Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

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Mr. Reindeer
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Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun May 10, 2020 5:20 pm

It appears that there isn’t a general discussion thread for the movie, so since I’m up to it in my rewatch, I figured I’d start one! Discuss the Bizarro-Peaks Deer Meadow denizens (are Deputy Cliff and Giggling Secretary an item?), the convenience store meeting, the Great Went, the capuchin monkey, the Missing Pieces, the vague stories of early script drafts involving Josie and I Love Lucy, and of course, the incredible and fearless work of the great Sheryl Lee!

It boggles my mind when people call this film “cold.” While it certainly doesn’t have the folksy “cherry pie” cheer of the original series (and I could even understand calling the Deer Meadow sequences cold, even if I disagree), once the film gets to the Laura material, this is IMO the most human movie Lynch has ever made, with the possible exception of The Straight Story. I could understand calling it bleak, unrelenting, even unpleasant, but certainly not cold. It’s an incredible exploration of one person’s suffering, pain, loneliness, and struggle to retain innocence in the face of overwhelming adversity. Choosing my favorite Lynch film is a fool’s errand, although when forced, I typically would say either Eraserhead or INLAND EMPIRE. I think this one tends not to occur to me because it’s not a self-contained standalone universe, but rather gets mentally lumped in by me as part of the larger TP experience/experiment, which it’s impossible to truly compare to any of Lynch’s other works due to the scope, the participation of other directors, etc. etc. However, right now, if you asked me, I think I would tell you that FWWM is my favorite David Lynch film. It really is an incredible, painful, beautiful work.

The only person in the film to say the title phrase is Laura, when she speaks it to Harold. Both MfAP and Mike say it in TMP.

I forgot the source (Jerry? Or perhaps Audrey Horne?), but a user on these boards said they owned or had seen a production document which says Teresa’s murder takes place in the Chalfont trailer. The curtains in the background of the TV-smashing opening shot could definitely be the same curtains we see poking above the rear window of the Chalfonts’ trailer when Chet approaches. (Also, is that TV on a formica table?!) Other than that, it’s tough to make out much detail from outside the Chalfont trailer as the window is pretty stained. The hatched windows on the sides of the trailer could well be a match for the window in the shot where Leland smashes Teresa’s head, and I can strain my imagination and convince myself that I also see some cabinets that match the head-smashing shot, but I think I’m just seeing what I want to see.

Chet: “I’ve had enough of the waiting room now.” Cooper was probably also saying that after 25 years.

I don’t know how many people catch that the Irene/night shtick is a reference to the 1933 Lead Belly song “Goodnight Irene” (subsequently recorded by many others including the Weavers, which I’d guess is the version Lynch/Engels knew best; I highly recommend the Tom Waits cover). Clearly Irene has heard jokes about the song and is tired of it. Pretty obscure reference to just drop in unexplained.

That sure as hell looks like a Woodsman in Jack’s office at Hap’s. Are they shadowing Bob’s crimes in case cleanup is necessary? Of course, there’s an electrician there in the room too. (What IS that lamp?! A beer bottle with a fishtail coming out the side?)

Note at 16:05, in the background out of focus, the Woodsman and the electrician enter the main diner and sit down. Are they keeping tabs on our J. Edgars?

It’s weird how all the Deer Meadow locals are so surly toward the agents, even down to Irene calling Teresa’s death a “freak accident” (although she does later cooperate a bit, volunteering the arm info). It almost feels like there’s a local conspiracy to cover up the murder, although we know that’s not the case (unless they’re all part of some Black Lodge conspiracy!). With the sheriff’s station guys, I assume it’s a combination of being territorial and also wanting to cover up their dealings with the drug underworld, and who knows what else (similar to Josie shooting Cooper on the series), but why are Jack and Irene so closed-lipped?

I love that the movie builds Carl up as a gruff asshole (Chet, who has been surly with all the other locals, is irrationally terrified when they realize they’ve broken his sacred 9am code). But he’s the first Deer Meadow resident who displays small-town hospitality and kindness. It figures that he’s a Twin Peaks native, and it makes sense that he eventually wanted to move back there given what a dick everyone in Deer Meadow is.

Any theories on the Curious Woman? Another Lodge spirit snooping? (Someone else on these boards mentioned somewhere that her dirty face presages the Woodsmen of TR.) The POV shot of her approach definitely seems otherworldly. Her exit also directly precedes our first shot of the phone pole, and immediately afterward Carl is visibly spooked and delivers his wonderful line about having already gone places (none of this is in the script). However, the Curious Woman looks much more frightened than ominous, particularly when Chet asks if she knew Teresa. Her mood there, assuming that she’s a real person and not a spirit, again evokes to me a town conspiracy where innocents are threatened to keep quiet. This feels so intentional on Lynch’s part, although I’m not sure there’s any real story logic to it.

