Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: “Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery” Blu-Ray: Part 2

For this next installment of my ongoing review series on the new “Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery” box set, I’m focusing on three extras: “A Slice of Lynch” (uncut), “Return to Twin Peaks”, and the Season One photo galleries.

A Slice of Lynch (uncut)

The big bonus feature of the 2007 “Gold Box” DVD set was Secrets from Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks (more on that in a future post). David Lynch chose not to participate in that feature-length documentary, possibly because he was wary about relinquishing control to director Charles de Lauzirika. As a consolation prize, he appeared in a separate, 30-minute featurette called “A Slice of Lynch”. Although de Lauzirika directed that extra too, Lynch is clearly leading the show. It’s basically the same deal as the color portion of “Between Two Worlds”: Lynch sits down with three “Twin Peaks” alumni to enjoy refreshments and chat about old times. While that new featurette is a roundtable with the actresses and actor who portrayed the Palmer family, the 2007 one featured Kyle “Agent Cooper” MacLachlan, Madchen “Shelley Johnson” Amick, and John “post-production supervisor” Wentworth.

The mood of “A Slice of Lynch” is much more lighthearted than that of “Between Two Worlds”, which is one of the benefits of not having a conversation immediately after pretending your family was ripped apart by incest and murder. Plus, the unusual selection of attendees is clearly very personal to Lynch. MacLachlan was a long-time collaborator who’d also worked with the director in Dune and Blue Velvet and has often been viewed as his on-screen stand-in similar to the way Hitchcock used Carey Grant. Lynch personally mentored Wentworth, giving him his first major job in the industry and believing in his abilities enough to give him challenging tasks like recording field sound effects despite Wentworth’s total lack of experience doing that. As for Madchen, well, we all know from the series that Lynch had a major-league crush on her (can you blame him?), and it certainly seems to have survived until 2007.

As it turns out, the 30-minute “A Slice of Lynch” was a mere slice of “A Slice of Lynch”. On “The Entire Mystery”, it appears uncut, coming in at twice the length of the “Gold Box” edit. I was concerned the roundtable might get a bit boring at close to an hour. Actually, I think it’s better at full-length. It now feels less like a bone tossed to viewers who’d wished Lynch appeared in Secrets from Another Place and stands as a very enjoyable and substantial feature in its own right. As well as Lynch and Amick reminiscing about locking lips, and Lynch sincerely admitting he’s never heard of “Baywatch” before, we get more insight into the show’s creation, and MacLachlan revealing his favorite Shelley Johnson moment and the joy of working with Michael Ontkean (another glaring absentee from Secrets from Another Place). Coincidentally, Lynch also off-handedly discusses his approach to directing, and it is the very thing Grace Zabriskie would say makes him such a unique director in “Between Two Worlds” seven years later. As it now stands, “A Slice of Lynch” is the White Lodge to that new featurette’s Black Lodge, and it’s the preferable place to have a cup of coffee.

Return to “Twin Peaks”

Since I’m a lot more interested in being a fan than watching fans, this featurette about the annual “Twin Peaks Fest” convention near North Bend, Washington, is not one of my favorites. “Return to Twin Peaks” was ported over from the “Gold Box”, and it’s an unfortunate irony that the convention it covers could not benefit from the resurgence in “Twin Peaks” interest that the DVD on which it appeared inspired. While the fest has since become extremely popular again, drawing sell-out crowds and scores of “Peaks” alumni like Sherilyn Fenn, Piper Laurie, Sheryl Lee, and Ray Wise, the guest line up is sparse for the one covered in “Return to Twin Peaks”. Only Kimmy Robertson, Phoebe Augustine, and Jan D’Arcy (who attends all the fests, since she lives in the North Bend area) show up. The attendees are kind of sparse too, though it’s heartening that they seem like very nice people and not the usual crazy crackpots we stereotype fan conventioneers as. Still, I wouldn’t blame Michael Anderson for wanting to take a pop at that guy who says “the dwarf” scared a lot of people when he came to the convention.

Season One Photo Galleries

I prefer photo galleries that are carefully selected rather than overwhelmingly exhaustive, so I’m please with the “Images” gallery for season one of “Twin Peaks”. Most pictures were behind-the-scenes shots of Lynch directing the pilot, but other stand outs include a shot of Frank Silva enjoying a cigarette outside of the Blue Pine Lodge and his usual denim BOB gear and one of Sheryl Lee sitting up on the morgue table in her full corpse makeup. Other galleries included “Picnic”, which is notable for revealing that James Marshall was there for filming even though the whole point is that he doesn’t appear in Laura and Donna’s picnic video, and “Ski Trip”, a set of outtakes from the photo of Audrey and Laura that appears on Ben Horne’s desk. As pretty as Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee are, this gallery is way too repetitious.

…incidentally, I intended to also review the Season Two photo gallery in this post, but I started having technical difficulties with disc three after watching “A Slice of Lynch”. I may have a defective set on my hands, which means it might be a bit before I post the next installment of this series. Stay tuned...
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