Thursday, August 10, 2017

The X-Files - Roland



Jet propulsion research (Icarus Project) for the Mach 15 project is close to being a success but the main genius behind it is killed. His twin brother, Roland, has what I believe is a form of autism (I have two children who are autistic and he appears on the severity of the spectrum), and he’s the janitor working in the research facility occupied by a trio of scientists trying to “crack the code”, close to solving a complex formula that Arthur (Roland’s bearded, chunky brother) had the answer to. When one of the scientists is shut in the chamber containing a “prototype jet engine” (which looked like a spinning fan to me) by Roland, seemingly not himself, he uses the computer to cut the machine on, punching in code that runs it at a high speed, sucking Dr. Surnow into it. The engine tore him apart. The second scientist on the project, Dr. Keats, is busy conducting tests, not knowing Roland was behind him. Roland pushes Keats’ head into liquid nitrogen and dumps him to the ground (you can hear the frozen head break apart in a nifty sound effect, with frozen bits and pieces, like an ear, strewn over the lab floor! Only one left, Dr. Nollette (James Sloyan), Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate. The one person available that night Surnow was killed was Roland, so they have an interest in interviewing him, perhaps getting a close inspection of if he could be capable of such a murder (and using the computer to shut Surnow in the prototype jet chamber). It is noticeable by Mulder that he seems to have a knack for math but to develop formulas on a whiteboard, enter code on a computer, and have the wherewithal to murder two people seems beyond him.

This episode is quite a bit surreal but I totally went with it. It does ask a lot of us. Arthur’s head in a “preservation pod” supposedly because the future might have the science that would re-attach him to a new cloned body! And Mulder believes the violent dreams that overcome Roland are the work of a psychic connection between him and Arthur. That Arthur’s consciousness is in control of Roland, causing him to kill the scientists he holds responsible for his death, continue to contribute to the Mach 15 project, and finish the formula that only he could ultimately solve. Scully has this moment where she is attentive to Mulder’s theory although she sighs and just follows him. To her credit, Scully humors Mulder even if it’s clear she just can’t bring herself to believe Arthur is possessing Roland (I think she uses “popsicle” to describe his head in the pod). Mulder believes that as identical twins, one of Arthur’s “damaged cells” while in the womb with Roland caused the mental  defects burdening him. He thinks that psychic connection is real and stands firm on his belief that Arthur is “calling the shots”.

Nollette reveals himself to be a heel looking to capitalize on Arthur’s genius and claim all the glory. He has sabotaged Arthur’s pod so he’d die. Arthur knows his time could be limited so he uses Roland to work steadfastly to get all the work done before he dies. Nollette, like the first two scientists, threatens to take all the credit and Arthur won’t stand for it. Turning on the engine, once again locking the chamber, if Nollette is to survive Mulder and Scully will need to convince Roland to cut it off.

This episode has one of the best performances of a guest star on the series during its long run from Ċ½eljko Ivanek. Ivanek is just brilliant. He embodies that autistic young man, challenged directly during his stay in the womb and once he left it, and removed from his family. He’s adapted to the care of Micole Mercurio and developed a loving relationship with another “foster kid”, Tracy (Kerry Sandomirsky). His craft project with stars and numbers does come in handy as it leads to Mulder getting into the password-protected work of Arthur. He’s clearly a method actor and yet this doesn’t feel like some Rain Man performance but Ivanek really loses himself in Roland. It is quite an incredible piece of acting, no doubt. I absolutely loved one key scene where Mulder affectionately speaks to Roland about his dreams, hoping to coax something about Arthur out of him, doing so not as much as an agent desperate for clues but as someone who realizes that he’s a victim. Mulder pulls from his own agonizing dream about his father, hoping that Roland realizes that he is a friend who wants to help him. In order to stop Arthur he needs Roland to open up to him. Eventually the vision of choking Tracy is too much for Roland.









It is the subtle emergence of Arthur, too, that further illustrates just how astonishing Ivanek is. That closing shot with the brush: wow. The mannerisms, tilting of the head, manner of speech, unable to really look people in the eyes; it is clear Ivanek done his research and cared a great deal about conveying this character correctly.

Something I've noticed and appreciated more as I go back through the first seasons of the show is how, as a pair, they interact with victims of dark influences. Scully and Mulder aren't the cold agents just trying to solve a case. They listen. They have affection. They care. Like the student claiming she was molested in Die Hand Die Verletzt and Roland here, they want answers and do wish to help. And often they are powerless.

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.