and the flat and intentionally alienating photography, it's holding the viewer at a distance like the original never did.
i have heard this mentioned many times. I read an article by I think David Chase, who was talking about the photography in the original Twin Peaks, and he said that at the time, the focus and detail of the way things were filmed was new to him. He talked about things like the shots of the trees as seeming vivid in a way that TV images did usually not. I think he used the word hyper-real.
Coming to TP TR episode 1, the first thing that struck me in the glass box opening was this vivid quality of image. Sure the look is very different to TP 25 years ago, but the HD digital format the way Demming/ Lynch are using it gives the image an almost forensic quality of detail. This series looks great in stills. Occasionally we get bits of this film noir shadow moodiness just to prove that the dryness of the rest of it is a conscious choice. I personally like this very lit, shadow free way this series has been ( mostly) filmed. I think Lynch got it from Francis Bacon, who famously detested natural light and wanted to paint everything as lit by electric light bulbs - and included the bulb in the painting just to remind you. There is often a kind of ' room as box' very simplified shallow kind of perspective. The sets ups with 5 or so people talking are always very stagey and artificial, not at all naturalistic - the dialogue is recited as if at a read-through, rather than acted. It is this I find alienating, rather the the photography. The scene where Alfred explains blue rose to Tammy is an obvious example.
Whereas the naturalistic scenes of two people talking in the Roadhouse aren't like that atall. But what they have in common is this sense of focus - you really examine these people, like the camera is studying them, looking for something. Almost like specimens.
That comes back to what David Chase was talking about in the original series - that his impression of the photography was that it was hyper-real. This is what I think Lynch/ Demming are going for here. I don't find that it holds the viewer at a distance. For me, it makes me look in closer, past the surface. The sound, which is also very vivid and close focus in the way it is recorded, also drags me in. I like the fact there is hardly any music. The original TP was covered in music - ' always music in the air'. Now, not. The original TP looked great, but it was like looking into a bubble, a snow globe, another world. This TP is more like looking at our world, the world in front of our face, it is very prosaic. It looks like something is happening in front of your eyes. There is a sort of frankness about it: nothing is hidden, everything is exposed. It is not like an image that washes over you passively. I found myself several times thinking that Lynch/ Demming were deliberately drawing attention to the fact that what we are looking at is a representation. I don't find that distancing, it makes me look closer. The artifice of the FX being very exposed adds to that. For me, at least, this works. Sometimes the material is weak and drawn out, and there are other aspects of it i find alienating ( eg Lynch being inside his own series goofing around/ many of the other things people have mentioned in here) but i really can't see this problem with the image or the photography and it surprises me when people mention it. The series definitely has it's own recognisable 'look'.
I am not trying to persuade anyone to like something they don't like - if you find the photography alienating and flat, then you do. But to me, two minutes into part 1 of this, I thought - good. Thank god it looks modern and fresh. Great to actually see what is going on. So... i guess people look at the same thing, and see something different. That's the way it works...