Coopergänger wrote: The background layer effect I'm talking about it's only perceptible when you are looking carefuly for something on the shot. I saw that only when I knew about Ed's glitch and I was looking the shot very carefuly.
I saw it as it unfolded, on the night it screened and before I read any posts about it. Admittedly, by the end of the episode I was half-asleep (it was nigh-on 3am in the UK) and my focus was drifting into the middle-distance of the screen. But perhaps because I was watching in a pitch-black room and my eyes were centred on the screen rather than focused on the foreground (i.e. on the window where Ed is himself gazing, rather than the back of Ed's head), I caught the 'glitch' as it happened. Initially I thought it was a buffering error and thought no more of it. Then the following day I saw that others had caught it too and had posted about it on reddit.
The point is, if you had to have been prospectively looking for it to see it, then no one
would have seen it, because I'm pretty sure no one stares intently at every part of the screen for the whole duration of each part, live. On rewatches I've actually found it harder to see, because I was watching in well-lit rooms. But in the darkness, the original experience is very easy to replicate; it's not hard to see at all, and in terms of what little dramatic action surrounds the occurrence it seems to be something the eye is being led to. We are positioned on Ed's shoulder, sharing his gaze, and morosely we stare out of the window as the lights of cars pass by. That window is the only place where the eye is directed towards in that shot. And there it is.
As I've said before in this thread, whether it's motivated or not doesn't really matter to me -- whether it is an intentionally representative
and diegetic phenomenon or an accident of editing, it still signifies when it comes to talking about The Return as a whole, including the way it is directed and produced (and not just in terms of its story).
My personal feeling is that if it is a genuine error of some kind, then someone on the production team would have spotted it. It was glaringly obvious to me, at 3am, and I wasn't looking out for bad editing. I feel that if it was left in after that point, particularly if this decision was sanctioned by the director, then it holds more significance. It wouldn't be the first time non-diegetic material crept into an edit and was then, through ad-hoc creativity, incorporated into the diegetic.
If that is indeed the case, it would be no surprise. Such serendipitous accidents forms part of Lynch's creative methodology (and in his worldview there appear to be no such things as pure contingencies -- no accidents as such, just the interlocking intricacies of karma), just as chance plays a large part in Dadaism. This kind of artistic idiom can get interestingly Nietzschean: the way to deal with wild contingencies, the vicissitudes and graininess of existence, is to claim that one (or one's unconscious, 'better', 'bigger', mind) had intended it all along. One retroactively wills the accident, incorporates it into one's creative plan. Thus what might have remained as a meaningless intrusion or inessential error is transformed into a necessary, essential and meaningful component of the whole. Lynch doesn't talk about this much, especially in formal philosophical terms, but he practices
it a lot of the time (as can be seen in The Art Life
and read about in Nochimson's Passion of
as well as in numerous oral histories of the filming of his movies by cast and crew).
So, for me, even if the glitch only ultimately ramifies tonally, in terms of increasing the obscurity of Ed's interface with an outside world (beyond the window of his gas station) he is really struggling to make connections in -- and is otherwise meaningless in terms of plot -- it still ramifies.
If a production team member confirms tomorrow that it is an error that should have been caught but wasn't, I will stop wearing glasses, delete this post and watch the rest of Twin Peaks on a cellphone.
But I will still regard this error as significant in itself, since all errors are bearers of information. I will write it up as as one of the things that made Twin Peaks great to participate in, part of the unnerving indeterminacy: the 'was that intentional or not?' factor.