Because so many of my friends are into Twin Peaks — and in my heart of hearts, if I truly thought enough about it, I would be able at look each and every one of you in the eye, unflinching, and legitimately say that this TV show has determined a big chunk of how my life has turned out — so I decided to have a TP themed party. I think when Conan decided he was hooked — that tipped me over the edge. If Conan and I have one thing in common, it’s that we go “balls deep”.
So on Friday we all convened.
CUTTING AND PASTING
In preparation I was determined to make a movie sequence of all the best bits just to get everyone psyched up. A mash-up. (Whenever I watched the State of Origin I loved the pre-show gee-up almost as much as the match.) On top of that I got everyone in the hardcore circle to nominate their top ten scenes. (Below you can read Conan’s plus his rationalisations as an example).
I re-watched all 29 episodes, plus the pilot and then the movie “prequel” Fire Walk With Me (including the blu-ray deleted scenes). I even forced myself to watch the James sequences in series two. Which was excruciating, but necessary. After I watched an episode, I ripped it to my computer and then re-watched it in fast-forward slicing out all the best scenes and sticking them in folders if they matched a theme like “animals” or “random violence” or a specific character.
Then I put all that together painstakingly cutting every scene down to its bare essence, cause I didn’t want the thing to run too long. In my head I thought I could hold everyone’s attention (and homicidal tendencies in check) for only about 20 minutes. I tried really, really hard to keep it short — but it just couldn’t be done.
The eventual feature ended up at over 45 minutes. And then the Top 10 section was a further 30 minutes. It was an incredibly ambitious ask, but fuck it!, I thought. It’s my party, they’re lucky it’s not 3 fucking hours long!
I also didn’t want to put in any real spoilers, cause I knew a few people there hadn’t seen it, and a few weren’t finished yet and plus I think the show is so rich it doesn’t need that whole “Who Killed Laura Palmer?”
This was my homage to the Tibetan rock throwing scene.
It should be noted that mash-up took an epic amount of time. I took an entire day off work to do it, and that wasn’t nearly enough time. It literally consumed me this past week and constantly freaked me out that it would never get satisfiably finished.
When the time came to present it, it seemed people were genuinely transfixed — but I’m not absolutely sure. I put a “coffee break” inside the sequence, but when that hadn’t arrived soon enough and I sensed people were squirming around like their bladders were about to explode, I paused it for a quick intermission. I assumed hardly anyone would come back for part two, but everyone did. It was amazing. I fucking wish I had a photo of the 30-odd people all crowded into our living room — all on these random assortment of seating furniture, eyes wide cause all the lights were out, intently watching Twin Peaks on our tiny television.
DRESSING UP THE HOUSE
Lots of Owl Cave and Garland/Log Lady tattoo symbols got stuck everywhere
This is an actual map of Tibet. Unlike in the show which just had a map of China with (presumably) some production assistant writing “TIBET” at the top.
I spent about half an hour (over three nights) sawing and sawing, using my Dad’s ancient hand-saw to make this Log Lady Log
Dee making cherry pie the afternoon before. She had so much study to do, but like a trooper, she came through. And it only took me swinging a sock around with a piece a soap inside a few times to convince her.
This is Tim. He shaved off his beard of seven years in preparation to play Ben Horne with Conan (who had dressed up as Jerry Horne)
On Friday morning I hiked over to the city. I had no idea where you would buy donuts, but intuitively I headed to the Myer Centre food court when Donut King appeared like a revelation. I let a few people go ahead of me in the ordering process then casually asked for 20 random donuts. A middle-aged couple were serving. It was kinda obvious they owned the business. The dude got a bit freaked out by my request and hurriedly deferred to, what I assume was his partner/wife.
She did her best not to look weirded out by this request. In the ensuing minutes as she got all the boxes ready and started piling these 900+ kilojoule treats inside I eventually thought I should explain the situation. “I’m having a Twin Peaks party tonight,” I said. “I bet you get this all the time.” And I chuckled a bit, nodding like we were kindred ’cause she was in the donuts business and of a generation that I assumed knew about the connection to TP.
After an awkward silence she said, “What’s Twin Peaks?”
In this photo please note that Tiff provided real, real coffee in that flask and sourced a TP logo from Etsy for its label. At the end there was some left over so Dee then froze that coffee in an ice cube tray and today had an iced-coffee. She was pretty proud and appreciative.
Dee’s cherry pie, baked and ready to be served. Bizarrely I had never had cherry pie before — but it was amazing.
