Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

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firefly2193
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Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby firefly2193 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:45 pm

I think it would be neat to have a thread for discussion of works that members think may have influenced Twin Peaks: The Return, perhaps in particular things have come out in the 25 years since Lynch and Frost worked on Twin Peaks. The idea for this thread is inspired by its deliberate homages (for example, the use of Sunset Boulevard), The Returns links with Lynch's painting work over the last 10 years, and in general thinking about how TP:TR fits into the current television and film landscape.

These could be other TV shows, films, artworks or music (or anything else!).

Although I'm mainly starting this thread because I myself want to learn about works that have inspired The Return (and find things I should check out!) I'll start with a suggestion of my own - Breaking Bad. It's known that Lynch isn't a TV obsessive, but has watched Mad Men, Breaking Bad and True Detective. I was re-watching Breaking Bad the other day and a sequence struck me as particularly similar to The Return - in Season 5, Episode 3 "Hazard Play". There's a sequence where the protagonists are making meth, and the way its shot reminded me of TPTR Part 8 - in particular, the shots that seem to show the inside of the chemical reactions involved in the meth creation were reminiscent of the atomic bomb sequence in Part 8. Sequence is linked below. There are other things in Breaking Bad i think also may have been influential - its use of (licensed) music, some of its cinematography, and even some of its humour.

https://youtu.be/yT4hfNL4SKY?t=1m16s

Look forward to hearing other suggestions :D
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:04 pm

Hmmm I took the atom bomb sequence as more influenced by Brakhage and of course Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The "drugged-out mom" and her kid reminded me of the Breaking Bad episode "Peekaboo," with the drug addict's snot-nosed neglected kid watching the knife show.

Someone pointed out that the Lucky 7 office has a painting that was also in the Sterling Cooper offices in Mad Men. I definitely took that aspect of the world to be an intentional play on MM to some extent ("Bill Shaker from Allied Chemicals" felt like he walked right out of that show), with Dougie as a subversion of the drinking-and-whoring Don Draper type antiheroes who are all the rage. We know Dougie was living that lifestyle, but the Dougie we know inhabits the role while being a complete innocent.
Mr. Jackpots
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Mr. Jackpots » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:21 pm

Kafka. The Metamorphosis.

Tibetan book of the dead.
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby waferwhitemilk » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:32 am

Mr. Jackpots wrote:Kafka. The Metamorphosis. .

I watched Kafka (1991) with Jeremy Irons the other day, and I wouldn't be surprised if Lynch was influenced by that a little. It reminded me of The Return anyway. Good movie!
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referendum
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby referendum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:40 am

Luis Bunuel's 60's and 70's movies, esp. Phantom of Liberty, Exterminating Angel, That Obscure Object named Desire. I see echoes of these all over TP TR. Connected scenes with very little ( or no) main story, absurdism, weird mix of tone and genre, character doubling, narrative mirrors, time loops, editing jokes, repeated scenes, deliberately stupid jokes, complete lack of interest in character development or motivation, but a dog-with-a-bone interest in the weirder backwaters of human nature and in human pyschology, full-on surrealism - it's all there, and more.

also, Tati's Playtime ( the dougie character /scenes/ colour scheme)
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Cipher » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:26 am

Re: Above: Bunuel for sure. And then writers like Kafka and Beckett. I'm not sure if the similarities between Lynch's stuff and Godard's have ever been intentional, and the latter is a lot more aggressive and political, but there are a lot of serendipitous similarities in their works -- the pacing of scenes, the treatment of characters and narratives and sometimes the lightest flirtation with genre through a massively fractured lens.

Also, a lot of people were like, "The Monica Bellucci dream sequence didn't need narration!" But a lot of the more experimental French New Wave directors were all about similar moves, and I'd be shocked to hear Lynch hadn't had a dip in their collective pool. It's sometimes a more disquieting effect to marry personal narration to image, especially when there's some lack of logic to both. The more conventional move would have been to let the scene play out on its own, but I also think that would have been more pat.
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby referendum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:35 am

@cipher.
Can't see Beckett.

Francis Bacon, however...I think Lynch would like people to see that...these sort of diffracted psychological portraits always on the border of queasiness and hysteria, but aways so poised and stylised...whether there is any real comparison to make there is another matter, but it is clear Lynch has always seen him, and talked about him, as a big influence...
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Cipher » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:11 am

referendum wrote:@cipher.
Can't see Beckett.

The cyclical dialogue-driven hell of Audrey's scenes doesn't bring up Beckett as easily as Bunuel for you? The circumstance is Exterminating Angel, but the way the frustration is expressed through oblique and repetitive dialogue ain't.

Beckett's more in love with language than Lynch, but his fascinations land him in similar spots.
Last edited by Cipher on Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Novalis » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:14 am

waferwhitemilk wrote:
Mr. Jackpots wrote:Kafka. The Metamorphosis. .

I watched Kafka (1991) with Jeremy Irons the other day, and I wouldn't be surprised if Lynch was influenced by that a little. It reminded me of The Return anyway. Good movie!


