“Argu-ably the worst experience of his career”: these are the words of a Guardian film critic commenting on the prospect of the premier of Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. The film now ranks at number 28 in the British Film Institute’s list of the 5o Greatest Films of All Time. In fact, it’s the only film from this century that made it onto the list at all.
This is summative of Lynch’s career and the reason that we shouldn’t try and predict how the 3rd season of Twin Peaks will pan out. The meddling of AMC led to the rape and murder of Mulholland Drive as a TV show (how it was originally devised) and it’s only for the virtue of French company Studio Canal Plus that it was ever resurrected into a film. The sad state of the second season of HBO’s True Detective likewise was ensured by difficult policies. The President of Programming at HBO took responsibility for the show’s failure, acknowledging that he had rushed writer Nic Pizzolatto (who insisted in writing the entire thing by himself). Ridiculously, the 3rd season of Twin Peaks almost disappeared as well due to Showtime not allowing Lynch enough money to complete the script as he wanted. Thankfully, this was soon rectified.
David Lynch has one of the greatest portfolios of any artist working today, even though it contains a few misfires. This is to be accepted as necessary, as any experimental artist takes risks at his own expense. But, one of the most important things that Lynch does it to consider the viewer. You can cut scenes from his films and watch them as simple vignettes and still be completely wrapped up in the worlds he creates. This attention to the needs and wants of the viewer is one of the reasons that Lynch holds our attention – something many conceptual artists could learn from.
Twin Peaks was the turning point for the medium of television. What Lynch and Frost did was to approach it in the same way they would a film. The only difference was the increased scope for storytelling, character development and mystery. We love mystery – this is what so captivates us in the first Twin Peaks season – “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” And it’s one of the reasons people still rage over the meaning of Mulholland Drive.
If you haven’t yet seen the original 2 seasons, there’s still time. All you need to know is that everything from the Sopranos to American Horror Story was in spired by it. If you watched The Killing, you’ll notice that they paid homage to Twin Peaks through their tag line “Who Killed Rosie Larson?”. Twin Peaks is a lyrical amalgamation 0f mystery, mundanity, horror and psychotic laughs.
The series premiers on the 22nd of May at 2am on Sky Atlantic. It’s the most important cinematic experience of the year, so we think it’s worth staying up for. Here’s a trailer to wetten your appetite.