Twin Peaks: The Return Screen 95 of 25 reviews

Twin Peaks: The Return

2017

Twin Peaks: The Return Poster
  • [Becky and Steve] lurch from quarrel to reconciliation to quarrel to reconciliation until Lynch suddenly fixes his camera just above Seyfried’s radiant upturned face as she speeds along in a convertible, the air and the light illuminating her delirious accepting smile. The shot goes on for a ridiculously long time, its beauty deliberately exceeding any narrative plausibility or function. These are the splendors that make Twin Peaks: The Return worth watching.

  • It may be the crowning achievement to Lynch’s career, an expectation-shattering masterpiece that both breaks new ground and grounds itself firmly within Lynch’s cannon, revisiting (and elaborating upon) many of his past obsessions, tropes and bugaboos. Though he has called the program an eighteen-hour film, there is true delight in receiving the program in weekly installments, like opening a fortune cookie filled with a Möbius strip of familiar, yet uncanny images, words, sounds and songs.

  • The entire sequence is “Twin Peaks” in microcosm, a gradual shift from the (relatively) ordinary to the abstract, as circumstances escalate from the dramatic to the dark and inexplicable. Just when you think you have a handle on where it’s going — say, a commentary on Twin Peaks’s younger generation and the mistakes bequeathed to them by birthright — Lynch hits you with something unexpected, a reminder that his internal logic dictates where [it's] going. We can only chase breathlessly behind.

  • It impresses upon me how very powerful a factor in this medium is faith. Art in which you have faith can do extraordinary things that other art cannot. Many a great religious artist has understood this, and I suppose the Marvel people do too. When you have already banked your audience’s spiritual fealty before they walk in the door, merely by sharing their belief as you create, you can navigate a path to their euphoria. So it has been for me and Twin Peaks so far.

  • My first remark after watching the first two episodes was that I’d never seen anything that seemed to so fully and innately understand what it feels like to be living in 2017 and, even more so, how it feels to live in 2017 compared to how it felt to live in 1990. It’s embedded in so many of the elements of the show, the most monumental being the image.

  • The sense of dread that the show creates settles in after each episode is over, and the credits roll over some indie band playing a slow song (please bring back Julee Cruise or even Chris Isaak). These interludes provide a contemplative break in this enigmatic anti-cliffhanger’s narrative of violence.

  • It works in a much different register, relying on something closer to the expressionism of silent cinema, when acting was largely gestural. In fact, much of Twin Peaks plays like silent film, or film whose only sound is music and noise, as there are long stretches that feature either no dialogue or only intermittent words, such as the opening of part 3 featuring Cooper and Naido, the eyeless woman.

  • It has been odd, though, to apply the now-well-established tactics of the TV “recap” to a show as sublime as Twin Peaks. Lynch and Frost have taken astonishing advantage of the money and creative freedom that premium cable television allows to make a daring, complex piece that, when all is said and done, will be ranked alongside Lynch’s masterpieces Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr. These 18 hours of TV will be studied and unpacked for decades to come.

  • After, perhaps, the most quintessentially "Twin Peaks'y" episode of the reboot thus far (i.e., the episode most reminiscent of the original series and its "quirky" charms), the new one might be the most radical hour of American TV ever, and, really, as radical as anything Lynch has done in any medium. It's also, I think, the most legibly "religious"--Christian and otherwise--thing Lynch has made to date.

  • The eighth episode is one of the greatest hours of television I’ve ever seen: horrifying, horrifyingly beautiful, thought-provoking and thought-annihilating; a work that owes as much to expressionistic and surreal painting, musical performance, and installation art as it does to narrative and experimental cinema.

  • One of the most viscerally intense viewing experiences at Cannes this year, and will probably go down as the first truly avant-garde work of the putative “golden age” of US television we are presently living through.

  • It would require a doctoral thesis to concoct a coherent theory regarding the deep intellectual structure and symbolism of the new Twin Peaks, and I am sure that there are numerous academics already hard at work on the task. There are early indications this series could prove to be David Lynch’s masterwork, and one reason for this is Lynch’s commitment to operating in the register of atmospherics and affect rather than plot.

  • Watts isn’t just excelling in her task playing straight woman to a candy-colored clown. Her performance creates an entire context for what the Joneses’ marriage was like before Dale Cooper was reborn in Dougie’s body, and the mix of irritation, heartbreak, indifference, and devotion she’s shown in the face of her husband’s bizarre condition feels a lot like the texture of real, everyday monogamy.

