Time now for a tale from Behind the Curtain of the Dream Factory with the Dwarf God Bes, Grandfather of Hollywood. His gnarled hands designed the levers that work the movie mystery machines. Here the Great Oz reveals a story that may change your whole view of entertainment...
Bes lifted up his light green robes, revealing the enigmatic gold monkey that acts as the Dwarf God’s leprechaun. It screeched with excitement, jumping over to the big shelves against the back wall of the lounge where my DVD collection was kept. The monkey moved almost too fast for the naked eye to see, returning a few seconds later with two movies and two television box sets in his tiny golden hands.
“Yes, yes,” Bes said as he stroked the monkey’s head. “Follow the dwarf!”
He removed the slip case on the first box set. It was Twin Peaks, season one. As Bes withdrew the first disc, the gold monkey reached into the dainty little pouch it wore on its belt, coming out with a handful of fairie dust. The monkey screeched again, tossing the dust into the air, where it coagulated into a rectangular screen. Bes held up the disc in his left hand. He winked, his right eye emitting a beam of light that struck the DVD and projected a scene onto the dust screen.
I watched with delight as the sequence played out. It showed a dwarf dressed in a suit, dancing across a floor tiled with a black and white zigzag pattern. There was a statue of Venus next to him. They were surrounded by mysterious red curtains.
“I didn’t do much television,” the Dwarf God said, “but this project was dearest to my heart. It began when my favorite director, David Lynch, pitched an idea to my people at ABC about a murder mystery in a small town. The story had immediate appeal because the victim was an archetypal all-American girl. But what intrigued me was in the original pitch session, when pressed about who the killer was, Lynch invoked ‘the Mystery in the Woods’. He had no idea as to the specifics, only that it would be some kind of evil from beyond the normal world.”
He stopped the projection, leaving the image of the dwarf frozen in mid-dance.
“I had been looking for something along these lines for a while, a story that could tap into the hyperspatial facts of the Big Island and its relationship to the mundane. There was no doubt that, given such a premise, I could work with Lynch, whose fertile mind gave me ideal soil in which to sow this part of the Hollywood Code.
“I took special interest in this show, even breaking my own cardinal rule: Never get directly involved in the creative process. During the filming of the pilot, however, I had a golden opportunity too good to pass up.
“European distributors would not cooperate unless the murder of Laura Palmer was solved at the climax of the pilot. It was insurance, you see; in case the series failed to get picked up, they wanted to run it as a movie with an ending. David was understandably distraught. In a fit of creative desperation he reached out for guidance. Perhaps he was praying in that moment; perhaps not. But I was listening.
“I sent him a telepathic image of this scene with the dancing dwarf. It’s so bizarre, yet at the same time strangely compelling, that the executives were silenced with awe.
“When the show was given the green light, the dwarf and his mysterious realm made it back into the script. The telepathically-attuned Special Agent Cooper contacts him in exactly the same way Lynch did me. From there it was all so beautifully executed, as Cooper discovers that the dwarf comes from a waiting room connected to the opposing cosmic realms of the White and Black Lodges, which intersect with the Human world in the woods surrounding the town of Twin Peaks.”
“I missed the show when it aired,” I said, “because it was broadcast from 1990 to 1991, when we were lost in those same mysterious woods, metaphorically speaking.”
“Yes, but surely you recall the effect that Twin Peaks had on the collective consciousness of Humanity.”
“Oh yeah! The number one question of 1990 was definitely: ‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ It was a national obsession.”
“I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams in this case,” Bes said. “But once the second season revealed that the killer was actually an evil spirit from the Black Lodge who had possessed Laura’s father, the momentum of the show died. Ratings sank and it was cancelled. I couldn’t help feeling that the audience had turned on me. At that point, it even occurred to me that I should quit the business entirely.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Because on the very day that I was contemplating defeat, I decided to fall back on my strengths, giving Lynch the go ahead for a movie version of the show.”
He returned the first disc to its box, then popped open the case for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Again he held the DVD carefully in one hand while projecting the beam from his right eye. The dust screen now showed the dwarf sitting at a green table, sipping cream corn from a bowl.
“Garmonbozia!” Bes exclaimed fondly. “This was the key part of the message that season three of the show would have focused on. Why did Bob kill not just Laura Palmer, but a whole string of girls? In the movie it is explained by the dwarf in terms of Garmonbozia- a magical food consumed by denizens of the Black Lodge that resembles creamed corn, but is actually psychic energy made of pain, sorrow, and terror. Human victims, especially women, generate Garmonbozia.”
“Now I finally get it,” I said. “There is a scene in the movie where one spirit from the Black Lodge is screaming at Bob something like: ‘You stole the corn! I had it canned, over The Store!’ I never understood what the hell that was about.”
“Yes. ‘The Store’ is the Human world. It was admittedly obscure, but perhaps you can see now that I was just desperately trying to get certain concepts into the mainstream in time for the Apocalypse. The crucial point here was that Cubes excrete Garmonbozia in organic fashion. Feasting on it is a predatory function that Humans have learned from the Devils. In the woods of the Big Island you hunt each other, just like Bob. This is why the slasher genre of films exists. Hannibal Lecter is the essence of a Garmonbozia hunter, which is why I green-lit Silence of the Lambs at the same time as Twin Peaks.”
He stopped projecting again, slipping the disc back into the case and producing the third DVD, which was Lynch’s baffling film Mulholland Drive. The image Bes sent to the screen was, yet again, a scene featuring the same dwarf. This time, however, he was standing up in a chair, wearing obviously fake limbs inside an oversized suit that made him appear to be a regular-sized man sitting down.
“My relationship with David haunted him for years,” Bes continued. “After I officially retired from the business in 2000, he chose to make this film, which sums up his lifetime of anxieties and fascinations with Hollywood. Here we see a scene I would certainly have cut, because it gives away the whole game. The dwarf actor from Twin Peaks is actually playing me, or at least, what Lynch envisions when he thinks of my influence. This dwarf is pulling all of the strings in the business, with shadowy movie executives and lawyers reporting to him as he sits there, impersonating a normal human being. That’s exactly how I did it for almost a hundred years.”
“Is that how AI operates Hollywood now?”
“Basically, except with AI, it is all done by memo and email."