his book into the dream, and that maybe the scene around it in the dream gives some clues as to what relevance (if any) that it may have.

However, the story that you go on to tell, here:

marksman wrote:It could be something like this:

After a police raid on a premises, blackmail information is recovered and this is taken, overnight, to the police evidence room, where things are kept securely locked up. There is a guard looking after it on the night shift (called Ed). Of course, people in high places would be implicated by this evidence, so one of them sends a professional criminal (who works at the police station, in some capacity) to recover the blackmail box, before it its contents become widely know. This man knows Ed. When he goes into the evidence room, to steal the blackmail box, he is told by Ed that he (Ed) has already looked at the blackmail evidence (videos, photos, etc.)
Also he tells him a funny story, "Listen up bro. You wouldn't believe what I have just seen on these tapes:
The District Attorney, with a hooker, with his pants down....and wearing a cow boy hat!"
They both laugh and the professional criminal says "Thats a funny story that you've just told me, man."
Then he shoots Ed dead, but when he has done this, he hears a woman's shout from next door. He realizes that she has been listening at he wall, and she must also know what is on the blackmail tapes, so he has to go to the next room, which is where the police keep the confiscated drugs (herbal enzymes) and kill the woman who looks after that room.
He is now disturbed by the cleaner (further evidence that this is taking place early in the morning, when there aren't many people around). He shoots the cleaner dead too, because, Ed may have also chatted to him, about the blackmail evidence.
Now I know you are probably thinking that the DA was taking a big risk going to a party which involved prostitution and/or sexual abuse of children. But if you watch the party scene carefully, you will see that the cowboy just walks briefly across the background, unnoticed by any of the guests (apart from Diane). He is never seen sitting at the tables. He seems to be there incognito. Its as if he just slips out of the room (in which he does whatever he does) and disappears out of a side door.
Of course, once the blackmail information has been recovered, the DA is able to continue with his job as normal.

Well, some of this doesn't appear to me to be supported that well by what we see in the film. Also, I'm not quite sure where this section of the story would fit in within the whole structure. Are you saying that this is a part of the dream that we were never shown? If so, how does it progress our understanding of the film?

:hmm:

I know that you have some quite unique and personal ideas about the story in the subtext of MD, marksman, but I wonder if those ideas have clouded your objectivity a little bit.

I don't mean to pick on you or this post particularly, and I certainly hope you don't take this personally, but on message boards like this one about films like this one I see a lot of jostling for room for people to talk about complicated ideas that they may have rather than getting down to the nitty gritty of what the film objectively shows us.

So, what do we truly know about the Ed's Famous Black book from the dream/reality framework from which you are coming?

In the 'dream':

  1. It's in the possession of Ed, a character not seen in what we might consider to be Diane's reality told in flashback.
  2. Joe believes it's worth killing for.
  3. It has some kind of fame or infamy, at least in the circles in which Joe and Ed might move.
  4. Ed calls it "the history of the world, in phone numbers".
In the 'reality':

  1. It's in Joe's possession.
  2. Not much else
Am I missing anything?

What I see really is David using the post-pilot Winkie's scene to tie some ideas together. Primarily to give the context to Diane's conversation with Joe to put the idea in the viewer's head that what is being arranged there is a hit on Camilla, and perhaps secondly to quite simply continue the duality and reflections between the two parts of the film by referencing the book in both.

I'm still kinda rusty in thinking about this film, so interested if there are any ideas beyond based on the limited information the film gives us ...

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Re: The black book

Postby marksman » 14 Nov 2010

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Re: The black book

Postby vicster111 » 14 Nov 2010

The last thing I want to do, is to clutter up these discussions with my views...

Please don't stop doing that.

Mainly because, yet again, you've caused me to look at scenes with a fresh eye. I never put it together that the 'bit' girl could have been eavesdropping. And you're correct on the accident scene.

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Re: The black book

Postby ctyankee » 15 Nov 2010

marksman wrote:Blu, I know, I know, I just go on too much. I think we are looking at the film from different points of view. I think that you see it as a general work of art and that you think that we shouldn't be looking too hard at the details, because we would then fail to appreciate the whole concept. Whereas I see significance in small details, in every scene. I believe that they are there for a reason. I look at the film as a puzzle to be solved.
I suspect that the majority, on this forum, share your view. The last thing I want to do, is to clutter up these discussions with my views, to such an extent that no one else can be bothered posting.


This applies to other posters as well, but as the discussion is here and now, it's worth sharing a few thoughts. I love the details within MD. If a poster wishes to build an entire theory on some tidbit that isn't reinforced or even continued in the film ... so be it. And I've seen theories on it all being the dream of Herb, Dan, Bob Brooker, Coco, Linney James, the Lamp Lady, the Blue-haired woman, the bum, Louise Bonner, Silver haired woman at the airport, Aunt Ruth, Mr. Roque, the time and body shifting Limo driver (a personal fav) as well as the main characters ... come to think of it pretty much everyone except for the Vacuum Man and Julie Chadwick. However, there is an important difference between building a theory on a detail and creating what is not there. There is no DA, there is no night watchman - so encorporating those new characters really becomes an untold story - not Lynch's story.

Views are fine. That's why we are here - but if I may plant a seed ... maybe MD is Lynch's attempt at the Lewis Carroll books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass where the books are fascinating stories as well as encorporating details that allow the reader to go further down the rabbit hole. Where perhaps, the details within MD lead to other adventures, secrets and discoveries.

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Re: The black book

Postby blu » 15 Nov 2010

vicster111 wrote:The last thing I want to do, is to clutter up these discussions with my views...

Please don't stop doing that.

Totally.

The last thing I want to do is to discourage people from posting. What I would encourage people to do is to question any theories that they've developed and think about the strengths and weaknesses of their ideas and if something doesn't quite fit in then think why it might not fit, and whether there are other explanations or connections that they may be missing; generally to focus a bit more on what's in the film itself or how it directly connects to other things rather than theorising on things that we are not shown at all.

marksman wrote:I think that you see it as a general work of art and that you think that we shouldn't be looking too hard at the details, because we would then fail to appreciate the whole concept. Whereas I see significance in small details, in every scene. I believe that they are there for a reason. I look at the film as a puzzle to be solved.

Actually, far from it. In a similar fashion to how ctyankee puts it above me, there is an awful lot to pull out of the details that help draw you further into the film. If I wasn't keen on exploring the minutiae of MD then I certainly wouldn't be here, almost 8 years after I first saw the film, helping to create a new environment in which to discuss it.

marksman wrote:You seem to believe that Joe was hired by Diane to kill Camilla. If so, why do you think this?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

The point is that the director certainly seems to want us to consider the idea. A man being handed a photo of someone together with some money. The same man that was seen earlier executing (albeit in a clumsy fashion) 3 people earlier in the film.

Now, whether we are intentionally being led down the garden path in thinking this, that's up for discussion ...


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