Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Secret History of Twin Peaks Available This Week!

Can you believe that after a 25 year wait new Twin Peaks material has been released? I am still pinching myself despite counting down the days since the release date was set. THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS by Mark Frost (writer and co-creator of Twin Peaks) promises to divulge serious information on the world of Twin Peaks and somewhat fill in the gaps over the last 25 years before the new series hits our screens next year.



I was going to wait for my book to be delivered by Amazon and was going to sit down uninterrupted with some hot, black coffee and a doughnut to pour over the pages but I simply cannot help myself. I can't wait a second longer. I have no control when it comes to Twin Peaks. So, I downloaded the audio book this morning before leaving the house and managed to take in 45 minutes of it on my way to work. Here's a great tip: sign up to Audible's free 30 day trial and you can download The Secret History of Twin Peaks completely free!

I promise not to divulge any spoilers on my blog without prior warning. I hope you all enjoy reading or listening to the book around the world and thank you Mark Frost for giving us this very special gift.

And as if today couldn't get any better, SHOWTIME have shared this incredible sneak peek at the new Twin Peaks season 3. It gave me chills watching it. It really makes me think the new series is going to be absolutely extraordinary!


Monday, 10 October 2016

Lynch At The London Film Festival 2016

The London Film Festival always has a fantastically diverse range of films screening and this year there were two documentaries about David Lynch being shown - Blue Velvet Revisited and David Lynch The Art Life. One was shot 30 years ago during the making of Blue Velvet when Lynch was a young and immensely enthusiastic filmmaker, the other shot within the last 3 years focusing on David Lynch the artist and reflecting back on his early life now that he is in his 70s. They contrast in tone and style yet both offer the viewer a thoughtful insight into the film icon and slightly more understanding of his influences and outlook on the world around him, although Lynch still remains highly enigmatic.

BLUE VELVET REVISITED


30 years ago at the age of 24, Peter Braatz received a letter from David Lynch simply stating "Dear Peter, I am interested. Signed David Lynch". Peter had asked permission to travel to LA and film a behind the scenes observation of the making of Blue Velvet on his Super-8 camera. All these years later and the footage has been edited together with memorable graphics and a wonderful soundtrack from Crammed Discs, resulting in a meditative experience and peek at the production of what has become known as Lynch's masterpiece. I was naieve to believe this would be a typical behind the scenes making of documentary. Far from it. Blue Velvet Revisited is a poetic memory of a time, a transcendental observation of Peter's experiences on the set. There is enough interview with Lynch to give the viewer an insight into the director's style of working and enthusiasm about the project whilst remaining completely fascinating and mysterious. An experience for the super fans and those who appreciate Lynch's art.

DAVID LYNCH THE ART LIFE


Over a period of 2 and a half years filmmaker Jon Nguyen shot Lynch working away in his studio in LA and conducted a series of interviews in which Lynch reflects on his life from early childhood up until he received the grant that allowed him to begin production on Eraserhead. The stories Lynch tells are brought to life by his paintings, sculptures and photographs which are used to illustrate his words. It is very interesting to focus on Lynch's artwork as opposed to continuously reading into his films. And it is clear that much of what he produces takes inspiration from everything he has personally experienced throughout his life. He clearly sees himself first and foremost as an artist and is at his most content experimenting in his studio, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.


Lynch has often been misunderstood, including by his own parents, due to his obsession with subjects and materials which most consider particularly dark: death, decay and obscurity. But I feel he actually looks at life in a more straight forward manner than one would assume. He does not shy away from the juxtapositions we face daily between the natural beauty and wonder of the world, and the extreme torment, bleakness and tragedy that can also haunt us. This is evident in his artwork, films and the experiences that are most memorable to him.

Touchingly, the film is dedicated to Lynch's toddler daughter Lula who is shown sitting with her father and painting by his side. The stories that will be left behind in David Lynch The Art Life form some of the most intimate interviews given by Lynch and will I'm sure allow Lula to understand her father's life before she was brought into it. A fascinating examination of an artist and a must see for all Lynch fanatics.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Slice of Twin Peaks in London

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you will be well aware that I am a UK based (London to be exact) Twin Peaks mega fan. So unfortunately, journeying to North Bend, Washington and eating some cherry pie at the real Double R Diner won't be happening any time soon for me. Although it is top of my life time 'to do' list. So in the meantime I have to find ways to escape to Twin Peaks as best I can in The Big Smoke. 
Here are some of the places which help me do just that! Those marked with a * are particularly close to this year's Twin Peaks UK Festival venue (Picturehouse Central in the West End) so worth  checking out if you are visiting and staying nearby for the event.

