Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

I'm reasonably pleased with my inaugural review of Fire Walk with Me - a link to which can be found below - and have therefore opted to deposit some additional observations rather than retread the whole affair. I really enjoy discussing David Lynch's work, particularly the Twin Peaks universe, and therefore hope that some of you will find my musings of interest.

* Sheryl Lee's performance in the film is my unequivocal favourite from a lead actress in any picture I've yet to see. When you consider her age at the time of filming (25) and the trauma she had to endure when conveying Laura Palmer's final days, it is hard to find a fitting superlative to describe it. Were the film to be released today, she'd be surefire Oscar bait.

* David Bowie's cameo as the long lost Special Agent Jeffries is much more fascinating than it is perplexing. The extended footage available on the excellent 'The Entire Mystery' box set doesn't exactly flesh the character out but it does indicate the nature of his assignment and, in my opinion, flare up parallels between he and Windom Earle, the malevolent villain of Season 2's second half. It's a shame that more time couldn't be afforded to this character because it's highly unlikely that Bowie, given his exceptionally low profile, will have any part to play in the forthcoming third season.

* Speaking of AWOL FBI agents, Chester Desmond - played by Chris Isaak - was much more enjoyable second time around. My understanding is that, as Kyle MacLachlan initially passed on the opportunity to reprise his role as Dale Cooper, Isaak would be FWWM's lead protagonist. How that would have played out is anybody's guess but I do find the notion intriguing, there being after all a number of similarities between the two in terms of their on-screen presence. Desmond's interaction with Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) is also really entertaining.

* I haven't actually got anything new to say on this front but out of habit I'll say it again - Ray Wise is the MAN and Leland Palmer will always be my favourite character in any entertainment format.

* Frank Silva was at his most terrifying in FWWM - the scene where he crawls through Laura's bedroom window before mounting her is truly the stuff of nightmares. You get the sense that Lynch and the cast were reveling in the opportunity to portray this character in greater detail than the TV series could afford. Silva's performance is all the more amazing when you read the cast's loving recollections of him off-screen. What a sad loss.

* The barroom scene with Laura, Donna, Jacques Renault and his two douchebag friends is one of the most visually arresting Lynch has ever concocted. All of the team involved do an amazing job of bringing to life the seedy underbelly of the seemingly idyllic town of Twin Peaks. I love the way that light beams through a hole in the ceiling onto the dance floor at the very beginning of the sequence and the long pan shot of the copious amount of smoked cigarettes is art of the highest order. Moments like this really are a testament to Lynch's artistic genius.

* Moira Kelly's role in the film is unfairly maligned. Granted, she doesn't possess the raw sex appeal of Lara Flynn Boyle but, considering she stepped into the shoes of a much treasured character so shortly after the series ended, her efforts are commendable. To jump into such challenging role so quickly after it was vacated showed great character and I'd personally be happy to see her reprise it in 2017.

* Angelo Badalamenti's music is as perfect here as it is in the series - there have been few greater musical contribution to any film or series since.

* I love the fact that Catherine E. Coulson found her way into the film, even if her appearance is fleeting. Her passing was such a sad occurrence and it's great to be able to see the Log Lady and Laura Palmer share a screen, if only for once.

* I think the way that Lynch and Robert Engels tell the story of Teresa Banks is just brilliant - we don't get the introspection that is afforded to Laura but we are presented with a sad tale of solitariness and abuse nonetheless.The way that her corpse is presented to us in the morgue - mouth jarred open, eyes glazed and hands frozen in self defence - is truly chilling stuff.

* The way that the inhabitants of the Black Lodge are presented offer much more clues than the series afforded us. I'm not going to bore you with my own theories on the individual significance of each ghoul but I think the oft-used term 'Between Two Worlds' becomes much more prevalent once FWWM has been viewed.

* Finally, I ought to reiterate that I absolutely think that it was the right thing for this film to be made. Irrespective of how the series ended, it was absolutely imperative for Laura Palmer's story to be told and for viewers to see the life of the girl whose murder has compelled them for so very long. It's a bleak tale but Twin Peaks, for all its humour and peculiarities, has never been held up as a bastion of goodwill or an advertisement of idyllic living. Rather, it's a journey deep beneath the skin of everyday life and an unflinching observation of the human soul's capacity for joy inducing goodness and, just as equally, fatal cruelty. That is the reason that people such as myself keep coming back for more - the coffee and cherry pie are just a bonus.

Hope that some of these points are worthy of your discussion, please do feel free to share your thoughts with me.

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