Woody Allen’s newest film, Magic
Last Friday, just as the weekend was kicking into gear, the Internet abruptly ground to a standstill after the news dropped that Twin Peaks, the show that made it impossible to look at owls, logs or cherry pie in the same way again, was to be resurrected. A cryptic teaser, scored by Angelo Badalamenti’s timeless “Falling”, promises nine brand new episodes to air on the Showtime network in 2016, all of which will be written by the show’s creators Mark Frost and David Lynch. Lynch himself will direct the entire mini-series in his first directorial excursion since 2006’s Inland Empire.
It was an auspicious announcement from Showtime and Frost/Lynch, not least in part due to the teaser trailer’s referencing of the Black Lodge scene from the series finale wherein the murdered prom queen Laura Palmer tells FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper that he will see her again in twenty-five years, coinciding with the 2016 transmission date of these new episodes. Other than the canny timeliness of Laura’s prophetic words, this announcement arrives on the crest of a wave that regards Twin Peaks as the pop cultural touchstone of the last quarter-century. More than any of its contemporaries - network or cable - the show has experienced dizzying peaks and troughs, going from instant TV phenomenon in its debut season, through declining fortunes and subsequent cancellation after the uneven second season, to a critical re-appraisal against the formulaic television landscape of the new century...and, finally, emerging with recognition as a trailblazing classic of the medium. The popularity and acclaim of Twin Peaks has only grown incrementally in the wake of the divisive, yet sorely underrated, 1992 wrap-up film Fire Walk With Me that riled hardcore fans with several plot threads still left dangling from Cooper’s battle inside the Black Lodge.
The infuriated response from fans underscores the fervent emotional investment made in a show that even fans will admit is equal parts bewildering and intoxicating with its Luis Bunuel does CSI set-up of grisly crime procedural against a backdrop of small town quirkiness and surrealist ellipses. With the original VHS releases of the show withdrawn from release in the 90s, and with their seemingly perpetual lack of availability thereafter in a pre-Netflix era, the storylines remained enigmatic. Twin Peaks therefore represented a show way ahead of its time - one that existed only in reverent whispers yet subsequently infiltrated the cultural landscape through allusions, homages and tributes. This may explain why the news of the show’s revival has caused a minor critical backlash amongst those who feel that a Twin Peaks: Season 3 will singularly fail to offer anything new and fresh in a landscape where TP’s once unique, offbeat tropes are now so widely engrained and referenced, remade in shows ranging from Lost to the American remake of The Killing. The first hipster TV show and definitive emblem of the cult has stealthily gone mainstream.
However, the idea of reviving Twin Peaks represents perhaps the holy grail of revivals of cancelled-before-their-time shows, previously only assailed by Netflix’s fourth season of Arrested Development. The fact that Twin Peaks, a program so staggeringly unlike anything network television has conceived before or since - a program whose legacy remained so potent in spite of the categorical denials over the space of two decades from everyone involved that it would ever return - is to live again is the best proof yet of the democratisation of the television and the shifting balance of control. The cancellation of an under-appreciated show no longer has to be the be-all and end-all; if the loyal fans want to see their favourite characters reunite once again, the increasing breadth of the viewing landscape can happily accommodate these desires. Other cable networks, Netflix and upstart Internet streaming services like Yahoo and Hulu are providing new homes for these orphan shows. They are also ensuring longevity to the artistic impulses of talented writers, directors and actors who want to continue telling their stories on their own terms. The delectable tidbit that David Lynch would be directing the entirety of the new Twin Peaks - and that the show would not be a reboot, but rather a continuation of Lynch/Frost’s story, twenty five years later - is surely an indicator of the original creative voices wanting to resolve unfinished business, excitingly situating the Twin Peaks revival within the current renaissance of auteur television that includes works like Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick and Cary Fukunaga on the first season of True Detective.
My point of reservation is over what direction this new series will take. The original incarnation of Twin Peaks had the investigation into Laura Palmer’s death at its epicentre, but it was the network-influenced decision to reveal the identity of Killer BOB halfway through the second season that sent the show careening off the rails and into cancellation. Fire Walk With Me, although divisive, did go some way to offer closure to Laura’s journey and fill in some of the blanks of her last week. Does the reboot then suggest, another layer to Laura Palmer? Or will a new murder kickstart a reunion for Harry, Coop and the rest of the Twin Peaks Police Department?
