Well, this week has certainly started off with a bang. Showtime’s announced that Twin Peaks will be back in 2016. David Lynch and Mark Frost, creators of the original series that ran on ABC in 1990 and 1991, will write and produce the limited series and Lynch will direct all nine episodes. “The new Twin Peaks will be set in the present day, more than two decades after the events in the first two seasons,” reports Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva. “It will continue the lore and story of the original series, with Lynch and Frost committed to providing long-awaited answers and, hopefully, a satisfying conclusion to the series.”
Lynch and Frost hinted at a return on Friday when they posted identical tweets: “Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style. #damngoodcoffee.” Frost tells the New York Times‘ Dave Itzkoff that “he and Mr. Lynch began to seriously contemplate the idea of revisiting Twin Peaks about three years ago, prompted by an ominous scene in which the Laura Palmer character declares, ‘I’ll see you again in 25 years.'”
“‘That suddenly seemed like an entry point,’ Mr. Frost said. ‘Everything flowed from there.'” They’re hoping to have as much of the original cast return as possible and Frost “added that their goal was ‘not just cranking out more sausages here,’ but finding ‘a way to top ourselves in every possible way.'”
Overall, the news has been greeted with a mix of celebration and caution. Many are thrilled to hear that Lynch will be directing something—anything!—again but some worry about potential damage to a cultural milestone. Matt Buchanan at the Awl: “As it stands, there is, roughly speaking, a twenty percent chance that the new limited series will elevate Twin Peaks; a forty percent chance that it will make it slightly worse; a thirty percent chance that it will stay the same; and a ten percent chance that it will truly and completely ruin it forever. I would take those odds, I think.”
So would Time‘s James Poniewozik: “I have no idea, of course, what the new Twin Peaks will be like. It will be good, or it will be bad. But I beg you: let yourself get excited. Be happy about a thing without needing to coat it in prophylactic pessimism. Don’t give in to the defensive reflex to pre-disappoint yourself. Don’t be afraid of seeming like a sucker.” And he offers four good reasons to go for it. I’ll mention two here. “Frost and Lynch don’t need to make more Twin Peaks. That they are doing so anyway tells me they have ideas they’re excited about, and that’s reason enough for hope.” And: “You can’t ruin a good thing retroactively.”
Good or bad, we can be sure that the new Twin Peaks will be unusual television. And many have pointed out that the world in which the series’ return is even thinkable has been created in no small part by Frost and Lynch themselves. “The series is canon now,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture. “Everyone knows what it was, and is, and meant, even if they haven’t watched a frame. Everything from The Sopranos to American Horror Story owes it a debt.”
“Long before dark shows on television, long before cable originals, long before The Killing (whose creator admits she borrowed from Twin Peaks), and long before most movie directors thought of long-form storytelling or any of the other current TV vogues, there was Lynch,” writes Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times. “He was just a few years removed from Blue Velvet and an Oscar directing nomination, but he was doing the unheard-of—making a show for broadcast prime time…. Many creators of dark cable dramas directly pay homage to Lynch. And those who don’t probably owe him a muffin basket anyway, because he was showing decades ago that mainstream Americans would invite dark and weird characters into their homes if you just made those characters compelling enough.”
When the Blu-ray box set Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery was released this summer, dedicated viewers wondered whether, even with the 90 extra minutes of “Missing Pieces,” the “entire mystery” had been well and truly solved—and of course, whether or not it ought to be. In August, the Dissolve‘s Keith Phipps walked us through the reception of the first and second seasons and the 1992 feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a disappointment to some, a stand-alone masterpiece to others. “Looking back,” he wrote, “the whole Twin Peaks phenomenon feels like, well, something out of Twin Peaks: a blue rose, a Show From Another Place, a visitation from a stranger world that made a deep impression before vanishing and leaving those who saw it to puzzle over what it all meant…. You can upgrade it to high-def, fill it out with extras, and put it in a box, but what made it Twin Peaks will always be somewhere else, just out of reach, where it was always meant to be. It’s a mystery made complete by its incompleteness.”
And for more Twin Peaks that you’ll know what to do with, see Welcome to Twin Peaks.
ALSO IN THE WORKS
Jacques Audiard‘s seventh feature, Erran, begins shooting on Monday, reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “Owing to production outfit Why Not’s firmly entrenched culture of secrecy, only a few small snippets of information have leaked out about the title, which will revolve around a Sri-Lankan Tamil fighter who is a political refugee in France, where he works as a caretaker on an ‘unruly’ council estate in the Parisian suburbs. Written by the filmmaker, who has revealed that one of his sources of inspiration was Persian Letters by Montesquieu (1721), the story will apparently focus on culture shock and this refugee’s perception of modern-day French society.”
“Anthony Chen, the Singaporean director who shot to fame last year with Ilo Ilo, has not committed to his second directorial outing, but is instead set to exec produce Distant, a pan-Asian omnibus film,” reports Patrick Frater for Variety. “The film, which explores love, friendship and kinship, will feature three 30-minute segments with cast and young directors from China, Singapore and Thailand.”
“Cha Tae-Hyun is about to reprise his role from the classic romantic comedy My Sassy Girl (2001), 14 years after the original became a global sensation,” reports Pierce Conran for the Korean Film Council.
Jeff Goldblum tells Time‘s Eric Dodds that an Independence Day sequel is “brewing.”
From Grady Hendrix‘s new “Kaiju Shakedown” column for Film Comment: “Simultaneously the best actor in Japan and the worst, a man of refined taste and of no taste at all, a rich kid whose career was either shotgunned from the hip with no planning whatsoever or a carefully wrought piece of performance art, one thing is for certain: Tetsuro Tamba [1922 – 2006] is probably the only man to direct a movie that ends with a dead poodle turning to the screen and saying ‘Sayonara.'”
In a dispatch from the Vancouver International Film Festival, David Bordwell writes about Revivre, Im Kwon-taek’s 102nd film; Hong Sang-soo‘s Hill of Freedom; Mikhail Red’s Rekorder, which shares VIFF’s inaugural Best New Director award with Axelle Ropert (Miss and the Doctors); and Suzuki Yohei’s Ow.
“Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan,” report Jennifer Dunning and William McDonald in the New York Times. In 1975, Holder won Tonys for direction of a musical and costume design for The Wiz. “His choreography was in the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Dance Theater of Harlem. He acted onstage and in films and was an accomplished painter, photographer and sculptor whose works have been shown in galleries and museums.” And of course, he made 7Up famous as “the Uncola.” Holder was 84.