Friday, 29 May 2015

Twin Peaks and Showtime: The Story So Far

Whilst researching my dissertation on the work of David Lynch, I was dismayed to read many different quotes from Lynch stating that he had no desire to ever return to the town of Twin Peaks. Every so often new rumors would emerge saying there would be a revival but they were always shot down. I truly believed it would never happen. Until, on October 3rd 2014, David Lynch and Mark Frost both tweeted simultaneously "That gum you like is going to come back in style! #damngoodcoffee" and the internet exploded with excitement.


On October 6th, Lynch and Frost tweeted that, in the words of the giant, "...it is happening again" and confirmed that network Showtime would be reviving the series with both Lynch and Frost writing every episode and Lynch directing.

During the Q&A at the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2014, Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson) confirmed to an audience of ecstatic fans that Lynch had called her that week to let her know she would definitely be featured in the new series, along with Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs) who was also in attendance. The audience went wild with enthusiastic applause and following from that more announcements came from other cast members, either confirming their involvement or saying how delighted they would be to get involved. Most importantly, Kyle MacLachlan will resume his role of Special Agent Dale Cooper!





Q&A with Sheryl Lee and Bobby Briggs at the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2014

But then a fish was dropped in the peculator... In early April, Lynch quite dramatically announced his departure, stating that he had been calling the actors to tell them personally that due to financial issues with the network, he would not direct. This was disastrous news. But oh how we rallied...




Fans from across the globe joined forces with the cast themselves to do whatever it would take to convince Showtime that without David Lynch, there could be no Twin Peaks. A change.org petition received over 29,000 signatures, the hashtag #SaveTwinPeaks began trending on Twitter and a social media thunderclap was arranged.

The amazing cast made a moving video about what Twin Peaks without David Lynch would be like. It's so inspiring how passionate about the show they remain and how much it means to them, as well as us. They love it for the same reasons and just as much as the fans. The cast set up a Facebook Page called Official Twin Peaks Cast Run Site and made every effort to motivate fans to keep using social media as a tool of protest. Contributions, messages and photos came from Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Dana Ashbrook, Kimmy Robertson (Lucy), Jennifer Lynch and Madchen Amick (Shelly Johnson). Sherilyn in particular was excellent at keeping in touch with the fans, sharing any news she had personally as soon as she could.


To me it seemed clear that bringing Twin Peaks back without David Lynch directing would be an enormous mistake. Of course many episodes of the 1st and 2nd series were directed by guest directors but the episodes Lynch directed are by far the most iconic, important, memorable and flawless. It feels like a once in a lifetime, dream opportunity and if after 25 years Twin Peaks is returning it has to be done right. Sherilyn Fenn stated that if Lynch didn't direct, she would not be involved and Audrey would either have to be re-cast or *SPOILER* have met her death in the bank explosion... Can you imagine?!

The fans didn’t give up on social media and the cast kept sending messages of hope and support. I honestly did not believe it would go ahead without Lynch and thought surely Showtime would be
able to work things out with him. On May 16th our wishes came true: "Dear Twitter friends, the rumors are not what they seem... It is!!! Happening again." and Showtime confirmed that David Lynch is back on board! Please, lets make that the end of Lynch's dramatic bad news tweets. I hope it is!


Since then Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee have appeared at Seattle's Crypticon where they confirmed that Angelo Badalementi would return to compose new music for the show and there would not be a mere 9 episodes but 18 in total! Rumors are that much of the show will be shot on location in North Bend, WA where the pilot was shot, and the original site of the RR Diner (now Twede's Café) will be restored to its former 90s Twin Peaks glory. There is a good article about this at Welcome To Twin Peaks.

So that is the story so far between Showtime and Twin Peaks concerning the revival. It's been tumultuous but the power of the extraordinarily passionate cast and the dedicated fans proves to be stronger than ever. Now we just have to wait...

Thursday, 28 May 2015

What Is A Twin Peaks Blue Rose?

I've been asked to explain where the name of my blog, The Blue Rose, has come from and why it relates to Twin Peaks. Fanatics, don't feel patronized. I know it's obvious to some of us Twin Peaks obsessives! But I want this blog to be a good guide for people who are beginning to discover Twin Peaks for the first time - I'm predicting an entire new generation will become fans of Twin Peaks this year and next, before the Showtime revival hits our screens.

The blue rose doesn't actually appear in Twin Peaks the TV series, but in Fire Walk With Me, the prequel film David Lynch made after the show was cancelled. Fire Walk With Me takes us back in time to before Laura's death and investigates what happened in her final days leading up to it. It is seriously worth watching but incredibly dark.

