Film Appreciation 101 Professor Begrudgingly Grades Another Term Paper About “Twin Peaks”

Twin Peaks Red Room Cooper's Dream About Midget and Giant

Just one of hundreds of scenes beyond the realm of comprehension for 18-year-olds who otherwise consume hours of "Beverly Hills 90210" on a weekly basis, according to Dr. Miller.

April 16, 1994 – Kalamazoo, Mich. – Owing to his duties as a faculty member of the Film and Media Studies department at Western Michigan University and the fact that he has “no fucking choice in the matter,” Dr. Joseph Miller, Ph.D. set about the task of grading yet another 10-page single-spaced essay attempting to analyze David Lynch’s groundbreaking television series “Twin Peaks.”

“If I had to estimate, I would say this is the 12th or 13th time this semester that I have read an exceptionally poorly argued assertion that Agent Dale Cooper is a Messiah figure, and the owls represented Lucifer trying to draw him away from the White Lodge of Audrey’s ample bosom,” Miller sighed, shuffling a pile of papers around his desk and reaching for a cup of “fairly shitty coffee.”

“You’d think after reading several dozen times about the supposed parallels between the death of Laura Palmer and America’s fall from innocence and how the repetitious use of donuts and running water symbolizes this connection, I would be numb to it, but I’m not. I’m not.”

Miller said ever since screening 1986’s Blue Velvet for a class of freshmen in 1990, he has been inundated with “superficial analysis of Lynch’s surrealist, often nostalgic dreamscapes that use rich color, carefully executed sound editing and absurdist motifs to comment on….Oh, Jesus. Listen to me. I’m starting to sound like them.”

According to carefully transcribed notes–kept in a small, glossy red-and-black bound diary stored in a secretly hollowed out bookshelf in his WMU office–Miller has read at least 67 essays on “Twin Peaks” since the series finale in 1991; more than twice the number of papers he has graded on Eraserhead and roughly four times that of any Star Wars movies, “thank Christ for small favors.”

“You’d think that because I am a rather devoted Lynch fan, that this would be easier for me, but it certainly is not,” Miller said, as he took off his wire-rimmed glasses to slowly massage the area between his eyes, before reaching for a packet of aspirin stored in a hollowed-out coconut on the corner of his credenza. “Did you know that James Hurley could be compared to a certain James Dean and other rebels with a heart of gold? Were you able to easily pick up on that yourself? Cause I would love to read three poorly punctuated paragraphs on what you think of the matter.”

“I love Dr. Miller’s class,” said Rochester freshmen Ted Manning, 19, who recently submitted a 5-page paper for Miller’s class that asserted that everything in the whole of “Twin Peaks” was actually a dream that Cooper had during his flight to Washington state. “We got to watch Blue Velvet in our second class of the semester. Did you know that you totally get to see that French lady’s boobs in that thing?”

Taking a break “that was needed more than you can even begin to comprehend” from reading a passage about the hollowness of war as represented by the Log Lady’s wooden companion and finishing the remains of a piece of cherry pie, Miller begrudgingly admitted that the onslaught of Lynchian scrutiny in recent years is certainly preferable to “what happened after I had the big idea to show Evil Dead to a group of sophomores in ’86.”

–By Tricia


1 Comment

Filed under Contains Kyle MacLachlan, It's Good

One response to “Film Appreciation 101 Professor Begrudgingly Grades Another Term Paper About “Twin Peaks”

  1. Love it. Absolutely love it.

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