Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★

A parade of surreal misery. Recounts Laura Palmer's last week alive, with a 30 minute intro in a place called 'Deer Meadow'. It's significantly darker and more depressive than the series ever got, while focusing prominently on a severely troubling human story. It moves Sheryl Lee into the spotlight, forcing her to channel an unbelievable amount of hurt and torment into her character. FIRE WALK WITH ME is torturous mostly by design: it offers nearly nothing in way of conclusion to the show's ambiguous ending, and it would be doubly perplexing as an introduction to this world. Still, even despite the much harsher tone, there's a lot to admire here. The implications of Ray Wise's character are dealt with horrifically, in scenes that show the Palmer family as a toxic suburban wreck even prior to the murder. It shifts culpability to where it belongs, presents villains from the series as legitimately intimidating people, and incorporates rape, incest, abuse, and drug use in a mature way. Time isn't linear in Twin Peaks; FIRE WALK WITH ME moves through the Black Lodge aware of Dale Cooper's fate, and characters escape from it and reappear in the 'real' world to give eery, vague and absurd warnings. It's all very scary, in the sense that definitive answers never come; but it didn't frustrate me. My relationship with Twin Peak's brand of insanity has led me to be fascinated with its crazier passages and visuals. The smashed tv of the intro credits, the one-scene David Bowie cameo, the lengthy, subtitled 'Pink Room' scenes and the brief Kyle McLachlan role here read as if Lynch felt particularly hateful towards the TV networks. Even where Twin Peaks seemed to lack reason altogether, it never felt impossible to reach for an understanding. Much of FIRE WALK WITH ME feels like that, i mean, just refer to Chris Isaak's interpretation of Lil the dancer to Kiefer Sutherland. The blue flower as everything that can't be explained away. The blue flower as the fatalistic sway of the events of this film, and the series that narratively 'follows' it. Disturbing, and as symbolic and spiritual as the show ever was...not as essential, but at least better than the second season, and the ending is perfect.