Gordon Cole of the FBI (played by David Lynch himself) uses the blue rose as a secret FBI symbol to represent that a case is un-explained and under particularly unusual circumstances. These cases are shrouded in mystery with elements of the supernatural. In reality blue roses are modified to be blue, they do not exist in nature. This is why they have come to represent a symbol of mystery, not just in the world of Twin Peaks, but in popular culture in general.

The Twin Peaks Wikia page has some more interesting points about the Blue Rose cases but this does contain some SPOILERS so click with caution. They interestingly mention that director David Lynch's Los Angeles home is on a street named 'Blue Rose Street' but I can't find it on Google Maps... How very mysterious.

At last year's Twin Peaks UK Festival attendees were given really pretty blue roses upon arrival and I've kept mine. It sits on my mantelpiece next to my Laura Palmer prom picture (I'm really revealing what a creep I am here!). And that's where the inspiration for my blog name, The Blue Rose, came. Next thing is to design a banner, or rather, find someone who can design a fabulous banner for me!



How To Host A Twin Peaks Party!

Twin Peaks is a great theme for a party and what better time to celebrate then now? It's the 25th anniversary and we've all been blessed with the good news that Twin Peaks will be soon to return to our screens. In my 3rd year of university myself and some friends got together for a little Twin Peaks dinner followed by a screening of Fire Walk With Me and it was so much fun! 

Here are some ideas and tips for you to host your own Twin Peaks party - I hope you will feel inspired. I'd love to hear from you if you do or if you have some great ideas of your own to share. Comment below or tweet me some pics! @TheBlueRoseBlog

Dress Code

There are so many great characters that are fun to dress up as and if you have some extra creative friends who love fancy dress this should be encouraged! I've seen some amazing costumes at the Twin Peaks UK Festival: FBI Agents, Log Ladies, diner waitresses, owls, even a human ceiling fan! Make sure there is a prize for the winner: eBay is full of Twin Peaks mugs, badges, tee shirts and other great gift ideas.


Laura Palmer realness - very difficult to see with
these contact lenses in! And a wig even worse than the one she wore in FWWM...
 Plaid shirts at the Twin Peaks Festival 2013 - with Ian Buchanan, Charlotte Stewart and mega babe Mädchen Amick

If you are short for time or don't want to be too elaborate, it's also easy to simply dress in the style - one year a group of us attended the festival all wearing plaid shirts and it looked really good!
Or pop into a local vintage clothing shop and you will be spoiled for choice. Anything that looks 90s or 80s will be perfect. Channel Catherine Martell in power shoulder pads or Lucy the receptionist in an oversized jumper.

My favourite places to find vintage clothing online:

Rokit
eBay
Beyond Retro

Decorations & Atmosphere

There are some great Twin Peaks playlists on Spotify already that you can take advantage of but if you are making your own be sure to include the soundtrack music by brilliant composer Angelo Badalamenti, Julee Cruise's albums The Voice of Love and Floating Into The Night and even the music of director David Lynch himself.

Project Twin Peaks above the party using a projector - this would be the perfect backdrop.

Print out Laura Palmer's prom photo and display it on a mantel piece or side table in a gold frame. Stick extracts from Laura Palmer's Secret Diary around the room, as well as other mysterious notes from the show...



Hang some red fabric across the door way into your party so guests feel as if they are stepping into the Black Lodge or if you are ambitious you could try recreating the Black Lodge itself in your living room!



Drink

Now we all know how important it is to treat yourself to a, excuse me, damn fine cup of coffee! But coffee is always best served at the end of dinner or if you are having a boozey party, maybe not at all! In which case, you have no excuse but to whip up some Espresso Martinis as a substitute.

Cooper's Off-Duty Espresso Martini (Serves 1)

50ml premium quality vodka
35ml coffee liqueur
1 shot (25ml) of David Lynch Signature Cup Organic Espresso (or other espresso of your choice) 

Fill a martini glass with ice to chill.
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
Shake it up! Make sure the ice all smashes up to give it a nice, frothy top.
Strain out the contents directly into your martini glass and garnish with 3 small coffee beans.

Eat

At our Twin Peaks dinner we served fish (fresh from the percolator!) with some vegetables and garmonbozia - more commonly known as creamed corn. I made a simple white sauce and mixed in the sweetcorn. It's indulgent American comfort food at its finest!

I want all my Garmonbozia!
Dessert couldn't be anything other than RR Diner special Cherry Pie. Many big supermarkets now sell these freshly made in their bakery sections but you can easily find great cherry pie recipes online if you are a keen baker.

