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TWIN PEAKS


Ron Reed
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I was so wrong about Season 2. I was in the Season 2 = bad camp, but both seasons of this show are still better than (or at least on par with the best of) anything of the quality TV era. For example, one can see a pretty clear genetic link between TP and Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, particularly in the second season of TP. All of these shows use complicated shots, angles, and lighting to frame a following scene with psychological depth. It seems TP got here first, even though this kind of cinematography is touted as mark of our current era.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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5 minutes ago, M. Leary said:

I was so wrong about Season 2. I was in the Season 2 = bad camp, but both seasons of this show are still better than (or at least on par with the best of) anything of the quality TV era.

When I did my own re-watch about a month ago, I was surprised to discover that the worst bits of Season 2 are more or less clustered in a group of four or so episodes. And some of the most iconic TP stuff is actually early season 2.

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For example, one can see a pretty clear genetic link between TP and Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, particularly in the second season of TP. All of these shows use complicated shots, angles, and lighting to frame a following scene with psychological depth. It seems TP got here first, even though this kind of cinematography is touted as mark of our current era.

I've not watched enough of either of those shows, but this seems right. I'd say you can also see TP's fingerprints in shows like The Sopranos, to say nothing of more obviously-related series like--oh--anything by Bryan Fuller. 

Edited by NBooth
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22 hours ago, NBooth said:

I've not watched enough of either of those shows, but this seems right. I'd say you can also see TP's fingerprints in shows like The Sopranos, to say nothing of more obviously-related series like--oh--anything by Bryan Fuller. 

Amen. Not to mention that Duchovny's character is essentially the same in X-Files. Same diction and line reading. Same "I was an agent and had to do this thing and then ended up becoming that thing..." shtick.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Wow. The DV tones and palette feel much different, but yet so familiar.

This most recent link makes Fargo look pretty derivative by comparison.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

Aside from the brief Michael Cera cameo, this is magnificent. 

I'll admit to laughing at that scene, but it wasn't terribly in keeping with, well, anything around it.

I broke down and watched all four episodes last night and re-watched the first two this morning. There's just nothing quite like this. Lynch is in full post-Mulholland Drive mode here--there's very little that directly replicates the original tv show (even when lines are directly replicated). It's bigger (more settings, less time spent in Twin Peaks itself) and distinctly more melancholy, particularly in scenes involving actors who died during the production of the show. The fetishized markings of small-town life that gave the original a reputation for being "quirky" are nearly all gone, just as the music is nearly entirely replaced with the trademark Lynchian industrial hum.

And yet--weird and freaky as the show is--there's still that distinct Lynchian humanism, which sometimes gets forgotten in the midst of all the dancing little people and Frank Booth-style maniacs. Hawk, a beloved but secondary character in the original series, takes on a central role here (that's not a spoiler, right? Saying a character we knew was in it is important?). There's a lovely scene in the fourth episode involving two characters--one new, one returning--that made me grin at its simple good-naturedness. 

It's the central paradox of Lynch himself--not just the banal and the horrific existing side-by-side (as per DFW), but the beatific and the horrific co-existing in duality one with the other. I think of the last scenes of Blue Velvet--which I rewatched on Saturday--and the ways in which the conclusion can and has been read as ironic: the robin is fake, the shots recapitulate the opening montage, etc etc etc--but I'm not convinced Lynch is ironic, or at least in the way that would suggest that he doesn't believe in the robin. I mean, the choice of music over that last sequence in Blue Velvet certainly recontextualizes the fakeness of the opening view of Lumberton....

Back to Twin Peaks--Matt Zoller Seitz has argued that the emotions in the original series feel too raw, so raw that viewers want to take them ironically, but that Lynch manifestly doesn't. There's nothing quite so raw here, yet--nothing like Mrs. Palmer's meltdown in the pilot episode of the original series--but there is a fundamental decency about several characters--Hawk, Cole, etc etc etc--that stands out, I think, even more clearly against the nightmare turn the show has taken (and it is a nightmare turn--Lynch spends probably more time in the Black Lodge just in these four episodes than he spent in most of the original show's run). And that's fascinating to me.

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The weight of time is all over this series, not just in the weathered faces and voices of our beloved characters, but in the sense that the status quo of the world has changed, that things were lost that can't be recovered, and the darkness of the world remains as baffling and terrible as ever.

The moment where Badalamenti's "Laura" theme returns in its most prominent statement--for me, one of the most moving moments in these first four episodes--sums this all up. It's not empty fanservice, but a deep statement of loss, of the effects of entropy on communities and people.

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25 minutes ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

The moment where Badalamenti's "Laura" theme returns in its most prominent statement--for me, one of the most moving moments in these first four episodes--sums this all up. It's not empty fanservice, but a deep statement of loss, of the effects of entropy on communities and people.

