12.02.2007

Beautiful dreams and terrible nightmares: Return to "Twin Peaks"

Since returning from my trip to Nepal, I have been spending far too much time online. One would think that 12 days trekking in Himalayan countryside, far removed from commonplace technological contrivances of 21st century American life (television, Internet, telephones, etc), would at least somewhat lessen the dependency on my part, but no, rather the opposite.

So sometime in October after returning home, I was reading an article on Slate, most of the time I am very good at tuning out online advertising, but one particular ad did capture my attention... for the new, definitive box set of the television series Twin Peaks, which, possessed by an obscure compulsion, I promptly ordered from Amazon.

The series originally ran in 1990-91; at the time I was living in rural Vermont in a succession of not very appealing apartments; some of my colleagues at work considered "Northern Exposure" and "Twin Peaks" to be frighteningly realistic portrayals of rural life. This was also the pre-Internet, pre-DVR era so watching a series like Twin Peaks, which is extremely strange, convoluted and multi-layered without a wealth of online resources was a whole different experience than it is today. Now there are easily accessed resources online that explicate a lot of the nuances and hidden references involved in the story.

Anyway Vermont in November and December is almost laughably dark and gloomy -- David Lynch would probably appreciate the atmosphere, especially because the picturesque rural countryside sometimes conceals of stories of desperation and violence -- so I am watching the convoluted story of 'who killed Laura Palmer' unravel again. The story holds up pretty well though it's almost twenty years old and is definitely more intriguing than most things on contemporary television.

David Lynch is known for incorporating music into his work in very interesting and compelling ways and the opening of Twin Peaks is a particularly haunting credit sequence, the music and images work perfectly together:



As a final note, Amazon managed to ship me two copies of the DVD set, I am going to donate one to the Stowe Library, this will augment the already pretty interesting DVD collection (films by Pedro Almodovar, Spike Lee, etc.) there.

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