The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Grace Zabriskie Day


‘”I’ve seen people almost question if I should be walking around free,” admitted the actress the first time I interviewed her, while she was working on the 1999 L.A. premiere of Woman as Battlefield, a play about the horrors of war in the Balkans. “It’s very easy for me not to place judgment between me and the character, so I can be there in a heartbeat.” Indeed, if you’re going to be engaged in believable, bloodthirsty torture on-screen, as Zabriskie is in David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990), you’d better understand something about madness and how to get there.

‘A daring actress, a published writer of poetry and erotica, and a visual artist who designs fine art boxes, as well as kaleidoscopic photo collages, Zabriskie is a New Orleans-born autodidact who says she learned to act by reading, talking about it, and paying attention. “My father’s pet name for me when I was 3 was ‘little bastard actress,'” said Zabriskie in a recent interview with BSW, “and I suppose I’ve never had a day in my life that I wasn’t just that.” Perhaps best recognized for her role as the grief-stricken mother Sarah Palmer in Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990)—a woman prone to odd, drug-induced visions—Zabriskie explained how she is able to approach the fringes of extreme emotion.

‘”I have done a bunch of interviews in my life for roles that were just extremely bizarre,” said Zabriskie. “One of them involved having just killed my parents and now I was munching on the hand of my mother or some damn thing. I asked myself, How in the world would you get there? Can I imagine eating the hand of my mother? No. Killing my mother? No. Hating my mother enough to kill her? No, not really. The fleeting wish? Not really, but I’m a little closer. Can I imagine being very angry with her? Yes. You just have to keep going back until you find the place where you can come in, and work from there.”

‘Standing around as a local, three-day extra on the set of Norma Rae (1979), Zabriskie found her career took off when director Martin Ritt decided to extend her role and she was instantly offered representation. Though she insists it was never her goal to see her name on a movie marquee, Zabriskie was then able to build a solid film reputation, playing such roles as the irritable, concerned mother of Matt Dillon’s character in Drugstore Cowboy, or the haunting seductress Alena, who picks up a narcoleptic young hustler (River Phoenix) in My Own Private Idaho (1991), or Granny, that sour rattlesnake of a woman in Bastard Out of Carolina (1996). But it was the television series Twin Peaks that gained Zabriskie more widespread recognition, with a challenging performance for which Lynch pushed her, take after take, toward an extreme intended to teeter on melodrama.

‘Blessed with enormously emotive eyes, sharp cheekbones, and an unmistakable voice that ranges from sexy to sinister, Zabriskie returned to the stage last spring in the L.A. premiere of Murray Mednick’s absurdist, language-based play 16 Routines, portraying a deranged, snappy, bantering vaudevillian.

‘When asked what keeps her going, despite the challenges of securing good roles as she matures, Zabriskie responded, “The fact is, as actors, everything we do, bad or good, is a contribution. To me, it is a positive thing to give people as wide a range of human behavior with some sense of understanding of that behavior or some clue to it. It may be a very small thing in terms of the problems that exist in the world, but it is a thing, and it’s something I can do, and like to do—am thrilled to do actually.”‘ — Laura Weinert





Grace Zabriskie Site
Grace Zabriskie @ IMDb
GZ @ instagram
GZ @ Facebook
GZ @ Letterboxd
‘Poems’ by Grace Zabriskie @ goodreads



Grace Zabriskie & Jonathan Rundman death scene

Grace Zabriskie as Laura Palmer

Grouplove – Youth (Starring – Grace Zabriskie)

“Baby Blue” Starring Grace Zabriskie

Big Love – Lois wants to see Santa


The Hideout Series

Hideout #1 is the first of a projected series of sculptures I’m making. Each will be a concretization of emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical places of refuge…such as we might have called “hideouts” as kids.

‘I have come to see all human endeavor as pastime, as refuge from constant awareness of mortality, futility; therefore terribly important and of no consequence whatsoever. This idea could be utterly dreary to contemplate, and at times it is, but for the most part my life has been a fairly constant attempt to make it -my life- joyful.

‘Memory, it seems, in this construct, is the most constant pastime, as it is also the filter through which the present is experienced. Memory, association. So almost any image that recurs to me with a certain persistence has only to be incorporated, somehow, technically. I am but a technical assistant to my need to make manifest the images of my interests, understandings, passions, and memories. My pastimes. I’m there to build the parts and figure out how they go together, not to comment or edit too much or try to figure out what they mean. When the piece is done, it tells its story, and I’m free to figure out what the hell I was talking about.

‘The Hideout construct turns out to be a limitless umbrella for such a series as I am now officially embarked upon…assuming I actually do at least a few of the ones I envision next.’ — Grace Zabriskie




Twin Peaks Archive: How did you first get into acting and when did art enter your life?

