Une Âme Solitaire: Fans in a Living Novel – Javier of Black Lodge Cult

Javier is a relatively new Twin Peaks fan.  As he details below, he was much too young to see the original series when it first aired, and that hasn’t stopped him from feeling the impact during his first experience.  He’s directed his Twin Peaks passion into Black Lodge Cult, a Twitter page that incorporates captioned high-resolution photos, GIFs, and quotes from all three seasons and Fire Walk With Me.  In a little over a year, Javier’s gained a bunch of followers, posting beautiful and often timely reminders of the visual beauty that has drawn each fan deeper into the woods.

When I asked Javier to participate in the Living Novel, he was concerned that writing in his second language might require significant editing in order to get his feelings for Twin Peaks across to our readers.  Between his wonderful Black Lodge Cult work and his heartfelt words below, I am quite sure that we will all feel his love for the worlds that Mark Frost and David Lynch have created.

04Screen captures courtesy of Black Lodge Cult

You watched Twin Peaks for the first time only recently?

That year (2014) was the premiere of the masterful first season of True Detective. After finishing watching it, I decided to watch Twin Peaks. My great pending series that I had not been able to achieve until that year in DVD.

The first Episode, “Northwest Passage,” impacted me a lot. That deep dramatization of the events made you really feel that a small town was in one of its worst moments with the death of one of the most beloved girls of the place. Cooper’s presentation amazed me. The entrance to Twin Peaks by car and the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign is an eternal photogram. The way he talked to his secretary Diane, through his iconic tape recorder and how he was amazed by everything that came his way; his personality, optimism, his thoughts, the cherry pies, the coffee, the donuts, his research methods and the security that he had. I think he’s the most charismatic character in the history of television. In addition, the soundtrack of maestro Badalamenti is something from another world, along with the precious voice of Julee Cruise.

Throughout my viewing I was realizing the magnitude of the work of Lynch and Mark Frost. I was excited by that mixture of drama, comedy, suspense, mystery and terror; in addition to having such charismatic characters. I think that’s one of the best things in the series. But above all of this, the dark side of Twin Peaks is the one [element] that fascinates me the most. When Cooper has the dream with The Arm and Laura in The Red Room, it blew my mind. Then the first part of the second season (until Episode 10, “Dispute Between Brothers”) was very intense. I think even more than the first season. The violence was increasing; becoming increasingly visceral and frequent. Everything turned to a more gloomy, crude and terrifying tone.

Ray Wise’s performance as Leland Palmer overwhelmed me (the scene where he murders Maddy was very scary). While it is true that later the series lowers a little after the death of Leland, that part of soap opera is still totally Twin Peaks. The final stretch of the second season, with the inclusion of the mythology of the Owl Cave, the map, the circle of sycamore trees, the path to the Black Lodge and all the research to access it was amazing. The final chapter is television history. A masterpiece. The end, with Cooper’s Doppelgänger, and the reflection of BOB at the mirror, and our Cooper trapped in the Lodge BOB directly left me totally sunken and empty. A dark and painful void. But soon [after I watched the original series], Lynch and Frost announced the return of Twin Peaks. So I cannot complain like the fans that have been waiting for more than two decades. I’ve been lucky.

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How did you watch the original series run?

When Twin Peaks was aired in Spain (and in the rest of the world). I was very small (only 3 or 4 years old), so I could not see it live. The first time I saw Twin Peaks was on DVD in 2014. It took me a lot [of effort] to see it and I feel sorry I did not watch it before. How could I take so long to see what is now my favorite series? I think the most important thing is that I finally saw it and thanks to this I have been able to meet wonderful people.

I always watched Twin Peaks at night, and every day I watched two or three episodes. It was very hard to stop watching episodes! And when I finished seeing the episodes every day, I tried to find some information about some elements that awakened my restlessness. Nighttime is always a perfect moment to sink into that search for the unknown and mysteries. The silence and loneliness. I enjoyed watching the series in this way so much; without commenting on anything and only with my thoughts. It was something very intimate and special.

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Please tell me about jumping right into Season 3 just a few years later…

I saw Season 3 in the mornings or after lunch, and due to the time difference, I could not see it live. I went to bed before it aired, so I did not know anything [until I watched it the next day]. It was a bit harrowing, ha! The experience was completely different. Exciting. While I watched the original series alone (without commenting with anyone), The Return was completely the opposite. As soon as I finished a Part, I needed to discuss the series with all of you on Twitter and Dugpa Forum, reading the analysis of 25YearsLaterSite.com and Reddit, with its endless texts. Additionally, [I followed] other forums in Spain. Each one had its own theories; we analyzed images, we captured gifs, and we investigated everything that was said in the script. Never in my life had I done something like that. The closest thing was with “Lost” and the first season of “True Detective.” But what Lynch and Frost have done with Twin Peaks is something unique. I had never enjoyed a series so much; that it made us think about everything we saw during the whole week. An authentic madness! I’ll never forget.

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I understand that you’d like to commemorate your love of Twin Peaks with some ink.

 

I’ve wanted want to design a Twin Peaks tattoo for years. I would also like to have the symbol of the owl cave tattooed (the one on the ring) and since last year I also want the black symbol of Mr. C.’s card. Tattoos are very addictive; that stinging sensation on the skin while the tattoo artist drawing on the body. Twin Peaks must remain on my skin.

