'Twin Peaks' revives mystery 27 years after debut

Pauline Gross
May 20, 2017

Its central mystery, "who killed Laura Palmer?" became pop culture shorthand to identify a certain brand of smart, cool TV viewer.

In this intriguing documentary about reticent auteur David Lynch, we are treated to multiple shots of the director, painter and photographer, now 71, sitting in a chair in his cluttered workshop.

DAVID NEVINS: I think that the version of "Twin Peaks" you're going to see is the pure heroine version of David Lynch. Here's a new promo video for "Twin Peaks" that mashes together the morning routines of Agent Cooper and Dexter Morgan.

Fans of the show are eagerly counting down the days, while people who have never seen the show are gaining interest as the new series gets closer.

I want cherry pie and some damn good coffee. Really, if I'm looking exclusively for a formless reflection of life, I can just turn off the TV or close the book. "But I always let it play, because it does a magical and flawless job of establishing the set dressing of this place". At times, the show played like a mood poem, particularly with the haunting soundtrack from Angelo Badalamenti. The burgeoning composer started scoring low-budget films in the 1970s as "Andy Badale".

I'm delighted it's back after 25 years and can hardly wait to see what the new season has to offer. But when the film earned rave reviews at the 1986 Toronto Film Festival, DEG committed to a full-fledged art house release, and the film became a word-of-mouth sensation. I could talk about Transcendental Meditation! I need to feel that the storyteller is in charge throughout, that everything I'm seeing is there for a reason - as it most certainly was in "Breaking Bad", for instance, and as it most certainly wasn't in "The X-Files". It is simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious, something very few writer/directors can pull off like Lynch can.

Twin Peaks is quintessential Lynch: a soap-opera murder mystery that jumps from slapstick comedy to surreal nightmare to teen drama.

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Among 217 listed cast members, fellow returnees also include Richard Beymer, David Duchovny, Sherilyn Fenn, David Patrick Kelly, PeFggy Lipton, Harry Dean Stanton and Grace Zabriskie. Sadness, passion, tenderness - and violence.

Cable hadn't yet usurped network TV in the early '90s when David Lynch unleashed his mad fever-dream of a series, about an FBI investigation into the murder of a prom-queen named Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), found dead by a river, wrapped in plastic. We're in a dark wood. There are sycamore trees that are gently swaying in the soft wind.

"I'm going to give it a chance. She appears and she starts walking, very slowly, with tears in her eyes, towards the camera".

Lynch came from the kind of childhood invariably described as "Norman Rockwell-esque"; he and his two siblings had parents who, as he puts it, "got along like Ike and Mike". I have said it's nearly as if Twin Peaks never stopped.

Sightseers view Snoqualmie Falls, adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa which is featured as The Great Northern Hotel in the opening sequence of the "Twin Peaks" series, in Snoqualmie, Washington, April 28, 2017. Let us know by commenting below.

There is an argument to be made that attempts at this kind of dot-connecting are facile, or that efforts to get inside Lynch's head are both futile and unnecessary.

For those people, who have long wondered how anyone could create the dreamlike and often terrifying images in films such as Mulholland Dr. and Blue Velvet, just watching Lynch ponder, wreathed in smoke, is a window into his process. The buildup has been big, with the "Twin Peaks" cast filling magazine covers and the revival sparking renewed interest in the original series. Not friendly, smiley Dale Cooper, who gathers valuable information by making pals rather than belittling people, and whose oddball habits - his interest in Tibetan meditation, his Dictaphone chitchat - are charming quirks rather than gloomy affectations.

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