The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Discussion of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me

Moderators: Annie, BookhouseBoyBob, Ross, Jerry Horne, Brad D

Forum rules
Welcome to the forum. We know our members are passionate about their love for all things Twin Peaks. You wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case. Despite having differing viewpoints it is a policy that we all treat each other with mutual respect.

Posting abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated, or any material that may violate any laws be it of your country or the country where this forum is hosted will get you permanently banned.

Posting of spoilers are allowed as long as you indicate (Spoilers) in the topic name and use the Spoiler Tag.
User avatar
Gabriel
Posts: 746
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:53 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Gabriel » Sun May 28, 2017 2:59 pm

Radiatorlady wrote:Now that the new series have started, have any of you experts out there got any comments on the new season's style of cinematography, type of camera etc?

The flat, video look makes the whole thing look cheap and studiobound, even on location. Digital video can be made to look filmic with good lighting and grading. It appears Lynch and Deming have gone all out on purpose to make everything seem as false as possible.ow, the flat video style can work, as for example, it did in Lara's Von Trier's Dogville, but that was because the performances were off-the-scale brilliant and the writing was good. In this case, everyone seems to have been told to embrace the wood or the ham, so I don't think the look is selling the show. But we'll see; I'm watching part four for the third time right now, so I keep going back for more...
IcedOver
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:31 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby IcedOver » Wed May 31, 2017 9:24 am

Out of the many things with which I have problems, the cinematography tops the list. I really despise the look of this show. Lynch said ten years ago that he now prefers video to film, but I believe he was referencing only the portability of a MiniDV camcorder. Today's digital shooting is much different. The image on this is too clear, too precise, for the world it's displaying. Clarity is the enemy of surrealism. The lighting is without imagination. The whole thing, from a photographic perspective, feels rushed. Shooting on film may have been impractical and expensive, but Lynch could easily have shot this with the same or similar camcorder that he used for "Inland".
I DON'T FEEL GOOD!!!!!
Metamorphia
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:52 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Wed May 31, 2017 9:32 am

IcedOver wrote:Out of the many things with which I have problems, the cinematography tops the list. I really despise the look of this show. Lynch said ten years ago that he now prefers video to film, but I believe he was referencing only the portability of a MiniDV camcorder. Today's digital shooting is much different. The image on this is too clear, too precise, for the world it's displaying. Clarity is the enemy of surrealism. The lighting is without imagination. The whole thing, from a photographic perspective, feels rushed. Shooting on film may have been impractical and expensive, but Lynch could easily have shot this with the same or similar camcorder that he used for "Inland".


You can reverse this argument, though. You can argue that the clarity and 'normality' of flat digital can in fact become strange and surreal - Lynch was doing a variant of this back with his early digital shorts on the PD150 (see Darkened Room). He's doing similar things here with it, albeit on much higher end gear. I think lots of the long, drawn out masters help in this regard too. It's uncanny.
IcedOver
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:31 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby IcedOver » Wed May 31, 2017 10:31 am

Metamorphia wrote:You can reverse this argument, though. You can argue that the clarity and 'normality' of flat digital can in fact become strange and surreal - Lynch was doing a variant of this back with his early digital shorts on the PD150 (see Darkened Room). He's doing similar things here with it, albeit on much higher end gear. I think lots of the long, drawn out masters help in this regard too. It's uncanny.


That's a stretch. This is nothing like the MiniDV. I don't feel he's doing anything interesting with the digital on this. Digital is now the norm for TV, but other shows look so much better. It's not even that it's different from the original show or anything he's done before. It just doesn't work with what's being presented in story . . . in anything.
I DON'T FEEL GOOD!!!!!
Metamorphia
Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:52 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Wed May 31, 2017 11:24 am

IcedOver wrote:
Metamorphia wrote:You can reverse this argument, though. You can argue that the clarity and 'normality' of flat digital can in fact become strange and surreal - Lynch was doing a variant of this back with his early digital shorts on the PD150 (see Darkened Room). He's doing similar things here with it, albeit on much higher end gear. I think lots of the long, drawn out masters help in this regard too. It's uncanny.


That's a stretch. This is nothing like the MiniDV. I don't feel he's doing anything interesting with the digital on this. Digital is now the norm for TV, but other shows look so much better. It's not even that it's different from the original show or anything he's done before. It just doesn't work with what's being presented in story . . . in anything.


The world of miniDV is wildly different but I think he's trying to do similar things. I think he loves the weirdness of flat, ungraded (or graded to look ungraded) footage because it's so standardised. And he's playing with that in a way he did in Darkened Room and such.
User avatar
Radiatorlady
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Radiatorlady » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:37 am

I guess many of you have seen this 4 year old interview with Twin Peaks: The Return cinematographer Peter Deming, but for those who have not, I think it is interesting to see where he is coming from. He talks about film versus digital, as well as movies such as Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., Sunset Boulevard (as seen in part 15!) and Touch of Evil.

Part 1:
http://www.crafttruck.com/through-the-l ... l-episode/
Part 2:
http://www.crafttruck.com/through-the-l ... olland-dr/
User avatar
Snailhead
Posts: 526
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Snailhead » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:32 am

Yeah, when it comes down to it, I think the source of my mixed feelings about the show are that it just doesn't look that great most of the time. My gripes with certain stories and scenes would probably not be much of an issue if it looked better.

