David Locke wrote:I seem to recall a poster here theorizing that, after The Return came out with its likely alienating Lynchian qualities, it'd only make the original series (and even FWWM) seem older, further away, as if preserved in amber.
That's basically what's happened. The original series has always been deeply nostalgic and warm and cozy, a place one enjoys immersing themselves in, but it's even more like that now, now that we have the colder and harsher Return to compare it to.
I'm actually watching Episodes 5 and 6 right now, the old Peaks, and it's just crazy how different it is in every way from the new episodes. I mostly love the Return but I totally get why people have a hard time letting go of that intoxicating aura of the old Peaks. There's little to no of the soap-opera aspect in the new episodes (and I don't mean soap as a pejorative). And the beautiful, warm orange-red-brown cast to so much of the original series, plus its more mobile, fluid camera-work, couldn't be more different from the often cold/sterile digital look of the new episodes, which are also full of static master shots and wide shots instead of going in closer.
It's interesting how it contrasts with FWWM too; FWWM is much darker than the original series, but certainly not colder. This indicates that perhaps Lynch has moved onto a "third stage" (maybe a fourth or fifth depending how we categorize Eraserhead, Elephant Man, and Dune), especially when we consider the static/ambient nature of The Missing Pieces. More Things That Happened may be the first indicator of this style (though it feels a bit more hypnotic, and more reliant on close-ups than masters).
Inland Empire itself works both as a culmination of the earlier now-"middle" period but also a pivot to the later one - since it's digital, less overtly romantic, and, perhaps most significantly of all, his first feature since Wild at Heart not edited by Mary Sweeney.
Another interesting thing to consider: Lynch's only major work edited without Sweeney between the killer's reveal in '90 and Mulholland Drive in '01 was the Twin Peaks s2 finale. Which is probably the closest the original series ever comes to feeling like The Return.
In this context,