Many people seem to be puzzled or, more likely, made uncomfortable by the many long, lingering scenes on the show thus far, such as the sweeping scene and the scene in the diner in episode 7, or the slow pan into a mushroom cloud and the otherworldly scene of the lounging Seniorita Dido in episode 8. I think one of the things Lynch is doing with these scenes is something the vast majority of artists once focused on, the appreciation of beauty.
Back before the bomb, the entire world was beautifully designed and most artists sought to depict the beauty of the world around them in their art. This has been largely lost in the modern era... artists pursue many things, but it is rare that they pursue the depiction of beauty (and when they do it is often dismissed as trite).
Lynch pictures an alternative to our crass and repulsive modern culture while he comments on it. He seems to say "put down your f***ing phone, ignore your f***book feed for one g**damn second, and let's see what it is like to let yourself be overwhelmed by something lovely." When Lynch started making films, the jump cut was an aberration!
As many have noted, Lynch is a painter and has a great appreciation of painting... to really take in a painting, you linger over it, stare at it, let it take you in... look for meaning or just let it flow over you. The references he has had to Edward Hopper seem illuminating, as Hopper was one of the last great popular artists who unironically focused on painting moments of extreme but subtle beauty.
You don't think that long atomic bomb scene was supposed to be beautiful? Well, I wonder how Gordon Cole feels about it, staring at it hanging on his office wall as he whistles to himself?
Few things are harder for an artist to capture than beauty, and Lynch is doing a splendid job of it. Contrasting it with the extreme ugliness and horror in the show (particularly in the scenes accompanied by the so-beautiful-it-makes-you-want-to-cry-if-you-really-listen-to-it song My Prayer by The Platters) he does a wonderful job of showing the terrible, beautiful world corrupted by the bomb that we have all been left with. Somehow Lynch can even make ugliness beautiful.
Lynch's appreciation of beauty is perhaps best shown in the long scene from episode 5 with the stunningly lovely Becky staring at the sky and just taking it in a appreciating its beauty and the beauty of life (while high on cocaine).
I think that's a spot on insight.
I would certainly include myself when I say that culturally we continue in the direction of a "fast food" consumption when it comes to artwork. One of the hardest things to do, especially the longer you've been living in and/or raised in a digital era, is to slow down and appreciate art or music the way it might have been even a decade or two ago. We're used to fast music and playlists with hundreds of songs. We're used to clicking through images on a google search and seeing an artists entire gallery in minutes. Most of our entertainment is fast and give us a lot of information very quickly. Now that I'm a mom I'm sensitive to this happening in kids shows too. They're so scared they're going to LOSE YOUR ATTENTION. Bam bam! Look at me! And they should be scared, because we DO have a short attention span!
It is really refreshing to watch a show where the scenes unfold in a way where you have a chance to digest them. It is so unique to have someone like Lynch creating a TV show with fine art in mind, forcing you to slow down and really take it all in. It really does remind me of walking through an art museum. You can absolutely speed walk through if you want to, but if you want the richer fuller experience you need to spend more than three seconds in front of each piece. When you slow down you catch things you would have missed otherwise.
I love how important the music and the sound is. The "inside of the atomic explosion" scene was not only beautiful to look at, it was a symphony as well. The music did so much storytelling in the place of dialogue. His love of music has been all over the show, it is such an important texture in the world of Twin Peaks.
This third season has been amazing. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way when you are waiting patiently (or impatiently) for Dougie to find his house, or his shoes, or the bathroom (And yes, I know we are all just really waiting impatiently for Cooper to come back because we love him so damn much and we have been waiting for YEARS already.) But overall I am so pleased that Lynch has produced this show in the way he has. There is nothing like it on television right now, and it is a work of art.
I feel like it's important to also acknowledge that this is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. And that's OKAY. But if you don't see the artistry in it, or enjoy it as much as you think you should and you would like to? Maybe find a "tour guide" to take you through and show you why they appreciate a scene or an episode. I have gotten so much more out of the show and all it's layers by visiting the forum and seeing how much the fans are pulling out of it. I realized right away that I was missing so much and now I'm enjoying it twice as much as I already was!
Thanks for these words, They are so refreshing in this mud of nevrotic-like thinking about this episode. This was a vision of one hour, a real extraordinary beautiful vision. We can say that it had a deeply strong political purpose, it's telling us that the atomic bomb instilled a colossal fear of apocalypse on our planet. A kind of fear that is putting a big shadow on the search of beauty, it's getting us ahead only in the technological field (an illusion). World political boundaries are forced by the threat of The atomic bomb. Fear, I say it again. The one thing the evil of the world of Twin Peaks feeds from.
We may say this and much more about this episode. But somehow i find myself to be reluctant of going further in this analysis.
Beauty as you say.