There are many exceptions - Part 8 looks fabulous, as does the purple balcony/ocean, the tracking shots through the woods, the interior of the Palmer house, etc. A lot of the time I think it's down to questionable lighting.
Welcome to Canada...
Agent327
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Agent327 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:56 pm

Snailhead wrote:Yeah, when it comes down to it, I think the source of my mixed feelings about the show are that it just doesn't look that great most of the time. My gripes with certain stories and scenes would probably not be much of an issue if it looked better.

There are many exceptions - Part 8 looks fabulous, as does the purple balcony/ocean, the tracking shots through the woods, the interior of the Palmer house, etc. A lot of the time I think it's down to questionable lighting.


I'm in the same boat, at least in regards to your first paragraph. I too think I would have had an easier time swallowing the many slow, lethargic scenes that have plagued much of the season if the whole thing didn't have that cold, flat, soulless digital look.

And your second paragraph is where I disagree a bit. I hated the look of part 8, and especially re-watching it was tough! I did like the visuals of the explosion, but the digital flat black and white (visual nails on chalkboard to me) made what could have been something quite powerful feel very cheap and kind of like a joke, at least that's how I experienced it. This is a shame because I admire the ambition behind part 8, if not all the content of it.

It's true that the nature shots come across as very good looking, which is what you get with HD digital. It's great for shooting nature documentaries.

The filmic quality of the original TP is a huge part of it's appeal and it's magic in my opinion. That's an important part of what makes you want to live in that world, and bring people to re-watch it.

I think going with digital, although the cheapest and easiest option, comes with a huge cost in terms of the art/ the final product, in the case of TP The Return.
User avatar
Snailhead
Posts: 526
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Snailhead » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:25 pm

As has been written on here by many others and more eloquently, digital doesn't necessarily mean it can't look filmic.

Choices regarding camera, lenses, lighting, the level of focus ... all things that could have made a lot of this material more visually intriguing to my sensibilities.
Welcome to Canada...
claaa7
Posts: 638
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:47 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby claaa7 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:40 am

there's definitely many scenes and chunks of episodes that i think look visually stunning in the new series, almost all of them being night time scenes or black and white. the day time stuff mostly looks flat and without much of visual interest at all which is suprising considering it is David Lynch we are talking about here. it works well enough in service of the plot but its not something you can look at and be thoroughly amazed at every scene like Eraserhead, Elephant Man or Blue Velvet (to only mention works by Lynch). the Las Vegas stuff often has little attention paid to interesting framing and imaginative lightning.
User avatar
Radiatorlady
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Radiatorlady » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:46 am

Lynch and cinematographer Peter Deming, as well as the lighting technicians and colorists are very experienced movie makers, and if they would have wanted a more "cinematic" film-like look, I’m sure they would have been able to get it. Just as the Danish dogme films of the 90s as well as Inland Empire, Twin Peaks: The Return is made to look like this for a reason. There is an artistic idea behind it. What it is exactly, I do not know.
claaa7
Posts: 638
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:47 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby claaa7 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:35 am

Radiatorlady wrote:Lynch and cinematographer Peter Deming, as well as the lighting technicians and colorists are very experienced movie makers, and if they would have wanted a more "cinematic" film-like look, I’m sure they would have been able to get it. Just as the Danish dogme films of the 90s as well as Inland Empire, Twin Peaks: The Return is made to look like this for a reason. There is an artistic idea behind it. What it is exactly, I do not know.


this is not in doubt.. but because it's done on purpose doesn't make it exempt from criticism. bad ideas are still bad ideas.. that's why no one is making Dogme 95 films anymore ;)
User avatar
AgentEcho
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:57 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby AgentEcho » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:30 pm

I definitely wasn't enthusiastic about how digital the cinematography often looked. I kept rechecking to make sure the awful "trumotion" feature on my television was still off. Eventually I discovered it looked a little less harsh on some of the different apps I was using (I watched through the Showtime add on to my Amazon Prime subscription). But it often still had that sterile digital sheen... I don't know exactly how to describe it.

Still, some of the dark shots were incredible. I've never seen detail popping out in almost complete blackness like I saw in this show. The night shots of the log lady's house, you can actually see the trees and the night sky in a shot that is almost completely black. The shots of the trees at night. I really loved those shots down the dark hallway in the Convenience Store with the dark trees superimposed.

I think Lynch just doesn't have any interest in disguising the medium he works in and is willing to embrace the imperfections, as his former dedication to working with the PD150 can attest to. Almost everyone else working with digital cinematography needs it to get as close to film as possible, and Lynch probably finds it baffling to want something to look like film and then not shoot on film.
User avatar
windh
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:07 am

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby windh » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:24 pm

On BD, this will look just fine.
/windh
User avatar
Mr. Reindeer
Posts: 1482
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:09 pm

Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:45 pm

Peter Deming discusses the show: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/09/twin-p ... 201878462/

Interestingly, he says that he and DKL have such an intuitive relationship that they didn't discuss lighting at all other than an occasional descriptive adjective like "sad."

Return to “Twin Peaks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 25 guests