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An Auteurist Aesthetic

by Christopher LeMaire

This scene from the new Twin Peaks revival--a two and half minute unbroken shot of a man sweeping--demonstrates the drastic aesthetic shift that occurred in the show's nearly 30 year break. Unlike the original series, there is no semblance of melodrama. The original aesthetic--and even the complex narrative structure – have been substituted for something totally new, sure to intrigue and please scholars and diehard fans, while isolating most other casual viewers. I argue that the new Twin Peaks has no generic basis. It’s a self contained auterist work designed to impress us with its experimental design and “genius” plotless structure. Thus, Twin Peaks, which is perhaps the most extreme example of mainstream quality TV of all time, helps solidify the notion of "quality" as a theoretical genre. The show, aiming to eliminate its past references to “cultural categories,” points to a trend in which TV across several different forms of media draws ever closer to a film aesthetic and the long standing dominant auteur theory.

Other media by this contributor

Twin Peaks The Return & Quality TV - Guy Sweeping

A man sweeps in a bar for two and half minutes in an unbroken static shot.

from Twin Peaks The Return Part 7 (2017)
Creator: David Lynch and Mark Frost
Distributor: Showtime
Posted by Christopher LeMaire