SOHO GRIND*

19 Beak Street, W1F 9RP

If you are in need of a damn fine cup of coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night, then this is the place to go. I love this little coffee shop where the staff take their caffeine very seriously. It has a great atmosphere and in the evening they serve fabulous espresso martinis (a cocktail which was invented in Soho in 1983). If you are loyal enough you might be given a Black Card which will entitle you to £5 cocktails on Mondays. Doesn't get better than that.

MA'PLUCKER*

75 Beak Street, W1F 9SS

Also on Beak Street (I spend a lot of time in Soho so this post is slightly area bias) you will find a great little diner which serves delicious fried chicken (my weakness) but also has mini doughnuts and a rather good cherry pie on the menu. It's not easy to find cherry pie in the UK and I'm always on the look out. A good place for lunch or an afternoon treat.



3 Greek Street, W1D 4NX

Milroy's is a very old whisky shop, with a secret... at the back of the shop, down a staircase is a hidden little bar tucked behind a bookcase. The dingy basement and books made me instantly think of the Bookhouse Boy's hang out. And because not everyone knows it is there, it has an element of the mysterious about it. A great place to go for an intimate drink.



THE DOUBLE R CLUB

Monthly at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club & November 12th at the Twin Peaks UK Festival

If you live in London, or near enough, and are reading this blog, but have never been to one of The Double R Club's shows than you neighbour, are an IMBECILE! As soon as you do attend one of their club nights you will fully understand why my opinion is so severe. The moment you step inside you are transported into a Lynchian dreamworld... 52 card pick up girls freshly scented from the perfume counter welcome you, a black cat may cross your path and the performers descend to the stage throughout the evening like spirits from another place. You can feel the owls watching you... Benjamin Louche (whose wonderful blue rose poem I posted previously and can be read here) is the charming and alarming compere and glamorous Miss Rose Thorne runs the show with the warmest hospitality. Do not miss this monthly happening.


BEYOND RETRO

58-59 Great Marlborough Street & 92-100 Stoke Newington Road

This is my favourite place to browse for retro Peaksy clothing. The shops are laid out really well, the staff are friendly and helpful and no matter which character you are trying to vibe, you will find the garbs you need here. You'll find everything from a glamorous shoulder padded 80s frock to an array of off duty Agent Cooper plaid. You could channel Bobby Briggs in a baseball jacket or make like Lucy in a hilarious knitted jumper. Great clothing at great prices! Definitely worth popping into pre-fest for a last minute costume.


CROSSTOWN DOUGHNUTS*

4 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DA

These doughnuts are incomparable to regular doughnuts. These are atisanal doughnuts and absolutely drool worthy. Unfortunately I do not have the high metabolism of a bumble bee Agent Cooper possesses so have to restrict my consumption but it is so worth denying yourself until you have one. These are the doughnuts of your dreams. Flavours include Coffee Custard, Cinnamon Sugar and Sea Salt Caramel Banana. I am salivating just thinking about it... You can also order online!



RICHMOND PARK

Richmond

Of course the concrete jungle of London cannot come close to the majestic beauty of Twin Peaks. There isn't a Douglas Fir in sight. But if you drive out of the city, or hop on the tube, you can quite easily find yourself back to nature with a visit to stunning Richmond Park. Here you will encounter free roaming deer, ducks on the pond and quite easily find yourself lost in the woods. A good place to go to catch your breath, do a spot of fishing or lounge the afternoon away with a picnic. Alternatively, woo your sweetheart with a boat trip in the more accessible Hyde Park (Kensington area) just like Annie and Coop.



I'm sure there are many more places of Lynchian interest in and around London (it was the setting for The Elephant Man after all) and if you know of anything I have missed out and would highly recommend, please let me know! 
Now that Autumn has settled in we have some exciting times ahead of us with the release of Mark Frost's much anticipated book The Secret History of Twin Peaks and then in November the Twin Peaks UK Fest is finally happening again. This Friday I'm going to see The Art Life documentary about David Lynch and then Blue Velvet Revisited on Sunday as part of the London Film Festival. I'll be sure to post some reviews of these next week. I'm so grateful for what this city has to offer us! It may not be North Bend but it isn't half bad...