THIS WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS - FROM THE ORIGINAL SERIES AND THE FIRST FOUR EPISODES OF THE NEW SERIES. SO CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
So back in early 1990 Twin Peaks appeared on television and if memory serves me correct, it was on Australian television roughly the same time at the US, so as not to spoil anything. The world was standing at attention and watching it in hoards...I was not!
I tend not to ever like to jump in on things 'everybody' is watching, and usually that is because they are shite, but sometimes I am wrong, and miss out or am a late starter on great things. Twin Peaks was an example of this!
About halfway through the series I was, damn, I really wish I was watching this. Funnily enough, not a lot of people I knew were watching it. But of course how do you start watching a show that you have to watch week to week halfway through!?
Luckily for me, the started showing repeats from the beginning very late at night around that time!
And so each night I taped it and slowly and surely caught up and of course I was hooked.
To me, Twin Peaks was never about who killed Laura Palmer (although that was intriguing and I recall being pretty suss of her Dad quite early on), it was about the town, the mysticism, and the fabulous cast of characters.
And Agent Dale Cooper...
I do believe, at 19/20 he was my first adult crush, and I have adored Kyle MacLachlan ever since.
But I loved most of the other characters, the women/girls were strong and amazing, the boys weak and stupid, they made me laugh. Sooky Bobby and dopey James...urgh (hot for sure, but just idiots). I loved Truman, and Hawke, and Andy and Lucy. I was thrilled by some of the older cast, Lipton, Chen, Tamblyn, Wise...these were big time movie stars on this television show. That just didn't happen back then. Later some of my faves turned up in the second series, Heather Graham, Billy Zane, and in a lovely turn, David Duchovny as Denise!
Oh and Sherilyn Fenn, what girl didn't want to be Audrey Horne!?!
These people were like family to me.
And so I watched through the first series, hooked and mystified, through to the opener of the second series. Yes, I was right Laura's Dad did kill her, but in a horrifying twist, he was possessed by a demon called Bob!
Honestly, to this day, if I think of Bob, I will go to sleep and wake up and see him at the end of my bed and nearly have a heart attack until I realise it is just my imagination playing tricks, that's how fucking horrifying that character is!!!
The second series barreled out of control, but I stuck with it, because I loved that show and those characters so goddamn much. Then it started to come good, but it ended with Bob taking over Agent Cooper!!
That was just too much for me, I felt like I had been physically gut punched by Lynch himself, and the show ended, was never picked up, leaving my hero in limbo...for ever!!!!!
A few years back they released the show as a boxset, and whilst I still owned my taped from television VCR copies of the show, I had to have the DVDs. I rewatched the show, and it held up extremely well!!!
It was a slow burn, but that is it's beauty, but the ending still stank and made me shitty!
Then Lynch announces a new series, with all the old cast coming back.
I nearly died.
Then it wasn't on.
And then it was and slowly little snippets came out, but really no actual information. All we knew was most the cast returned and it would be done on Lynch's terms, which could be good or bad! Frost was back on board to help him write it, so that was good.
So, last Monday I sat down to the first four episodes on this new beginning.
To say I was excited was a HUGE understatement.
I had donuts to accompany me of course!
So here are my thoughts divided into EPs 1 and 2, then 3 and 4!
Episode 1 commences as Series 2 ended. Our hero, Coop, is in purgatory while he is possessed by Bob. Scenes from the red room are shown.
Episodes 1 and 2 have potential new storylines with potential new characters. I say potential, because it's Lynch, who knows!
Then somewhere in New York atop a factory like building is a room and some sort of glass portal, where a young man is looking after camera equipment that is filming the portal from every direction. Later a creepy figure comes through the portal and slays two youngsters. Cooper is also seen floating there.
Also a dead mutilated body of possibly two different people turns up. The head belongs to the local librarian (geez!!!!) and it appears the local head master is behind it. There are lots of scenes with this happening, seemingly not linked to anything until Bob shows up with a map and the town they happened in is shown, and then he shoots the head masters wife, before going on a killing frenzy.
All the Bob stuff is chilling, him at a weird cabin with weird people, him killing, him driving manically. He's up to no good, that's for sure.
Intertwined with all the new is the old, or old as new. We revisit Twin Peaks, we see Doc getting a delivery, the Horne brothers arguing as if no time had even gone by, the sheriff's department, Lucy, Andy, Hawke, The Log Lady (I wept).
Connecting the two is The Log Lady telling Hawke something is amiss with Agent Cooper.
Towards the end of Ep 2, Cooper is trying to escape the Red Room/purgatory, whatever you want to call it, we see him float into the portal and then disappear.
