In 1990, the appearance of Twin Peaks on ABC created the event. It must be remembered that at the time the TV series was still a largely formatted product, family and consumer use. Twin Peaks , we had literally never seen it on television, and with Lynch, it was daring, freedom, imagination, darkness and aesthetic concerns of the best movies of American author who ripped through the small window and every household in America – a revolution that had very nearly nipped in the bud by the fearful pundits ABC. Like many series, Twin Peaks comes from television, specifically the detective series (who killed who?) And soap opera (who sleeps with whom? Deceives whom? Loves that ?), but it also comes from the best cinema. The movie matrix Twin Peaks could be The Shadow of a Doubt . The Alfred Hitchcock film shares with series figures of criminal fathers and the portrait of a small town tinting black idyllic paintings of Norman Rockwell. Monstrous fathers, landscapes and interiors evoke the mountain as Shining Stanley Kubrick movie implicitly called by the series through some hotels and hostels decorations (wood, chandeliers, Indian elements …) and explicitly by a character who gets a laugh in the first episode Nicholson’s mantra: “ All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” (“All work and no distractions make Jack boring “child)
Read also.: 25 years later, Twin Peaks returns
Make explode codes
The screenplay central argument of the series is of course the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer, and the ensuing investigation. But the further along in the series, the more one is supposed to increase by index index in solving the puzzle, and we get lost in this survey, the more one realizes that it is just a McGuffin , bait, lure, and that the real project of Lynch and Frost to portray a village, singular characters, a strange and malaisante atmosphere. All the usual codes of the police investigation are sprayed. Agent Dale Cooper is not progressing in his work by Cartesian reasoning but shots of dreams and visions. The survey itself does not move quickly, do not hold the viewer in suspense every minute since the fabric of this fiction is largely torn slow and meticulous painting of a large number of city residents .
The usually effective drama series is here pierced by silences, digressions, moments of pure poetry or humor very special. Twin Peaks is more exploration of a world (which is as much a small mountain town that imaginative brain of David Lynch) than a traditional police investigation. This is a dive into the highly personal fantasy of an artist who is extremely rare on television. Most high school students Twin Peaks , although holders of a singular personality, roughly correspond to standards. The rest of the Agent Dale Cooper is afflicted with strange quirks, such as compulsive recording his actions in voice recorder, the idea of obeying the logic of his dreams, a mixture of extreme professionalism and amateurism. As if Cooper was both a zealous servant and an artist. The idiosyncrasies of the characters borders on pure baroque and even madness with the woman at the log, Nadine, hysterical wife attendant, or characters from the other world (Bob, the dwarf speaking backwards) .
An object of staging
Today, most American series refine their staging, their aesthetics, seeking formal discoveries . In 1990, the formalist concern was new to television. Lynch and Frost depict Twin Peaks with all possible means of cinema: use of the entire range of scales of plans, alternate plans laid and camera range, care of visual detail, masterly use sound and music resources. For the first time on television, a series of emotion conveyed (suspense, anxiety, poetry …) by the staging rather than simply screenplay ankle. Ultimately, Twin Peaks , is just that, an object of setting all-powerful scene. We should also remember that Twin Peaks is a serialized series (whose episodes follow), which was rare in prime time. This is probably what explains that the series has collapsed in Audimat during the second season. The majority of American viewers was clearly not ready for a narrative extension. Accustomed to a dominant narrative mode where investigations where the puzzles, where we discover the perpetrators and where murderers are punished is revealed is solved, the American public has grown tired of investigation endless uncertainty too long of a work that is more concerned with conveying shapes and emotions as complete a classic tale of cause and effect. Twin Peaks is the series at the end the most uncertain, open, unfinished story. Reason enough but not unique to it remains a UFO in the history of television.
The ins and outs of this UFO be summed up in one name: Lynch. Twin Peaks has announced Lynch and Lynch. Laura Palmer is not it a resurgence of the character of college girl Laura Dern in Blue Velvet ? And announced both his film recreating the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and other women in trouble in Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire . The dwarf and the other world evoke both the wife of radiator Eraserhead or Elephant Man , previous work Twin Peaks , that Figures demiurges unhealthy shade spotted later in Lost Highway Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire . The strange world, to the pastoral and industrial time in the series, refers both to the biography of the filmmaker (born in Montana, a student at Philadelphia) at the small town of Blue Velvet or landscapes and rural character of a true story. Problematic fathers Twin Peaks or sex as a source of all artifacts are found throughout his films, but also paintings and photos. At the heart of the work of Lynch, the series Twin Peaks offers both a concentrate and a proliferation of its superbly anxiety universe, this mirror America passed (barely) and deforming terrain all fantasies.
series (2 seasons) created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Available on DVD
From our Special Edition Special “120 series indispensable”, available here.