Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me blu-ray Special Edition now available via Criterion!

Posted by Kells, October 22, 2017 07:26am | Post a Comment

When it was announced a few months ago that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch's 1992 feature-length prequel to his seminal 1990 television series) would be getting the Criterion treatment, all us Twin Peaks obsessives noted the October release date and made a little shelf space to the left of our Definitive Gold Box Collections. Now the wait is over and the slick new Special Edition blu-ray release is here, teasing attractive director-approved specs and bonus features, and spurring fans to revisit the awesome glory of one of the most harrowing film viewing experiences worth surrender one's self to—especially if you, the viewer, has no prior knowledge of Twin Peaks lore. Personally speaking, having been disturbed by Fire Walk With Me when it first hit the theaters (I was only a year or two younger than main character Laura Palmer at the time), and then disturbed again earlier this year when the Alamo Drafthouse brought it back to the big screen before Twin Peaks made its surprising return to television for a third season set twenty-five years after the show's original run, I must say this lush realm of mystery, horror, beauty, and compassion Lynch has created is a deeply addictive gift that keeps on giving, if you've got the guts to stomach it. On that note, would it be wrong of me to venture that Fire Walk With Me is the most savory and satisfying yet deliciously difficult to swallow slice of the Twin Peaks pie? I think not.

Though connected to the larger narrative, Fire Walk With Me stands slightly apart from its televised companion piece both in terms of execution and style almost like a singular work of art. The settings and notions that audiences associate with the world of Twin Peaks—the diner, the roadhouse, the woods, those trees, coffee, donuts, cherry pie and such—are all present and familiar, but there is an added air of sophistication that imbues a tragic preciousness to the visual quality of this film, especially given the anticipation of a most certain act of murder. With its excellently stacked cast, exquisite cinematography, an absolutely incredible soundtrack, and the introduction of new contexts, old secrets, and a deeper invitation to try and solve a narrative that some view as a puzzle with missing pieces, Fire Walk With Me ignites a renewed fascination with Laura Palmer, her double life, the ugly truth of her demise, those who let it happen and the broader world of Twin Peaks as we think we know it. Though the sleepy Pacific Northwest town that would eventually mourn the untimely loss of their beloved homecoming queen is nought but a fictionalized setting for a subversive nighttime television drama that forever changed the way we associate mainstream media and high art, what makes this film so harrowing by comparison is the extent of and brutal veracity with which the terror and abuse Laura Palmer was permitted to suffer at home is depicted. Those scenes scream too real, and for some folks that may feel like an uncomfortable break from the wooing charms and riddles of  the original teleplay, but without the clues and truths introduced by Fire Walk With Me, the third season, or Twin Peaks: The Return, would be saddled with more explaining to do and a lot less to live up to.

Taking it back to the mention of people who prefer Twin Peaks story as working puzzle-story with missing pieces, this Criterion release features The Missing Pieces—a 90-minute presentation of deleted scenes and alternate takes from the film assembled by David Lynch. Additionally, there new interviews with Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer) and soundtrack composer Angelo Badalamenti, a truncated version of Between Two Worlds wherein David Lynch talks to actors Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), and Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), plus trailers and more. If you're looking for a way into Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me might not be the best place to start, even though it is where the tale technically begins. Nevertheless, this masterful feat of avant-garde TV turned film-making is one the greatest, if not the very best, of David Lynch's major works, and it is an absolute must-see if only for the stellar performances and photography alone. What are you waiting for?


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Criterion (13), Fire Walk With Me (3), David Lynch (28), Twin Peaks (30)