Catherine E. Coulson began her professional association with director David Lynch when she worked as assistant director on Lynch's legendary feature debut Eraserhead (1977). This is when the two began discussing the idea of a woman who carried a log around with her. Coulson spent much of her career working behind-the-scenes before finally bringing the Log Lady to life on Lynch's [and Mark Frost's] cult TV series Twin Peaks (1990). The Log Lady was one of the most puzzling and emblematic of the show's characters, and she has ensured Coulson a permanent place in the hearts of cult TV fans.
Log Lady (and Bob Dylan) photo-tribute.
Recently saw David Lynch's short film The Amputee (1974). A rather self-absorbed woman, played by Coulson, writes an overwrought letter about a lover or ex-lover. She is in a hospital and missing both legs--the letter has nothing to do with this, she writes as if she had never been injured. A doctor or medical technician enters the room and begins fussing with the surgical dressing on one of her stumps. The routine procedure goes horribly wrong, and as blood (or some kind of blood-like fluid) spurts out Coulson continues calmly writing and reading the letter aloud (in voiceover). Then the entire scene repeats. The whole thing is shot with grainy video stock. The body horror and obsession with texture is classically Lynchian, but Coulson's "Virginia Woolf in existential hell" narration puts it over the top. Unlike Woolf her recounting of the minutiae of relationships eludes our attention, partly because it is so banal but partly because the gore makes it impossible to focus on what she is saying.