Thursday, May 08, 2014

Revisiting "Twin Peaks" and the riveting Pilot (David Lynch)

I gave in to a bit of temptation and rewatched the entire Pilot (90 min) of the 1990 mystery serial “Twin Peaks” by David Lynch.

(The full episode is no longer available. Here is a clip by David Lynch)

I have to say that it is still riveting.  The very opening scene shows a man, a logger (Jack Nance( leaving a rural house, with the words “Going fishing”, likely to be a question on Millionaire some day.  He finds the body of Laura Palmer(Sheyl Lee) washed up on a stony beach of a lake near the local sawmill.

The drama takes you from one place to the next, engaging every character, taking the time to dawdle on the details of the seedy underbelly of small town life, here set somewhere in Washington state. Lynch makes every character different (except that the sheriff and FBI agent are a bit similar, as the doppleganger idea will appear later), and loves to make minute details interesting, in a film neo-noir atmosphere that is both retrospective and brooding. 

Lynch uses some of his favorite actors, including  Kyle MacLachlin as the FBI agent Dale Cooper, who is introduced talking dictation as he drives and looks forward to the assignment, and Michael Ontkean as the young sheriff.

The actual peaks were apparently shot near Snowqualmie Pass on I-90, where I had an epiphany on a vacation on May, 1978, so the shot brings back old memories.

The music, typical of film noir, oscillates between lush romanticism (like a piano concerto slow movement) and brooding. The music was composed by Angelo Baldamenti, and a couple of songs are extracted, one of them called “Nightengale”.

The series gradually descends into weirdness and mystery, involving mystery wood spirtis, maybe UFOs, mystery visions and dopplegangers. Remember the episode that begins with “Warm milk?”

Wikipedia attribution link for the Snowqualmie.  

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