I love the whole feel and mood and color scheme of that sunset sequence at Fat Trout. Alas, Chet Desmond. We hardly knew ye. I have really come to enjoy that we basically have this half-hour fake-out pilot for a would-be TP buddy-cop spinoff. I used to be bored with the Deer Meadow material and just wanted to get to the Laura stuff, but I have come to adore this little pocket of the TP universe.

I love watching the little Missing Pieces scene of Dale at Diane’s doorway and imagining 1992-era Laura Dern inside.

Since the FBI lapel pin is going to become an object of some interest in TR, I’ll note that Cooper does not wear it in the Pilot (it appears to be an addition with the start of the series proper), AND he doesn’t wear it at all in FWWM or TMP. Cue the conspiracy theories about time loops! (I’m guessing the pin was an innovation of series costume designer Sara Markowitz, and the late great Patty Norris, who did costume design for both the Pilot and FWWM, either didn’t care for it or just wasn’t aware of it.)

The film introduces one of the more enigmatic mysteries of the TP mythos: why on Earth would the FBI Regional Bureau Chief covering Washington and Oregon be headquartered in Philadelphia?!

Where do people come down on the timing of Jeffries’s stay at the Palm Deluxe? In TMP, he seems confused by the month/year, implying that he traveled through time. However, the script says when Jeffries arrives in Philadelphia that he “moments ago was in Buenos Aires,” and Frost takes this same approach in TFD. If the Palm Deluxe sequence takes place in the present day, he seems to be very much back in the corporeal world. Why hasn’t he gotten in touch with Gordon? If it takes place in the past, same question but moreso! How long has he been back in our world, and what has he been doing since witnessing the convenience store meeting? For that matter, who or what transports him to Philly, and why? And if we last see him transported back to Buenos Aires, what happens next? Why doesn’t he call Gordon again? How does he end up as a percolator? All the Jeffries material made SO much more sense before we had the Buenos Aires scenes (Jeffries is in the Lodge, briefly manages to return to our world, then is sucked back to the Lodge). The Buenos Aires stuff really is a headache, but I’m so glad we have it.

Any ideas on who the “young lady” is and what the note she left for Jeffries might say? Interestingly, the script includes the note, but does NOT have Jeffries ask the desk clerk about Judy. Lynch presumably added this during shooting. (The other Judy references are scripted though.) My current head canon is that the young lady is some incarnation of the Tremond/Chalfont woman (now that we know she takes on varied forms), who is posing as an ally to Jeffries and is selectively feeding him information.

I wish TMP listed character names in the cast list. There are two actors on there whose roles I cannot for the life of me figure out, Jeanne Bonser and Alex Samorano. Neither actor has any other IMDb credits. Based on their placement in the cast list in order of appearance, they must be in the first part of the Jeffries scene, but I have no idea who they would be. There are a whole bunch of extras there, but no one really jumps out. My best guess is that they’re the dancers who go by when Jeffries exits. (Just checked: apparently whoever edited the IMDb entry agrees with me. I wonder if that person was also using the same deductive reasoning I was, or if he/she actually knows what he/she is talking about.)

Interesting that for such a small, dedicated group, Gordon seems to keep his Blue Rose people somewhat isolated from each other. Cooper has been with the Bureau for at least six years, per the Earle storyline, yet he never met Jeffries, who only disappeared two years ago. (Then again, Cooper may not have been enlisted for Blue Rose until after Jeffries’s disappearance.)

The Jumping Man is SO unsettling. The way his face looks like a mask but moves so organically (especially the mouth) creeps me out, especially that distorted extreme closeup in TMP at 15:01. His childish/animal-like chittering laugh, the creepily human eyes under the mask. I’ve felt for awhile that he’s a much deeper/more insidious figure in the mythology than is clear, and TR makes this seem even more likely. He has links to so many other aspects of the mythology: he’s wearing MfAP’s suit, his nose/beak is linked with the frogmoth that invades Sarah, his white face and yellow teeth/blackish gums seem to relate to the white-faced Earle/Laura/Leland, and for some reason the Tremond/Chalfont grandson and the monkey (“One and the same”?) wear a strange eyeless and mouthless mask of the Jumping Man’s face (does the lack of eyes relate to Naido?). The grandson even has Jumping Man’s stick and jumps like him. The grandson’s mask also has a twig or something coming out of the forehead, like a unicorn horn. Any theories about that? I’m not coming up with any other instances in TP of a forehead protrusion.

There are multiple shots that go deep inside someone’s mouth: the monkey (“Electricity,” and again in TMP laughing after Jeffries’s disappearance), and Bob’s screaming mouth (that undulating uvula!). In addition, there are several other extreme close-ups on mouths: that wonderfully gross reverse-regurgitation of creamed corn by MJA, and another extreme closeup on MfAP’s mouth in TMP (complete with spittle: “The chrome reflects our image”), as well as two extreme closeups on Jumping Man’s gaping maw in TMP. These shots are unsettling on their own, but perhaps doubly so during this pandemic when we’re all so afraid of even seeing each other’s mouths.

For those who missed it, user Taperecorder posted this great anecdote awhile ago about the “Hell God baby damn no!” exclamation.