Grace Zabriskie: I have always, since early childhood, been a writer, an actor and a visual artist. I acted in a few things as a child in New Orleans, but preferred painting sets to acting in high school plays. My father, who had been an actor himself, was advised by friends from L.A. to keep me out of acting as long as possible, to make sure I had a normal life, growing up. I majored in French and art in college, took no theatre courses, but was commandeered by seniors for their senior directing projects. I did a couple of plays in New Orleans as a young adult, and was pregnant with my daughter, Marion, when I played my last ingenue at the Gallery Circle Theatre in the French Quarter. For many years my writing was foremost at times, and then my visual art. I did occasional plays in Atlanta as my children were growing up. I started doing commercial voice-overs for all manner of things, including expensive perfumes. Those were fun. Then I did a few movies. “Norma Rae” was the fourth or fifth professional film project I did, and, long story short, moved to L.A. within a year of its release, as there were several agents interested in representing me, and I was ready to leave Atlanta.

Twin Peaks Archive: Talk about working with David Lynch on Twin Peaks and Wild At Heart.

Grace Zabriskie: I had seen enough of David Lynch’s work to know that I wanted to work with him when I was brought in to meet him on Twin Peaks. ( I had been told I was being seen for the role of “Lucy.” ) We talked for a long time during that meeting, and I told him a funny theatre story about a Cajun play I had done at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans. I did it in the Cajun dialect. It was then that “Juana” was born in his mind, I think. Needless to say, we never talked about “Lucy.” Or “Sarah,” for that matter. I was soon very happy to be offered the role of Sarah.

A year or so later he called and said he’d written something for me, that it was pretty wild, and if I didn’t want to do it he would understand.( I don’t know that he ever described her to me except to say that the role was pretty out there.) I thought “fat chance” I wouldn’t want to do it, but when I read it, it was very difficult…I’m not sure I ever thought I wouldn’t or couldn’t or shouldn’t do it, but a decision can be very difficult even when you know the decision you’re going to make. Someday I’ll root out the script of Wild at Heart, and send you the monologue he wrote and shot for Juana. I never got to see it. It was cut after the first test screenings. What’s left are the snippets you see when Harry Dean gets killed.

Twin Peaks Archive: Did you take any photos or keep any props or costumes from the set of Twin Peaks?

Grace Zabriskie: I asked for and was given the bathrobe I wore in the final episode. In the cafe, with Don Davis. I have attatched a Polaroid I asked David to pose for, with his megaphone. I got a kick out of that megaphone. I think I asked for the bathrobe because I was happy with the Polaroid.

I was heavily into making photo collages during the Twin Peaks years. I was in love with C-stands, and took hundreds of portraits of C-stands. Several C-stand collages and boxes came from those photographs. I used to think of them as the little soldiers of the movie industry, standing around in their little battalions, waiting to be needed. There are some C-stand boxes on my website. I don’t think I photographed people, really. Except a great shot of David standing behind some C-stands.

Twin Peaks Archive: Did you take any photos on the set of Wild At Heart?

Grace Zabriskie: The only day I shot people on set was the day we did the banquet scene. I had my camera with me for the first time on that shoot, because I knew the whole banquet scene would involve hours and hours of waiting. (I just remembered that that was the day I told my agents they could come, since I would have so much free time. I was thinking somebody could take some pictures of me with them.) As soon as I saw the china plates that were to be placed before each of the beautiful young women in that scene, I knew that I wanted to “frame David in asparagus.” So I shot the plates, focusing on the asparagus, and David and Calvin and D.P. Kelley, and I gave my camera to David and he shot me. I shot the clap board, electrical stuff on the floor on the set, a radiator in the room, whatever is in the Wild at Heart collage and probably a lot of other stuff that didn’t make it into the collage…which is not about Wild at Heart, so much as a tiny moment in a big film. Not a moment that actually occurred in the film; just the moment when I imagined David framed in asparagus.

Twin Peaks Archive: How did Inland Empire come about?

Grace Zabriskie: It came out in the trades that David had begun to work with Laura Dern and a video camera on some tiny internet movies. The next day or maybe a few days later David called to say that he had written a scene for me and Laura. I said great. Send it to me. He said he’d send it very soon, he wasn’t finished “tweaking” it. I eventually forgot about it. Months later I heard he was back in the country to shoot here again, and knew I was about to be unavailable and I called over there to see if maybe he’d sent it and somehow I hadn’t gotten it. No, no, it was still coming. By the time it came, I was busy with Big Love, and when he tried to set up a shoot day, I was booked. He didn’t seem too worried, so I wasn’t worried. Months and months later I thought about it and figured he’d already shot the day with somebody else. But then we got a day booked weeks in advance, I started working hard on the scene, and then three days before we were to shoot, he told me he was thinking I should do “an Eastern European accent.” I freaked a bit, called my fabulous dialect coach, Larry Moss, (who calls himself “not the Larry Moss,”) and did the best I could in the time we had.

Twin Peaks Archive: Talk about Big Love. In particular the amazing cast!

Grace Zabriskie: Big Love has been an utter joy for me. It really is an amazing cast, isn’t it? I don’t even know whom to single out, other than to say that there are just too many fine actors involved to give everyone enough to do, and in some cases, that’s especially a shame. I have been happy with everyone involved, and have gotten quite close to a few. I am more in love with some of the directors than others of course, as is everyone on any series. But Mark Olson and Will Scheffer, the creator/writer/producers make up the difference on any given day with any given director. They stay hands on and creative throughout the day, and in addition to all that brilliant casting, they have assembled a team of writers, producers, post-production people, etc, who are really good in their jobs.

