Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

What an astounding cinematic achievement. Any quibbles I have had with this film over the years have faded away with this viewing, possibly the definitive viewing for me.

Thank you to the Astor Theatre in Melbourne for screening this on its 25th anniversary, in 4K no less. Plus thank you for screening all those ads and clips before hand they really seemed to put the audience in the mood.

A quick comment on the presentation. The film has never looked better and while there were some shots maybe a bit out of focus for the most part it was stunning to see the film in this resolution. I could make out tiny details like names on badges, labels on boxes that I have never seen.

Every time I watch this film I glean something new. Previous viewings I appreciated all of the small join the dots and connections to the show. Others I picked up on the humor in this film, not as overt as the show but it is definitely there if you are paying attention.
Other times I realized there are many many stunning set pieces in this film, almost like an action film. The extended bar scene and the dream painting are my favorites but there are many many others.

The performances are also something to really take notice of. Sheryl Lee deserves so much credit for creating such a layered role. Just as you are about to write her off as a one dimensional character she will turn on a dime and offer yet another layer to this fascinating character. Ray Wise is her equal, slowly collating emotional truths to his character, so that we never ever can think of him as just an evil character.

There are two new things I noticed this time though.

The first, I noticed something I'd never noticed before. I need to rewatch to confirm but there seems to be a counting game going on. Some numbers are more prominent than others but I swear that once you see that 6 on the electricity pole, you then see a 7, 8, 9. Like I said I need to rewatch it.

The second, well maybe not new, but a different interpretation and appreciation for that ending. I always thought that the ending was a bit of a bummer, Laura and Dale are in the Black Lodge. But that angel is there, the angel from the painting has come back - that is a good thing isn't it? Laura seems to be smiling and laughing and Dale is standing over her like a protector. Maybe Lynch is playing a devilish joke on us but it seems like a happy ending.

Like I said there is so much going on in this film. There is so much to consume about it. It's like a great painting I could stand and watch it all day. I always get something new from it and this is after like a dozen viewings. The characters, the visual storytelling, that music, the humor.

Finally I was impressed by how much the audience appreciated it. Like I said, maybe the clips at the start helped. Maybe the thought that there is a new show just around the corner helped. Audiences seem to be more sophisticated these days and open to different things. I saw this film when it first came out and people did not appreciate it for what it was. Thank god audiences have turned around on this film. It is the most under appreciated and under valued film I think I have ever seen.
I think ultimately what I take away from Twin Peaks (as a whole, the show and the film) is that it's about wanting an ideallic 1950s life, so simple, so warm, so caring, but it's constantly, brutally challenged and beaten into submission by the horrible realities of the modern lives we live now.

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