This is all my books and DVDs and BLURAYs and CDs associated. I had a copy of Dale Cooper’s autobio but it got lost somehow. The Laura Palmer diary here is a spare copy I bought at a St Vinnies.
My original copy of Laura’s diary from 1991 got special treatment.
MY FAVE BIT
After all the video stuff a few of us stuck about for deeper discussion. And that was really good. It was like that “mature discussion” Tony Abbott keeps goin on about. Except actually a mature discussion.
THIS IS CONAN’S TOP TEN (PLUS RUNNERS UP)
10. albert loves harry – there are any number of great albert scenes but this one is particularly hilarious because it contains both a great albert zinger (“you might practice walking without dragging your knuckles on the floor”) and also his allegiance to ghandi et al.
9. leland sings – it is interesting to ponder at what points leland was allowed back in, particularly in the context of his little dancing/singing breakdowns. the scene where leland sings “get happy” at the haywards’ with the piano accompanist – i can’t even remember who the girls was playing the piano – was terrific, esp the way it was shot, so woozy/stressful.
8. how’s annie? – the way the very end of the last season was handled was perfect imo. apparently in the original script that final scene was just dale staring into the mirror and bob staring back but the toothpaste was so ominous and the head slam was intense. dynamite kyle maclachlan performance there.
7. leland loves his daughter – similar to my point in #9, and as you pointed out in the pub, in fwwm lynch really makes a point of letting us all know that leland is allowed back in from time to time and in doing so makes the whole thing so much more agonising. tbh i nominate ray wise’s performance as my #1 favourite in the whole series, he is just so superb throughout (even before he is suspected) and this bit really choked me up. particularly just that shot of his face as he comes back in, the sadness that sweeps across him. it destroyed me.
6. the major’s dream – as we’ve discussed i love bobby and i loved this scene both for his and the major’s performance. similarly to bobby, the major starts off as a very one-note character and then becomes much more sympathetic and interesting (and likeable).
5. leland is “back” – the one where leland throws open ben’s doors, sings mairzy doats (again) and proclaims that he’s back, and ben and jerry dance. that is just hilarious, it looks so choreographed and was one of the big flags in episode 8 that things were going to get weirder.
4. creamed corn – this was possibly the creepiest scene of the whole thing imo, when donna meets the tremonds/chalfontes and there’s the creamed corn thing. i was SO relieved that that was explained or at least addressed further in fwwm. so relieved.
3. the black lodge – yeah so after giving it some thought i realised i had to rate this pretty highly. it’s just so good, the way it unfolds, the little revelations, the slow descent into fear and chaos. the one criticism i would have of this whole scene is that windom getting pwned was kind of one of the most obvious elements of the finale, like it was always going to unfold that way and when it did i was hoping for more. but overall such a satisfying final act.
2. it is happening again – right, this is quickly becoming one of my favourite scenes in anything ever. part of me would like to separate dale’s experience at the road house with what’s happening at the palmers’ but i don’t think that’s really fair. but dale’s vision is amazing and maddy’s death is amazing and they’re amazing in slightly different ways. but both perfect. the way maddy’s death is shot… it’s also one of those scenes where i kept thinking, “something’s going to happen! she’s going to be saved, it’s going to be ok!!” and then slowly realising that it wasn’t. another of many satisfying resolutions in fwwm was the scene where bob/leland drugs sarah with the milk while he rapes laura, and she sees the horse.
1. give yourself a present – this is more of a moment than a scene, but i can’t go past it, because it’s the quintessential soundbyte for dale’s whole philosophy and something i feel a deep connection with, on one level just because i have long considered good black coffee to be an almost spiritual experience, but also just cooper’s delight in simple things like pie and the smell of the trees etc.
runners up include the dream (i can’t believe that didn’t make it but i stand by my choices), gordon and shelley, chet desmond fighting sheriff cable (from the deleted scenes, amazing!), mike’s appearance, and mike/the man from another place demanding/consuming the garmonbozia from bob.
And here is a picture Conan texted me a few hours before he arrived
THE TOP TEN AS VOTED IN MY “GUIDED DEMOCRACY”
“Ronette’s Dream”, “The Bank Vault”, “The One Armed Man Without Chemicals”, “Cooper telling Annie a joke”, “The Whisper”, and “Donna’s rant at Laura’s grave”.
#10 Andy and the plank
#9 Audrey’s Dance
#8 Gordon Cole can hear Shelly
#7Jerry brings sandwiches from Paris
#6 Pierre Tremont demonstrates his Magic with Creamed Corn
#5 Give yourself a present everyday
#4 Cooper’s dying wishes
#2 Major Briggs shares his dream with Bobby
#1 The final scene