Twin Peaks Archive: What’s next for Grace Zabriskie?

Grace Zabriskie: I don’t know what’s next. I hope we’ll do a third season of Big Love. I wouldn’t mind another “hiatus film” coming along about now, but on the other hand, I’m pretty happy to have time in my workshop. Last year’s hiatus movie is about to open on July 4 – “License to Wed” with Robin Williams.


24 of Grace Zabriskie’s 165 roles

Martin Ritt Norma Rae (1978)
‘Since making her feature debut in “Norma Rae” (1978), the New Orleans-born actress has gone on to leave an indelible mark on both the small and big screens. She has been particularly effective in movies playing mothers, albeit not the kind that would be embraced by June Cleaver.’ — RT



Bruce D. Clark Galaxy of Terror (1981)
‘Amid the host of films that came out attempting to exploit the success of Alien (1979), Galaxy of Terror, from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, is one of the more interesting. It is only Alien – or even more so Planet of the Vampires (1965) – crosshatched with Forbidden Planet (1956) where the familiar slime-drooling monsters and wrecks of alien spaceships have been combined with some confused but fascinating ideas about monsters from the unconscious. Galaxy of Terror certainly has an interesting cast including Erin Moran from Happy Days as the principal female character, not to mention Freddy Krueger himself Robert Englund, David Lynch favourite Grace Zabriskie, and erotica director Zalman King in a rare acting appearance.’ — Moria Reviews



William A. Graham M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (1983)
‘Mariette Hartley earned herself an Emmy nomination for her whole-hearted performance as Candy Lightner, the Californian mother who launched a national campaign after her young daughter was killed in a hit-and-run accident. To his credit, director William A Graham presents clear-headed arguments rather than scoring easy melodramatic points, and keeps a tight rein on a supporting cast that includes David Huddleston, Paula Prentiss and Grace Zabriskie.’ — David Parkinson

the entirety


Jim McBride The Big Easy (1986)
‘As with a lot of New Orleans neo-noir, a commitment to a sense of place consistently threatens to descend into kitsch, though at least McBride palpably loves the milieu whose idiosyncrasies he can’t help laying on a little too thickly. Grace Zabriskie, on the other hand, sounds like she was asked to perform Jamaican. Tonally all over the place, which might be for the better anyway given the forgettable machinations of its bad-cop antics; a film that’s ultimately more interested in pondering the musculature of Dennis Quaid’s ass or hanging out at a neighborhood barbecue than it is in uncovering corrupt conspiracies or moral inquiry.’ — jrhovind



William Friedkin Rampage (1987)
‘Originally shot in 1987; after premiering in some European countries, the film was shelved when production studio DEG went bankrupt and sat unreleased for five years. In 1992 director William Friedkin re-edited the movie and slightly altered the ending (supposedly because in the meantime his feelings about the death penalty had changed) before its USA release. The European video versions usually feature the original ending.’ — IMDb



John Herzfeld The Ryan White Story (1989)
The Ryan White Story is a 1989 ABC network television movie which aired on January 16, 1989. The movie is based on the true-life events of Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac who contracts AIDS through contaminated blood and his fight to attend school after he is forbidden to go due to his condition.’ — M4TV

the entirety


Gus Van Sant Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
‘The tragic scene of Dianne and Bob visiting his heartbroken, scolding mother (Grace Zabriskie) when she lowered the blinds and locked doors when he came to get some clothes (“He is a thief and a dope fiend, and that is more important to him than I am”).’ — filmsite



David Lynch Wild at Heart (1990)
‘Played by Grace Zabriskie, the contract killer Juana Durango is just so odd in her cocktail dress and campy horror-film makeup with her warped posture. I particularly like the way her white foundation rubs off on Calvin Lockhart’s dark Bahamian face when they’re making out right before they murder Johnny Farragut.’ — emily winsauer




J. Michael Riva Tales from the Crypt (“The Secret”) (1990)
‘Mrs. Colbert (Grace Zabriskie) was a villainess from Tales From the Crypt’s second season finale, “The Secret” (airdate July 31, 1990). She and her husband adopted 12-year-old Theodore from an orphanage, and they mainly stuff him full of sweets and keep him in his room, under the watchful eye of their servant, Tobias.’ — The Female Villains Wiki

the entirety


John Lafia Child’s Play 2 (1990)
‘In noteworthy contrast to the darker original, Child’s Play 2 is the first in the series to incorporate a more campy, comedic approach, however it contained a more violent tone.’ — CPF



David Lynch Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
‘Working with David [Lynch], who loves to take an actor and push them just that much over the edge, so that an audience that has tears rolling down their cheeks will start laughing — or some of them will look very angrily at someone who just laughed. You know the scene in Twin Peaks where Sarah Palmer finds out that her daughter is dead and she starts freaking out? I was in an audience watching. People are crying — they’re crying with Sarah’s grief — and some people are laughing because I’ve just gone that little half-step too far. They got it. They’re laughing, but the other ones, they didn’t get it, and they’re pissed off that someone would dare laugh at this terribly sad thing. Everything for me comes down to tone. One of my favorite things in the world to do is to make someone laugh and cry at the same time, and it’s rare material that offers that kind of opportunity. And it means basically, as an actor, you have to invest so completely in what you’re saying that the end result is funny. It’s just that tiny little push.’ — Grace Zabriskie