Have you ever converted anyone into a Twin Peaks fan?

 

Of course, my dear girlfriend Miriam. In fact, she saw the original series many years ago and she recommended that I must see it. But she saw it in her early adolescence, and she did not remember it well. A couple of months before the premiere of The Return, I convinced her to re-watch the original series. As Miriam was looking at the episodes, we discussed the details of each of them. It was when she really became a super fan. Then we saw the new season and it was an unforgettable experience for both of us. (I’m sorry, I was so annoying, honey!)

What is your favorite scene from any part of Twin Peaks and why?

The truth is that it is very difficult to choose only one. So I’m going to cheat and say all the scenes in the Black Lodge during “Beyond Life and Death” (Episode 29). I think this episode is one of the best things that David Lynch has ever done (along with “Gotta Light?” of The Return). I’m in love with that dark side of Twin Peaks; full of mysticism and terror. A psychedelic show in which Lynch plunges us into the depths of the unknown. The use of the flashing lights, the shadows, the red color, the red carpets, the anguished corridors. The uncertainty and horror. The fire. The blood. The chaos. The life and death. A timeless masterpiece.

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How did your Black Lodge Cult Twitter page evolve?

The idea to create Black Lodge Cult came after not finding many images of the series in high definition. And I said, “Well, if there are not, I will do it.” Everything happened during May 2017, when I was finishing my Twin Peaks re-watch with my partner Miriam prior to the premiere of the third season. First, I thought about making a website, but I have always been a fan of Welcome to Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks Archive, Twin Peaks Fanatic Blog and the Dugpa forum (plus other ones). I think that next to 25 Years Later Site, there are no better websites. It was not necessary [to create another website] and that is when I thought about creating a Twitter account similar to One Perfect Shot, The Cinegogue, Le Cinema and the like, but exclusively Twin Peaks-focused.

Something comfortable, fast and that everyone could see instantly anywhere. There were accounts that published pictures of Twin Peaks, but it was not something specifically dedicated. That’s when I thought Twitter would be the right place. Also, there were not many Twin Peaks accounts in Spain, and I thought that I had to somehow represent those fans, although I speak and post in Spanish and English. One of the main ideas was to have the account designed with a touch of horror, hence the name of Black Lodge Cult.

In June, I met Twin Peaks fans through my personal account, such as Twin Peaks Scotia, Diane Podcast and Amanda, so when the first stop of The Return came (after Part 4), I set everything up. These accounts that I mentioned and many others helped me from the beginning and little by little I was getting many followers. Among them, Nacho Vigalondo, Gwendoline Christie, George Griffith and Amaro Ferreiro (singer and Spanish musician) among many others.  To be in touch with the creators and stars of Twin Peaks was something I could never imagine and in fact I still do not believe I can be in contact with such famous people that I see acting in series or directing films. It’s surreal! But in one way or another, Twin Peaks unites us all.

Over time, I’ve been expanding with the material I publish and I also post things from the rest of David Lynch’s filmography. At the end of the day, those of us who like Twin Peaks also like the rest of his work. But Black Lodge Cult will always be for Twin Peaks and its fantastic frames.

You recently celebrated your first Twitter anniversary. I thought thanking the fans was a nice touch!

“About my first anniversary, I have to say it was something special. I run a Twitter account that mainly publishes images, so many times I do not write much about other things. I love talking to people who follow me or ask me things. Although many people follow me (more than I ever imagined!), I have always felt that maybe people believe that I do not know who is always supporting me. I thought that the best way to celebrate the first anniversary of Black Lodge Cult was to mention small groups of followers in special tweets honoring them. Those followers are what made Black Lodge Cult come out ahead. So I wanted to celebrate by thanking them publicly for the support they give me. I think it was the fairest thing. Although it hurt not being able to mention more followers, I did not want to bother people with so many tweets. The anniversary had a spectacular reception.

I also wanted to show that I’m just another fan, like all of us. I also follow many important Twin Peaks Twitter accounts for many years and having my dedicated Twin Peaks account does not make me a fan different from others. Having Black Lodge Cult will not change me. I am very grateful and happy to have met you all.”

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“Sometimes people tell me ‘Oh thank you very much for answering.’ But I tell them, ‘Why would not I do it?’ I am an ordinary person like everyone else, people just like the things that I publish. I would also like to be answered by other important Twitter accounts, but they do not, normally. Haha!”

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Javier is 31 years old and was born in Madrid, where he still lives. He studied graphic design and web design, and he loves music. He played in an alternative rock band (Ambiance), handling lead vocals and guitar for eight years.  Ambiance recorded a couple of EPs. He has also helmed a music website/digital magazine (IFM / Indiefermag.com & PDF), where he analyzes music. Javi is “addicted” to series and movies (especially horror movies), and also loves Nintendo, cheese, coffee, discovering new beers, pizza and my beautiful dog, Thor.

“Thanks also to my girlfriend Miriam, my sister Patricia, my friends Tomás and Quique and all Twitter friends for all the constant support you give me. You are all lovely people. And remember, The owls are not what they seem.”

 

You can also find Javier here:

Twitter: @GrMalkfredt

Lastfm account: https://www.last.fm/es/user/GrMalkfredt

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grmalkfredt


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