  • There’ll be no network interference this time, no second-string writers and directors watering down the coffee. This is the strong stuff, served black as midnight on a moonless night. Pure Lynch – with just a touch of Frost... Predictably, The Return refuses to deliver the cosy pleasures some old-school fans might’ve been hoping for – this is an altogether shiftier beast, haunting and beautiful when it wants to be; ugly and aggressively off-putting when it doesn’t

  • The first two hours of The Return, seen on the huge screen of the Grand Theatre Lumiere, were so singular, so uncompromising, so transporting that they dwarfed everything else in Cannes.

  • When I got to the end of the second episode, disappointed, I nonetheless knew I’d keep watching because flickers of inspiration suggested that Lynch, the great Lynch, could make his own return. And now he has. It’s not an unequivocal return; the plot sprawl of the series, as well as the sheer cussedness of Lynch’s hermetic fantasies, still clots plenty of screen time, and the return of Lynch at his best is only intermittent—but it’s ample and grand.

  • The first two episodes are, from the get-go, emotionally severe and narratively oblique, akin to if Berlin Alexanderplatz had put its fever-dream epilogue right up front; there’s a strong sense that Lynch is weeding out the weaklings... Having to answer to no one, Lynch drags TV away from dialogue and into gallery-land: each room and space has been exquisitely color-graded, each signature ominous room tone/bass rumble personally sound-designed by Lynch himself.

  • At the moment what has me hooked is the adventures of the two Agent Dale Coopers, one a long-haired, permatanned outlaw, possessed by the spirit BOB (it seems), the other a total amnesiac wandering Las Vegas, unable to figure out his purpose in life or even how to go to the bathroom. This gives Kyle McLachlan plenty to do, which is great news.

  • What we have here is an auteur who plays not with but _to_ critics. Lynch teases, he tickles, withholds relief and escape. He also holds out comfort in symbols and puns. He’s a lot like the other David, that is to say Cronenberg, in his twisted devotion to genre, his habit of making actors talk like they’re saying lines from other, lesser movies, like B-movies, and his hokey, dated special effects, stopping shy of “movie magic” and leaving spells broken, lying around.

  • ...If the early parts of a movie or television show (especially something as auteur-driven as this one) give us a sense of how to watch it as a whole, then this is likely the new Twin Peaks's key sequence: Watch. Wait. Something may occur. Or it may not. Learn to live with the duration, with the beautiful monotony. Impatience, boredom, irritation, agitation (all very grounding human emotions) segue into a more transcendental state of mind.

  • Cooper—with his boy scout values, his love of coffee, and his enthusiastic interest in dreams and meditation—is an alter ego for Lynch. I am not trying to offer a solution here. To think of a Lynch work as a puzzle to be solved is to miss the point...There is an air of mortality, but not finality. What we’ve seen so far is as true a work of art for TV as anything. But am I the only one who... found himself alternately grateful to Lynch and Mark Frost and kind of worried about Lynch’s health?

  • Just like that gum you like, Twin Peaks is back in style. And that style is unadulterated, late-period David Lynch. Sometimes it's the casting of seemingly minor parts, sometimes just a bit of stray imagery, but Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost somehow manage to evoke moments from Lost Highway and, in particular, Mulholland Drive at least as often as they do the original TV series.

  • Although the original series initially captured viewers with what seemed like a relatively linear murder mystery, Twin Peaks: The Return suffuses itself almost entirely in the mind-bending supernatural symbolism that later defined it... A better way of understanding [Twin Peaks], perhaps, is not just to look at what happens in them, but at how they make you feel, and how those feelings connect to one another

  • These images of Coulson transcend anything from Lynch’s imagination because they assert the humanity and fragility that he is often trying to skirt or avoid or laugh at. This is a new hard and cold modern Twin Peaks without much humor or eroticism but lots of sleek fear and dread. It feels as if Lynch is like the punishing God of the Old Testament here, exercising his spleen and wrath and indulging only a distant and aesthetic curiosity about people.

  • I wish I could be interested in Lynch’s fiddling with CGI, his overworking of his actors’ glottal stops, and his evocation of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the symptomology of Alzheimer’s disease, and, more generally, castration anxiety. But I’m not.

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