I think we’ve all assumed “Judy’s” in Seattle (where Jeffries found something in TMP edit) is a person’s house, but perhaps it’s a restaurant like Judy’s in Odessa?

Lynch has pretty much given up on the gimmick of everyone having to yell for Gordon to hear them. Now it’s just him yelling, which is in a way even funnier.

It’s interesting that in TMP, Gordon dismisses Albert unceremoniously, telling him go get Gordon’s second mineral water of the day. It seems he doesn’t want Albert present for whatever else he expects Jeffries to say. This would make more sense if Albert had just made a wisecrack and interrupted the flow, but he’s been quiet for awhile at this point in the scene. It seems there may be something Gordon doesn’t want Albert to hear. This calls to mind Gordon keeping secrets from Albert in TR, and vice versa. Interesting that Albert is the one Jeffries (?) later called about “our man in Colombia.” Perhaps whatever information Gordon was withholding from Albert here made it easier for Jeffries (or whoever it was) to dupe Albert.

For some reason, I love Gordon in TMP saying, “Cooper, the device has gone faulty.” What weird phrasing, impeccably delivered by Lynch. Similarly, I prefer the FWWM take of the Jeffries scene over TMP solely because I enjoy the bizarre syntax of, “Who do you think this is there?”

Here’s a nice photo I don’t recall having seen before, showing the Blue Rose crew posing in front of the portrait of Eisenhower. I’m contemplating getting a copy of this framed if I can find it in good enough quality.

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I’m not sure if others feel this way, but I like the idea that the “Let’s rock” note on the windshield is the Lodge spirits essentially inviting Cooper to the dance. This seems even more likely in light of TR.

Enough great things cannot be said about Sheryl Lee in this movie. Ray Wise in Between Two Worlds calls Sheryl’s performance “heroic,” and I can’t think of a better word. She’s an exposed nerve for the entire film. She perfectly embodies every aspect we heard second-hand about Laura in the series, and everything Jennifer Lynch wrote about on the page. The heartbreaking sadness (“gobble gobble”), the calculated sexuality (smiling at Bobby almost hypnotically to make him stop being mad...and somehow it’s far more convincing than any of the S2 Lana enchantment bullshit), the childish goofiness (“Bobby, I found some dirt!”), the coldly manipulative streak (“You killed Mike”), and of course the crippling loneliness (which Lee said is the primary emotion she felt for the entire shoot). The scenes with her talking to Donna or James are so heartbreaking, because those two are still sweet young innocent dumb kids dealing with high school romance bullshit that is so insignificant compared to Laura’s problems. When James tells her, “What’s wrong with us? We have everything,” I just want to punch him in the face for being so oblivious. Even Bobby was at least smart enough to realize Laura needed saving, even if he didn’t do anything about it.

I love that some of Bobby’s physical quirkiness from the Pilot returns, with his funky backwards dancing to “A Real Indication.” The weird way he opens the door at the end of that sequence is hilarious, almost Groucho Marx-esque.

For those who are into characters’ brand affiliations: Laura smokes Camels. Sarah (in a nice bit of continuity with TR) smokes Salems. BTW, even though she’s apparently a habitual chain smoker, this is the first time we’ve seen Sarah smoke since the Pilot.

I love the little moment in TMP when Sarah hits the piano in frustration and sparks go flying from her cigarette.

Josie’s malapropisms sort of disappeared as the series went on, but I enjoy her in TMP saying, “We could end up in the courthouse illegally or something.” I really love that little comic scene. I can’t imagine that Lynch ever really planned to include it in the film, and it’s wild that he got Chen back for such a minor scene, but it’s wonderful seeing those three actors/characters one more time.

Speaking of Josie, the rumor is that her spirit (and possibly also Earle’s) was initially a relatively significant player in the movie’s storyline, and that Judy was possibly intended to be Josie’s (twin?) sister. The sole source for this seems to be Bob Engels, who speaks with alternating degrees of certainty that his memory is accurate. Here’s a post where I sum up the relevant quotes I could find. I’d love to know if anyone has any further info/background. It is weird that, after being so insistent on the drawer-pull thing, Lynch decided not to explore Josie’s afterlife any further in either Episode 29 or FWWM (despite apparently contemplating doing so in both), or in TR (despite Chen going so far as to send him an in-character letter begging to be on the show, which references the “twin Judy” idea...unclear if this is something she was told during production of FWWM, or if she just read it somewhere).

Do people get the sense that Laura knows the Tremonds from her Meals on Wheels route or not? I don’t believe she does based on the way she acts, although it could go either way. I imagine she was delivering meals to hip ‘60s-mod Episode 16 Mrs. Tremond, and these two spirits infiltrated the house to deal with the aftermath of the killing. I keep putting off thinking/writing more about the Tremonds because their motivations are, as Mark himself said, “a little obscure.” At some point, at least by the time I reach Part 18, I’m going to have to try to put something more substantive down about them. Until then, suffice it to say that I love them, and would love to hear other people’s thoughts.

