Returning, Recycling and Remixing: Cut-up and Collage in Twin Peaks: The Return

SPOILER ALERT. The new season of Twin Peaks (2017) was dubbed Twin Peaks: The Return by Showtime, hoping to differentiate the new series from ABC’s original show. Even if The Return was never meant to be the official title of the new season, it introduces some central points and motifs, from the nostalgic vibe and “the fear of letting go” to the eulogizing of dead actors, the yearning to return to a certain town, a certain atmosphere and a certain set of characters, and the inevitability of transformation and uncertainty. Those elements are introduced stylistically through a vivid use of recycling and remixing, where old material is repurposed and sampled, and where elements from other parts of Lynch’s filmography and all of film history are referenced and included in what soon develops into a kind of magnum opus or even a cultural compost heap. Andreas Halskov explores this use of recycling and remixing in The Return, arguing that the series is much more than a postmodern collage. If anything, Twin Peaks: The Return is a touching meditation on the eternal cycle of life and death, repetition and transformation.

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  • Screenplay: Andreas Halskov
  • Production and editing: Jan Oxholm
  • Thanks to Davey Morison Dillard and Morten Hammershøy Kølln.
  • For study purposes only.

Excerpts from

  • Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) © Lynch/Frost, CBS/Showtime/Rancho Rosa Productions
  • The Elephant Man (1980) © Lynch, Studiocanal
  • Six Figures Getting Sick (1966/1967) © Lynch, Absurda/Ryko
  • Twin Peaks (1990-1991)  © Lynch/Frost, ABC/CBS Home Entertainment
  • Blue Velvet (1986) © Lynch, De Laurentiis
  • Eraserhead (1977) © Lynch, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Lost Highway (1997) © Lynch, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955) © Aldrich, Criterion
  • Stellar (1993) on By Brakhage © Brakhage/Criterion
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey © Kubrick, Warner Home Video
  • Dumbland (2002/2009) © Lynch, Scanbox Entertainment
  • Mulholland Dr. (2001) © Lynch, Criterion
  • The Grandmother (1970) © Lynch, Absurda
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) © Forman, Warner Home Video
  • Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975) © Jones et al., Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • La Retour a la Raison (1923) © Ray, Golan, Twentieth Century Fox
  • Over the Top (1987) © Golan, Twentieth Century Fox.