For two decades, fans of Twin Peaks have struggled with abandonment, forced to live in a world where we know not the fate of the backwoods soothsayer who carried around a spirit-harboring hunk of timber. When David Lynch’s surrealistic, disturbing and utterly batshit soap opera debuted in 1990, it was a hit, mainly because nobody had ever seen anything like it. But as things got weirder and weirder, it became clear that the fever dream—which, it should be noted, aired on primetime network TV and pitted its themes of incest, murder and surrealism against Cheers—was to be short-lived. After two seasons, it was off the air.
It’s unlikely Lynch will ever revisit that creepy Washington mill town, but the beauty of modern fandom is that true believers have the resources and equipment to say “fuck it” and do it themselves. And so we have Twin Twin Peaks, a fan-made episode billing itself as the third-season premiere. It features a lot of familiar names—Special Agent Dale Cooper, Log Lady, sexpot Audrey Horne and ol’ Doc Hayward all right—with a lot of unfamiliar faces (Sheriff Harry S. Truman might have undergone gender reassignment surgery).
The 18-minute film—shot by a legion of Portland superfans who trekked to North Bend, Poulsbo and Snoqualmie in 2009—is the linchpin (pun intended) of the inaugural installment of Future So Bright, a Hollywood Theatre residency at Holocene focusing on the way Internet culture is changing cinematic presentation. In addition to the screening, the event features a live performance of songs from the show, ranging from the weird-ass Angelo Badalamenti synth score to the weirder-ass throwback balladry of Julee Cruise.
While far from a masterpiece—actors do quasi-impressions of their favorite characters and generally seem stoked to be outside the real Double R Diner—Twin Twin Peaks is a beautiful example of what fans can do with properties that fizzle. Yeah, it’s kind of like community theater. Yeah, it’s low-budget and has no real ending (the project was ditched after one episode). To non-diehards, its existence is as puzzling as the show itself.
But it’s also fan fiction at is most proactive. Today, fan-made scripts aren’t just a nerdy endeavor, and blogs and YouTube channels are opening once-closed doors. Just look at what E.L. James did to hordes of horny housewives by eroticizing Twilight. (Actually, don’t look. It’s gross.)
“When people are so invested in these stories, of course they are going to rewrite them so that they feel more interesting or satisfying to them,” Twin Twin Peaks director Helen Reed writes via email from Toronto, where she hopefully isn’t operating her own version of One Eyed Jacks.
Why don’t more fans take it upon themselves to continue the stories they love? Ours is a time when directors like Park Chan-wook experiment with shooting films on iPhones. GoPros have found their way into cinemas courtesy of experimental filmmakers working on the cheap. We have the opportunity to find out what happened to Remo Williams after his film’s title, The Adventure Begins, turned out to be a bluff, or what occurred once Ben and Elaine disembarked their bus in The Graduate. Wait, never mind. Let’s not find that out. But somewhere, there’s a Dustin Hoffman enthusiast with a camcorder and a MILF-y aunt.
If nothing else, Twin Twin Peaks assures us the Log Lady is alive and well two decades after we last received her wisdom. And that’s comfort enough. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 9:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 14. Free.
- The Hollywood teams up with Mississippi Records for a Sun Ra double feature, with the jazz demigod, philosopher and all-around ethereal being fighting an intergalactic pimp. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 9.
- Something of a companion piece to 12 Years a Slave, The Jerk chronicles the plight and triumphs of a “poor black child” navigating the rigors of farm life and the temptations of the modern metropolis. It’s as funny and casually offensive as it was in 1979. Academy Theater. Jan 10-15.
- It’s hard to imagine censors found Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut,
so debauched that they made him digitally insert furniture to conceal
the nudity. Maybe they were so fucking bored they needed something to
think about to avoid dozing off. 5th Avenue Cinema. Jan 10-12.
- Michael Powell’s 1948 musical opus The Red Shoes isn’t just one of the trippiest and most ethereal films of its era—it might also tell you what your grandma was keeping in that little silver tin she took to the bathroom at the movies. Hollywood Theatre. 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, Jan 11-12.
- Cool as Ice is Vanilla Ice’s second-best film, right behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. A hip-hop remake of The Wild One, it proves that no, Mr. Robert Van Winkle could not have been a contender. This is what Hecklevision was made for. Hollywood Theatre. 9:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 11.