Shelly calling Norma “sweetheart” in TMP is a sweet little moment. It’s so tragic we won’t get anymore of that pairing if there’s ever a fourth season.

The thing with Will and the “prescription” in TMP is weird. It plays a little like Will has some form of early-onset dementia, which is sad given how Warren Frost’s life ended. The script clarifies that it’s a joke about doctors being unable to read their own handwriting. The bit about Will then talking about angels is not in the script (none of the angel stuff is).

I have to say, Richard Hoover really did a nice job recreating the Palmer house living room for the series. Being back in the actual location for the first time since the Pilot, I can barely tell the difference, other than the fact that the characters are obviously free to move around the rest of the house more.

That “wash your hands” scene might be the most skin-crawling thing in the movie, moreso than all the actual skeevy sex and violence. Every beat of it, every turn the scene takes, all three performances, feel absolutely genuine to everything I’ve heard and read about what it’s like to be in an abusive household, especially with Leland’s teary “apology” afterward and Laura’s absolute terror and confusion.

It’s interesting that even in Laura’s dreams, Cooper talks normally in the Red Room (most of the rest of the time I assume he speaks normally because we’re experiencing the Red Room through his POV...but this is Laura’s POV). Is this his superpower? Even weirder, note that the audio IS reversed on Dale’s footsteps! Just not his speech. Kyle got off easy.

It’s always interesting to me when the word “Lodge” pops up in Lynch-directed TP material. The Lodges were obviously referenced a ton from Episodes 17 to 28 (and were of course a Frost innovation), but Lynch seems to have relatively little interest in referring to the supernatural spaces by any nomenclature (perhaps indicative of his natural distrust of words...he even did a whole art exhibition called “Naming”). I get the sense that the weird audiovisual landscapes he creates (the Red Room, the Fireman’s space) are diminished for him somehow by giving them names. That said, he has occasionally let references to the Lodges onscreen in his efforts: once in Episode 29 (Sarah/Judy?: “I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper”); once in FWWM (Annie: “The good Dale is in the Lodge and he can’t leave”); in Part 2 (Mr. C says he’s supposed to get pulled back into what “they” call the Black Lodge); and Part 7 (Hawk quotes the Annie diary entry and then uses the term a few more times referencing the place where Dale went). In each instance, it seems clear to me that “Lodge” is a term humans have invented to describe these spaces, and in the two instances where inhabitants of these spaces refer to them as such, they’re doing so for the benefit of mortals (the Mr. C line is particularly telling).

In TMP, when Laura points out that Sarah is wearing the sweater she’s searching for, Sarah says, “It’s happening again,” echoing the Giant in Episode 14. (The scripted line was, “My God. I am going to have another breakdown.”)

The next OCD undertaking I’ve been putting off is trying to find some logic in all of the drug-deal shenanigans and who owed whom how much. I guess the time has come. Here we go...
— TMP: On 2/16, Mike worries that the football is half empty. He asks where the other half of the coke is: “We either got to have half that coke or half the money. We owe Leo $5,000.” Bobby then claims he has the coke. My guess from this exchange is that Laura/Bobby absconded with half the coke they bought, either taking it for personal use (that’s a lot of coke!), or selling on the side without telling Leo and Mike. Since Mike mentions “half the money,” presumably this was a $10K sale, where they paid $5K up front and are expected to pay the other half upon selling the product.
— FWWM: On 2/19, Leo says Bobby owes him $5K. Bobby complains that the football is empty, and Leo refuses to supply until he is paid.
— FWWM: Bobby, at an impasse with Leo, then calls Jacques. Jacques sets Bobby up with $10K worth of merchandise courtesy of Cliff Howard. (Since Bobby apparently has $10K at hand, double the amount he owes Leo, it does seem he’s just deliberately trying to stiff Leo!) Bobby tells Laura not to tell Mike about this.
— FWWM: On 2/22, the deal goes down: Cliff tries to pull a gun on Bobby; Bobby fires first and they get the stuff free of charge...
— TMP: But it turns out it was only baby laxative.
— TMP/Pilot/Episode 1: Bobby gives Laura the $10K they had planned to use to buy the coke to stash in her safety deposit box.
— Episode 1: Bobby apparently sees Leo 2/23 (the same night Laura dies) and gives him $10K. Unclear where this money came from. (Where are high school students in 1989 getting this kind of cash?!)
— Episode 1: On 2/24, Leo calls Mike’s house looking for “the other half of the money.” Apparently, Bobby and Mike now owed Leo $20K as opposed to the previously stated $5K!
— Episode 1: On 2/25, Mike confronts Bobby: he thought they were supposed to give Leo the full $20K today. Bobby says he paid half early because he had $10K burning a hole in his pocket.
— Episode 2: On 2/26, Bobby and Mike retrieve the football in the woods. Bobby, recovering the drugs, notes that “not all of it” is there. Leo surprises them, noting “cash on delivery,” and Bobby tosses back the empty football (they have no money to give him). Bobby says, “This barely covers what we paid for. Where’s the rest?” Leo demands the rest of the money. Bobby: “Okay, we won’t take delivery on the drugs until you get the cash.” Leo: “Do I look like a bank?”
— After Episode 2, this storyline gets dropped in favor of Bobby framing Leo and the subsequent fallout, and of course by the end of season 1, Leo is pretty much non-exist-ent.

