Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Revisited this, a film that makes me immensely sad, but in the most exquisite way, for The Ringer

Every close-up of Laura’s terrified face, enlarged to the point of bursting out of the frame, is a throwback to Teresa Banks, whose dead face we see in close-up early on, so deliberately and clinically framed that the head of her corpse has a way of appearing to be severed from her body.

This is the same face Sheryl, as Laura, makes early in her segment of the film. In one remarkable scene, Donna asks, “Do you think that if you were falling in space, that you would slow down after a while or go faster and faster?” “Faster and faster,” Laura says, and the image slowly creeps in on her face. Her gaze goes to a far-off place. Her mouth hangs open between each phrase. “And for a long time you wouldn’t feel anything. But then you’d burst into fire — forever. And the angels wouldn’t help you, because they’ve all gone away.” By the end, her head is severed, in the frame, from the rest of her body. She makes a variation of this face again and again — in conflicts with her father, who, as students of the show already know, is her childhood rapist and eventual murderer.

We already know Laura will die, and know how, and even sort of know why, but these constant suggestions of Laura’s impending dead body have a way of steeping the movie in a sense of foreboding, to the point that even Laura seems to feel it’s an inevitability.

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