Saturday, June 17, 2017

Question: Have you been watching the new Twin Peaks? If so, what are your thoughts?

I have.

This prompts me to talk about a few important things.

First, I've been thinking a lot lately about how we consume content, and in particular, what role mood and current life circumstances play in the enjoyment of a thing. I've recently decided that though I'm completely comfortable giving my opinion about a film on first viewing I often have a different opinion upon second viewing. Not just that, but I usually feel that the second viewing is the more informed, having shrugged all of the expectation, hope or fear that one unknowingly brings to a first experience. (Don't get me wrong, I believe that initial reaction still has great value, and think that separating it from our overall opinion after many viewings could create a whole new way of categorizing and discussing film. I'd love to discuss the difference between First Viewing Experience and Official Critique on a more regular basis.)

Having said that, I've noticed a correlation between my current life circumstances and my enjoyment of absurd, strange and challenging content. I've always been partial to look outside the mainstream - Michael Haneke is one of my most cherished creators - but I've hit an all new high this year.

Because of that, the new Twin Peaks is going down oh, so smooth, baby. In fact, I'm enjoying it on such a level that I'm proclaiming, multiple times per episode, the phrase, "This is awesome" with wide-eyed disbelief.

Having said that...this shit's not for everyone. Not even close. I think it's safe to say that if you're a Lynch fan, or even a fan of the approach a man like Lynch takes, you'll enjoy the newest version of Twin Peaks.

Short Answer: I used to believe that I went into movies feeling very level. I thought I'd trained myself to be good at that. This is not the case. This was an illusion. I cried watching Age of Apocalypse and loved it. Second viewing, saw a million problems I hadn't seen the first time. But beyond that, I also believe that a second viewing is truer because it's by definition more informative. Experiencing a thing twice is going to give you more data, and more data equals a truer result. I'm even starting to think movies that have a consistent showing over two or three viewings may deserve a special, incredible film category of their own. (To me, that means they didn't tug at the heartstrings in a prepared, predatory or formulaic way. That, among other things, is one of the discussion I'd like to have moving forward. How some 'good' movies only make you feel by nefarious means. They don't earn the feels; they set them up, like a drunk driving commercial, whereas a great movie makes you care about the characters, and then you feel by relating to them. They earn their emotional reactions. What's the difference? Figuring that out is why the discussion could be fun!)

Note: If you don't know what I'm talking about, I think Pixar is a good example. Some of those movies, man, I don't know...


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