Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Secret Histories Return to Twin Peaks: Mark Frost and the Spatiotemporal Expansion of Season 3

Monday, December 25, 2017

Secret Histories Return to Twin Peaks: Mark Frost and the Spatiotemporal Expansion of Season 3


Christmas arrived with a nice surprise for me today, when I learned that Offscreen, a Canadian film publication, has uploaded my recent article for them, about Mark Frost's book The Secret History of Twin Peaks and what it tells us about the third season of Twin Peaks that Frost co-wrote with Lynch. The essay is lavishly illustrated (including the above graphic, which seems to be a compilation of an image from the book with a 3D clarification of an underlying image) and should provide fodder for anyone looking to explore Frost's relationship to The Return (which, constant name changes be damned, I've decided I prefer to call the third season). Here is the opening paragraph along with a link to Offscreen, where you can read the rest of my article (the accompanying issue will be available soon...):
For those tempted to primarily credit (or blame) writer/director David Lynch for the open-ended, multifaceted, difficult to pin down nature of the limited series Twin Peaks: The Return, co-writer Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks both confirms and contradicts that thesis. Like The Return (as the show’s third season was dubbed in one of Showtime’s few permitted interventions), Frost’s work pursues a long-dormant story in several directions. Both series and book abandon the tight timeline and bounded setting that once marked Twin Peaks, shifting from the parable-like containment of the original to something more consciously saturated in explicit American history. Surprisingly, however, the incidents and direct concerns of The Secret History and The Return barely overlap; the book’s curious focus on UFO lore, along with most of its enticing loose ends, never pays off (and barely even comes up) in the series. In retrospect, the book can look like Frost’s own personal, private path, an opportunity to explore subjects that interested him under the Twin Peaks masthead while Lynch directed the series as a film rather than a week-to-week show that Frost could help run (Lynch has stated baldly that he didn’t read Frost’s book). Yet The Return and its literary companion, complemented in October 2017 by Frost’s much shorter and simpler The Final Dossierdo have some broader commonalities in spirit, reminding us that Frost co-authored The Return, however curtailed his role in its actual production.


In other news, I'm slowly advancing on several fronts, including ideas for a Patreon account, which I'll unveil here soon. Until then - Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and (though I hope you'll have something more to read here before then) Happy New Year too.

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