In early April 1990, viewers tuned in to the pilot episode of David Lynch’s mysterious TV show “Twin Peaks.” Now, 25 years later, on the weekend of April 16-19, Movie Club Richmond, the Video Fan and Makeout Creek Books are bringing “The Great Southern,” a “Twin Peaks”-themed festival, to Richmond.
The festival celebrating the show, which ran for two seasons from 1990-1991, was planned by Andrew Blossom, a self-proclaimed true “Twin Peaks” fanatic who works at Video Fan and Chop Suey Books and is also an editor at Makeout Creek Books.
“Every time I watch ‘Twin Peaks’ it feels like going home,” Blossom said. “It feels like you’re returning to something special. It’s such a wonderful artistic creation. That mixture of humor and horror, really terrific acting and writing, it just really makes for a special experience every time I watch it.”
Blossom said that he wanted the festival to be not only about the television show, but about Richmond as well, with events spread throughout the city.
“We built this festival as a series of events in different locations, most of which is free, so that people can go to as little or as much of it as they want,” Blossom said.
“The Great Southern” kicks off on Thursday, April 16 with happy hour at Portrait House in Carytown, followed by a reading from Makeout Creek at Ipanema Cafe. Friday there will be a Sacred Bones Records listening party at Steady Sounds, followed by a Q&A at Chop Suey Books with Brad Dukes, author of “Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks,” and “Twin Peaks” and “Eraserhead” actress Charlotte Stewart.
In “Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks,” Dukes interviewed more than 100 cast and crew members of “Twin Peaks.” It is full of first-person accounts of the making of the show.
“Charlotte was the first person I interviewed,” Dukes said. “I get lost in her stories.”
Following the Q&A, there will be a “Hook Rug Soiree” at Portrait House, a dance party named for a famous scene in the series when one of the characters dances on a hook rug in the dark while holding a flashlight. That evening, the Byrd Theatre will have a midnight showing of the cult-classic “Eraserhead,” also directed by David Lynch.
Saturday promises a pizza pie and coffee special at Dinamo, and “Big Ed’s Craft Farm,” which will feature handmade goods from local artists at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.
Saturday night, Strange Matter will be hosting “Let’s Rock! The Pink Room Show,” featuring bands like Big NO, Lodro, Mutwawa and Service. Heather Jerabeck, a member of Big NO, said the Strange Matter show is based off a scene in the “Twin Peaks” prequel, “Fire Walk with Me” in which two main characters, Laura and Donna, go to a bar called The Pink Room. It’s called “Let’s Rock” because it is the last phrase another character, Jaques Renault, says before the night takes a strange turn.
“It’s gonna be really fun because even though it’s a show at Strange Matter, we’re really trying to make it a party,” Jerabeck said. “It’s not just gonna be a bunch of people facing forward, watching a show and then smoking cigarettes outside. We’re gonna DJ, the DJ’s name is Service, and they’re gonna play music in-between and before and after so people can dance and have fun. We want it to be more of a dance-party vibe.”
The final day of the festival has “An Afternoon Both Wonderful and Strange” at Hardywood Brewery, which will have a Mr. & Ms. Twin Peaks Costume Contest, a special guest Q&A and a performance by a Julee Cruise cover band, as Julee Cruise was the artist who wrote “Falling,” the theme song for the TV series. There will also be “Twin Peaks” trivia Sunday night at Sticky Rice.
More information about the festival can be found at thegreatsouthern-richmond.com. It runs April 16-19.