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Daily Briefing. “Twin Peaks” @ 20

Also: The Passion of Joan of Arc accompanied by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).

"Two decades ago everything tasted better when drizzled with the special chocolate sauce of 'postmodernism,' and Twin Peaks was the most ironic cherry pie vehicle for that addictive popular culture had yet baked up," writes Dennis Harvey in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. "It was so cool you could hardly believe it was actually being watched." Tonight, the Roxie and MIDNiTES FOR MANiACS present a "20th Anniversary Celebration for David Lynch's Twin Peaks" that kicks off with Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), the inspiration for Lynch and Mark Frost's series, followed by the pilot and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1922). "Plus, pie on sale all night courtesy of Three Babes Bakeshop!"

How to Be a Retronaut points us to a fine set of photos at Welcome to Twin Peaks: "When Twin Peaks' in-house photographer had quit and no further promotional shots were needed since the show was cancelled, Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne) took his Olympus camera to the set and was given David Lynch's thumbs up to document the last days of filming the show. His behind the scenes photography (partly included in the Twin Peaks Gold Box DVD set) has become legendary, showing the actors both in and out of character, and The Black Lodge from angles you haven't seen it before."

Tonight in New York, the White Light Festival presents Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) "paired with a live US premiere performance of a new score composed and performed by Adrian Utley, of the group Portishead, and Will Gregory, of the electronic music duo Goldfrapp, along with six electric guitars, a choir, harps, percussion, horns, and keyboards." The event has its own site, too.

"The release of the Iranian actress sentenced to 90 lashes and a year in prison after appearing in a banned film highlights the need to release other detained filmmakers in Iran, Amnesty International said today. Marzieh Vafamehr, who was arrested after starring in the Australian film My Tehran for Sale, was released on Monday night. One scene in the film shows her without the head-covering Iranian women are required to wear, while she appears to drink alcohol in another. The actress seems to have been released after an appeal court reduced her imprisonment to three months and overturned the flogging sentence."

"The 'Shinjuku Diaries' program [PDF], which ran at the British Film Institute this summer (August 2-31, 2011) with a parallel 'Theatre Scorpio' series organized by London's Close Up Film Centre, revisited the astonishing cinema that was born out of two of Tokyo's countercultural hotspots, the Shinjuku Bunka and its basement venue, the Sasori-za." An overview from Thomas Dylan Eaton for Artforum.

The New York Times' "Holiday Movies" special is up and, as always, the survey of seasonal favorites is a highlight: Bob Berney on Henry Selick and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Rodrigo García on John Huston's The Dead (1987; related: everyday_i_show's gallery of Angelica Huston photos), Kenneth Branagh on Ken Hughes's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Whit Stillman on Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and Jennifer Westfeldt on Mike Nichols's Working Girl (1988).

The profiles: Michael Cieply on Steven Spielberg (War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, Lincoln), Charles McGrath on Charlize Theron (Young Adult), David Carr on Woody Harrelson (Rampart), Dave Itzkoff on Brett Ratner (Tower Heist), Leah Rozen on Cameron Crowe (We Bought a Zoo) and Mekado Murphy on Tarsem Singh (Immortals). Karen Durbin highlights some of the performances of the season: Janet Mcteer in Albert Nobbs, Zoé Héran in Tomboy, Adepero Oduye in Pariah, Asa Butterfield in Hugo and Armie Hammer in J. Edgar. And Charles Taylor and Stephanie Zacharek look ahead to some of the most tantalizing DVD releases.

In the works. Bill Murray will join Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, Katheryn Winnick, Patricia Arquette and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Roman Coppola's A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (FirstShowing). Related browsing: Please Post Bills, an exhibition as tribute to Murray, opens at Gallery 1998 on Los Angeles on Thursday and /Film has a preview.

Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom have signed on to Roger Donaldson's Cities, "an international thriller that will touch upon the hot topic of the moment, world finance" (Playlist).

"Blossom Films partners Nicole Kidman and Per Saari are reuniting with their Rabbit Hole co-producers at Olympus Films to option screen rights to the bestselling Kevin Wilson novel The Family Fang," reports Deadline's Mike Fleming. The book tells the story of "a couple of performance artists who routinely sucked their kids into taking part in a variety of bizarre events. When the full grown children return home in a state of crisis, they are unwittingly enlisted to help in the execution of a daring and mysterious final performance by their parents, who are hellbent on achieving the act of a lifetime. Their kids harbor more than a little resentment and blame the performance art for how badly their own lives have turned out."

Syfy Channel and Universal are putting together an adaptation of Wild Cards, a superhero anthology created by a group of New Mexico writers which, as the Wikipedia entry notes, "is mostly pulled together and edited by best-selling author George RR Martin." "But this ain't no DC or Marvel shit," cautions the Playlist's Kevin Jagernauth. "It's a sprawling series set in an alternate history post-World War II world where an airborne alien virus changes the DNA of almost everyone on the planet, killing many, and leaving the rest as either superheroes (of sorts) with special abilities or with mutations and deformities or somewhere in between."

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