If the first four parts of Cameron Cloutier’s extension of Twin Peaks mythology were great, this fifth visit to the world both wondrous and strange is simply sublime.
It starts with familiar strobe effects, disconcerting slash cuts from one image to the next and a series of uncomfortable, awkward close ups that thrust us into Annie’s journey. It’s a journey that takes in both lodges and the empty, eerie forest around Jackrabbit’s Palace. Accompanying it all is a vivid soundscape that recalls everything about the source material from electrical buzzing to the Industrial Symphony. Not afraid to step outside what has gone before, we also hear strains of something that is at once sad and otherworldly, calling to mind Bear Macreary’s beautiful work on Battlestar Galactica.
Annie is lost between worlds, thrust into ever more shocking locales, with only a young Englishman of our acquaintance to guide her.
The camera work and cinematography in this episode are also a cut above, making the viewer part of the ride and throwing up some original and enthralling visuals (the badge on someone’s shoulder, an empty stool in the diner, a shove against the wall) that fit beautifully into the mythos that Cameron has created.
Madison Bates, our eponymous heroine, guides us through this world with all the poise and craft that has seen her glide through at his whole enterprise in such a stunning fashion. We feel her every step in this random and jarring world.
Honestly, I don’t know how he’s done it, but it feels like something so precise and yet so organic at the same time. Just the scene when we see young Laura walk in is timed to perfection with the accompanying music is so cinematic. Bravo!
I’ve said it before, but there aren’t many people who know the big picture of Twin Peaks more than Cameron. I might be able to pick and choose random samples of all the different elements and make little poems, but this guy sees it all in a top down way and fuses everything, so that it brings Jen Lynch’s Secret Diary, Scott Frost’s Dale Cooper book, FWWM and all the different moods of the TV show into one glorious combination.
He’s not done it alone. The sterling visual effects work of Benjamin Oliver is worth its own post. The way he’s created some of the most iconic effects in the whole show is simply unreal. The White Lodge looks just like it does in The Return.
Bravo also to Cameron for taking on the role of Gordon Cole. Some massive shoes to walk into. Credit to him for showing commitment to his craft and growing his hair out to prepare for it and add authenticity.
I love it when I get something to take away from experiences like this. From Part 5, I got two new songs that I’d never heard but are now on my playlist and getting regular airings. Chris Isaak’s Somebody’s Crying and another Twin Peaks alum, Amanda Seyfried’s haunting cover of Little Red Riding Hood. Thanks for those additions to my life, too.
What follows in Part V is sheer joy to watch, from the perfect “I’m fine,” montage to the Fireman watching Annie’s time travel corrections to her taking the mature approach to her relationship with Coop.
All that, and then to cap it off a mesmerising final act that brings everything together perfectly. I won’t give too much away. Go see it for yourself. See it, love it, share it far and wide. Anyone who loves Twin Peaks can’t help but be impressed with this piece of work.
Thanks for taking us on this journey, Cameron. Sincere congratulations on an amazing feat, through COVID and everything else, you made your dream a reality and got it out there. That takes guts, balls, brains and a number of other things too.
All the best,
Go see it here…