That scene got me.

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That was quite affective. Also

Bobby crying when he sees Laura's photo

1 hour ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

The weight of time is all over this series, not just in the weathered faces and voices of our beloved characters, but in the sense that the status quo of the world has changed, that things were lost that can't be recovered, and the darkness of the world remains as baffling and terrible as ever.

There is something about myself being older as well. I can't quite lay a finger on it, but there is something richer or heavier about the series each time I watch it. I guess I bring more personal history to it, which sadly over the past decade has been marked by significant loss. I have always resisted indulging this kind of reader response, as it lacks much critical precision, but it is hard to resist.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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22 hours ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

Aside from the brief Michael Cera cameo, this is magnificent. 

I actually did not mind this at all, and was grateful for the comedy of it. Wally Brando. Come on, that's funny. What else could we expect as the son of Andy and Lucy? They have produced a wanderer. But a self-aware, respectful, winsome wanderer. I do like the way this scene underscores the lines of family and history in Twin Peaks. When Wally comes back to TP, I imagine he feels the same way as I do when I return to the church I grew up in.

20 hours ago, NBooth said:

Back to Twin Peaks--Matt Zoller Seitz has argued that the emotions in the original series feel too raw, so raw that viewers want to take them ironically, but that Lynch manifestly doesn't. There's nothing quite so raw here, yet--nothing like Mrs. Palmer's meltdown in the pilot episode of the original series--but there is a fundamental decency about several characters--Hawk, Cole, etc etc etc--that stands out, I think, even more clearly against the nightmare turn the show has taken (and it is a nightmare turn--Lynch spends probably more time in the Black Lodge just in these four episodes than he spent in most of the original show's run). And that's fascinating to me.

Yeah, I find MSZ's comments on TP really odd, considering he finds no irony in the very raw and melodramatic The Leftovers. If anything, everything in this season is far more restrained than the first two seasons. And in the first two seasons, the odd variety of emotional expression we see in characters is mostly a by product of poor scripting and directing. Ben Horne, for example, must be taken ironically in the second season, just because Frost began using him as comic relief.

In contrast, there is a very distinct turn toward comic relief in Season 3 (like Wild at Heart funny), but it does not feel ironic at all. It is cathartic.

We are essentially watching someone learn how to walk again. Who expected that Cooper, the person most in control during the Palmer investigation, would emerge from Black Lodge the 

least in control? This is not irony, it is just darn good storytelling and acting.

1 hour ago, Mr. Arkadin said:

The weight of time is all over this series, not just in the weathered faces and voices of our beloved characters, but in the sense that the status quo of the world has changed...

Andy and Lucy are lovely in this respect.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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That what - excuse me - a damn fine premiere.

My favourite moments were

 

when the show first returns to the Bang Bang Bar and James is looking towards Shelly and then Shelly says "James is still cool. He's

always been cool." to her friends. That just felt good somehow, seeing characters we left as high school students age and come back (and I found James totally annoying during the original run), but even that line sounds like some vague high school cliche. But my favourite fun scene was with Andy, Lucy, and Hawk looking at the evidence and wondering "Does the bunny have to do with my heritage?"

I watched Twin Peaks for the first time only about 4-5 years ago so it does feel nostalgic in some sense, but not nearly as nostalgic for those who watched it when it first appeared in 1990 (I was born that year, but before it premiered) or for those who perhaps watched it while in high school and who could connect with characters like James, Donna, Laura, Bobby, etc...in fact, since I didn't rewatch the original two seasons I had trouble remembering who was a returning character and who was new (e.g. Bobby).

Edited by winter shaker

He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

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On 5/23/2017 at 1:34 PM, rjkolb said:

Episode 4 is laugh out loud funny. 

Just rewatched it, and yes. I'm still not sold on Cera, entirely, but I veered wildly during that scene between laughing out loud and cringing, so I think it's doing something right.

The real scene-stealer, though, is Sonny Jim, whose wordless interactions with Coop are the highlight of the episode.

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This series would have grabbed me more, without the supernatural/horror elements--but it’s interesting how many actors were also in Star Trek shows and films…

Madchen Amick (Anya in “The Dauphin”)—Michael J. Anderson (Rumpelstiltskin)--Richard Beymer -- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) –Frank Collison --Cullen Douglas--Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3)–Patrick Fischler– Meg Foster (Jake Sisko’s “Muse”) - Hank Harris (Jack in “Carbon Creek”, ENT)-- Ashley Judd (Wesley Crusher’s first kiss)-- Robert Knepper (Wyatt, Troi’s fiance)—David Lander --Rob Mars -- Derek Mears --Wendy Robie –Brenda Strong --Carel Struycken (Lwaxana Troi’s valet, Mr. Homn) – John Savage (Capt. Ransom, VOY) – David Warner (Gorkon in ST3)--Ray Wise (Liko in “Who watches the watchers”)

[Shouldn’t this thread be in the TV section?]