My best guess on all of the above is that at some point after the failed Jacques/Cliff drug deal, Bobby persuades Leo to sell Bobby and Mike $15K worth of product, with $10K beforehand (the $5K they owe and an additional $5K as a good faith showing), with the full balance paid out upon delivery. Does that make sense? Any better ideas?

The whole Roadhouse scene is an emotional rollercoaster, from Margaret’s beautiful “boughs of innocence” speech (Coulson could convey so much with a few lines of dialogue, and Sheryl’s reaction is beautiful), into “Questions in a World of Blue,” and then, “So you want to fuck the homecoming queen.” Lynch’s mastery of mood and emotion is superb. It’s just one long progression of absolute fucking heartbreak.

That Power & the Glory sequence is also incredible. It really captures the nightmarish essence of the worst most decadent night of drinking and drugs and loud music. The guitar player who looks like a tall skinny twelve-year-old cowboy is the late Dave Jaurequi, who went on to do the Foxbat Strategy album with Lynch (highly recommended, if you can track it down).

It’s been said before, but I love this franchise’s bizarre stereotype of Canada as hotbed of sin and debauchery.

Note that pretty much every beer in this movie is Rainier, a hundred-year-old local Washington brewer that was unfortunately bought and sold repeatedly by Pabst, Miller and other corporations in the late 1990s.

The Mike motel room deleted scene is too dark to make much out, but it looks to me like there are crumbled-up scraps of paper strewn around the floor, as well as silver coins (some inside the circle of candles, some outside). Wonder if this has anything to do with Mike asking, “Have you got a nickel?” moments before he dies in the “closed” Pilot ending. (Note that in the closed ending, Mike also references a red thread involved in Laura’s death: a detail that never made it into canon, but FWWM includes a red thread in Lil’s dress as well as Mike yelling, “The thread will be torn!”)

That sure looks like Al Strobel doing his own pretty serious one-armed stunt driving! It’s tough to pick Strobel’s best performance between the closed ending/Episode 2 scene, Episode 13, and FWWM, but he is really incredible here.

And then there’s this....

“You stole the corn! I had it canned over the store! And miss! The look on her face when it was opened! There was a stillness! Like the formica tabletop. The thread will be torn, Mr. Palmer!!”

“HER face?” Is the garmonbozia an offering to Judy?

In TMP, when Teresa is asking Jacques about Laura and Ronette’s dads, Teresa covers by saying she “got J.B.’ed” by a guy up Jacques’s way. Anyone know what J.B. stands for?

Leland killing Laura makes sense, as she could expose him to criminal complications if she revealed what he did to her. But Leland killing Teresa makes a lot less sense. She’s blackmailing him; why not just pay her off? Sure, she could reveal that he solicited a prostitute and destroy his family, but murder seems like a pretty extreme reaction. Even taking moral implications out of the equation and just considering logistics, he would face far worse consequences if he were caught for murder than he would for paying money for extramarital sex. Why take that risk?

It’s really not clear to me why Cliff reaches for his gun at that moment in the drug deal. I guess he’s just meant to be a complete heel, and he plans to kill Bobby and Laura and steal their $10K. But he should have at least waited to make sure they even had the money on them! What if they’d been planning the same scam, to kill him and steal the coke, and didn’t actually bring any cash? He would have ended up with a bag full of laxative and two corpses! Also, why not just sell them the laxative and take their money? Why go to the trouble of killing them? It’s pretty convoluted. I’m just going to go with, “Cliff is the evil version of Andy.” He ain’t all that bright.

When Bobby shoots Cliff for the third and final time, there are a couple of frames of his head exploding, a la Willem DaFoe in the uncensored Wild at Heart.

Sheryl is absolutely hilarious as she “helps” bury Cliff by delicately placing a teensy twig on him, then taps Bobby with a branch obnoxiously. I think we can all agree that she runs the gamut of emotion in this film and should be praised for it, but her comedy work is rarely singled out, and there is some REALLY funny stuff in this film, even in the midst of all the tragedy.

In TMP, Garland reads a passage from the Book of Revelation, an appropriately ominous passage given his fate: “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.” However, the last portion he reads deals with the beast ultimately being overcome, and those who overcame the beast standing on “a sea of glass mingled with fire” (echoes of the mauve sea outside the Fireman’s place?) with the “harps of God” (note that a woman playing a harp directly precedes Jeffries asking the desk clerk about Judy).

It’s eerie to see Sarah sitting on the couch reading a magazine in that brightly-lit living room as Laura says goodnight for the last time, and to think about what Sarah’s life will be like sitting on that same couch 25 years later in TR.