Sarah Palmer’s scream for 1 minute


Gus Van Sant My Own Private Idaho (1991)
‘In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.’ — IMDb



Jon Avnet Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1992)
‘Flagg’s book never calls Ruth and Idgie lesbians — and Evelyn doesn’t ask Ninny to label them, either — but it does make it a fact that they are a couple. In that sense, there are some key differences between the book and the movie (adapted by Flagg, Carol Sobieski, and Avnet, who didn’t receive a credit). Ruth never dates Buddy in the book, for instance — she and Idgie meet only after Mama Threadgoode asks Ruth, a family friend, to come help her rescue Idgie, who has gone off to mourn Buddy by the River Club (and sometimes into the arms of Eva Bates, who is played in the movie by Grace Zabriskie, though her character in the film barely registers. “Eva didn’t know about a lot of things, but she knew about love,” writes Flagg, as Eva takes a bereft Idgie into her bed).’ — Kate Aurthur



David Lynch Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
‘Grace Zabriskie on Sheryl Lee’s performance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: “She gave everything she had, she gave more, she gave more than she could afford to give, and she spent years coming back…’ — wttp


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Premiere: Grace Zabriskie Exclusive Interview


Gus Van Sant Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
‘Though the director’s sensibility worked extraordinarily well when applied to hard-edged subject matter like “Drugstore Cowboy” and even “My Own Private Idaho,” combining it with Robbins’ flimsy jokiness has resulted in a film whose tedium is painful.’ — Kenneth Turan



Philip Ridley The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995)
‘THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON has much in common with THE REFLECTING SKIN: an isolated rural setting bathed in blinding sunlight; ubiquitous religious imagery; and a view of human sexuality as a mystifying, frightening possibility for an immature soul who has not yet experienced it. But while THE REFLECTING SKIN was ominously suggestive about the nature of evil in the human spirit–imagine “The Turn of the Screw” mixed with THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), with substantial debts to David Lynch and Peter Greenaway–THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON is a relatively simplistic tract about the anti-human nature of religion. The same general criticism applies to the entire production: every element seems a blander retread. The rural scenery–shot, surprisingly, in Germany–is lovely, but not so striking; Nick Bacat’s score, which includes two eerie songs, sung by PJ Harvey and Gavin Friday, is evocative, but not so spellbinding. Of course, it’s unfair to judge a work entirely in relation to another by the same filmmaker. On its own, THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON would seem an intriguing but overwrought effort by a talented filmmaker who needs to focus on his goals. Viewed in tandem with THE REFLECTING SKIN, it seems more likely that Ridley is mistakenly going in the opposite direction: he needs to give his imagination freer, rather than tighter, rein.’ — TV Guide



Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld Seinfeld (1997-1998)
‘Zabriskie may best be remembered as Mrs. Ross, a recurring character on the sitcom Seinfeld. She played the mother of another doomed daughter, Susan Ross — George Costanza’s fiancée — who died after licking cheap envelope adhesive when mailing out her wedding invitations. Zabriskie’s character’s husband on the series, who also appeared in a recurring role, was played by her former Twin Peaks co-star, Warren Frost.’ — peoplepill




Dominic Sena Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
‘Perfectly dreadful in every respect, this big-budget remake of the late H.B. Halicki’s 1974 indie hit may well rep the nadir of the Bruckheimer (and Simpson) franchise, and doesn’t even rate on the most basic level as a good car-chase picture.’ — Variety



Mark Anthony Galluzzo R.S.V.P. (2002)
‘An irreverent comedy romp, R.S.V.P. cleverly mixes the spirit of Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace with Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope. Set in the heart of sin city itself, Las Vegas, Nevada, R.S.V.P. follows a group of twenty-something’s on their last – and we do mean last – night of collegiate bliss. The film stars: Glenn Quinn, Jay Mewes, Rick Otto, Jonathan Banks, and Grace Zabriskie. At the West-Coast premiere, LA Times film critic, Kevin Thomas declared the film to be “Diabolically Clever!”, whilst others praised it as “An Art-House Scream.”’ — MABINOGI

the entirety


Takashi Shimizu The Grudge (2004)
‘Emma Williams is a character of The Grudge, portrayed by Grace Zabriskie. Emma is a dementia-ridden elderly woman, mother of Susan and Matthew and mother-in-law of Jennifer. Emma is disturbed by an unseen force, inhabitant of their newest house.’ — ju-on



David Lynch Inland Empire (2006)
‘Visitor #1 (Grace Zabriskie) is a mysterious figure who gives Nikki her first hints about the curse. The Visitor is first seen on the Lost Girl’s TV, on fast-forward, walking toward Nikki’s house. Shortly thereafter, these events play out.

