Friday, November 29, 2013

Welcome to the Black Lodge

Light a cigarette, pour yourself a damn fine cup of coffee, and get ready for a trip to the Black Lodge. Twin Peaks is back.

Unfortunately we're not getting a third season twenty five years later. No, I'm talking fashion. Suckers Apparel has released a line of Twin Peaks inspired fashion. Pricy, Suckers' colorful duds pay homage to everything from the patterned floor of the Black Lodge to Laura Palmer's corpse wrapped in plastic.

It's hard to say if the hipsters have really embraced the early 90s cult classic for anything more than irony, but the line is sold out so someone's wearing it.

Twin Peaks has only a small link to Philadelphia, Agent Dale Cooper was from here. However David Lynch has a profound connection to the city, particularly its gritty, dangerous past.

Lynch studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, living in the Callowhill neighborhood in the late 60s. At a time when the neighborhood was still largely industrial and trains still carried commuters atop the Reading Viaduct, Callowhill was another world, one Lynch blames for his dark and disturbing stories.

Twin Peaks was clearly his most tame and most structured work. Usually consisting of short scenes and bizarre images loosely woven together, Lynch's films are more art than movie.

If you like Lynch, you're not sure why. No one can deny he's interesting.

Lynch left Philadelphia for Los Angeles in 1970. He didn't return to the city that haunted his dreams and his artwork for four decades. In March of 2012, Lynch was in town to assist the PAFA with an upcoming David Lynch exhibit and a documentary.

Homecomings can be bittersweet for many reasons. When you're a kid, places feel bigger, wilder, scarier. But those places also change. Of today's Philadelphia Lynch said, "it’s all bright and shiny just like every other city....I preferred it the way it was."

Lynch, quiet and composed, still shies from publicity. With many dubbing his Callowhill neighborhood "Eraserhood," an homage to his first major film, Eraserhead, it's hard to say how he'd feel about the recognition, particularly considering the posh lofts that have erased the character that once inspired him.

As for a Twin Peaks homecoming, not a chance. Rumors have buzzed for years, rumors Lynch repeatedly denies. Perhaps ABC can turn to Twin Peaks' co-creator Mark Frost. After all Lynch didn't direct every episode, but admittedly the best episodes.

Many shows have drawn inspiration from Twin Peaks, such as the cancelled Happy Town and the successful The Killing. Though it's going to be a while before a vision as unique as Lynch's is going to find its way to network television. Perhaps a movie?

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