Twin Peaks is metacinema. Or maybe it is not, but something certainly leads us to believe it is, even just a little. After all, David Lynch’s cinematography has always danced on plural levels. As in the elevator in Four Rooms, the viewer goes up and down from one genre, one story, one lock to another.
First of all, Twin Peaks surely is the biggest “Fuck you” from Lynch to the cinema as it is studied. It doesn’t follow any logic, it shows no classic narrative structure, and it mixes (as Lynch always does) different directorial techniques; but the whole thing perfectly inlaid in a Lynchian dialectic– or at least it seems that way to us.
In some ways, the third and last (?) season of Twin Peaks is the sum of his entire work. From Rabbits to Muhlallond Drive to Inland Empires, it looks as if everything developed and contextualized recurs in Twin Peaks. Our heroes, Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer, are themselves Jack and Suzie without masks, forever stuck in a TV pantomime.
But this time, Lynch offers a loophole- the key to the red door. The main characters can leave their roles behind and embody every role and none. They can walk through the real streets of Twin Peaks and joke once more. The spectators are destined to watch from a double point of view: there’s the accomplice viewer who knows the trapdoors in Lynch’s art and the one who swings between active and passive while learning the events.
On one hand their position is as visitors in the Bang Bar, where you can freely tell about your life, while enjoying a new show every night. On the other hand, those who watch the show as a whole, stare with amaze at the Sherilyn Fenn’s dance on Audrey Horne’s music. In other words, Twin Peaks is an experiment lasting twenty years.
It is television speaking television language, and slowly slipping down into Real. Paraphrasing Jacques Lacan: Language entirely acts within ambiguity, and most of the time you are absolutely unaware of what you are really watching.