Cinema: Reality is far from simple

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The Owls are not what they seem! Everybody’s talking about David Lynch. His revolutionary series Twin Peaks was like nothing that had come before when it hit television screens in 1990.

Sparking a unique visual style and series of influential, iconic images and moments, Twin Peaks was one of TV’s first truly cinematic offerings. When it ended, the TV-watching world was at a loss but subsequently across the years the series has been rediscovered across generations and the level of meaning it has for such a wide age range is thrilling. 
Whatever your take is on the re-treading of broken ground out of time, or the perils of nostalgia, it is even more thrilling then to discover that a much belated third series will return mid-May this year! Rewind to 2001 and Twin Peak’s natural successor Mulholland Drive exploded more cinematic magic onto screens and swiftly became a modern classic. Originally pitched as a follow-up television series, it fell short of the TV network’s aspirations and lay dormant before being rescued by Lynch and transformed into a feature film. This week it also returns to our screens, re-released in a beautiful digitally restored version. It’s a familiar world where logic upturns an illogical landscape and dreams blur with reality: Lynch’s appeal and legacy only seems to grow with time as new audiences discover his fantastic films and surely Mullholland Drive could be considered his masterpiece. If you fancy another mind-bending moment this week, dial ‘H’ for The Handmaiden; the new film from acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Snowpiercer,) based on the 2002 thriller by Sarah Waters. When her novel ‘Fingersmith’ was adapted for the BBC in 2005, the then ground-breaking story of a lesbian romance amid the Victorian streets of London certainly made waves. It still seems racy, but thankfully audiences are more used to seeing same-sex relationships on the small-screen and representations of LGBT+ stories are no longer the taboo they once were. Now adapted for the big screen, this new version of Waters’ novel relocates the story which from Victorian Britain to 1930s colonial Korea and amends the title to The Handmaiden. This lavish production stars award-winning actress and model Kim Min-hee and like Mulholland Drive, is a simmering and intimate feast for the eyes and the mind. Both films cover new ground in the representation of female sexuality and intricacies of female relationships. Weaving identities, lies and assumptions; both romances are intense and full of the unknown; seemingly innocent and swathed in fantasy, and one thing remains - the reality of both situations is far from simple.