One thing which grates a little with me in the new ‘Twin Peaks’ is the body count. Much of the power of ‘Mulholland Drive’ – & I intend to expand on this another time – seems to me to spring from a visceral attack on Hollywood’s capacity to easily kill (and to destroy) people; that is characters real or fictitious. To watch ‘Twin Peaks’ happily disposing of its cast is a little grueling – but maybe will come right as we proceed.
I have been watching the new series of Twin Peaks out of a great gutlevel admiration for David Lynch and his art. Partly also out of duty and of curiosity; I am a little cautious of the flash and whimsy.
[I have to say I adore the peculiar silences and creepy glib dialogue. The humour derived may occasionally fall flat but as a form of realism it is astute and grimly satirical. Subversive.]
Take away his status as a savant and the curious sweetness about him and Agent Dale Cooper is stumbling about in a sort of catatonic state that strongly resembles my understanding of the state depression can place a person in.
Another example would be ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ by Bob Dylan.
Partly it is the responses of the people around him. No one pauses to ask why his behaviour is strange and no one looks for ways to communicate with him. He is alienated from common emotions. He has incomprehension in the face of all that should be familiar, difficulty in processing simple concepts or performing simple tasks. Loved ones become strangers with unfathomable motivations and a specific and inexplicable hostility usually complicated by a great deal of stress. Nothing seems very real. Depression.
Official Chang I was a great talker and enjoyed argument; he was capable of declaring black white and white black. Itinerant and braggart, he had a mouth that encompassed oceans and seas, and his tongue wagged as he boasted of seeing the curved roofs of mythical cities. This might be called the “colour” of windbags.
Finally, it should concern those who seek “colour” in writing and speaking that words and sentences have not only form but also sound.
Ah! Considering the vastness of the heavens and the earth, looking around at people and things, reading polished essays, listening to brave utterances, all these go together and make a whole and colourful world. How can colour be said to apply only to painting? Evan those who live good and pure lives are part of this world; they are like the landscapes in light ink by Ni Yun-lin at which the ignorant laugh and poke fun. Today so many people live in limited and colourless worlds. How may they be offered a fuller life and contentment? Pictures are one means, so let us speak of painting.
The mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (excerpt), Trans. Mai–mai Sze