Doughnuts at the Twin Peaks UK Festival 2011 ©She.Brown 

No Twin Peaks party would be complete without some perfectly stacked doughnuts - the superfood of sheriffs! And if that isn't enough sweet treats for you, I was inspired by some gorgeous cupcakes someone made for the Twin Peaks UK Festival in 2011. I love that chocolate flakes were used for mini logs - so cute!


Twin Peaks Cupcakes at The Twin Peaks UK Festival 2011 ©She.Brown 

Activities

Of course you will be tempted to sit down and screen a few episodes. If you decide to screen Fire Walk With Me I think you might be in need of some light relief afterwards...! I found this Twin Peaks themed Cards Against Humanity game online and think it would make the perfect post-screening or post-dinner game. You can purchase it online from Etsy here.

Or maybe you own an original Twin Peaks board game? I've never even seen one and would do anything to play it. I'm hoping with the new episodes coming out maybe a Twin Peaks Monopoly will be produced...


Enjoy your parties and make sure you comment below with all of your own great ideas!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What Twin Peaks Means To Me & Welcome To My Blog!


Twin Peaks is a world I have been utterly enthralled by since I first discovered it as a 13 year old, many years after it's success in the early 90s. Right now Twin Peaks is receiving a much anticipated revival - something I never dreamed would happen. When I found out that after 25 years and many denied rumors it was really going to return, I felt like I needed a lie down and a little cry! I still cannot believe that we will be sitting down to watch brand new episodes continuing the story and with all of the original collaborators and many of the cast returning. But for those who are yet to discover Twin Peaks, the fascination and obsession with a TV show that aired before I was born and was then cancelled prematurely after only two seasons might seem strange...

I remember watching the Twin Peaks pilot for the very first time and being totally enamoured by the strange juxtaposition of dark material colliding with absurd humour. When Laura Palmer’s body is discovered, dead, wrapped in plastic, it is an incredibly moving (and now iconic) moment. The tone is of great sadness and morbidity. But then Andy the deputy shows up to photograph the crime scene and bursts into sobbing tears and is berated by Sheriff Truman “Come on Andy. The same thing as last year at Mr Blodge’s barn.” Suddenly a  moment of bizarre humour appears out of the darkness and throws you completely off guard! But that is the beauty of Twin Peaks – you find yourself crying with laughter one moment, and deeply troubled and disturbed the next.

I was introduced to it by my father, who watched it the first time round when it aired in 1989 (I was born in 1990). He had already screened Eraserhead, Wild At Heart and Blue Velvet for me and I was hooked on the Lynch universe so it seemed likely that I would enjoy Twin Peaks. I was probably 13 years old when I first watched it and I remember rushing home from school and begging that he would agree to watch 3 or 4 episodes in a go... (Note this was long before Netflix binge culture!) I couldn’t get enough of it. I would then introduce it to my friends, my younger sister, boyfriends, and anyone else who had not seen it. I loved re-visiting it with people who were watching it for the first time themselves and I was always slightly disappointed when they didn't respond to it the way I did! Later, I studied a 4 year long film degree at the University of St Andrews and wrote my dissertation on Lynch's work. Devoting an entire year to Lynch related research and writing was the highlight of my academic career.


Watching Twin Peaks, I instantly fell in love with the town, the characters, the mystery, the music, the humour and the darkness. The plots of all the different towns folk begin to unravel and take their own directions but the overarching death of Laura Palmer is always present. I see her in the trees, in the night sky, in the changing traffic lights at the crossroads, in the Roadhouse, in the waterfall by the Great Northern... Laura is surrounded by mythology, tragedy, romance and sorrow. I can’t say I relate to her, but I was completely transfixed by her. It felt as if she was a friend of mine and like the community of Twin Peaks, I had also failed to save her. I hear Julee Cruise’s haunting rendition of ‘Questions In A World of Blue’ and feel like I am mourning for Laura.


Twin Peaks is a place I will never become bored of. It is somewhere that will always be with me and will always remain a fascination and a masterpiece. It terrifies me and intrigues me and moves me. And it is just so bloody cool. The timeless 90s/50s/80s costumes, the quirky dialogue, the sexiness, the jazz music on the soundtrack, the obsession with coffee, the appreciation of Douglas Firs and the other worldly spirits. Twin Peaks has stood the test of time, still remains fresh and exciting and quite clearly set the ground work for all of the other incredible TV drama we watch today. Twin Peaks is my one true geeky, nerdy, fanatical obsession and this is my blog dedicated to it.