Twin Peaks at 30
In a pleasant surprise earlier this year, 74 year old David Lynch released a 17 minute short film on Netflix called What Did Jack Do? The brief description accompanying the film reads: “A detective interrogates a monkey who is suspected of murder.” I remember laughing at that description when I first read it. How silly and strange it seems at first blush, right? The description also happens to be quite literally accurate. Almost the whole of the film is David Lynch, playing a detective, interrogating a capuchin monkey, named Jack Cruz, about the murder of Max, a possible rival of Jack’s for the affections of a chicken named, Toototabon.
I did laugh a bit when I first saw the monkey talk, and there is a weird, jarring quality to the deliberately cliched dialogue throughout, but I also became fully engrossed by the brief tale. I was tense throughout; I was genuinely moved by Jack’s tortured affection for Toototabon. And there was a brief musical interlude we got from Jack that felt magical when it happened. Despite the bizarre setting and content, all the emotional moments resonated as I imagine they were intended to. What Did Jack Do? is a little silly and weird, but not just for the sake of being weird, and the difference seems to rest with how fully Lynch commits to the worlds and characters he creates.
Lynch’s most well known work, Twin Peaks, turns 30 this year. It h