But Twin Peaks was never one for conventionality, I suppose. I’m greeting this piece of news with the same awe as Donna Hayward in the second ever episode - “I’m having the most beautiful dream…and the most terrible nightmare, all at once”.
I hope Season 3 is more of the former.
Image Credit: wikimedia.org
The Barron theatre itself was beautifully decorated; copious amounts of fairy lights were draped around the blackened rooms joined by bunting and lanterns, creating an ethereal vibe. A projector shone onto a transparent drape in the middle of the room and featured a lucid-dreamlike film, which people comfortably watched on the sofas the committee had laid out.
The Art Society offered cakes, canapés, tea and coffee, as well as free art supplies in order to quench people’s creative needs for the evening. The lock-in also featured several set activities: life drawing, lantern decorating, jazz and poetry. However, people were also able to indulge in their own activities; sprawled on the floor and seated, they produced beautiful drawings, poems and music.
The atmosphere was very much relaxed, full of those who simply appreciated the opportunity to be in a group of like-minded people revelling in the creativity of the event. Being a part of this evening left me feeling very much inspired to pursue my own artistic means. Ultimately, I found the Creative Lock-In a highly worthwhile evening that definitely brought a much needed break from the chaos of freshers week.
Emily Rose Pearce
Photo credit: The Art Society
Whether we realize it or not, the impact of climate change is prevalent across the globe.As students, we have all at some point in our lives been educated about the topic through a variety of ways; monotonous videos, tedious scientific texts, green-friendly talks. Unfortunately, the influence of these methods for most people seem to last a minimal amount and we tend not to gain enough motivation to make a difference. Alice Rowsome and Eliza Upadhyaya, second year students from the University of St Andrews have decided to take a fresh approach to the subject with their project, Pachamama.Pachamama is a unique feature-length film documentary focusing on an indigenous population residing in the Bolivian Andes called the Kallawayas’. With climate change being a prevalent issue in the Kallawaya community, the peoples have found imaginative and inspiring ways to deal with their changing environment. The project will provide audiences with “the human aspect” and hopes of “bringing a whole new angle to climate change”, explains Rowsome. The project will focus on the methods of the Kallawaya peoples and how we can learn and potentially adopt their perspectives of climate change.The Kallawayas’ are famously recognized for being naturopathic healers with an impressive reputation for healing Inca kings. They are dedicated to uphold their reputation by creating an intensive yet harmonious relationship between the secrets of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and healthcare, and have been successful in doing so as their skills are demanded all over Bolivia and in countries across South America. However, having such a strong relationship with the environment, the Kallawayas’ face extreme sensitivity to climate change.Producers Alice Rowsome and Eliza Upadhyaya plan to explore and present to audiences how climate change affects not only the Kallawayas but “everyone, because everyone is interconnected”. Upadhyaya further explains that climate change is an “issue of the future” and stresses that “it’s not too late to change things around, but it’s too late not to do anything about it”. The producers have managed to overcome a huge step in the project by being accepted into the Kallawaya community with full support from traditional healers and local officials.“They know that we are trying to share their stories and knowledge with the World, which they couldn’t have done otherwise.”The next step lies in the hands of supporters. The producers are keen on raising funds primarily from students so that the youth has a chance to “pick up the pieces” and create an impact through the production of the film. Donations can be made on Kickstarter, and depending on the amount you donate, you are eligible for some great perks, including becoming a producer of the documentary.The project has a limited number of days to raise £8000 and the deadline is fast approaching. If you feel like donating, this is an amazing opportunity to get involved with, so get your flatmates/sports team/friends involved and make a difference!To learn more or to donate, click on the following links:Official Website: http://www.pachamamafilm.com/Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/573963648/pachamama-documentary-film?ref=usersFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/pachamamadocumentaryTwitter: https://twitter.com/alice_and_eliza M Lyla Saifi