Welcome to Twin Peaks. It’s one of those picturesque rural towns that reminds you of time-honored American traditions, like peace and order and homemade cherry pie. Visitors tend to marvel over the magnificent Douglas firs and admire the breathtaking mountain scenery. Located in the Pacific Northwest, just five miles south of the Canadian border, Twin Peaks looks like a prosperous community of contented citizens devoted to their families. On the surface, at least, it’s a bucolic life.
But that’s on the surface.
World-renowned director David Lynch (“Eraserhead,” “The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet”) brings his incomparable visual artistry to “Twin Peaks,” a disturbing mystery about the life of a seemingly typical small town. Co-created with executive producer Mark Frost (“Hill Street Blues”), “Twin Peaks” presents an unsettling, sometimes darkly comic vision of the ominous unknown lurking beneath the commonplace and the everyday. The nude body of Laura Palmer, the high school homecoming queen, emerges from beneath the surface of a nearby lake. Her sensational murder sends shock waves through Twin Peaks, stripping away the veneer of respectable gentility to expose seething undercurrents of illicit passion, greed, jealousy and intrigue in a population of unusual characters.
When another girl is found, viciously tortured but still alive, FBI agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks to conduct an investigation. Young and sardonic, Agent Cooper has an almost prescient understanding of human motives and his own quirky but very methodical approach to doing business. He is also keeping whatever information he has about the crimes to himself. Cooper forms an immediate rapport with Sheriff Harry S. Truman, who has grown up in the community. Harry is not much of a talker, but he knows more about the people in that town than they probably know about themselves. Their search for the murderer leads to one shattering discovery: No one is quite what they appear to be and almost everyone has something to hide.
Cooper and Truman’s probe into Laura’s death uncovers many busy secrets in Twin Peaks. Was Laura leading a sordid double existence? Did she find out that her erstwhile boyfriend, Bobbie Briggs, was having an affair with a married woman? Why would well-respected businessmen scheme to take over the valuable Packard Sawmill property? Why is Catherine Martell so bitterly jealous of her brother’s widow, the beautiful and imperious mill owner, Jocelyn Packard? Each revelation lays bare whole other worlds, as we delve deeper and deeper into the characters’ fantasies, loves and obsessions.
David Lynch grew up as a Presbyterian. David Lynch spent his childhood throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina depending on where his father’s job as a research scientist for the Department of Agriculture took him. His mother was an English tutor whose parents immigrated to the United States from Finland in the 19th century. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, as a teenager served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch took courses at The Corcoran School of Art during his high school career at Francis C. Hammond High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for one year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with childhood friend and contemporary artist Jack Fisk. In 1966 he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA).
While enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) he created the visual work, Industrial Symphonies… read more
This feature-length pilot is a marvelous self-contained work even if one goes by the American broadcast length over the 113-minute international standalone. Lynch destroys a Rockwellian small town before we even see it: a girl's wrapped corpse introduces us to Twin Peaks, and soon Lynch has impossibly killed innocence that never existed in the first place. The grief resonates beyond the confines of television.
Featuring not one but two Herzog gems, a Moonrise Kingdom short, a talk about Twin Peaks and words of discouragement from Richard Brody.