Then we are at the Bang Bang Bar with the hypnotic Chromatics singing. We see Shelley with friends and a badly aged James.
A lot of people and critics were disappointed with all of this! It wasn't Twin Peaks, it wasn't what they expected, it made no sense, blah, blah, blah!
I LOVED IT!!!
It was exactly as it should be, a few new storylines with new characters, which is necessary to move plot into a new phase and a lovely smattering of the old. This keeps the sentiment high and love close. Still things that make no sense, fuck with your mind, and scare you a little (ok a lot)! Some of it will fall into place as the season progresses, and a suspect some of it won't!
It's David Lynch people - get with the program.
And I think this is Lynch at his peak!
The cinematography was exquisite, very Lynch, shades of Eraserhead, loads of dark and greys, very industrial, and yet going back to Twin Peaks, the town, exactly as you imaged.
It was a wild ride and I couldn't wait to see what Eps 3 and 4 brung me.
They lifted the action and then some.
I was super impressed with Eps 3 and 4.
They mostly featured around Cooper. All three of him!
Yup, and MacLachlan was having the most delightful time, you could see it in his eyes. He is superb and totally knocking it out of the park!
So we have Coop 1 - the 'real' Coop in purgatory and not quite himself - no surprises there, poor bugger! He's trying to escape, doesn't have much to say, and is basically floating around.
Then there is Coop 2 - who is inhabited by Bob, he is super creepy and sleazy, dark eyed, golden skinned, long greasy hair and a little bit sexy (which is totally wrong I know, but this is what Lynch does, he fucks with you!).
And finally Coop 3, this is an odd thing, a spare Bob created (no!?!) he is a larger, daggier, suburbian Coop called Dougie, on a business trip and somehow (maybe, I'm not sure, it's still a mystery) gets inhabited by Coop 1, rendering him thinner, but monosyllabic (as Bob has all of Coops features in Coop 2...confused yet!?!). This gives MacLachlan the juciest scenes, particularly in a casino where, savant like, he is winning jackpots all over the place and having the most glorious time, then when he finally makes his way 'home' to his wife and child, trying to dress and eat and do things he just doesn't seem to know how to do, much to the amusement of his 'child'.
Coop 2 meanwhile is killing and on the loose, a merge gone wrong between him and Coop 1 see him crash his car and vomit up the remains of Coop 1 - or something like that. He is jailed and old friends are called in to come and get him. Old friends being Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrier) and Gordon Cole (LYnch himself) and Denise (David Duchovny) in the most exquisite scene!
While all of this is happening, there is much much more of Twin Peaks and the original cast. Seeing Bobby cry over Laura again was hilarious. Meeting Andy and Lucy's son, Wally (Michael Cera) was simply brilliant.
There are two Sheriff Truman's, one who is sick (Michael Ontkean, who has retired from acting and could not be enticed back - so I presume we will never see him) and the other who is the actual sheriff (Robert Forster, who Lynch wanted to play the original character).
Episode 4 ends with Rosenfield and Cole realising something is terribly wrong after meeting with Cooper (Coop 2) and decide only one person, a female can help them and they think they know where she is.
Cut to Bang Bang Bar and the fabulous Au Revoir Simone playing.
Do they mean Audrey Horne???
I guess we wait and see!!
Of course a lot of it doesn't make sense, we're only 4 eps in and it IS Lynch. There are many questions to be answered, and some may never be answered.
That is cool by me!
Are there really three Coops, or two, and will he escape from purgatory and Bob?
What will happen to his wife and kid when he becomes one?
What if he never becomes one?
And who is trying to kill Dougie/Cooper and why?
What's with all the dead and weird women with no eyes?
Is the woman in burgandy on the bell the same creature that came through the portal and slayed the two young characters?
Is Bob behind all the killings, especially the Librarian?
I could go on.
I think those that are disappointed by Twin Peaks so far, haven't given it a chance and possibly were never real fans anyway.
You need to understand Lynch's wild ways, and how Twin Peaks operated in teh first instance, have no expectations and just join the crazy ride that it is.
Then I am certain you will be blown away in the very best possible way, as I was!
So bring on tomorrow and episode 5, I cannot wait!!
I'd love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree with me, have I got something wrong, missed something, bring on the online water cooler conversation!
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
April was huge, busy, crazy, amazing, and everything else.
I took some leave early April, and had a blast, with a while range of fun.
My mental health has been spot on, black dog at bay, but my physical health has been something else! I've always had issues with my right knee, I fell over a lot as a kid, I have always been clumsy. And it was playing up more than usual, and rather than going to my Osteo, I kept on going on as I was busy and this pushed nearly every other muscle out of whack. So mid month, finally finding some free time, I hobbled along to my Osteo and let him weave his magic. I'm getting there!
