Last night I spent in a beautiful, moonlit landscape on a 900 year castle overlooking the brilliant lights of Zagreb shining under me, at the ending party of the Fantastic Zagreb festival. During the festival, we had been discussing Twin Peaks quite a lot, and I had found like-minded folk who appreciate the new Twin Peaks just as much – even more – than the original run. But one question I heard on that night came from two kids who were out partying, and asked from a friend of mine whether he had been watching the new Twin Peaks. He had. So what did you think of it? Well, he thought it’s brilliant. The kids were looking suspicious, then the other dared the question on everyone’s lips: “…but what is it about?”
What is it about? Why is it that film has become an artform that requires itself to be thoroughly explained to be accepted as a viable performance?
I mean, there I was, overlooking at the beautiful scenery – but what it actually is, is I was watching a rock hanging incredibly in the sky, a rock which nobody exactly knows where it came from, although there have been multiple theories like for example it was born from a residue of a great impact of proto-Earth and a Mars-sized other object few billion years ago. This rock is seen to us because a huge gas monster is burning billions of tons worth of nuclear explosions every second producing light. And all of this – us along with it – are being whizzed across the galaxy at a speed of over million kilometers per day, although, to us it seems we’re all pretty much still. None of it makes any fucking sense, yet, we’re completely capable of enjoying it, just as well as the prehistoric creature who rose to this same spot three hundred thousand years ago, watching the same Moon, and had even less of an idea of what it was.
Same goes with the music, for example. The party I was at had some kind of electronic music DJs playing bunch of catchy tunes and everyone was happily prancing along – the same kids, actually, who presented the question of Twin Peaks’ meaning to us. But they had no problem with the music, they didn’t demand an explanation of it to be able to enjoy it.
But imagine Mozart would walk up the hill suddenly, having dropped from a weird time-dimension -loop to the very same castle. He would recognise the castle as a fortress of some kind, although probably would shake his head a bit due to the lack of maintenance it suffers, but to this musical once-in-a-thousand-years genius, to this person who created most of the basic structures all the music in the world today exists, the noise coming from the loudspeakers would be indescribable mess of inhumane (electronic) sounds placed in and around a repetitive melodic structure he would write twenty while taking a shit. And even more, the whole setup would be impossible to understand: these two humans are playing these tunes that have been digitally recorded to a digital source – both impossible to understand as a concept. It would be just way too much to understand.
Yet, I bet he would after a few beers be dancing there along the others, not giving a fuck about hows and what-this-means and other nonsense, if the music works, it works. It needs no explanation.
So, why is it that film has somehow become an artform which needs to be explained to be thoroughly understood by those who are on the receiving end? I mean, I could try and start explaining what possibly, probably, who-knows, happened in Episode 8 of the new Twin Peaks, but that would be first completely missing the point of the episode, and even an insult to its’ greatness.
What the Episode 8 brought us was a much-needed revolution of TV, a nuclear detonation of storytelling mixed with art, sounds and music. It’s nothing to be understood, but to be experienced, just like any other art would be. Yes, it may take time – Lynch is yet again on the verge of something completely new, just as he was when he came out with original Twin Peaks – but his vision is beyond our comprehension. And we should take it as it is. Just like we nowadays don’t question the fact that rap is actually musical artform, or that although we don’t completely understand the Moon on the sky, we have no reason not to enjoy the beauty it creates.
Film and TV are art, and although not everything needs to be artistically challenging – they can also just be supercharged stories with sound, music and actors in them – when we are presented with a rare case of actual art on big screen – or small screen – that should be taken in and enjoyed.
But yeah, if you want to know, Bob was created when the first nuclear bomb exploded because the event shook the careful balance between good and evil in the world, and to fight this, they created also Laura Palmer. The burnt woodsmen are still a bit mystery, and the creature that climbed in the woman’s mouth is possibly Laura Palmer’s spirit, which Sarah Palmer will later on give birth to. It’s really not that complicated.