As a young teenager who was already movie obsessed but just beginning to think seriously about making them, two separate events occurred that changed everything for me. The first was seeing True Stories. The second was Twin Peaks.
I happened to read an article in the Rocky Mountain News about an “offbeat” new series due to premiere on ABC. The article said its creator was David Lynch, a film director who for some reason had decided to make a TV show. I was 14 and only vaguely knew who he was. It sounded interesting though so I tuned in. In the first few moments of the show a deputy kneels before a corpse, steadiest his camera to take photos of the crime scene, and then begins to weep. With crystal clarity I remember the exact moment when, soon to be deliciously repeated throughout the series, and many times thereafter as I steadily made my way through his oeuvre, I first experienced that uniquely Lynchian type of dislocation, the disquieting yet thrilling realization that all the usual bits of context one uses to guide oneself through a narrative are suddenly useless, and all at once you’re not quite sure where the hell you are or how the hell you got there. A deputy kneels before a corpse, steadiest his camera to take photos of the crime scene, and then begins to weep.
Twin Peaks has been a creative gateway to so many wonderful things that I’m hesitant to single any out. David Lynch, jazz, coffee, Preston Sturges, and Barry Gifford are just a few. And Laura Palmer’s diary inspired me to start my own. 55 notebooks later, it’s still going strong. (Annoyingly though, I stopped keeping a diary for an eight-month period between 1992 and 1993, which just happened to coincide with the original theatrical release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.)
It’s still hard for me to believe that in a few short hours I’ll be watching new episodes. So what are my expectations? Honestly, I am thrilled to go wherever David Lynch and Mark Frost may lead us. I just basically trust that they know what they’re doing. To me, Twin Peaks has always been more about a place and a mood than a storyline or a narrative destination. Let’s rock.