I took some leave early April, and had a blast, with a while range of fun.
First up I attended the always fabulous Newcastle Writers Festival, and you can read all about it here. What a busy but wonderful few days it was.
The Monday after the festival I headed for a mini break in Sydney. I'm more a Melbourne gal, but I don't mind time in Sydney. I stayed at the lovely Hyde Park Inn.
During my time I walked a lot, took pics, did some shopping, ate some lovely meals. But the reason I was there was to see the sublime Patti Smith at The State Theatre and to catch up with family and see the Andy Warhol exhibit at NSW Art Gallery. What a blast it was, and a nice little break.
I was home in time for a quiet period of reflection, reading and writing, and time with family to celebrate Easter.
Linda and I headed to Lizotte's to see Bob Evans, which was great.
The family also celebrated my sister's birthday at the Maryville pub, excellent meal and service, highly recommend.
And then I was back down to Sydney to see Patti Smith again, this time a spoken word concert at the Sydney Opera House with Athena, and it was glorious.
Continuing with family celebrations, Mum and Dad took me to lunch at the Sunnyside Tavern, where we had a great meal.
Jayne and I had a meal at Foghorn before catching up with Linda and others at The Towers for French Friday. The film shown was Monsieur Chocolat, based on a true story about a black clown at the turn of the century. Funny and melancholy, this was a mostly dramatic film, despite the clowning around.
I started and finsihed the month with out lovely Bibliotweeps Bookclub, reading Jasper Jones and Goodwood.
And some pics.
Monday, May 15, 2017
What I’ve Been Reading
Between A Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain – Another of the Stella Prize finalists, and Blain’s final work. It is the story of a family at crossroads, daughters not talking, an ex husband about to have the rug pulled out from under him at work, and a mother who has a secret health issue. How will this affect this already challenged family. Ironically, the very disease Georgia gave her main character was the disease she got herself halfway through writing the novel and of course eventually took her from us. Heart wrenching stuff and it is interesting to see how she tackled writing life imitating art. Between A Wolf and A Dog is a great read, nowhere near as sad as you would think, and never takes the ordinary route in terms of plot.
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – a great essay on feminism, a short read.
Ice Beer and Other Tantalising Tips for Life by Lee Lin Chin and Chris Leben – a funny look at the SBS newsreader
A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston – a basic, stand up autobiography, good but not great.
Russia: a journey to the heart of a land and its people by Jonathan Dimbley – a spoken word book read by the author. This was a fascinating look into modern Russia over the past 20 years from Dimbley’s foreign correspondence there. Mostly about the post war era, which hovers over every single story. Interesting but ultimately uplifting.
The Fictional Woman and Speaking Out by Tara Moss – these are two great books of essays and thoughts and some auto-biography by Tara. A formidable woman with a sharp mind, these are essential reading for any modern feminist!
Ah well, nobody’s perfect: the untold stories MOLLY with Jeff Jenkins – these are short stories, essays and incidentals that were left out of Molly’s autobiography. It kinds reeks of a cash in, especially as most of the stories I had heard before. Nonetheless a fun read.
The Martian by Andy Weir - I loved the movie and wanted to read the book, but the spoken word copy came through so I decided to go with it. And I loved it, what a great book. It has more depth than the movie, far more suspense, and much more happen. Ultimately it is the same, so major changes, just a few extra turns on the way. Such a clever premise, being left on Mars alone accidentally. Weir is a genius!
True Pleasures: a memoir of women in Paris by Lucinda Holdforth – Lucinda looks at great Parisian women through history as she moves around the city herself. Fabulous read!
What I’ve Been Watching
Wild Tales – a great film from Argentina, with six short films within, each film having the characters in difficult circumstances and how they manage them.
The Wait – a French film starring Juliet Binoche. Binoche meets up with her son’s fiancee at a villa in Sicily. The son will arrive in a few days, but as the days go by it is obvious something is deeply wrong.
Midnight Special – Michael Shannon, always great, is superb in this sci-fi film. Shannon and Joel Edgerton are on the run with a young boy after removing him from a cult. They meet up with his ‘mother’, Kirsten Dunst. Why is the young boy so special, and what does the government (Adam Driver) want from him. This is a subtle but fabulous film, a must see. My pick of the month
High Rise – A great movie about a concept high-rise, visioned the architect, Jeremy Irons. Everything you need is in the high-rise, and a range of people living inside are enjoying themselves in this new world. BUt things start to go terribly wrong, can Tom Hiddleson resolve these issues. Quite a strange but fascinating tale, I really enjoyed this.
