Tuesday, 23 August 2016

25 Years Later & Counting...

I am finding the wait for 2017 is becoming almost torturous... I know I shouldn't wish my life away and there are so many great Twin Peaks events coming later this year: Mark Frost's book The Secret History of Twin Peaks is published in October and The Twin Peaks UK Festival is happening again in November. But in the meantime I need to find other ways to satisfy my obsession and there are only so many times I can watch the series over and over again... So I thought I would share some Twin Peaks things that have been entertaining me recently!

Diane - Twin Peaks Podcast

I only discovered this fantastic podcast last week and it has been essential listening on my walk to and from work. There are a few Twin Peaks podcasts already in existence and although brilliant in their own way, I have found Diane to have some of the most refreshing and interesting views, opinions and analysis of the show. The lovely hosts (Rosie, Mark, Adam and Bob) are based in the English seaside town of Brighton and are a pleasure to delve into each episode with. Being a Twin Peaks nerd I sometimes think I know it all but listening to Diane I am finding out brand new pieces of information and observations which have previously passed me by. I highly recommend you download some episodes. Find them on twitter @DianePodcast and download here: http://diane.libsyn.com/ 

Twin Peaks FAQ: All That's Left To Know About A Place Both Wonderful & Strange

This book was published in July and I had it on pre-order. I've been dipping in and out of it ever since. It's so well formatted and laid out and really fun to read. Again, it's one of those situations where I think I know all there is to know but Bushman and Smith include snippets of information I've never stumbled upon and some great (sometimes hilarious) analysis of characters and episodes. As it is a new publication, it is the first Twin Peaks book I've read which includes mentions of the new series and how it came to be announced to the world. Buy it on Amazon here.

Twin Peaks UK Festival Costume

I can't reveal too much here as I always keep my costume for the festival a closely guarded secret until the big day and although it seems a long time away (November 12th) my older sister is so well prepared and was showing me her purchases at the weekend for her costume. So, naturally I was inspired to immediately get mine together. Usually I go as some form of Laura Palmer but this year I'm doing something different... But you'll have to wait and see!
You can still buy tickets for the UK Twin Peaks event of the year here.

Twin Peaks OST Re-Issue

The new LP release of the Twin Peaks soundtrack looks so wonderful. I am yet to get my hands on it but have recently inherited a record player and plan to attend one of the listening events to make a purchase. Sister Ray Ace in Shoreditch are hosting a 'Cherry Pie & Coffee Evening' listening party on 6th September with a free record going to whoever can tie a cherry stem into a knot with their tongue the fastest. I tried this in anticipation at home last night and all I can say is, I'm struggling to summon my inner Audrey Horne! Link to the Facebook event page is here.

I hope you check out some of the above if you haven't already done so. Please send me your ideas of Peakie activities to keep me satisfied until next year! Hang loose Howies.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In Defence of Donna

"I'm having the most beautiful dream...and the most terrible nightmare, all at once."

For a small town Twin Peaks is teaming with glamorous, beautiful and stylish women and as fans we cannot get enough of them. Audrey and Shelly seem to be very firm favorites among the online fan community and rightly so - their characters were mesmerizing and the actresses continue to indulge our Peaky obsession with regular appearances at the festivals and great online interaction with the fans.

But I never hear much, if anything at all, about Donna or actress Lara Flynn Boyle who portrayed her in the series (not to be confused with Moira Kelly who played Donna in prequel film Fire Walk With Me). In fact, the few tweets I have seen have predominantly been to share recent unflattering photos of the actress, trolling her about plastic surgery. It's been confirmed that Lara Flynn Boyle will not appear in the new series coming in 2017, yet this does not mean that Donna has been written out, and part of me hopes she might still be around, although I fully trust in Lynch and Frost.

I think it's a real shame that you don't see very much Donna love online... She was an absolute babe in the original series, a compelling and essential character as the deceased Laura's straight laced BFF and some of her scenes are unforgettable. The moment she realizes something terrible has happened to Laura in the classroom in the pilot is so haunting.