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3 hours ago, phlox said:

This series would have grabbed me more, without the supernatural/horror elements--but it’s interesting how many actors were also in Star Trek shows and films…

Madchen Amick (Anya in “The Dauphin”)—Michael J. Anderson (Rumpelstiltskin)--Richard Beymer -- John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) –Frank Collison --Cullen Douglas--Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3)–Patrick Fischler– Meg Foster (Jake Sisko’s “Muse”) - Hank Harris (Jack in “Carbon Creek”, ENT)-- Ashley Judd (Wesley Crusher’s first kiss)-- Robert Knepper (Wyatt, Troi’s fiance)—David Lander --Rob Mars -- Derek Mears --Wendy Robie –Brenda Strong --Carel Struycken (Lwaxana Troi’s valet, Mr. Homn) – John Savage (Capt. Ransom, VOY) – David Warner (Gorkon in ST3)--Ray Wise (Liko in “Who watches the watchers”)

[Shouldn’t this thread be in the TV section?]

The supernatural/horror elements were - for me - what made Twin Peaks so memorable. I haven't been able to catch this 3rd season yet, but the original is still the most frightening thing I've ever seen; like the nightmare of a sensitive soul, or the fantasy of a perverse one. I know a lot of people remember it for the Log Lady or the damn fine cherry pie and coffee or the homespun, gosh-darn decent facade of small-town America, but for me it all resonates with an almost unbearable sadness. I suppose that's not too surprising if you consider the main storyline. I still love it though. Should probably rewatch to see how I feel about it eight years on from my initial viewing; I was a pretty sheltered and very young man the first time I saw it.

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2 hours ago, Anodos said:

 I know a lot of people remember it for the Log Lady or the damn fine cherry pie and coffee or the homespun, gosh-darn decent facade of small-town America, but for me it all resonates with an almost unbearable sadness. I suppose that's not too surprising if you consider the main storyline. 

Indeed, based on Fire Walk With Me, I would argue that the gosh-darn decent facade is only important insofar as you have the main storyline. The supernatural bits (if that's what they are) are interesting precisely insofar as they underline the essential horror of the Laura Palmer case. Indeed, BOB is at one point posited as "the evil that men do," and although on a strictly literal level he's more than that, he certainly isn't less than that. I would argue that the supernatural elements, however they function on a plot level, demand to be read metaphorically as, for instance, the seamy underside of small-town America, rather than literally (that is to say, Twin Peaks operates on a wholly different register than, say, The X-Files).

I've wondered about this going in TV as well, but since Lynch is apparently thinking of--and, more importantly, structuring--the new season like an 18-hour-long movie, I think a case could be made that this thread is now more properly situated in this forum.

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15 hours ago, Anodos said:

 Should probably rewatch to see how I feel about it eight years on from my initial viewing; I was a pretty sheltered and very young man the first time I saw it.

Please do! I have watched it several times since I watched the Bravo run as a teenager. Most of it ages very, very well (excepting the spotty bits in Season 2). But I keep coming back to it the same way I do the novels or theology texts I revisit as I get older. It is not that I find anything new; it is just good to treasure my connection to the work.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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phlox wrote:
: . . . Miguel  Ferrer (commanded the Excelsior, ST3) . . .

He didn't command it (that was Captain Stiles); he was the executive officer. :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Is there anything on television as striking as the shot of Dougie-Cooper shedding a single tear? I'm serious--MacLachlan's face, and particularly his eyes, held worlds of melancholy in that one scene.

I didn't catch this live last night, so I watched it this morning. Twice. Plotty things are starting to come together a bit, all tying back to Twin Peaks, ultimately. It feels like the show is starting to click into a long-term pace, which is good because--as much as I loved the first two episodes--eighteen hours of Black Lodge stuff would probably not be the best way to go.

The Return has ruined television for me, though; I'm three episodes behind on American Gods--a show that apparently only has eight episodes, anyway? So it's near the end. And I haven't watched more than two episodes of House of Cards. I just...I can't work up the interest. Not with Twin Peaks around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There were two shots in this last episode which I can't recall seeing elsewhere in Lynch:

A night shot, wide, of Albert in really heavy rainfall. Excepting a few points in

Inland Empire, Lynch does not film scenes with heavy rain.

A very Malick, wandering, POV, shot of Carl looking up at trees dappled by sunlight

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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