“This must be where pies go when they die.” – Agent Dale Cooper
Style mentioned back in December that there was a "Twin Peaks" festival coming to Richmond. For fans of the bizarro David Lynch masterpiece, that's like ringing a big Killer Bob dinner bell. Well now you can click here for the tentative line-up for the four-day event, "The Great Southern," which takes place around Richmond from April 16-19th. And the best part -- wait for it -- it's free.
The festival is being presented by Video Fan, Movie Club Richmond, and Makeout Creek Books. The special guest will be Brad Dukes, author of "Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks."
While I was a wee surprised not to see a burlesque performance set to "Twin Peaks" music [like this one in New York featuring Richmond's own Boo Boo Darlin']-- there are some sweet highlights here sure to satisfy Lynch fans. And the link does say they will be adding more events in the coming days:
Thursday, April 16 there will be a Makeout Creek reading and "Music in the Air" DJ set by Sister Goldenhaze and DJ Greg Darden at Ipanema Cafe from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Friday, April 17, is the Dukes talk and signing at Chop Suey Books in Carytown at 7 p.m. accompanied by a Makeout Creek art show. And later, after Portrait House's "Hooked Rug Soiree," they'll be showing "Eraserhead" -- the original midnight movie classic, at the Byrd at midnight. Duh.
Saturday, April 18, you don't want to miss the "damn fine pie and coffee" at Dinamo starting at 11 a.m. or the bloody Twin Peaks menu at GWARbar from 6-9 p.m. The weirdness continues with a musical event featuring locals Big No and Jason Hodges and two more acts to be announced that night at Strange Matter.
The whole thing concludes Sunday, April 19, with a "Birds Sing Brunch" at Magpie. That will be followed by a TBA film screening at Hardywood from 3-6 p.m. and Twin Peaks trivia from 10 p.m. to midnight at Sticky Rice.
Golly, as Lynch might say, now that's neat! Fans already were beyond thrilled to learn that "Twin Peaks" will come back in 2016 on Showtime. Now they have a local festival to stoke the fire until their favorite gum comes back in style (Note to future fest planners: I always thought that the industrial Manchester district around the Style offices would catch Lynch's eye were he here. I'm just sayin').
If none of this means anything to you and you aren't very familiar with Lynch, check out this bit of reporting by the departed David Foster Wallace who visited the set of another Lynch film, "Lost Highway."
In it, Wallace describes the term "Lynchian" as only he could:
"AN ACADEMIC DEFINITION of Lynchian might be that the term "refers to a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former's perpetual containment within the latter." But like postmodern or pornographic, Lynchian is one of those Porter Stewart-type words that's ultimately definable only ostensively -- i.e., we know it when we see it. Ted Bundy wasn't particularly Lynchian, but good old Jeffrey Dahmer, with his victims' various anatomies neatly separated and stored in his fridge alongside his chocolate milk and Shedd Spread, was thoroughgoingly Lynchian. A recent homicide in Boston, in which the deacon of a South Shore church reportedly gave chase to a vehicle that bad cut him off, forced the car off the road, and shot the driver with a highpowered crossbow, was borderline Lynchian. A Rotary luncheon where everybody's got a comb-over and a polyester sport coat and is eating bland Rotarian chicken and exchanging Republican platitudes with heartfelt sincerity and yet all are either amputees or neurologically damaged or both would be more Lynchian than not. A hideously bloody street fight over an insult would be a Lynchian street fight if and only if the insultee punctuates every kick and blow with an injunction not to say fucking anything if you can't say something fucking nice. ..."
AND, because we love DFW, here's more from the man:
"An art film's point is usually more intellectual or aesthetic, and you usually have to do some interpretative work to get it, so that when you pay to see an art film you're actually paying to work (whereas the only work you have to do w/r/t most commercial film is whatever work you did to afford the price of the ticket).
David Lynch's movies are often described as occupying a kind of middle ground between art film and commercial film. But what they really occupy is a whole third kind of territory. Most of Lynch's best films don't really have much of a point, and in lots of ways they seem to resist the film-interpretative process by which movies' (certainly avant-garde movies') central points are understood. [...]
You almost never from a Lynch movie get the sense that the point is to "entertain" you, and never that the point is to get you to fork over money to see it. This is one of the unsettling things about a Lynch movie: You don't feel like you're entering into any of the standard unspoken and/or unconscious contracts you normally enter into with other kinds of movies. This is unsettling because in the absence of such an unconscious contract we lose some of the psychic protections we normally (and necessarily) bring to bear on a medium as powerful as film. That is, if we know on some level what a movie wants from us, we can erect certain internal defenses that let us choose how much of ourselves we give away to it. The absence of point or recognizable agenda in Lynch's films, though, strips these subliminal defenses and lets Lynch get inside your head in a way movies normally don't. This is why his best films' effects are often so emotional and nightmarish. (We're defenseless in our dreams too.)"
Sure, it's a little wordy, but that's part of what we miss from the "Infinite Jest" author, a manic depressive who killed himself in 2008 -- thankfully before Twitter took over the English language. (Recently, Sundance was abuzz about the drama "End of The Tour" with Jason Segel playing DFW on a road trip with a journalist played by Jesse Eisenberg).
In the meantime, you probably should follow Lynch's own advice and not watch films on your telephone. I mean, really.