Just A Sigh – Alix and Doug are on a train going to Paris, somehow their lives intertwine and they have a brief affair. This is an interesting love story, made all the more worthwhile as Doug is Gabriel Bryne and Alix is played beautifully by Emmanuelle Devos.
Captain Fantastic – love this quirky tale of Viggo Mortensen raising and home schooling his 6 extraordinary children in the bush and living off the land while his wife is in a sanitarium. When she commits suicide he must rally the children and head into the real world for her funeral. So beautifully put together and so well acted by Mortensen, this is a sheer delight.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Great NZ family romp with a young kid on the run with Sam Neil, his foster parent to prevent him being taken back into the state. Totally wonderful, everyone will love, and very funny.
Once Upon A Time S5 – Time travel between fairy land and real world, all you favourite characters are there. Look, this can be cheesy, but by god, it’s fun. I think it’s cleverly put together and a has a great cast.
Leftovers S2 – Finally got around to watching the second season of this. I loved the first season. A reckoning has happened and 10% of the world’s population disappeared. The series was not about why they disappeared but how those left behind coped...or didn’t. The world changes overnight and it was quite something to watch. Brilliant cast too. S2 moves us to a small town, now called Miracle, where no one disappeared. People are flocking to it in hope of answers. The Main cast move there under interesting circumstances, and interesting people and things happen, including time travel, life after death and more. Hard to describe, just watch and be spun out.
What I’ve Been Listening to
After a Time by Holly Throsby - lovely, sweet, as you would expect.
The Best of Kate Miller-Heidke, Act One by Kate MIller-Heidke – Why have I never seen this amazing lady live, I must rectify that. This is a best of, but what I like about this is it shows you Kate’s incredible range. Brilliant!!!
Sunday, May 7, 2017
So I saw Patti perform live at the State Theatre earlier in April, and then headed back down to Sydney at the end of the month with my friend, A, to the Opera House for a spoken word concert. To say we were beside ourselves was an understatement.
In my previous blog about Patti and the concert, I say I love her music, but it is her words, her poetry, her lyrics, her stories that I love the most. To be able to hear her talk to us and read some of her work...how incredibly blessed were we!?!?
I scored us great seats in the third row. They were the easiest tickets I ever scored. Ticket buying online sends my anxiety sky high, but for whatever reason I didn't think this would sell quickly. Had I realised it was the ONLY spoken word concert and that it indeed sold out in 5 minutes, I am sure my anxiety would have been insane. But I had no idea and we lucked out with great tickets. Sometimes the universe works with you rather than against you!
And so the day came and we trained it to Circular Quay, a gorgeous warm and sunny day, had an early dinner and wandered through the Quay to the Opera House.
I tell you, no matter how many times I attend events at the Opera House, it never ever gets old. The thrill of walking towards this glorious piece of architecture sends the heart skyhigh. Of being in the various theatres, watching Opera, plays, concerts, it is an experience unlike any other. It is really special. It should always be really special. So, add in such a specifically special performance. We knew we were in for something unlike we had or would ever see again.
The performance was to start at 8pm, and go for a little over an hour. Patti came on around 8.10 and it finished at 10ish. More than we expected, and it was beyond glorious.
So she arrived on stage to rapturous applause, smiling and humble. She immediately told us she was nervous. Mostly for being in the Joan Sutherland Theatre and went into her first story of the night, that she wanted to be an opera singer when she was younger, so being on this stage was immense for her.
And this is what is perfect about Patti, you look at her life and it's beyond amazing, and yet she is this humble, down to earth, nervous almost 70 year old ordinary woman. She is certainly NOT ordinary, but yet she comes across this way. I often wonder whether part of it is a bit of shtick, as it does get laughs and she seems ok with that.
I could listen to Patti read the phone book, she has a haunting, lyrical, mesmerising voice, with a quirky New Jersey turn of phrase, piano becomes piana, drawings drawlins, and so forth. She commands your quiet and attention, and bring you to your knees with her words and unique stories.
And so the show went on, consisting of Patti reading passages from her books with additional asides, some humourous, some haunting. She showed slides, mostly those stunning black and white Mapplethorpes, and talked about them. She read lyrics and poetry. She spoke of her tour and her band. She told stories of her late husband and her children. SHe was joyous.
Every now and then the guitar tech would come out and place her acoustic over her shoulder and she would play a song to us. Parred back and fragile, she said she was not used to her band not being there to hide her shortcomings. There were no shortcomings. She was amazing.
