Saturday, February 3, 2018


A bunch of websites, including Fan Sided, Vulture, and Slant Magazine, have drawn some parallels between David Lynch's magnificent, triumphant return to the universe of Twin Peaks, and some of the themes and tactics employed by our man Stanley in service to his oeuvre. Most of these comparisons, of  course, are due to (and stem from) the incredible, rule-breaking 8th episode, otherwise known as "Trinity" or "the Bomb episode".

In Vulture, they Matt Zoller Seitz points out the use of Penderecki’s “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima,”... “unorthodox, largely symbol-based score” that “sometimes directs the musicians to play at various unspecific points in their range or to concentrate on certain textural effects.” (Rather like Twin Peaks itself.) Bits of Penderecki’s piece have been used in other genre works with a strong horror component, notably Children of Men, The People Under the Stairs, and The Shining
That last film is notable because of the Stanley Kubrick connection. The section following the bomb blast is structured as an homage to the “Stargate” sequence that ends Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. That work and this one are both so clearly concerned with ideas of evolution (and the role of weapons in furthering evolution) that it’s safe to say that Lynch is leaning into the comparison. Confidently, too. 
It is the highest praise to say that, of all the filmmakers who’ve referenced the final section of 2001, Lynch seems to me the only one to have created something that equals it even as it humbly bows to its example. The post-bomb sequence takes us through what appears to be a series of tunnels, some comprised of nuclear hellfire but others of a more tantalizingly organic texture (as if to literalize the idea, expressed in Kubrick’s tunnels of light, that humanity was “reborn” after 1945). The use of the bomb claimed hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives, and was justified retroactively as necessary to make Japan surrender, but even in the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, historians, tacticians, philosophers, and pundits questioned whether any strategic objective could justify unleashing a genocidal monstrosity of science, the likes of which not even the prophet Mary Shelley could have imagined.
Very well put, indeed. The other articles are worth checking out, too.

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