Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fire Walk With Me

  

It was the hypnotizing echo of The Knife's live recording of Heartbeats which first peaked my interest in early nineties murder mystery television show, Twin Peaks. My favorite mask-bearing Swedish electronic band seemed to be living vicariously through the two and half minute intro I had once accidently viewed on YouTube. It is no coincidence that the two are reminiscent of each other - David Lynch, acclaimed creator of TP, known for his surreal film making and perfectly stylized disarray of silver hair has been listed by The Knife as an inspiration to their pursuit of a dramatic audio-visual experience. This correlation reminded me that I had also heard of Twin Peaks through my brother, Bud. He had recently gotten "young David Lynch" as his celebrity look alike. Because Bud always has good taste in music but bad taste in television shows, it took me awhile to put two and two together. Finally, about three weeks ago my boyfriend and I borrowed a friend's copy of Twin Peaks: The First Season. I was immediately enthralled. Twin Peaks follows the murder investigation of beautiful but troubled high schooler, Laura Palmer. Naturally, all the townspeople are shaken by the tragedy, unsure who among them has killed the mysterious teen.  The dashing and well-mannered Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks; In order to solve the crime, he must rely on his keen intuition, hauntingly accurate dreams, and the townspeople's testimonies.  
Angelo Badalamenti's moody instrumentals and jazzy thumb snaps float in the background like lingering phantoms humming along to each passing moment. I appreciate the characters for their aura of believability. Each seems to stay true to their unique part, humbled by the murder while also burdened by it. The settings are very well thought out with quirky details such as the tribal murals in the Great Northern Hotel and the Hawaiian theme of Dr. Jacoby's office.  If a viewer longs for slap stick sitcom comedy then the subtly of Lynch's humor will undoubtedly go unnoticed, as it is often the likes of artfully arranged donuts, spontaneous dancing (i promise its not what you think), and Agent Cooper's bed head which make me chuckle. I usually hate eighties fashion too, but each character's costume catches my eye; Ben Horne's polka dot ties, Dr. Jacoby's red and blue sunglasses, Nadine's Bowie inspired eye patch, and Maddy's hipster glasses replace the past era's  scrunchies and shoulder pads. Of course, we ogle over Audrey's classic movie star looks, sultry demeanor, and scarlet lips. The show is definitely quirky, but sadly Season Two loses its intimacy and quietude which I savor in Season One. 


   
 
This is one of my favorite scenes called "Audrey's Dance." I think it really captures the essence of Twin Peaks and David Lynch's dreamy audio-visual experience.