One of my favourites. I hope he was influenced by this.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:23 am

I've never seen DKL express an interest in Beckett (his circle of artistic influences has always seemed like a relatively closed circuit when he discusses it in interviews), and it could well be coincidence, but I definitely felt that vibe in the Audrey scenes as well. Of course, it could have been Mark that was influenced by Beckett.
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referendum
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby referendum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:31 am

not being fancy or anything but i think we are talking more ionesco than beckett. Some other old existentialist anyway. It is all too expressionistic and emo to be beckett. And not nearly minimalist enough. All that clutter! But what do i know? you might be right :)
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Novalis » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:49 am

The 'existentialism 101' line from Charlie nods (perhaps only half-seriously) at a Sartrean influence. Huis Clos would be my guess, though Sartre is a staple reference when it comes to identity crisis in film (e.g. it's predictable that John Cusack's character owns a copy of Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology in the 2003 film Identity; we are not going to talk about I Heart Huckabees). Some of Beckett's plays are of course wide open to a Sartrean analysis, so I think even if Beckett is not a direct influence then Lynch and Beckett share 'common ancestors'. Whether it be Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, Kafka, Camus, or any other of the vast number of (loosely termed) modernists whose thoughts turned towards Existenzphilosophie in the early and mid 20th century seems moot. We don't know how much Lynch reads and what he reads beyond what he gives away candidly. We know he likes Kafka's The Metamorphosis however.

It goes without saying, but Alfred Hitchcock is an influence of course (and one that Lynch openly admits to) -- Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window are almost too obvious to point to (which director hasn't been influenced by these) -- it's almost like claiming Sergei Eisenstein or Fritz Lang as an influence.

I don't know how Lynch feels about Michael Haneke, but I see certain funny games in common between them. It doesn't have to be an approving or converging influence, it may just be that certain directors have helped open the door for an increased receptivity to works that refuse pat resolutions or are open to (and wilfully exhibit) multiple readings. Indeed it may be just as likely that the arrow of influence runs in quite the opposite direction, and that Lynch helped make Haneke's work more possible. There are very strong contrasts between them however. Haneke wields a strong social commentary that is far more obscured in Lynch (and Haneke is often held by detractors to be a heavy moraliser), but there are certain technical or formal similarities in the way they can both flaunt multiple narratives without forcing the audience to settle on one.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:58 am

referendum wrote:not being fancy or anything but i think we are talking more ionesco than beckett. Some other old existentialist anyway. It is all too expressionistic and emo to be beckett. And not nearly minimalist enough. All that clutter! But what do i know? you might be right :)


Fair point, although have you read Murphy? It's pretty verbose and emo (in a very self-aware way).
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referendum
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby referendum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:16 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
referendum wrote:not being fancy or anything but i think we are talking more ionesco than beckett. Some other old existentialist anyway. It is all too expressionistic and emo to be beckett. And not nearly minimalist enough. All that clutter! But what do i know? you might be right :)


Fair point, although have you read Murphy? It's pretty verbose and emo (in a very self-aware way).


yes i have! i'm not getting into this! :D :lol: I see what you mean, though. I just don't think Lynch is really bothered about Beckett. The feel is different. I could be totally wrong. I'm gonna blame Frost. Tbh it had more of a ' nightmare therapy session ' west coast vibe than a literary feel to it, those scenes...old mansion, trapped out of time, quite b- movie, could be a 50's scene, or even 30's. nothing there to put us in the present... movie era melodrama, anyway...very stagey...

...and then: break the frame.
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Re: Works That Influenced Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Novalis » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:55 am

Also wanted to mention classical/ancient literature and mythology as an influence. From the very beginning we've had the statues of Venus (the de Medici and the de Milo) as part of the iconography of the waiting room (interestingly, the de Milo sculpture is replaced with a modern, Lynch-created version in the Return, with a regrowing arm -- or is it the Venus of Arles; opinions vary).

There have been threads started, for example, which compare the epic journey of Cooper with the Odyssey of Ulysses (both Homer's and Joyce's versions).

I also wanted to add the idea that when Cooper is leading Laura through the woods in parts 17 & 18, the scratching sound and his backward glance to see Laura torn from the world recalls the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in the underworld. Orpheus is, of course, the highly skilled musician and we have seen that the scratching sounds are associated with a victrola (which in turn is associated with the old radiogram cabinets used by the Woodsmen to 'jump'). Meanwhile Eurydice is an 'oak nymph' associated with justice, and who may have been a later gloss on Persephone. (Credit for this idea goes to the Diane podcast)

Then of course we have the nonwestern literary canon. In particular the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which features a conversation between Ajatashatru and Balaki Gargya on a theory of dreams which is liberally summarised in 'Balaki the Proud Teacher' in the Upanishads: Eternal Stories collection in the same form Lynch uses, both in the script of S3 and also in his special spoken introduction to Inland Empire. There is also the source for the Tulpa concept, which can be any number of theosophical writings but which in the west tends to stem from Alexandra David-Neel's 1929 book Magic and Mystery in Tibet.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?

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