I did some probing and must say thank you to followers who promptly responded. I know a lot of you do have a fondness for Donna but overall she does not seem regarded as an essential character and won't be missed much in the new series. @TwinPeaksRevolution said they felt in a minority for liking Lara Flynn Boyle's Donna and hope the new Mark Frost book will shed some light on what has happened to Donna in the last 25 years if indeed her character does not resurface and I do agree - it would be nice to have explanations if main characters do not return. Whilst another TP fanatic @chaffro said Donna annoyed the hell out of him in Season 2 when the Harold plot line became convoluted. A fair point but I found Donna's investigations leading her to Harold the shut in and the bizarre Mrs Tremond and her magician son, some of the oddest and most riveting scenes. It was touching to see the risks Donna was willing to take to find out the truth about her best friend.

For me Donna helped humanise Laura Palmer. Laura wasn't just a troubled, drug addict nymphomaniac with nobody to turn to. Beneath the darkness was a normal teenage girl and even if Donna didn't know all about Laura's secrets, she did know the sweet, innocent Laura and she loved her in the way girls do love their friends growing up. The BFF bond is such an amazing one!

I just think Donna needs a little more recognition and love thrown her way. Lara Flynn Boyle had some great scenes and looked flawless in that black shoulderless cocktail dress with the red bow in the penultimate "you're my daddy" episode. It was one of my favourite outfits seen on the show.

I've been reading the recently published 'Twin Peaks FAQ' and love their summarisation of Donna:

"...her courageous willingness to confront the darkest aspects of humanity is all the more heroic when one considers her cozy, cloistered, wholesome upbringing. Donna's a good girl for sure, but she's not a drag..."

I don't like to dwell on the behind the scenes gossip and I know James and Donna's romance was sometimes too frothy to stomach but overall I think Donna was brilliant and we should all take some more time to recognise that!

What do you think? Was LFB a better Donna than Moira Kelly? Are you sad she might not be included in series 3? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Tribute To My Dad

I have been terrible at blogging this year. It has been on my Summer ‘To Do’ list (alongside picnics, tennis, reading, swimming...) since June but recently I have been through one of the hardest experiences of my life and time fell apart for a while. This will be an emotional blog to write but after much thought I really think it is something I want to share.

After months of poor health and time spent in and out of hospital, my Dad died suddenly in July. Although his condition was getting worse it still came as a shock to me and my siblings and it has been a difficult five weeks since. But I finally feel that I have found myself again and have decided it is time to focus on the positive things in my life right now and the amazing time I spent with my Dad and what he has done for me.

The reason I am sharing this and writing a tribute post is because, without my Dad, I wonder if I would ever have discovered our beloved Twin Peaks! I grew up in the rural wilderness of the Highlands of Scotland and, unless you were really into hill walking and other outdoor ventures (which I am not particularly), there wasn’t very much to do. Fortunately my Dad was a film buff extraordinaire and we started a 2-person film society. He gave me a great foundation in Film Studies before I went to University to study at degree level. My dad had a flavour for films which transcend the mainstream. His most favourite of all were the Surrealist masterpieces of Luis Bunuel such as Un Chien Andalou in which an eyeball is sliced in half and juxtaposed with the moon. And after showing me Bunuel the natural progression was to the work of David Lynch.

We started with Eraserhead which I found totally bizarre, amusing and disturbing. My mum wouldn’t watch it as Dad had shown it to her once before and she was horrified by the baby. But I was intrigued. And Dad kept telling me about how this surreal filmmaker had later gone on to create a TV show set in a small American town and how there were strange dream sequences and a dancing dwarf. I couldn't begin to imagine it and was desperate to see it.

We sat down for the pilot together and from the moment the boy in the background does that funny dance from his locker in the high school I realized how completely unique it was to anything I had ever seen before and I was hooked. I was obsessed by the mystery and would race home from school every evening begging Dad to let us watch 3 in a row (this was before Netflix binging was the norm). We watched every episode together and went on to watch Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Wild At Heart, Blue Velvet, Dune...

My Dad and I bonded over Twin Peaks and he was so proud of me when I went on to write a dissertation on Lynch’s work (he gave me eager notes and opinions). Even when he was in hospital earlier this year I gave him a Get Well Soon card I made which features a thumbs up Cooper and a stuck on speech bubble saying “I hope you feel damn fine in no time”.

It gives me great sadness to know that we won’t be able to sit down together to discover Twin Peaks, 25 years later, but I will raise a cup of David Lynch coffee in his honour the day I do. I will remain forever so thankful that we shared the time we had together, that he introduced me to the wonderful and strange world which I am so in love with. It continues to bring me so much comfort during the darkest of times.