Posts tagged The Red Room Podcast
Reflections of a Fest: Twin Peaks Fest 2016

IMG_1642 After a sojourn to the Northwest for my first visit to the Twin Peaks Fest several years ago, I wrote up a day-by-day overview of the experience. That summer, I had just spent five months covering the U.S.C. Twin Peaks Retrospective for the Red Room Podcast and wanted to stay immersed in the TP world, so I made the trek to Snoqualmie Falls –– the iconic place of pilgrimage featuring the exterior of the Great Northern Hotel. Like many first-time Fest attendees, I looked forward to seeing the locations and hearing what the celebrities had to say while eating copious amounts of cherry pie at the RR Diner (AKA Twede's). What keeps me coming back, though, is the community of friends I've made over the years through this strange and wonderful world. This Fest seemed particularly significant because of the absence of Catherine Coulson and this being the last Fest before the airing of Season 3. There was a tangible electric vibe in the air for many of us. Things are about to change. For now, we can enjoy the mystery of not knowing where the Twin Peaks story is headed, but by next year, we'll have some answers and, hopefully, some new questions. The following are my impressions of the 2016 Fest.

John and Kat Evans, Fest Staff and really nice folks

The Fest Staff and Volunteers: "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present."

Us Fest goers keep coming back for an array of reasons, but I would be remiss not to give a shout out to the people who 1) kept the Fest alive when most of us were not even making the trek; and 2) still keep the Fest alive by making it small, personable and reminding us that it's all about the experience of community. Thank you for giving of your time and yourself to the madness. We are truly grateful. A special thank you to Rob and Deanne Lindley, the Fest Organizers, as well as Pam and Glenn Allen, Kat and John Evans, Jared and Robyn Wolfsberger, and the volunteers.

Laura Harring (Rita/Camilla, "Mulholland Drive")

The Celebrities: “Someday my log will have something to say about this.”

Many Fest first-timers and returners come for the unique opportunity to not only see celebrities from the world of Twin Peaks and David Lynch but also for the chance to spend some one-on one time with them, too. The Friday night banquet, the town hall, the movie night and the picnic featured celebrities, including the following:

Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs, “Twin Peaks”)

Kimmy Robertson (Lucy Moran, “Twin Peaks”)

Connie Woods (New Girl at One Eyed Jacks, “Twin Peaks”)

Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, “Twin Peaks”)

Wendy Robie (Nadine Hurley/Butler, “Twin Peaks”)

Jan D’Arcy (Sylvia Horne, “Twin Peaks”)

Mädchen E. Amick, (Shelly Johnson, “Twin Peaks” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”)

Gary Bullock (Sheriff Cable, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”)

Jonny Leppell (Pierre Tremont/Chalfont, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”)

Laura Harring (Rita/Camilla, “Mulholland Drive”)

Bonnie Aarons (Bum behind Winkies, “Mulholland Drive”)

Julee Cruise (Singer, Songwriter and Actor)

John Neff (Sound Engineer, Musician and Composer)

Notably absent was Catherine Coulson (the Log Lady/Margaret Lanterman, "Twin Peaks"), who passed away last September 2015. A log was placed in her honor on the table among the celebrity panelists. Coulson would often bring word from David Lynch to the Fest fans. With her passing, Charlotte Stewart has taken on the role of Fest matriarch in bringing the good word from Lynch. Before the Fest, Stewart told Lynch that it was tradition that Catherine gives a message from him. Lynch gave it some thought, and, after several days, relayed the following to Stewart to present to the Fest fans: “Many items have more than one purpose. Even a table or a chair can have more than one purpose.” Got it? Good.

If you'd like to hear more from the celebs, Scott from the Red Room Podcast interviewed several of the celebrities, including Charlotte Stewart, Laura Harring, John Neff, Gary Bullock, John Thorne (author of "The Essential Wrapped in Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks") and Mary Hütter, fan, vendor and editor who edited the trailer for "Blue Bob in Paris," a documentary of behind the scenes of David Lynch's one-and-only Blue Bob concert. Also, Twin Peaks Unwrapped featured a podcast with the panel Q&A as well as interviews with some Fest attendees. IMG_1842I had the honor of interviewing Connie Woods (New Girl at One Eyed Jacks, “Twin Peaks”) about a documentary to bring attention to the fact that "in the state of Ohio it is illegal to rescue any abandoned or orphaned baby deer and that their fate (death) is sealed because of a barbaric law." On the website about the documentary, www.deerlybeloved.net, Woods wrote, "After hearing about Trooper, a three legged deer that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was planning on killing because he had been rescued and rehabilitated, I knew I had to do something .... I knew that if I could tell the story of Trooper and his rescuers that I might be able to make a small difference in this world. I learned about a small, but very passionate group of people in Ohio that are putting everything they have into saving these lovely innocent creatures. I've watched from afar as they held 'Barn Sales' to raise money for their legal fees while trying to have a bill passed that would prevent the ODNR from killing innocent baby deer. Upon hearing about Trooper and these special humans, my friend Sherilyn Fenn was on board immediately to help produce this documentary." If you'd like to know more and/or support the creation of the documentary, visit the website for "Deerly Beloved: The Saving Trooper Story" and the fundraising page to support this important cause for animal rights.