The scene where Laura is putting on her stocking while struggling with the phone cord is, again, an incredible piece of comedy, while also managing to be so human, tragic and—I hate to say it—very sexy. The moments in the film when Laura is nude or scantily-clad are uniformly moments when she’s vulnerable or most alone, as if Lynch and Lee are consciously making all of us culpable in the objectification and degradation of Laura.

The cutaway to MfAP laughing maniacally during the train car sequence still makes my skin crawl. Mike’s weird smile as he scampers off after Laura’s murder also gives me the willies. Original series and TR be damned, don’t let anyone tell you these two have humanity’s best interests at heart.

As unforgiving as FWWM’s portrayal of Leland is, it’s interesting to note that Lynch does provide him a little bit of an out at the end: right before killing Laura, Leland screams, “No! Don’t make me do this!” arguably implying that he’s not in control of his actions.

It goes by in very quick flashes, but Leland is definitely stabbing Laura with a knife. (See 2:05:03, and one VERY quick frame at 2:04:46, among possibly others.) I don’t believe any reference is made in the series to her being stabbed. We know she was hit with a hammer and Will says she died of blood loss due to numerous shallow wounds, none of which alone would have killed her. Those knife thrusts do not look like Leland/Bob is going for shallow puncture wounds!

White face/black lips Leland is another great creepy touch that always catches me off-guard. I also adore the shot of Mike and MfAP sitting in judgment of Bob/Leland as he enters, almost like a Lodge tribunal.

Defining “garmonbozia” in a subtitle feels like a lazy cheat, especially for the usually withholding Lynch, but there’s also something so silly about the way Lynch just throws it away that it cracks me up.

The angel imagery, and particularly the shot of an angel in the Red Room, has always felt a bit too on-the-nose. Lynch isn’t typically one to use such generic mainstream imagery, but I accept it as a projection of Laura’s sensibility more than a literal thing. Sheryl’s performance sells it every step of the way, from the monologue about how the angels won’t help to her reaction to the angel disappearing from the painting to her beautiful beautiful joy in those closing moments. If anyone ever earned a cliché happy ending—even one that we now know may not last—it’s Laura Palmer.

I wonder whatever happened to B. Roundtree, Annie’s nurse who steals the ring. I plan on doing much more analysis of the ring’s journey throughout the books and filmed material at some point as I progress through my rewatch of TR.

The end credits introduce the misspellings of Rosenfield (“Rosenfeld”), Phillip Gerard (“Philip Gerard”), and Blackburne (“Blackburn”) which have been perpetuated intermittently in the online community ever since. The latter has seemingly become canon due to Mark using it in his books, which I suppose trumps what the writers wrote in the original series scripts.

Finally, I can’t forget...

Dale’s Diet:
— TMP: After winning his weekly Thursday challenge with Diane at the Philadelphia office: “And now, Diane, you must clean the coffee cups, get fresh-ground coffee from Sally, and make a damn great pot of coffee.”
— Coffee in his FBI mug while talking to Albert in the Philadelphia office
Last edited by Mr. Reindeer on Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IcedOver
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby IcedOver » Wed May 13, 2020 2:26 pm

Same as with "Mulholland", in 27 years I have never developed a full liking of this movie. I'd put "MD" as Lynch's worst and this a notch or two above it. That initial theatrical viewing on opening night and the disappointment I felt has stuck with me. Through various subsequent viewings (twice more in theaters in '92), VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and the theater again, I have found things to appreciate, but it has never totally worked for me. Both movies have some of the same problems - the fragmented feeling. In "MD" that's due to the poor decision to forcibly cap it with uninteresting material filmed two years later. "FWWM", though, was a whole work that fell a victim to overfilming and a fragmented feeling.

I can't get over the shift from the first part to Laura's story. It serves little purpose other than to bring in a detective aspect from the show, but the character/actor it was intended for, MacLachlan, sort of turned down that larger part. Amazingly, I still have not watched "The Missing Pieces" (I'm not big on deleted scenes) though I'll reckon that the TP-set stuff would have been preferable to include over the detective scenes. Having Laura interact with the town more would also have been preferable and show how she had affected people.

Leland might be the most disappointing aspect. He doesn't appear until a good portion in and Lynch almost leans on the audience to say "Okay, you watched the show, you know who this is, no need to develop who he is or why he's doing it" (same thing for Laura really). Wouldn't it have been preferable to get more interplay between Laura and Leland both in good and in bad? As it is, it has the depth of an after-school special about child abuse.

I don't know . . . just some reflections. I do like some aspects and scenes and music. It could have been so much better and for me it's a shame.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed May 13, 2020 9:47 pm

We’re going to have to beg to differ, as I consider MD just about as close to an objectively perfect film as can be made. IMO, the newly filmed material elevates a fun TV pilot into one of the greatest movies about love, loss, selfishness, pain, jealousy, guilt, and remorse ever made. I wouldn’t change a frame of that movie, and it’s a miracle that such a convoluted production process gave us such a masterpiece.