‘The Visitor comes to Nikki’s house claiming to be a new neighbor who lives just down the street, in a brick house “tucked back in the small woods,” difficult to see from the road. The Visitor knows that Nikki is up for a new role, and asks if the film is about marriage. Nikki responds, “Perhaps in some ways.” The Visitor then asks if Nikki’s husband is involved. Nikki says he is not. The visitor then tells “an old tale” and “the variation.”

‘The Visitor asks Nikki if the film involves a murder. Nikki denies this, but the Visitor insists that the film involves a “brutal fucking murder.” Nikki, disturbed, asks the Visitor to leave. The Visitor good-naturedly replies: “I can’t seem to remember if it’s today, two days from now, or yesterday. I suppose if it was 9:45, I’d think it was after midnight. For instance, if today was tomorrow, you wouldn’t even remember that you owed on an unpaid bill. Actions do have consequences. And yet there is the magic. If it was tomorrow, you would be sitting over there…”

‘She then points her finger and seems to transport Nikki through time and space to the following day, when Nikki receives a phone call that she has been cast as Susan Blue.

‘Kingsley later references a “ninety-year-old niece” who has been fascinated by Smithy since the day the film went into production. She keeps asking who is playing Smithy in her “ancient foreign voice.” Given the Visitor’s knowledge that Piotrek would be involved in the film, it is possible that Kingsley is talking about the Visitor, who has a thick Polish accent.

‘Footage of Visitor #1 replays at the very end of the film after Nikki has broken the curse. She smiles at Nikki.’ — Inland Empire Wiki



Werner Herzog My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)
‘The first collaboration between legendary filmmakers David Lynch and Werner Herzog, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done was inspired by a true crime story of a young stage actor who, obsessed with a Greek tragedy he’s rehearsing, slays his own mother with a sword. Academy Award Nominees Michael Shannon, Chloë Sevigny, and Willem Dafoe headline this psychological thriller directed by Herzog, produced by Lynch, and featuring Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier, and Brad Dourif.’ — VVS F



Graham Streeter Blind Malice (2014)
‘Karen, a visually impaired teen (Angelina Prendergast) and her grandmother (Grace Zabriskie) make a routine visit to clean the family-owned rental property. But things become unsettling when Karen finds herself alone and childhood memories surface.’ — IMDb



David Lynch Twin Peaks: Season 3 (2017)
‘Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Grace Zabriskie as Sarah Palmer? Like SHE’S SO FRICKIN AWESOME. Her performance in the first episode is the essence of twin peaks. She captures the pain and devastation so well that it sets the tone for the entire show. Twin Peaks isn’t a show where you can gawk at suffering and misery like other TV. The pain is given a spotlight until you don’t know how to feel about partaking in watching it.’ — Barbricky





