uncanny – strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.
I have been revisiting Twin Peaks lately in preparation for the return of the series next year. It still amazes me, 24 years, on how well it holds up. I also can’t believe it was on mainstream network television. There are scenes of pure surrealism that often disturb due to their uncanny nature. As I’ve grown older there are very few times when I find myself the least troubled by things that try to shock or scare. However, there is some subconscious level that David Lynch taps into, especially in scenes in the red room, where I find myself still getting chills late at night. This is, despite the fact, that I have seen this show many times and have read and watched countless interviews about it.
Because the show was on network television there is nothing explicitly sexual or violent about the series, although explicit sex and violence are always lurking in this show just off camera. Lynch, without being able to show any nudity or extreme violence, is able to tap into some kind of primal dream state that unnerves in ways that so many other TV shows have never been able to. Lynch has a strange ability to put images and sound design together in a way that is the closest to the unsettling nature of dreams as I have ever seen. While surrealism can sometimes just appear to be random things thrown together, with Lynch there is always some perfect connection between the things he uses, even if it can’t be described in any intellectual way. While most dreams on TV are nothing like real dreams, but are simply pieces used to move the story along in a different fashion, Lynch gets that dreams reflect life without adhering to the same logic or structure.
Lynch is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation. He talks about how he uses this for inspiration in the book Catching the Big Fish. While having next tried it myself, I can neither confirm or deny its merits. However, he does seem to be able to tap into the subconscious in ways that no other filmmaker can quite match. I’m looking forward to what Lynch does with this show once it returns, especially now that it will be on Showtime, which does not have the restrictions of network TV.