From left to right: Donna Hayward, Audrey Horne and Shelly Johnson

Costume Contest: "I'm Audrey Horne, and I get what I want!"

The costume contest at the celebrity dinner is a highlight of the Fest. This year's first-place winner included an exact replica of the iconic Rolling Stone Cover of the beauties of Twin Peaks. Three Fest attendees recreated the look of the cover and each played their role perfectly. This photo does not do it justice. Mädchen Amick even photobombed the ladies. There's amazing photos and videos out there. Take a gander.

IMG_1772Fest Films: "Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song ... and there's always music in the air."

The Fest features a screening of a Lynch film every year. This year, they screened "Mulholland Drive," which was extra special because both Laura Harring (Rita/Camilla, “Mulholland Drive”) and Bonnie Aarons (Bum behind Winkies, “Mulholland Drive”) were in attendance. Movie night also featured a live performance by the talented Julee Cruise –– a very special treat for Fest-goers. A special thanks to John Neff who provided audio and sound as well as Glenn Lewis Allen for overseeing the movie night and the short film festival.

This was the second year in a row the Fest included a competitive film festival for Twin Peaks fans. Fans from all over the world submitted their Twin Peaks and David Lynch inspired independent short films. The winners were:

First Place: "Twin Peaks: Rituals and Candlelight" by David Busch

Second Place (tie): "Diane" by Siobhan Shields and "Twin Peaks Memorial" by Mary Hütter

Third Place: "Fire Walk With Me (Japan)" by Katsuhide Yamago

The Fest screened many of the short films, including a movie about the Fest itself. Red Room Podcast co-creator Scott Ryan made a documentary about last year's Twin Peaks Fest called "A Voyage to Twin Peaks." Scott's film is a love letter to the festival folk and all Twin Peaks fans. The documentary captures a precious moment in time –– a time when Catherine Coulson (featured in the film) was still with us. I laughed. I cried. I laughed again. (I laughed at Scott. A lot.) He really captured the magic of the Fest and the reason we all keep coming back. If you haven't seen it, go to Amazon right now and watch it.

Gary Bullock (Sheriff Cable, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”)

Sunday at Olalie Park: “A nice day for a picnic …”

The picnic in Olalie State Park, the site of many of the scenes from "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," was extra special this year with Gary Bullock (Sheriff Cable, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”) in attendance as Fest-goers reenacted scenes from FWWM, and, of course, an amazing play-by-play guided tour by filmmaker and holder-of-all-Twin-Peaks-knowledge Josh Eisenstadt.

What happens in the Roadhouse stays in the Roadhouse.

Karaoke Night: “Meet me in the Roadhouse after 9:30.”

The Festival concluded with Karaoke at the Roadhouse with unforgettable performances by Josh Eisenstadt and a spot-on Dorothy Vallens of "Blue Velvet" tribute. I'm not sure we'll be the same, and I'm pretty sure the Roadhouse staff will not be the same, but something magical happened among the beer and AV equipment that night.

The light fixture at the Great Northern (Salish Lodge) went full Lynchian during the Fest. Electricity!

Something Lynchian this way comes: "It is happening again."

Several Fests later, I’ve realized the Fest is less about seeing the celebrities and much more about the community of the fans. There is an acceptance of the eccentric among the Fest goers. They are a diverse and extremely creative group.

It was an honor to see old friends and meet new. I had some amazing conversations with John Thorne (original co-creator of Wrapped in Plastic magazine and author of "The Essential Wrapped in Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks") and Mya McBriar, who runs the Twin Peaks Fanatic blog. I laughed until my gut hurt with Scott and his lovely wife, who are good friends.

The Fest provided me a way to connect with incredible fellow writers like John Thorne of "The Essential Wrapped in Plastic," Brad Dukes of "Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks" and David Bushman, who wrote "Twin Peaks FAQ" with Arthur Smith. There are so many fantastic men writing about Twin Peaks, and I admire their work. I'm working on my own book (warning: selfish plug) in which I will highlight the women who are contributing to the dialogue of Twin Peaks. I'm in the process of interviewing and profiling women who are inspired by the show and writing about it or producing art inspired by it. The show's given so many women, including myself, an opportunity to explore their own complex and creative nature. I want to celebrate that. I want their voices to inspire and serve as an archive of this special moment in time.

There's something Lynchian in the atmosphere every time I go to North Bend, and it's not just about Twede's miracle cherry pies or the rushing Snoqualmie falls.

