Lost in the Movies: Journey Through Twin Peaks: Part 5 - Over the Mountain Pass

Journey Through Twin Peaks: Part 5 - Over the Mountain Pass

A two-hour journey bringing us back to Twin Peaks
(available in eight individual chapters or as a two-volume video essay)

This is a follow-up to Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Journey Through Twin Peaks; images related to Part 5 are featured in my first and upcoming (live in mid-March) second collection of screenshots.

Follow the path through Journey Through Twin Peaks to keep track of the upcoming Part 6

What's onscreen: a tale of two creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, who were far apart fifteen years ago yet found themselves collaborating once again, on a revival of their most beloved work, within a decade. Although divided up into several different arrangements depending how you watch, this tale unfolds in four stories that coalesce into a fifth.

First, after a prologue setting the stage when Peaks seemed most dead, is the story of how fans and mass media kept the show's legacy alive. Second is the story of two "dream souls" - not Lynch and Frost but Lynch and Mary Sweeney, editor/writer/producer/partner, who collaborated on a deeply impressionistic, deeply humanist body of work which took them from Cannes tragedy to Cannes triumph in ten years. Third is the short but captivating story of a "house with many windows," candles burning in each: the various collaborators, ranging from editors to directors to writers, who brought the original Peaks to life even though they would be absent from the new work. Fourth is the story of the master storyteller himself, Frost, whose eclecticism of both form and content renders everything from a Red Sox game to a Lifetime movie to a montage of 1920s iconography part of the extended Journey Through Twin Peaks universe (with some surprising parallels in Peaks itself). Fifth, finally, is the only straightforwardly chronological part of this journey (more or less), traveling through season three in the same fashion we explored seasons one and two, via groups of episodes and big moments breaking the narrative into distinct moods and modes...with a promise of more to come (for Journey, anyway; Twin Peaks remains an open question).

And offscreen? Well...

Six years ago this month, I published Part 4 of Journey Through Twin Peaks, completing the original video series covering everything from the pilot through Fire Walk With Me (season three still lay in the future, although we knew it was coming). At that time, I wrote, "It took over four months and this entry is appearing exactly two months after it was originally scheduled." Well, as the Giant - now the Fireman - would say, "It is happening again." This time, the delays were even longer and the videos themselves were thrown out of whack as I raced to conclude the final chapter of Part 5, covering The Return, in time for the third anniversary of the season premiere. Then I turned back to what I'd already outlined as the two previous chapters, one surveying the various non-Lynch/Frost contributors to the original show (including clips from their film work), the other focusing on Mark Frost and his work outside of Twin Peaks. Both necessarily entailed lots of non-Peaks footage and as such they took more effort to corral and streamline than anticipated despite years of preparation. Earlier chapters, especially those covering the "in-between" years of the nineties, zeroes, and early teens, also required a lot of digging through YouTube and the result is by far my most ambitious video project. Just editing the Frost chapter alone took about half of the time I spent on the entire twenty-eight chapters back in 2014-15!

And of course, we're only halfway into my new Journey Through Twin Peaks because throughout 2021 I will develop Part 6, a goal I'd initially hoped to reach last summer. By the time you're reading this, the "catch-up" phase of my schedule will be over, and I will be creating a backlog of posts to take me through September so that I can focus exclusively on Journey this spring and summer. Those videos, however, will be more narrowly tailored to the new season, traveling through its many avenues and back alleys via organizing themes and locations - less complex to arrange. These videos were something as special as they were overwhelming: an explosion of material both central and tangential to Peaks allowing me to use my most-discussed subject as a jumping-off point for a much broader multimedia experience. In some ways I am proudest of "The Bookhouse Boy" chapter for the challenges it posed and the groundwork it took to complete (going back to 2019 when I began reading Frost's entire literary output, or perhaps even to 2016 when I began watching Hill Street Blues). However, I am particularly fond of my videos on the Lynch/Sweeney years. They allowed me to meditate on something hard to articulate in words, yet worth distilling from these captivating films. One chapter in the middle of that passage features only a single reference to Twin Peaks - visual, not verbal - yet I feel like it gets to the heart of the matter.

Here are the individual YouTube chapters; below is the feature-length Vimeo version (which I had to split into two uploads due to technical limitations, though they should be viewed together), followed by links to the sub-chapters of the Return chapter, and some other uploads from Vimeo including that Lynch/Sweeney standalone. Stay tuned for more...

Chapter 29 - The Dance Resumes
(Lynch/Frost apart & the Gold Box)

Chapter 30 - 25 Years Later...
(fans & media in the "in-between")

Chapter 31 - Unstubborn Stylist
(Cannes '92, David Lynch's aesthetic evolution & introducing Mary Sweeney)

Chapter 32 - Dream Souls
(the Mary Sweeney years in 4 long excerpts)
It cannot be embedded due to YouTube's age-restriction which requires a YouTube account.
If you do not have one, try watching it on Vimeo (which has different settings/restrictions).
(updated August 8)

Chapter 33 - On the Other Side
(3 more trips to Cannes, digital era, Lynch/Sweeney apart, Fire Walk With Me redeemed)

Chapter 34 - A Candle in Every Window
(original series collaborators)

Chapter 35 - The Bookhouse Boy
(Mark Frost's fiction/nonfiction & The Secret History of Twin Peaks)

Chapter 36 - The Return

And the full video of Part 5 on Vimeo...
first half:
second half:

Plus a standalone version of the Lynch/Sweeney story:

updated May 21 - September 3...
These are the sub-chapters of chapter 36:

36A - The Anti-Pilot (Parts 1 & 2)

36B - From Cosmos to Carpet (Parts 3 & 4)

36C - Your Weekly Peaks (Parts 5 - 8)

36D - The Fire and the Fireman (Atomic Aftermath)

36E - A Darkness in the Desert (New Mexico 1956)

36F - Bittersweet Passage (Parts 9 - 13)

36G - Forked Path (Parts 14 - 16)

36H - The Two-Sided Finale (Parts 17 & 18)

Chapter 36 is posted on Vimeo as well as YouTube

Updated August 8:
And here is the Vimeo version of the four Lynch/Sweeney sequences
(as a standalone chapter rather than part of the broader "Dream Souls" compilation)

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