Saturday, July 12, 2014

David Lynch and Mark Frost's "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery" released on Blu-Ray: Jul 29 | 22nd Annual Twin Peaks Festival: Aug 1 - 3 | "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" at Seattle Art Museum: Jul 31


For those that read the initial reviews of "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" at Cannes in 1992, and found that we were to get a significantly truncated cut of the film in theaters stateside, the decades-long wait to has come to a close. Years since David Lynch made clear his intentions to release a significant amount of deleted scenes from the film this past May it was announced that the entire series and 90 minutes of previously unseen footage from the former will be given a hi-definition restoration and transfer packaged together as "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery". Not only revealing the larger world of Twin Peaks cut from the cinema prequel to the series, it promises to present facets of the series and promotional content never before seen, the contents of which obsessively documented by Nick Newman in his piece for FilmStage, "Twin Peaks’ Reborn With David Lynch-Approved Blu-ray Box Set". Though 'Booed at Cannes' and the target of frustrated Twin Peaks fans and critics who almost universally were expecting a continuation of the series' quirky balance of small town rural oddity, the film has since gained a reevaluation with hindsight and distance, with pieces like Calum Marsh's "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me Is David Lynch's Masterpiece", increasingly more common.

I for one found it at the time of it's release to be the metaphorical icing on the cake. Though not the theatrical epilogue to the series that many of us hoped for, on the big screen it watched like a more pure condensation of Lynch and Frost's central themes unadulterated by willfully eccentric surrealism and quirky intrusions from awww-shucksville. With the film we got back to the essence of the story's concerns after the series' meandering half-season of guest directors and their poor attempts at aping all things Lynchian. (Tim Hunter of "River's Edge" fame was a nice exception within all of that, his episodes still hit the right notes and dig deeper into the heart of the world Frost/Lynch created). Hunter aside though, it's only the Frost/Lynch episodes that really catch the spirit of the series and it's magic-in-a-bottle concoction of mystery, melodrama, myth, ambiance and tone. It's truncation due to ABC's cancellation and Lynch's hurried reconciliation of the series in two episodes is still as abstract, brutal, emotionally dissociative and heartbreaking to watch as it was over two decades ago. "Fire Walk With Me" acting as a reconciliation of sorts to the abrupt and dramatically tragic series' end. For it's 20th anniversary, Alex Pappademas of Grantland returned to the prequel with fresh eyes and decades distance and finds it less a departure, and more true to what David's cinematic world and it's concerns are really about, making for an, "Anatomy of a Fascinating Disaster: Fire Walk With Me".

The release of these new restorations coinciding with this year's 22nd annual Twin Peaks Festival, held as it is every year since 1993 at the locations featured most in the series itself, the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie. The three days of the festival consisting of the annual movie night, site tours and celebrity dinner and Q&A with select members of the series' cast and creators. For this year's iteration guests include; Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Jennifer Lynch (author of the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer), Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings), James Marshall (James Hurley), Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran), Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley) and Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs), with the annual tradition of surprise guests (past years have included Ray Wise and co-writer Bob Engels). And inaugurating the festival as they do every year the Seattle Art Museum hosts their Lynch-themed night, "Twin Peaks/David Lynch: Coffee, Cherry Pie & The Dark Night of the Soul" with a screening of the new hi-definition print of the feature length film!