Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

It goes without saying that TP:FWWM is not your normal, standalone film. But it's not even like one of Lynch's standalone films, either. I understand completely why lots of people hate it and why it didn't do very well. But this isn't just some movie that you watch in 2.15 hours and it ends there. It's a companion to the TV series, and even more than that, I believe it's an emotional response from Lynch to what the second half of the TV series gradually became. I think this movie is best watched after you gun through every episode, just so you can see how much this film is Satan to the goofy sitcomy Twin Peaks' Jesus.

The movie begins with a TV set being utterly obliterated. You can't get much more direct than that. Following that, we get a grotesque cornucopia of all sorts of things that they would have never let DL do on TV. Nudity, high school kids doing drugs on screen, direct depictions of incest, and tons of disturbing dreamlike sequences that don't follow any sort of traditional narrative. This is the ugly humanity that they surgically removed from TP halfway through the second season when they solved the mystery of Laura's killer. And of course, Laura is the darkest character of them all.

Besides that fun aspect of this film, I really love it because it's the best look we get at Laura Palmer. Such a tortured, human character, and brought to life so well by Sheryl Lee. Laura is a person who believes that humanity is corrupt and evil at heart, because that's the way she sees herself. Therefore, she is compelled to bring it out and see it in others, as if to say "Aha! See, you're no better than me!" It's her only way to combat the pain and self-hatred she feels whenever she sees people like her friend Donna, who somehow look impossibly purer than she feels she could ever be.

Despite how much I love the Red Room silliness, Bob's antics, and gooey Garmonbozia, this is why Twin Peaks hits me in the heart. This is why I love it so much. Laura's pain is real, and human, and it grips me.

PS. I highly recommend watching "The Missing Pieces" on the blu-rays, as there are some great scenes hidden in there.

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