Twenty-five years have passed since Laura Palmer’s body was found wrapped in plastic on the pilot episode of “Twin Peaks,” jarring network television audiences and launching a cult classic. The Madison Public Library is paying tribute to the series and a new book that pulls back the curtain on all things “Twin Peaks.”
On Friday, the Wisconsin Book Festival is collaborating with the Bubbler to present “The Owls Are Not What They Seem,” a night to celebrate the David Lynch mystery through food, art and conversation.
According to Conor Moran, the director of the Wisconsin Book Festival, the idea for a night dedicated to “Twin Peaks” came about when he and Trent Miller, the program coordinator for the Madison Public Library, were discussing a new book, “Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks,” by Brad Dukes.
The series debuted in April of 1990, so, “We thought, why not do a 25th anniversary” party?
The free event begins at 8 p.m. at the Central Library, and participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite “Twin Peaks” character. A photo booth with props (a log seems like a sure bet) will capture party-goers in between dancing to roadhouse-style music and stuffing their faces with pie and doughnuts.
Artists will be on hand for a screen printing party; patrons are invited to bring their own T-shirts, canvas bags, etc. to be printed with a one-of-a-kind, Lynchian-inspired design, according to press materials.
At 9 p.m., Moran will lead author Brad Dukes in a question-and-answer session about his book, “Reflections.” According to Moran, Dukes “went on a huge crusade to meet with every person who had anything to do with ‘Twin Peaks.’ It’s absolutely astonishing.”
Dukes speaks with “everybody from (co-creator) Mark Frost and (actor) Kyle MacLachlan down to the guy who played trumpet on the theme song and the editor for the pilot. Producers, writers, everybody,” Moran said. The result is a holistic narration of the series in book form.
Dukes, a superfan who lives in Nashville, self-published “Reflections” without knowledge of the impending “Twin Peaks” mini-series planned to air on Showtime in 2016.
The staying power of David Lynch’s creation could be attributed to many things: Beautiful cinematography, quirky characters, its mixture of soap opera storylines with the paranormal. But what Moran, and many of the generation who remember watching the pilot live in 1990, may remember most is the major scare factor.
“I was 10 when it was on, but my mom let me watch it,” Moran said. “Come on, Mom, what were you doing?”
The evil gray-haired Bob — killer, demon, whatever he was — still scares Moran.
“I just rewatched it and I felt like a little kid again. One scene where Bob’s crawling over a couch, and — it’s the middle of the day — I know I’m not going to recover today.”