Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Lynch, 1992)

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Laura Palmer’s brutal demise begins the great Frost/Lynch television show and ends its maddening film prequel, a pertinent fact when discussing each as an entity of a greater Lynch universe. But that’s a different thesis paper entirely. Fire Walk With Me fails to attain the show’s greatness because Laura’s conflicted life can never match the impact of her “tragic” death. Twin Peaks has never been about Laura as a character, but what her image/likeness means toward instigating and uprooting the other characters’ true motivations. In this sense, she’s a martyr for both Lynch as a filmmaker and his battleground of psychological warfare. The most interesting element of Fire Walk With Me remains its stunning opening sequence which follows an FBI agent’s (Chris Isaak) brief but potent investigation of the Theresa Banks murder, an act Lynch treats more as a precursor rather than a story all its own. The ramifications of her tragic life end up transcending Laura’s.

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