In terms of FWWM, I certainly get your point. As a standalone film, it feels pretty jarring and funky with the divide between the Deer Meadow stuff and the Laura scenes. For many years, that really bothered me and kept me from ranking the film as a true masterpiece, even though I adored everything once we got to Laura/Twin Peaks. I’ve come to appreciate the way Teresa’s story fits with Laura’s and the way it’s necessary to complete the circle, but I certainly can’t argue with the fact that it’s an unconventional structure, and not necessarily what Lynch would have done if this were a standalone film and not a TV prequel. I strongly disagree with you on Leland, though. I think the film’s version of Leland is terrifying, and absolutely what the doctor ordered after the goofy villainy of Episode 15 and the unearned forgiveness of Episode 16. That dinner scene where he says there’s dirt under her nails feels like such an accurate portrayal of an abusive household, and pretty much every scene with Leland makes my skin crawl. My only possible objection about the film’s portrayal of Leland is the moment in the train car when he says, “Don’t make me do this!”
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Wed May 13, 2020 11:34 pm

IcedOver wrote:Both movies have some of the same problems - the fragmented feeling. In "MD" that's due to the poor decision to forcibly cap it with uninteresting material filmed two years later. "FWWM", though, was a whole work that fell a victim to overfilming and a fragmented feeling.

But that precludes the possibility that the fragmentation is the purpose. Why is it that the mere mention of fragmentation assumes it to be a fault, a thing to be avoided? In a sense, isn't there something to be said for the structure of a film (or any narrative) to be fragmented if it's the truest, most accurate way to relay the subjective reality of the subject matter to an observer? There's certainly something to say in the case of FWWM, when you consider how many women have approached Sheryl Lee to tell her the film made them feel catharsis, that they saw their experience with trauma represented accurately in the film, not to mention its resonance with Japanese audiences, again particularly women.

IcedOver wrote:I can't get over the shift from the first part to Laura's story. It serves little purpose other than to bring in a detective aspect from the show, but the character/actor it was intended for, MacLachlan, sort of turned down that larger part.

I don't think that's an encompassing outline of the many reasons the prologue might exist. Lynch clearly tailored the material away from the reality of MacLachlan's reduced role; if it lived or died by it being Cooper or not, he would have 86'd it, surely. I find it pessimistic to arrive so quickly at the conclusion that the artist made a mistake or didn't even think something through, and not that they have a firm reason in mind for their creative decisions.

Ignoring the plot, there's an atmospheric function and inversion of expectations, because things are so unlike the TV show in Deer Meadow that it's almost like a dismantlement of what came before. I'm not sure FWWM would be the same experience if it began with Laura, because there would be no symbolic shift away from the TV show, nor would we be led in the direction of viewing Laura's portion also like a dismantlement. To me, FWWM is about taking the old, and addressing and condemning Laura's original role as merely plot device, and doing justice to her by almost radically disallowing her actual experience to be overriden or obscured--and I'm not sure that's how I would view it if it didn't feel "guided" by the prologue's existence on a structural level. With the prologue, it seems to me that Lynch is signaling things and shifting them away from the old; the movie starts with a TV set being smashed, after all.

But apart from the atmosphere and the overall structural effect, the thematic purpose of a truncated plot is something to consider. You frame it as plot irrelevence, but again, what if the irrelevance is the point? What is it, after all, that should have been done differently by detectives on the beat before the Laura Palmer murder mystery begins? What is there to stop or to solve? Laura's fate, by way of dramatic irony, is predestined. No one can stop it, especially not through the route of police procedural goings-ons.

There's a thread of this throughout all of TP, another example of which is the Vegas cops in S3 who fail to do anything, even failing to identify Dougie as Cooper. But this thread involves pretty much anyone doing police procedural and failing to deter the darker underpinnings of the TP world, even including, by the end of the last Part, Cooper himself. Time and again in the greater TP narrative, the profane world of detective work does not, and can not, thwart the abstract workings of misery, grief, and the frailties of age.

To me, that's how the prologue should be read. It's abrupt and it serves no purpose. But what purpose could it have served? Laura was never saved. The efforts of law enforcement cannot penetrate that portion of the narrative.

IcedOver wrote:Amazingly, I still have not watched "The Missing Pieces" (I'm not big on deleted scenes) though I'll reckon that the TP-set stuff would have been preferable to include over the detective scenes. Having Laura interact with the town more would also have been preferable and show how she had affected people.

The deleted scenes are almost entirely scenes of characters who do NOT interact with Laura, though. Additionally, there were scenes in the script that weren't even shot, more of which were characters (such as Harry and Josie) NOT interacting with Laura.

The deleted scenes are just as truncated and "irrelevant" as the prologue, and that only serves my point once more: these are characters on their own, they do not intervene in Laura's trajectory, everyone is isolated away from Laura, Laura most of all. It's not a mistake that the film feels claustrophobic and almost solipsistic. Laura is trapped in her grief and loneliness. Lynch has said the reason he got rid of the scenes with townspeople is that he wanted Laura's portion of the film to be about just her, to a hellish degree.