p.s. Hey. ** Nick Hudson, Hi, Nick! Wow, it sounds like your new locale is paying dividends (as they say, and whatever that means). You had me at daily micro-dosing. Novel! Wowzer! Anyway congrats, pal. I need to go look at pictures and read up on Georgia ‘cos I have no mental image other than a fair amount of generally nature-based beauty. New film: uh, it’s about a family that builds a haunted house attraction in their home and chaos ensues, in a nutshell. xo, me. ** CAUTIVOS, Hi. The main holiday effect in Paris other than the pretty lights and stuff is the city is really packed with tourists. Walking takes longer. Do you mean what French writers have I only discovered since living here and especially liked? Lots, I guess. I would say Edouard Leve maybe the most. Liliane Giraudon, Mathieu Lindon, … lots. I love Sebald. Not so interested in Ellroy. Can’t remember if I’ve read Offut. Warmth to you in return. ** Jack Skelley, Bon post-Xmas to you too, J-J. Did you ever see Old Skull? I saw them at the Whisky way back, but I don’t remember if you went too. ‘TMS’ is kind of Xmas-y in a way. So sorry about the ups and downs. Your head is a bitch! Looking forward to seeing you too (IRL), and figuring out when I will. Love, me. ** Misanthrope, I can imagine. I’ve never had a job where I had to be somewhere to do it. Well, except Beyond Baroque, but that was only once a week. Fly like an eagle or something of that nature. ** Thaddeus, Hey, Thaddeus! So fucking cool to see you here! How are you? You must’ve seen Old Skull live in their heyday? It would be so nice to see you in person again one of these days! ** malcolm, Awesome, glad they grabbed you. Your parents sound incredible, I must say. Mine were very not friendly to my artist dreams. My mother had wanted to be a concert pianist when young, but she gave it up, and I think she thought I should bite the bullet of normal life too. Oh, I’ll probably mention my birthday. I’m just not into this particular age that I’m about to become. It seems like it’s been ages since a new Todd Solondz film. Is he working on something? Do you know? I hope and trust you made it home okay. Wednesday’s yours. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. There was a kind of warmth and inter-scene friendliness in those days. I’m out of the scene, but I always hope that’s still the case. ** Nick., Hi, Nick! I’m glad you liked the post, cool. I have this weird allergy to fabrics and dyes, so I have to wear organic clothes, and I’m even kind of allergic to dark organic dyes, so I actually wear white or off-white clothes almost all the time. Well, not pants. I just have to wash my jeans tons of times when I buy them. So wearing white is second nature to me. I should think about what the effect of seeing me or, well, anyone wearing white clothes is. Maybe it radiates innocence? That would be nice. Your description of you could be a description of me. Except I have siblings, but I’m not close to them at least. High five. Monday’s a good favorite day. I’m guessing it’s most people’s least favorite day? Hm, well, I won’t say my favorite is Monday because you just did, so maybe … Tuesday because it seems like the most overlooked day or something. What are some of your favorite books and music, if you don’t mind saying? Oh, and where do you live? I hope your today felt like a Monday! ** Maya, Hi, Maya. Thank you! I’ll go read that Juxtapoz article. Thank you for thinking of me. How are you? ** jade, Hi, jade. I’m happy you liked the Skull. Nick does seem great, yes! Thank you again for introducing us. Oh, wow, I think I remember someone asking me to sign my book with eyeliner. So we’ve met at least briefly. I’m always really nervous and distracted when I’m doing public events. Being forcibly a center of attention is not my favorite thing. I liked your playlist! I actually knew some of the tracks, believe it or not. A couple of the imbeds were dead, I don’t know why. But, yeah, super happy to get to listen to all of it, maybe especially Yves Tumor, Boredoms, Merzbow, Melt Banana, Crystal Castles. But I liked everything. Thank you raising my stakes. When will the magazine come out? Let me/us know. Fun and fucked up and already hated are very good signs, yes! Congrats! I haven’t yet tried that secret route into z-Lib, but I will soon. I hope your … morning (?) is being great. ** T, Do spring the Skull on your students. And remember exactly what their facial expressions are. And tell me. So you went home for Xmas, or, wait, ‘home’. Then welcome ‘home’, or, wait, home. Oh, the legendary novel, of course! Excellent! The cannibalising effect is a good sign if my opinion has anything to do with the truth. Yes, there must be cool stuff for us to mutually investigate. Let’s sort it. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Yeah, sad story that didn’t seem like it would be at the beginning. But there you go. The buche eating was highly satisfactory. So you’re way, way down there. I hope you can find something or other outside that impacts. ** ShadeoutMapes, Hi. Cool, yeah, just send it anytime that’s convenient for you. I’m around. Well, thanks to copy-and-paste, your heart was easy. I really, really like the sound of that book you’re writing. Both the idea itself and the formal ideas too. The last film I made with Zac was about a boy who wanted to disappear and be forgotten, but, in our film’s case, he decided to explode himself. All of which is to say your idea is really exciting me. Wow. I really want to encourage you to write/finish that book because I’m really jonesing to read it. Really, it sounds completely original, and the stories/poems formal thing is enticing. Let me know how I can be a successful cheerleader, and I’ll do my best. I hope you get to hang out with your friend today. It’s morning here, and I will do my best to max out the remaining daylight hours. If you read this in the morning, you too. xo. ** Okay. The other day I thought about Grace Zabriskie for whatever reason, and I started wondering what her career as an actor was like outside of her Lynch appearances, and so I investigated, and, as I did, I made the post you see up above containing select examples from her overall oeuvre. So if you have ever been similarly curious about her, today’s got you covered. See you tomorrow.


  1. Dominik


    I don’t think I’ve ever associated Grace Zabriskie with anything other than Lynch and Gus Van Sant movies, so this post was full of news to me. Thank you!

    I wonder if it’d have a “butterfly effect” – if the millions of Aerosmith fans would be Old Skull fans instead. Maybe. Such sad lives, though. Love winning “Survivor” and donating his $1 million to your film, Od.

  2. _Black_Acrylic

    Interesting to see her other work, but Grace Zabriskie as Sarah Palmer is surely her definitive role. I still live in hope that there might one day be a 4th season of Twin Peaks.

  3. T. J.

    Wow, I did not know she was also a poet and visual artist. She also contributed voice work to Joe Frank’s radio dramas and was interviewed for a posthumous doc about Frank’s work that came out a few years ago.

    Thank you for recent yearly round up post. I was not familiar with Shit and Shine but I’ve been playing all their stuff at work & walks this last week.

    Been reading Robbe- Grillet’s Revolution in New York, some Paul Bowles short stories and Gary Indiana’s Fire Season.

    Last few films watched:
    Marco Bellocchio’s The Eyes the Face & A Leap into the Void
    Wiseman’s Missile & Belfast, Maine
    Wakamutsu’s Season of Terror & A Pool without Water.
    Ida Lupino’s Outrage
    Shin Godzilla ’16
    Chabrol’s Blood Relatives ’78
    Wender’s Until the end of the World

    Still looking for another job, writing and doing field recordings at toll job & editing with other stuff. Weird year. Hope your film project is progressing well and you have a great new years!

  4. Tosh Berman

    I like Grace Zabriskie’s sculptures. Here’s an idea for a future blog. Focusing on well-known actors who do the artwork. Off the top of my head, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, (I think) Bobby Driscoll, and then there was Tony Curtis, Vincent Price (he collected, but I think he did paintings as well), Dennis Hopper (of course), Frank Sinatra, and so forth. You can do music people as well, but I suspect those in the film or theater world do more interesting art, but I could be wrong.

