Thursday, 11 May 2017

RIP Michael Parks 1940-2017

Another fantastic actor who was part of the original Twin Peaks cast has joined the Black Lodge. The great Michael Parks died on Tuesday morning aged 77 and is survived by his wife Oriana and son, actor James Parks.

I remember seeing Michael Parks for the first time on screen in Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Til Dawn - his charisma and deliciously slow pace is electrifying to watch. Every second of his performance enthralled me and I chose to write an analysis essay whilst studying film at university on his scene.

 He had the most incredible on screen presence and his range of capabilities would see him play two completely different characters in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill film series - both a Mexican pimp and a Texan ranger. He came to be known as "the actors' actor" and was adored by directors such as Tarantino and Kevin Smith who would cast him time and time again.

"I loved his acting so much. He was, hands down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set." - Kevin Smith

In the world of Twin Peaks he is known for his chilling portrayal of character Jean Renault. The French Canadian drug lord had a charming, softly spoken disposition but was ruthless in his endeavours. It's hard to believe that such a sophisticated (if evil) man could be the brother of the seedy Jaques Renault!

I look forward to re-visiting some of my favourite Michael Parks films (From Dusk Til Dawn, Django Unchained and Kill Bill) over the coming days. He will live on forever in his on screen characters. RIP Michael.

"Before you came here, Twin Peaks was a simple place. My brothers sold drugs to truck-drivers and teenagers. One-Eyed Jack's welcomed curious tourists and businessmen. Quiet people lived quiet lives. Then a pretty girl dies. And you arrive. Everything changes. My brother Bernard is shot and left to die in the woods. A grieving father smothers my surviving brother with a pillow. Arson, kidnapping. More death and destruction. Suddenly the quiet people here are no longer quiet. Their simple dreams have become a nightmare. Maybe you brought the nightmare with you. And maybe, it will die with you." - Jean Renault.

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