Revisiting the world of Twin Peaks some 15 or so years later, a few things stand out. Firstly there’s Angelo Badalamenti’s amazing score, jazzy foxtrot’s alternating with lush slightly hysterical hyper emotive keyboard runs. It’s an incredibly odd fit, yet one of those amazing examples of synchronicity. The other thing that strikes you, and it’s apparent in most of Lynch’ films, is how incredibly kitsch Lynch’ idea of teenage cool is. We’ve got leather jackets and Harley Davidson’s, a bikie gang who hang out drink beer and watch the impossibly angelic tones of Julie Cruise, we’ve got kids taking their dates out for pie. And on the other hand you’ve got sordid drugs, multiple murders, sexual assault and FBI agent Dale Cooper using dreams, visions, and the occasional spot of police work to track down the killer of Laura Palmer.
What you realise, once you get past the giant, the dancing midgets, the log lady, even Lynch himself as Cooper’ boss the impossibly deaf Gordon Cole, is how unpredictable the show was. In some senses it was the precursor to shows like Boston Legal or Buffy The Vampire Slayer, interested in pushing the boundaries of absurdity to near breaking point. One episode, and in particular the sequence where Laura’ cousin Maddy is murdered, that Lynch himself directs is like nothing that had appeared or has since appeared on television. Twin Peaks is often spoken about breaking television boundaries, and nowhere is it more apparent than here. Lynch’ ability to manipulate mood, from intense foreboding to incredible sorrow here is simply without peer. It’s a sorrow that isn’ tied up with the fate of an individual character, rather it’s this indescribable collective grief that seems to seep out into the scene, where for all the stupidity and humour of the show, or the experimental techniques he utilises, Twin Peaks could really connect emotionally too.
You can read the review for part 2 here.