  5. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Luckily, we’re allowed (fucking “allowed”; what has my life come to?!) to work from home until Jan. 23. Then, it’ll be back to one day a week in the office, four at home. Man, I hate to complain but that one day is a killer! Haha.

    Here’s what’s funny. We just had 2 1/2 years of fully remote work. Now we do the one day in the office thing. Well, they’re thinking about 100% remote again, but…BUT they have to do a pilot to see if it “works.” A 15-month pilot. We’re like, “Fuckers, you just had a 30-month pilot and it worked fucking great! What are you on about?” But that’s the guv’ment for you.

    Hmm, I can’t fly like an eagle because I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. 😀 😉 😛 But I’ll soar like a fucking SpaceX rocket. And then plop into the sea. Call me Icarus. Or not.

    I much prefer Stephen Dedalus.


    Hi Dennis. Great post, great actress. I have only read Offutt’s Father of the Pornographer and I still want to taste one of his books. What to say….? An excellent actress, she wowed me in Twin Peaks and the Inland Empire. I also really liked the one that she plays Carrie’s mother in the movie of the same name, she also fascinated me by Geena Rowland, Jeanne Moreau or Mia Wasikowska and a long etc. I don’t know if in Paris you celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men (I don’t really know how to express it) On January 6th when the Kings of the Orient bring gifts to children, and stuff like that. In short, I hope that at least you have a good coming year.

  7. Nick.

    Hi again! I love twin peaks so this is a real treat! I love Bob and Laura especially if that tells you a bit more about me. So happy to hear we’re similar I’ve thought that for awhile so it means a lot! I can’t believe you have to go through all of that for something as simple as clothing but maybe you’re supposed to be in white its a highly reflective color when worn so I’m sure its doing something for you! And I agree Tuesday is overlooked but good things tend to come on Tuesdays or maybe I just think that.

    For books I’ve been reading all of yours on and off so I’ll just say Guide, I wished and, frisk. For books you haven’t written Ive really enjoyed time and the art of living recently and books like the book of lies and things on magic and the occult really draw me in. I like zines like STH Straight to hell and stuff by Phil Andros just for a window into a different time!

  8. Nick.

    me again comment pt.2!

    Music well I like everything from fun bratty dance pop like Charli XCX and the moody somber emotional stuff like the velvet underground and Ethel Cain to nirvana and Arca and really crazy booming techno and electronic music for the clubs. I’ll put some of my current favs below for you to look at if you want! What are you listening to and reading currently and another question what’s a favorite cartoon of yours if you have one? Hope your well and my day did feel like a Monday I had a lot of fun yesterday!

    • Nick.

      and I live in NYC almost forgot!

  9. jade

    hi dennis! so cool to learn about grace zabriskie’s sculpture, i’m obsessed. it’s a little joseph cornelly to me actually, like the poise of how surreal it is. is that nuts? she’s sooo real to me also with how she goes about acting, the focus and dedication is insane. if my dad called me a little bastard actress as a kid i’d probably just hold a grudge and never do anything. but yeah oh my gosh meeting you was beyond lovely! i was really gawky/starstruck and you were amazingly chill and sweet to me, it was a very cool moment on my end. sorry the public stuff hasn’t been completely pleasant, you were beyond great from our side though if that means anything. very grateful you do these from time to time 🤍 i wish i still had that copy of closer, it was my favorite thing i owned for the longest while but a roommate threw it away with some of my other stuff. still pretty bummed about it honestly? so glad you liked the playlist, totally making my day 🤍 wait can i guess the tracks you know! the coil and peaches definitely, i’m thinking the japanese noise stuff too, and probably crystal castles and sophie? psyched that you liked the yves tumor song, that was my favorite album that year, and melt banana was a longtime fav too. what have you been listening to lately! and thanks i’m so flattered, i learned about boredoms and the bands in that circle from my friend dagan actually? he introduced to me your work also and taught how to ferret out all the fun off-kilter things, so most of the credit goes to him. maybe i can convince him to leave a comment sometime too if that wouldn’t be drawing too much of a crowd, he’s honestly the sweetest coolest most considerate guy i know and ik he’d love to speak to you. thanks too for the interest in the magazine, it’s coming out next month! i think it’s being printed now. i could drop a link if you or anyone’s into it at all? alan sondheim and bec lambert are in it too so it could be fun to peek at for nonsilly/self-promotiony reasons. not to make it seem like i’m above the impulse or smth though. thanks so much for the congratulations too, i’m trying to focus on dealing with the smelly energy without turning into a wonk. could you maybe talk a bit about what it was like when you first started publishing the ‘transgressive’ stuff? i’m really curious! my day was good, i hope yours is too. (also i might take a little break actually? my social battery’s running low and i feel like i’ve been taking up a lot of space, so i might be missing for a bit. thanks a ton for everything though, i’ve had so much fun 🤍)

