Thursday, May 18, 2017

Twin Peaks (1990)


When people talk about Twin Peaks they tend to talk about giants and little men who talk backwards. They talk about the Black Lodge and Owl Cave. And while all of those elements are very much part of Twin Peaks, they are not part of the pilot. Things don't start getting dreamy until episode three. But that doesn't make the first episodes any less Lynch.

What struck me on this rewatch was how reliant this pilot was on mood and inference. Right from that first close-up of the Palmer's ceiling fan. You can imagine executives imploring David Lynch to cut it out and keep things moving, but thank God he didn't. Things like that fan and the swaying traffic light are laying the groundwork for where things are going. They are the "acceptable strangeness" that will prepare us for the truly dark places we are going to eventually find ourselves in. Just as Sarah Palmer and Donna Hayward are able to infer Laura's death before they are explicitly told, we too are able to read the signs and glean the greater significance of what is afoot under the small town surface.

In this pilot, David Lynch is giving us the keys to unlocking his and Mark Frost's weird little world. I can't wait to open that door again.

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