TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (David Lynch, 1992)

I find Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s 1990-91 television series, mannered, by which I mean that Lynch selfconsciously concocted there Lynchian images and atmosphere rather than tapping into his unconscious to create a visionary work. In Inland Empire (2006), it seems to me, he is also either off the deep end or insufficiently off the deep end, missing his mesmerizing capacity to conjure a whole intricate dream (Lost Highway, 1997; Mulholland Dr., 2001).
     My disappointment with Twin Peaks has kept me from viewing Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me until now. This theatrical prequel brings quirky hilarity to Philadelphia and to Portland, Oregon, where F.B.I. agent Chet Desmond investigates the macabre murder of Teresa Banks, a kinless waitress who lived nearby at Fat Trout Trailer Park. “We live within a dream,” a little person says, and Desmond has altogether disappeared. Agent Dale Cooper: “The killer will strike again.” One year later, cocaine-addicted highschooler Laura Palmer, in Twin Peaks, Washington, is en route to becoming the next victim. A cohering motif: the dots and noise of a nonbroadcasting TV screen. Another: a ring.
     Our guide through this eerie, harrowing, haunting film is our knowledge of Laura Palmer’s fate. We navigate convoluted family lives and social lives, a voluminous number of suspects and a shifting, dreamlike series of images, such as that of a photograph of a mysterious door interrupting walls, which an elderly woman, accompanied by a small boy whose face is covered, gives to Laura, who hangs it on her bedroom wall. The narrative drifts from conventional mystery into deeper territory: a contemplation of the sanctity of the murder victim’s life. We learn who murdered Laura Palmer, but by that time other things matter more.
     This film is bizarre, entrancing, poignant, humane.

B(U)Y THE BOOK

MY BOOK, A Short Chronology of World Cinema, IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE SANDS FILMS CINEMA CLUB IN LONDON. USING EITHER OF THE LINKS BELOW, ACCESS THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THIS BOOK, FROM WHICH YOU CAN ORDER ONE OR MORE COPIES OF IT. THANKS.

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