Through the darkness of futures past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds
Fire walk with me
The corps of a young girl is dragged from Washington`s Wind River. It`s a murder and the hunt for the killer leads to an idyllic corner of small town America.
Fire Walk With Me premiered at the Cannes Festival in 1992. One critic present there wrote: "Ciby 2000 presented a party that was also hosted by David Lynch among others. It was at a bar called Velvet complete with go go dancers of both sexes with bodies to make me run for the nearest plastic surgeon for emergency relief. Spent part of the evening talking to director Charles Lance and also Peter Fonda."
Like Wild at Heart it was attacked or ignored by many reviewers, but this time it was also ignored by the cinema audiences.
In the series, it the viewer perceived the world of Twin Peaks with Agent Cooper`s eyes: that means with amazement, awe, if not love, in Fire Walk With Me, the perspective has changed dramatically, and the small town near the Canadian border looks entirely different: The colours have changed to a palette of browns and bleaker colours. Places like the "RR"-diner have lost their aura simply by using a different camera-angle and music.
To some extent the negative response to Fire Walk With Me is clearly Lynch`s fault: it is downright misleading to call it a Twin Peaks movie, for it is obviously not: Part of the plot is set in another town without any chracter of the series which never was the case with "Twin Peaks". It would have been better to label it "These are last seven days of Laura Palmer" as it was subtitled in some countries.
Lynch has always defended Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and there are enough reasons to justify this:
The depiction of Laura being lost (in darkness and confusion, as Lynch might add) and Leland`s tour de force between utter depression and madness are Lynch at his very best. The movie itself is unbalanced, certainly not a fault but an apt echo of Lauras state of mind.
Laura being struck by the knowledge of another reality visualized with strobes of blue, will occur in Lost Highway (Fred Madison inside the prison cell) and The Straight Story (Alvin sitting in the living room with the lightning outside while he senses that his brother is in serious trouble) once more.
Lynch might have been inspired by a couple of movies (which doesn`t mean he simply copied): the introduction of Laura Palmer is reminiscent of Halloween with Mike Myers hiding, while the incestuous rape-scene is likely to a movie starring Donald Sutherland, where he seduces his asleep daughter, unfortunately I can`t remember the title.
The names Chester 'Desmond' and 'Gordon Cole' seem to be an hommage to one of Lynch`s favourite movies, Billy Wilder`s Sunset Boulevard.