Thursday, 21 July 2011

The owls are not what they seem

What is it about Twin Peaks that makes it seem like one long dream? First there's the bits that really are dreams, with giants and red rooms and backwards talking. But then the reality is just as strange. The town is 'a long way from everything else', surrounded by woods and mountains. It's as if, far away from the loud city, something else takes over. Where the Log Lady isn't entirely mad, and psychic visions can be held as evidence in a murder investigation. It's a surreal place, trapped in its own bubble of wrong. The music makes up half the effect. You can listen to this while you're doing anything to turn yourself Lynchian. The almost constant music can change an ordinary scene. It becomes hypnotic. And even without the beat it has a good variety of ominous humming. Everywhere is horrible and sinister with the right humming. This is what Lynch does so well - turn ordinary things deeply odd. The Sheriff says that there's a 'darkness' in Twin Peaks, 'something very, very strange in these old woods.' The back-end of the dream is the nightmare, and that's where Lynch comes in. You can spot the episodes that he directed. The ones that build to a crescendo of surreal horror. Broken records and lots of screaming.

By way of explaining what we're about to do, I am first going to tell you a little bit about the country called Tibet.

Twin Peaks becomes a necessity. The sort of story where it's always 'one more episode'. It was probably too strange to live. There's no easy way to describe it. It doesn't fit with anything else on television. I've never seen anything else that can mix casual drama with all this darkness and insanity. It tries everything at once. It's remarkable. And really, Agent Cooper could investigate anything and I'd watch it. 


  1. Well you've convinced me to give this series a try. I've never been a TV fan but this seems like something worth checking out.
    I also liked your observations on Lynch, you're right, many fo his films are made up of ordinary scenes that are deeply odd somehow...

    Anyway, nice post.

  2. I think you'll love it. It's a rare TV show that can seep into your consciousness. Although, that might be just me.

  3. Well put, "trapped in its own bubble of wrong". I rewatched Twin Peaks on dvd in the spring,the early episodes are definitely the strongest, and enjoyed the atmosphere again. On 2nd viewing, it struck me how funny the show actually is (I'll be sharing some screensnaps later). Yes,the music is so hypnotic! Angelo Badalamenti is one of my favourite soundtrack composers ( : I especially like the tracks sung by Julee Cruise.

  4. Where are you? You haven't posted in a long time! Come back!

  5. I love Twin Peaks, and it's always great to read posts spotlighting it. Nice work.