The Stillness of 'Twin Peaks'
David Lynch makes the most of a static frame.
Few directors make use of static shots to slowly needle an audience into an unexpected reaction quite like David Lynch. Modern film and television has trended toward more kinetic action and frenetically-paced scenes, but Twin Peaks and other works by Lynch slow things down, drawing out the tension of violent moments or even silly and mundane events. During longer shots with very little movement, seemingly innocent objects like ceiling fans or office painting can take on sinister vibes, and awkward interactions can elicit uncomfortable laugher. This video essay looks at the use of quiet, still scenes in the prequel Fire Walk With Me and Twin Peaks: The Return, currently airing on Showtime, to demonstrate Lynch's fascination with extending the moments other filmmakers wouldn't think to linger on for more than a few seconds.