Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★

“You don't even know me. There are things about me - even Donna doesn't know me. Your Laura disappeared. It's just me now.”

It recontextualizes the original show, not through plot, we already know most of what happens in the film, but through pure, raw emotion. Rewatching the original show after watching this movie is different. One can’t ignore the pain that is inextricably linked with Twin Peaks, anymore, its no longer imagined, its there. Sure the mystery is fun, but one has to remember its a product of complete brutality. 

The film rips off the suburban facade, but not for shock purposes. Its more human than that. Its like being finally told the truth, which, while the truth may completely fucking suck, it still is a bit liberating, and necessary. In a way it feels like a repressed memory rising to our conscious minds. On top of that, by showing us the truth, Laura is given life, so the cycle of projection of this image of a “perfect Laura”, is interrupted. We see Laura as she is, we get to care for her, and can not project. Laura deserves more than just a distorted image/memory of perfection. So she is presented in her entirety and filled with humanity which could not be found before. Her identity is no longer in other people’s hands, she exists now, as an actual person, not just through other characters’ recollections of her, she’s no longer just a piece of dialogue. The movie works as a subversive meta commentary on Laura’s role in the narrative as a plot device, which is subverted, her role in this movie is the direct opposite of a plot device. There was always more to Laura Palmer than her death. This film, while brutal is ultimately quite kind, in its own way.

Also, watching this after The Return is more painful. We want to save her but we know the consequences too well. There’s more to her suffering than her death (in a way its the other way around, the only moment of peace she found was in her death, which subverts the movie’s own narrative structure of inevitable dread, being that the inevitable thing we feared turned out to be her only moment truly absent of dread), and both this film and The Return know that.

The directing is really great. A lot of close ups but not an over abundance of them in a way that would diminish the emotion, quite the opposite. The medium/long shots are quite terrifying, even though traditionally they should feel less claustrophobic. David Lynch uses wide lenses that very very very subtly distort the image and makes it appear more dreamy and unfamiliar, to subconsciously make us more disturbed, in the way great directors do. The acting is extremely powerful. Sheryl Lee is incredible. How tf is she not a Hollywood star? Ray Wise is really great too, playing the 2 faceted Leland. The rest of the cast was great too. Also the recast for Donna was surprisingly pretty great too, and the fact that she was recast, and that she is an unfamiliar face in the world of Twin Peaks, added to the estrangement between her and Laura (“even Donna doesn’t know me”). Its a film that really sticks with you, ever since I first saw it I’ve been feeling drawn to it. Also that piece that plays at the opening credits might as well be my favorite song from a soundtrack of any film or TV show.

I think the first 30 minutes while pretty important for The Return, and very interesting in themselves, do not fit with the rest of the film. But aside from that its fantastic. I’m feeling an urge to rewatch the original show.

Poor Laura...

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