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Saturday, 23 October 2010

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me (David Lynch, 1992)

Guaranteed to disappoint those looking for an explanation to David Lynch and Mark Frost's confused, troubled and fitfully brilliant television series, Fire Walk With Me is Twin Peaks distilled; a return to the heart of the series.

With few revelations, the power and interest comes instead from the chance to see the feral Sheryl Lee's Laura Palmer vividly interacting with a cast that could previously only mourn her.

The high points surely Laura's interactions with her father, the possessed Leland Palmer, portayed brilliantly and frighteningly by Ray Wise. These moments are genuinely disturbing, casting off the shackles of TV censorship to lay bare the true nature of their twisted relationship, following it through to its terrible climax.

Fans of special agent Dale Cooper may be saddened by his minimal screen time, likewise fans of the television series' quirky humour and whimsy may feel left out. However this shift in tone focuses on the core of the story, and the horror inherent in this small town, something the embarassing second series spectacularly failed to do. The film has no Packards, no Nadine, no Hornes (Audrey being the sole exception, and sorely missed for it) no convoluted love octahedrons or beauty contests. The seedy, terrifying feel of the best original episodes is back, magnified tenfold; with Lynch's trademark masterful sound design providing a run-down, buzzing, nightmarish feel to the proceedings.

Fire Walk With Me fails as a stand-alone film, sequel or prequel, but as 'best of Twin Peaks' highlight reel, it's better than the cherry pie at the Double R diner.

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