Apparently theorizing that the current takes swirling around online movie discourse—mostly concerned, as they are, with asking why Anna Paquin doesn’t talk more in The Irishman about Martin Scorsese’s Marvel movie thoughts—were insufficiently hot, venerable French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma has now cheerfully chucked a lit match into the ongoing conversation. Specifically, the magazine has just released its list of the best films of the 2010s, naming David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return as its number one pick.
“Now wait,” you might find yourself asking, “Wasn’t that a TV show?” And that’s how they fucking get you, because suddenly we’re all once again engaged in an extremely intractable, Slick Willy-esque conversation about what a TV show or movie even is. After all, those on the “movie” side will argue, The Return was shot as an 18-hour project, which Lynch then cut down into hour-long episodes for distribution on Showtime. “Yeah,” the other side answers, “That’s called a TV show.” (Or a limited series. Or whatever! What is even the definition of “Is”?!)
To be fair, Cahiers du Cinéma has, at least, been consistent in its efforts to give us this absolutely massive headache, Christ, it’s like an icepick in our skulls: The magazine was also one of several outlets to give top honors to The Return with its list of the best “films” of 2017, and included the original series as No. 4 on its list for the 1990s. (It’s no The Bridges Of Madison County, one of three top entries on that list, but still: Pretty good.) Not to side with Wendy’s on this shit—because, obviously, Wendy’s is involved in this conversation, because why the fucking fuck wouldn’t it be—we could point out that a TV show doesn’t magically turn into a movie just because you really, really like it. But, then, we’re already caught in the trap. Better to just enjoy the show/non-show, or maybe just go re-watch No. 2 on the list, Holy Motors; at least that one only tries to make our brains crawl out of our skulls in a more directly intentional way.