Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

"There's no tomorrow... Know why, baby? 'Cause it'll never get here." _ Jacques Renault, blank as a fart
"Good morning, America" - Carl, after 9 a.m.

Edges out The Sopranos hard cut to black scored with "Don't Stop Believin'" in the category of greatest way (/metastatement) to end a TV series. Opening on a television showing static (that is subsequently smashed), it's hard not to read some aspects as Lynch venting frustrations. Characters literally vanish. Cooper is anxious to see if he'll appear on TV, and eventually his image remains imprinted on the close-circuit TV. Lynch designs characters and settings to double and contrast just like the patterns on the floor of the Black Lodge: Deer Meadow might as well have been named Single Valley with its unwelcoming law enforcement and lousy, inhospitable diner.

As this is a prequel, though, there's barely anything to expect from the narrative except a depiction of events we already know happened from watching the show. Lynch uses this folding back on itself pattern to suggest an inevitability or a loop or perhaps a perspective that is outside of measured time: A Mobius strip structure that will bleed into several of his next features. "It's either really early or really late." Characters mention the time or look at watches and clocks ("We have our own clock"). Where are we in this story exactly? We're counting down the year, the days, and minutes until Laura Palmer is murdered. Given free reign to eschew narrative more than with any feature he'd made since ERASERHEAD, Lynch goes full on expressive. The soundtrack is aggressively supernatural (first time seeing it in 35mm, I'd never heard The Man From Another Place's whooping when it appears multiple times throughout the movie), and several sequences seem designed around classic Lynch "mood": Laura's surreal nightmare, the road rage confrontation, the "Pink Room", and the final sequence are all difficult to consider in traditional terms, but they convey dread, terror, guilt, and transcendent redemption, respectively, in palpable doses.

I found this movie frustrating the first time I saw it, because it doesn't bring narrative closure to a TV series that was axed prematurely. Watching it with a more open mind, I can see how diabolically brilliant of an artistic statement it is compared to the metric tons of empty fan service most property based movies deploy. Weekly reminder that David Lynch is extremely spiritual and committed to the idea that pain and sorrow will ultimately be transcended by love and harmony. Laura's path requires attaining painful knowledge and allowing the good part of herself to die, but in the final moments of the movie her angel returns. I have no reason to believe this isn't meant to be literal.

I still have no idea what the deal is with garmonbozia.

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