The night of the celebrity banquet, a group of us stopped by the Great Northern Hotel (Salish Lodge). I wandered into the lobby and noticed the light fixture went full David Lynch. This was not my first visit to the lobby, and I couldn't remember the erratic blinking of the lights occurring previously. Later, I asked a staff member if the blinking was meant to be. She said it wasn't supposed to happen, but the lights were acting strangely lately. It is happening again, my friends.

My first journey to the Fest was about hitting all the marks of participating in the costume contest (Maddy Ferguson), seeing all of the locations, and getting to know some fellow Fest-goers. Some years later, I've realized that the Fest is all of these experiences but so much has become more personal ... and more private. There is one event I witnessed that I cannot even put into words. In fact, I won't. It was hauntingly beautiful and sad. I captured a photo. But I didn't post it anywhere. Last year, Catherine Coulson relayed a message from David Lynch to us in which he said, "We live in a world where there really is no mystery or honoring of mystery anymore ... real mystery. I find that personally depressing. I would like to rediscover a world where everyone discovers on their own what real mystery is." I'm trying, Mr. Lynch. I'm trying.

...

 

Some lasting impressions ...

Questions in a world of blue in the Red Room.

 

Donuts for days that Lucy set out for us.

 

A real-life canvas of trucks at the Edgewick just like that picture wall in Snoqualmie.

 

Charlotte Stewart's book is quite the read. Plus, she gave us a Betty Briggs happy-face button to don at the Fest.

John Thorne is an incredible musician and sound mixer. I'm excited to own this limited edition of Blue Bob.

 

Subscribe To The Red Room On iTunes

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Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon.

Scott's Documentary about Twin Peaks with Catherine (Log Lady) Coulson, Ian Buchanan, Josh Eisenstadt and more.

Listen to an interview with Sherilyn Fenn.

Buy John Thorne's book, Essential Wrapped In Plastic.

Buy Charlotte Stewarts Book, Little House in the Hollywood Hills.

John Neff talked about Blue Bob, check it out.

Purchase the Mulholland Dr. DVD

Buy Twin Peaks on DVD

 

Mad Men's Betty Draper as of Season 4

Mad-men-title-cardI have been watching Mad Men over the past couple of months. The problem is, so have you.  You, however, have just finished watching Season 6 and I just finished Season 4.  Such is the problem in this new age of watch when you want television.  As I have been catching up with Mad Men, I have had much to say.  I have been keeping quiet because I know what ever speculation I make, you already know what happens.  So I have watched this amazing show in silence.  But future be damned. I just have to talk about the most amazing character on this show, Betty Draper Francis.  After watching the season finale of season 4, Tomorrowland.  I decided to look to see if January Jones had won any acting awards for her role.  I was not surprised that she hadn't.  Not that she doesn't deserve it, quite the contrary.  I think she has created the single most amazing female character ever portrayed on television.  Problem is she is totally unlikeable.  Award show voters and TV critics, don't like that sort of behavior from women.

8 Betty Draper Francis is a woman who hates her children.  She hates the gorgeous Don Draper.  She even hates her new husband, a character so uninteresting I can't remember his name and don't care enough to Google it.  Before you throw names at me like Roseanne Conner, Alexis Carrington or any role ever played by Heather Locklear, let me counter your argument.  The women in the past who have been unlikeable characters or bad mothers, have always been over the top displays of an unrealistic woman.  Or, they have been used for comedy purposes.  Even worse, they have had some deep seated past that comes out to explain why they are this way.  Not our Betty.  She lives it up with tons of money, a story book life and still hates everyone around her.  She just honestly is an awful human being.  In the 4 seasons that I have watched, she has never done one nice thing for anyone and I love her for it. (Sometimes in my TV fantasies her and the equally awful Pete Campbell fall in love and torture each other for life.) In a TV age when Tony Soprano, Gregory House, Walter White and Dexter play out in over the top bad behavior, I have enjoyed watching an actress not put an ounce of kindness into the portrayal of a 60's alcoholic bad mother.  There was a subtle scene in Tomorrowland that really displayed this feeling we have all had about her and she wasn't even in the scene.  Don, Megan and the kids were out to eat.  Sally spills her milk shake and everyone panics.  Don is about to yell at her and looks to Megan who just smiles and says, It is just a milk shake.  Everyone sort of exhales.  It is at that moment you realize who truly has tortured this family.

Over the past 6 years, even though I never watched Mad Men, I had heard tons about the character of Don Draper: his womanizing, his drinking, his good looks.  As a first time viewer of this show, it is Betty that I find most innovative.  Do I like her? No.  Do I want to see what happens next with her?  You bet.  I know that she will be redeemed cause that is what happens in all of television.  My guess is, you already know what her redemption is.  (I beg you not to spoil it for me. I am watching as fast as I can.) But sitting here at the end of season 4, I just wanted to give January Jones and Matthew Weiner a thank you for creating a very fascinating female in a very well thought out series.

Listen to our Mad Men Podcast about all the Characters through season 6.

Listen to our Podcast about The Music of Mad Men

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

Scottblog

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