Since he last turned the dials on our cinema screens, the now 71-year-old David Lynch – one of the greatest of all American directors and the preeminent surrealist of his generation – has been busily honing yet another reputation, as a far out yet decidedly modern day Renaissance man. He designed a night club called ‘Silencio’ in Paris, exhibited his artworks at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, released a couple of experimental electronic music albums, and documented the lithographic process in Idem Paris, a 2013 short.
But now after twenty-five years we are welcoming Twin Peaks back to our television screens, and its a medium Lynch prefers, considering the old arthouse cinema dead. As many as eighteen brand new episodes are set to roll right into our living rooms, coming to halt and holding us in rapture whether with a click, a scream, or a thud. ‘Hallelujah! Come on, get happy!’, as Leland Palmer once memorably sang, but Lynch has a saying of his own, ‘Where the attention is, that becomes lively’, and turns out there’s more to come.
Because sticking for the time being with the small screen, Lynch is reportedly set to direct several episodes of Neighbours, the longstanding Aussie soap. It’s a show which has not been short of stardom, elevating the early careers of Guy Pearce, Jason Donovan, and Kylie Minogue, but when it comes to Hollywood names entering the close confines of Ramsay Street, Lynch without question will be the biggest of the lot.
We will have to wait and see how the venerable absurdist puts his stamp on the Erinsborough world, or how he gets to grips with extant characters, like Paul Robinson, Toadfish Rebecchi, Susan Kennedy and co. But early rumblings suggest a crossover with Blue Velvet, Lynch’s cult classic neo noir, and a return for a psychotic pimp and gangster in the form of the character of Frank Booth.
The role of the sadistic Booth was performed indelibly by Dennis Hopper, who passed away in 2010. But Lynch is purportedly planning an origin story, to play out in the form of a multi-episode arc. We will see how the young Frank Booth – casting still to be determined – develops a penchant for noxious gases, Roy Orbison, and sexual abuse. And we will discover – straight from his heart, fucker – just why he came to dislike good neighbours so much.