by Daniel Fienberg
It's equally remarkable that the methodical and unpredictable David Lynch directed all 18 episodes of this summer's Twin Peaks revival and that Showtime let the esoteric auteur deliver a haunting, confounding, towering series that seemed close to unfiltered. Nightmarish surrealism blended with musical performances from the likes of Eddie Vedder and spiked with the sadness of deaths from several major castmembers.
In his amiably evasive fashion, Lynch discussed his renewed love for television, the Twin Peaks season's ending, and more with The Hollywood Reporter.
After the premiere event in L.A., did you pay any attention at all to the reactions and responses to the 18 hours?
Yes. I would hear about how it was going as it went along, for sure.
What were you looking for in terms of how audiences were reacting to it?
I really loved the 18 hours myself, but you never know how things are gonna go over in the world. So I was curious of that, how it was going. That's all.
Did anything surprise you or excite you about how actively engaged viewers were?
No. That was really, really good. I'll tell you, it was a total blessing how it went in the world. Sometimes it doesn't go that way. And this was really, really great.
There were episodes throughout the season, like the eighth hour, the nuclear bomb episode where I got to the end and I tried to imagine how Showtime executives must have responded when they saw that hour of television that you brought them. Were there any kind of reactions and feedback along the way from Showtime to what you were bringing them?
Well, in the beginning, I think, obviously, executives, they worry about how things are gonna go. But I've got to say, they were super good with me and I had complete freedom. So it was very good. David Nevins and Gary Levine and Robin Gurney at Showtime ended up being big fans. And it was really happy times working with them.
Did they ask you questions along the way?
Everybody, they're human beings. So they've got questions like everybody else. And they loved seeing clues and trying to figure things out. And they were into it all along. They were really into it. Especially when it got all together with the sound and music mixed in. They really, really were fans.
After the original Twin Peaks run and after the Mulholland Drive pilot, I imagine that you had an ambivalent attitude toward television and how you fit within it. As it stands today, where do you see the match between your storytelling instincts and television?
I love a continuing story, number one. And I think the feature film is going through a troubled time right now. So television, cable television, is the new art house. And it's so beautiful because you can tell a continuing story. The quality of the sound and picture is not as good as in the theater, but it's getting better all the time. And if people see it on a big screen in their house with the lights down and good sound, or if they see it with headphones, it's possible to really get into that world. So it's a hopeful time, and cable television is getting better all the time, and it's a beautiful place for these things.
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