Back in October, we were obviously thrilled that, just as Laura Palmer had predicted, Twin Peaks would be returning in 2016, 25 years after its brief but historic run on ABC. Last night, David Lynch posted a series of upsetting tweets:
Dear Twitter Friends, Showtime did not pull the plug on Twin Peaks. After 1 year and 4 months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done. This weekend I started to call actors to let them know I would not be directing. Twin Peaks may still be very much alive at Showtime. I love the world of Twin Peaks and wish things could have worked out differently.
As Margaret Hartmann notes at Vulture, “Lynch had reportedly already written the scripts with co-creator Mark Frost, and was set to direct the entire run” of nine episodes. And Showtime has responded:
We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. Showtime also loves the world of Twin Peaks and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.
So Showtime’s door is still open but Lynch, in his very public (and rather showy) announcement, sounds like he’s made up his mind. On the one hand, we have to wonder, Is Twin Peaks really Twin Peaks without David Lynch? And on the other, we have to keep in mind that he’s already put his stamp on the scripts—and that he actually only directed two of the eight episodes of the series’ first season and four of the 22 episodes of the second. Still, back on the other hand, we’d like to know that he’s hovering around the set, making his presence felt.
At any rate, it just so happens that BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a half-hour special today in which Danny Leigh examines how Twin Peaks became “one of the most influential and innovative programs in television history.” For those in the UK, it airs at 4 pm and will be available afterwards online.
Meantime, David Lynch: The Unified Field, the recent exhibition at the the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, has sparked a conversation in BOMB between filmmaker and multimedia artist Coleen Fitzgibbon and critic William J. Simmons, who asserts: “Despite Lynch’s insistence to the contrary, it seems to me that his work is intensely aware of art history. I see Kiki Smith, Man Ray, Georges Bataille, Jasper Johns, and so on. This isn’t to say I think he is derivative, rather, it seems to be a very smart commentary on painting, drawing, and sculpture in his contemporary moment.”
Further in, Fitzgibbon: “Is Lynch’s Fire Walk With Me closer in intention to Pasolini‘s Salo or Gerard Damiano’s The Devil in Miss Jones? After I rented the Twin Peaks TV series, it occurred to me that he was more interested exposing the myth of the civilized society than concern for the criticism it would engender. Do you think his movies are just violent entertainment with an artistic twist or a serious contemplation of the male psyche?”
Simmons: “There are several articles from the 1990s by feminist authors about how sexist Twin Peaks is. Lynch’s work is predicated on violence against women’s bodies, but there is also a very frail and fragile male ego on display. Where is the line between ironic and incorrigible?”
Good time to revisit this New Yorker essay from 1999 about ABC pulling the plug on David Lynch's Mulholland Drive: http://t.co/bMA2RtLsRf
— Calum Marsh (@calummarsh) April 5, 2015