  10. jade

    hi dennis! so cool to learn about grace zabriskie’s sculpture, i’m obsessed. it’s a little joseph cornelly to me actually, like the poise of how surreal it is. is that nuts? she’s sooo real to me also with how she goes about acting, the focus and dedication is insane. if my dad called me a little bastard actress as a kid i’d probably just hold a grudge and never do anything. but yeah oh my gosh meeting you was beyond lovely! i was really gawky/starstruck and you were amazingly chill and sweet to me, it was a very cool moment on my end. sorry the public stuff hasn’t been completely pleasant, you were beyond great from our side though if that means anything. very grateful you do these from time to time 🤍 i wish i still had that copy of closer, it was my favorite thing i owned for the longest while but a roommate threw it away with some of my other stuff. still pretty bummed about it honestly?

    • jade

      ughhhhhhh i did it again. i’m super sorry, promise i’ll get the hang of it soon!

  11. malcolm

    hey dennis –

    the latest solondz film has been in development hell for ages, originally penelope cruz and edgar ramírez were attached to star, but last year it was announced that she had dropped out and rachel weisz and colin ferrell would be starring instead. it’s called love child, it’s an oedipus story, he says it’ll be his “first movie with a plot”, which i think is funny to say. also his first movie to take place in texas. all this news came out in june 2021 i think and there’s been absolutely zero updates since then. whenever it comes out, i’m sure it’ll be great

    my parents are great, yeah. being a teenager kinda sucked – they weren’t expecting a gay atheist (they’re very catholic) – but things are better now that they can see i’m not some possessed satanist. they realize the importance of art and how it connects people. pretty much everyone on my dad’s side of the family is a musician, or a dancer, and there’s a lot of actors on my mom’s side. only a few of them do it full time. they want me to think realistically about money, “don’t quit your day job”, but fully support any creative endeavours. they don’t necessarily understand everything i want to do or am interested in, but they don’t active hate on it. i guess i do have it pretty good

    it’s funny, my mom is actually only really starting to take me seriously in the last few months. back in august she got kinda mad at me for “not actively working to achieve my career goals” or something like that. less than a week later knife play got accepted into the festival in paris. then it won top prize, now i’m about to shoot another film, etc… i keep her very updated on everything, maybe out of spite? anyways, it makes me wonder – did your mom’s thoughts on your writing change at all once you started seeing success? did she read your work? was there any big “i’m sorry, i was wrong” type moment?

    made it home safe, yes! writing to you from my bed, which i’ve missed. see you tomorrow

  12. l@rst

    Oh cool day D!

    Just finished re-watching the good parts of Twin Peaks with T who’d never seen it. Before it really jumps the shark after they solve the original case.

    Glad someone mentioned, Jack Skelley? The Last Estate blog, that’s been nice reading while I’m bored at work. The latest piece on Solenoid has me antsy to read it, lover of big books that I am.


  13. ShadeoutMapes

    Hi yes and very interesting post I loved Grace Zabriskie in Twin Peaks, especially the pilot episode her performance was haunting!!
    Somebody sent you a playlist with Crystal Castles?! Omg that’s amazing, anyone who listens to CC is divine in my eyes. Anyways, I am aware of that movie, and I’ve wanted to see it sometime because I really found it alluring. It sort of reminded me of this script I’m working on of this boy with deep religious trauma that he believes he can only prevail over his pain by becoming an angel (which eventually leads him to jumping off his apartment ledge and evidently killing himself)
    I have always been obsessed with wanting or chasing the irrational or rather the unobtainable desires of a traumatized mind. (And representing Christianity or and religious environment from a darker perspective as I feel there’s definitely a lot of fucked parts of the bible (Abrahms sacrificing Isaac id the most messed up one) that Christians defiantly just gloss over and even more horrifying worship (I told my mom one day that if “God” asked her to kill me would she do it and she said yes, lol fun times.)

    But yeah, sorry I got sidetracked lol, my friend got me a Joseph Gordan Levitt cake which almost made me cry it was so funny. Also, I sent the ending through a google doc to your email because I couldn’t think of another way you can read it whenever you want and thanks for wanting to!!!

    Oh… I left a note kind of in the email, but you don’t have to read that its more just kind of…a personal thanks or something??idk but if it seems boring you don’t have to read it!!

    ok bye!!

  14. Bill

    Funny, I was going “who’s this?”, then scrolled down to the films, ohhhh.

    I like the Hideouts. Nice.

    Well I spoke too soon about the cultural deserthood. This is very worthwhile:

    Other than the queer Asian art star standbys like Weerasethakul, Shu Lea Cheang and Ren Hang, there are some interesting pieces from artists I’m not familiar with. Most of the work was from the last 20 or so years (weird to include Eikoh Hosoe’s portrait of Mishima). Some nice video, including the hilarious 5 screen piece at the entrance from Sin Wai Kin, and this cute piece with some great costumes from the Shanghai drag/vogue scene:

    The venue had some merch from Pipilotti List in the shop, so it was funny to see some video pieces that seemed to be influenced by her work.



    The book is exactly titled: My Father The Pornographer (Chris Offutt

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