Listening to her read key passages from Just Kids (most probably my all time favourite book) was something else, there are no words to describe the thrill. Even sometimes she seemed taken aback by the good fortune in her past. She'd sort of go, yeah, that happened, in an amused tone.
My favourite story of the night came early, and was new. She took a little break between the tour ending and this event and headed to see Uluru, a longtime bucket list item. She took a touristy bus tour out at dawn, and loved it so much she booked herself in for the day time tour and then the dusk tour and again the following day the dawn one again. Just imagining this aging punk on a holiday by herself, no thrills, jumping on a bus to do such things made me smile. Her telling of the story was funny and joyous.
And the stories she handpicked from her life, were simply that, sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy, but always uplifting and joyous.
And so all good things must come to an end.
She asked us a favour, could we help her with her last piece. It's her most famous song and she felt naked and nervous singing it with only a guitar and without her fabulous band. Could we join her in song on Because the Night.
And we did.
And for the first time that night I cried, I thought I would earlier than that, but i was so mesmerised I didn't have time to.
We all sounded glorious in that beautiful theatre, Patti sounded glorious, it was orchestral and incredibly spiritual.
And the song ended and off she went, smiling and as humble as when she arrived. And the entire audience walked out feeling lighter and happier than when we had headed in, despite it being over, and feeling like our souls had been fed the most incredible meal of love and history.
Patti says she will never tour again, and that is a shame. But by god we were lucky with this tour, it was unique and wonderful. I am certain there will be more books and I eagerly await the next.
An aside: prior to entering the concert, A and I participated in a short film, two young documentarians were working on about Patti. We had to say a line of lyrics or a quote of Patti's that resonated with us. They had a list of quotes on paper for those who cannot remember, I struggled but thought of a great quote from her concert earlier that month, "the guitar is the only weapon that we need."
I delivered it down the barrel, I was asked not to smile and to keep it straight. They shot head on from below, this was not going to end well. Then they asked me what I thought of Patti, I came up with something and that was that. Until the other week when the short film popped up on Facebook, I feature three times, the third quite significantly. I look tried and awful...of course. But by goodness, what a thrill!
And finally, my pics are pretty poor, because despite sitting so close, the lighting was very low and she wore black against back. But better than nothing.
During my recent visit to Sydney, I took time to meet family and visit the Art Gallery of NSW. We often do this, catch up in the cafe first and take in an exhibit.
The exhibit this time was Adman: Warhol Before Art, an exhibit of Andy Warhol's art and advertising prior to becoming the Pop Art star we all know him as.
I've been lucky to see much of his Pop Art over the years, specific Warhol or Pop Art exhibits here in Sydney and Melbourne and also saw much of his work in various galleries overseas, especially in New York.
But with all of that, I'd never really seen much of his earlier work.
I think a lot of people have dismissed this, but I was quite blown away by the genius of his simplicity in this exhibit.
It commences in the 50s, a classic advertising period especially in New York. Think Mad Men, the art work they needed was indeed provided by Andy during this time. His sketches and ads are fascinating. They are also stunningly beautiful.
This exhibit features soooo much work, he always had a prolific output, but possibly moreso during this period!! The Art Gallery NSW says this is the most comprehensive exhibit of this period of his work, with over 300 pieces on display.
He mostly worked in fashion, he had a lovely signature style, his specialty for a while was shoes. Oh and how beautiful these shoes were!
I was so struck by his use of colour, colours you just do not see anymore. There are also elements of repetition here, which we all know was used more heavily in later periods. Back then, his mother was his muse and assisted with much of his early work. He also started to play with technique and looked to invent ways of mass producing pieces. Again, things that made him him once he became more famous. He worked with design paper in terms of tracing and reproducing additional work. This may well be the first experience of this in Art generally, so he was also an inventor back then as in the 60s.
The exhibit had actual advertisements, and sketchings for these ads, mostly in flamboyant colour. But there is also a huge amount of private work, pencil sketchings and a fabulous whole notebook of male genitalia drawings in pencil.
He also added words to his advertisements in his own flourishy writing, which became another trademark.
But the most interesting thing to me with these works, was their sheer simplicity. A lot of his work is basic (which sounds like a negative thing) but so cleverly basic, you or I would never have come up with it.
This is a well out together exhibit, which is not unexpected, but interesting in term of what is featured. There is a little bit of memorabilia and photography within it.
I guess had Andy not gone on to 'greater' things, this exhibit would not be as interesting to us, but he did and there is much to be gained in terms of his legacy and his evolution within this exhibit.
It is on until the end of the month (28 May 2017) and if you are interested I urge you to have a look at this lovely section of history of one of the great artists of our time.