Viewers tuning in to the new season of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks will find a show that is operating in a different manner to the one which last graced our screens over twenty-five years ago. In part, this is because Lynch, who directs every minute of the new 18-episode run, has evolved in the intervening years. There are plenty of familiar faces, sure, but the tone has shifted – it’s even stranger, more audacious in its surrealism, and more prone to wandering digressions and bouts of sonic savagery. It’s unlike anything else on television.
Fans who have followed David Lynch through his album releases, web-projects and film projects such as Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and, especially, INLAND EMPIRE, will find this new work easier to parse. Like INLAND EMPIRE, Twin Peaks Version 2.0 is, so far at least, not as concerned with orientating viewers within a narrative, as it is in using digital distortions and uncompromising soundscapes to conjure new, previously uncharted instances or terror and confusion – forcing the audience to submit to a different, pulsating form of Lynchian logic. Released in 2006, INLAND EMPIRE’s commercial failure instigated a decade-long retreat from mainstream moving image work that the director is only now returning from.
Lynch-favourite, Laura Dern has starred in as many of the director’s projects as ‘Peaks star Kyle Maclachlan, and, where Maclachlan’s Agent Cooper provides a centring presence in the television series, Dern’s out-of-favour actress similarly offers us something of to grab onto amidst the deranged, whirling nightmares that constitute INLAND EMPIRE. The three-hour surrealist-epic sees her character morph and oscillate between the filthy streets and secluded compounds of Tinseltown, whilst taking the scenic routes through the Polish underworld and a sitcom starring…rabbits(?). Not widely lauded upon release, time has seen appreciation grow, and the film is now more justly appreciated, as a monumental and singular culmination of a career-long dive beneath the warped artifice of American society.
It’s clear that with the return of Twin Peaks, David Lynch is drawing and expanding upon his late-career work as much as he is building upon the original, more narratively conventional series. This HOME screening allows fans to connect the dots, and revisit a defining work from one of cinema’s masters.
Presented by culture magazine, The Skinny, the HOME screening will feature an introduction by local film writers Jamie Dunn (The Skinny, Film Editor) and Tom Grieve (Creative Tourist, Cinema Editor).