IcedOver wrote:Leland might be the most disappointing aspect. He doesn't appear until a good portion in and Lynch almost leans on the audience to say "Okay, you watched the show, you know who this is, no need to develop who he is or why he's doing it" (same thing for Laura really).

To me, Leland's portrayal is so much more complex and human that it renders him a charicature in the show, especially when he gleefully dances post-reveal. The war going on in Ray Wise's face in FWWM conveys so much of his psychology, and the "wash your hands" scene alone runs a gamut of emotions and absolutely gets across what daily existence was like for them on a psychological level. What in the series portrayed Laura with more depth? We only get the projections of other characters onto her past engagements with them, we never see her at all as a person. That was an aspect of her having died, that she becomes distorted and like a rewritten history, filtered through everyone else. I don't feel like she exists anywhere else but in FWWM.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu May 14, 2020 12:19 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I don’t know how many people catch that the Irene/night shtick is a reference to the 1933 Lead Belly song “Goodnight Irene” (subsequently recorded by many others including the Weavers, which I’d guess is the version Lynch/Engels knew best; I highly recommend the Tom Waits cover). Clearly Irene has heard jokes about the song and is tired of it. Pretty obscure reference to just drop in unexplained.

I discovered this to my shock when I was going through The Weavers, which is such a beautiful version might I add, and yes, it's such a strange allusion. There must be 20 people who have caught it.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It’s weird how all the Deer Meadow locals are so surly toward the agents, even down to Irene calling Teresa’s death a “freak accident” (although she does later cooperate a bit, volunteering the arm info). It almost feels like there’s a local conspiracy to cover up the murder, although we know that’s not the case (unless they’re all part of some Black Lodge conspiracy!). With the sheriff’s station guys, I assume it’s a combination of being territorial and also wanting to cover up their dealings with the drug underworld, and who knows what else (similar to Josie shooting Cooper on the series), but why are Jack and Irene so closed-lipped?

I think Irene being offstandish is more to do with the general tonal quality of the prologue as being an inversion of the TV show, which flouted typical cliche territoriality with Coop and Truman becoming best buds right away. In FWWM it goes the other route and leans all-in on that cliche, to the point it's plain surreal just how prickly everyone is.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Where do people come down on the timing of Jeffries’s stay at the Palm Deluxe?

The more that Jeffries seems to parallel Cooper, the more I'm not even sure. What if Beunos Aires for him is like an Odessaverse? The only thing that prevents me from thinking that is that we return there in TR.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:The Jumping Man is SO unsettling.

The grandson’s mask also has a twig or something coming out of the forehead, like a unicorn horn. Any theories about that? I’m not coming up with any other instances in TP of a forehead protrusion.

The fact that he's so barely acknowledged is what gets me. There's so little finger pointing to him. The moment when he emerges AFTER Cooper goes through the archway above the stairwell in TR, coming out from the VERY SAME archway, is my contender for creepiest moment in the franchise. And it's not once referenced; only we as the audience witness this.

As for the mask and the twig, I don't know why, but it feels very japanese to me. Like a Noh mask or a Tengu, but I do believe I've explicitly seen a twig before.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I think we’ve all assumed “Judy’s” in Seattle (where Jeffries found something in TMP edit) is a person’s house, but perhaps it’s a restaurant like Judy’s in Odessa?

Wow! This is one of those things where I read it, and I'm so glad I read it, totally doing away with my doubts that there's anything new to be considered about TP. I've never seen this suggestion before. It opens so much in the mind's eye about what Jeffries is up to.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:(the Mr. C line is particularly telling).

I've always viewed that line as both dismissive and decisive on Lynch's part, like he's having his say about it moving forward.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:In TMP, when Teresa is asking Jacques about Laura and Ronette’s dads, Teresa covers by saying she “got J.B.’ed” by a guy up Jacques’s way. Anyone know what J.B. stands for?

I did some googling, and it only turned up others sharing what was my initial assumption, that it's Jail Bait. This makes sense if by that she meant a guy chickened out because he saw how young everyone was.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Leland killing Laura makes sense, as she could expose him to criminal complications if she revealed what he did to her. But Leland killing Teresa makes a lot less sense. She’s blackmailing him; why not just pay her off? Sure, she could reveal that he solicited a prostitute and destroy his family, but murder seems like a pretty extreme reaction. Even taking moral implications out of the equation and just considering logistics, he would face far worse consequences if he were caught for murder than he would for paying money for extramarital sex. Why take that risk?

This is one of those things that, post-TR, now confuses me even more. It's like a retcon of a retcon. Ever since Leland was revealed as the killer, the fact the unknown killer was originally a serial affair gets hard to believe. I mean, I just don't perceive Leland as a serial killer. As soon as it's about him killing his daughter, that's what it's about. Especially after FWWM, and especially after TR, the family angle becomes overwhelmingly the symbol at the heart of the show, what with Sarah's haunting of the house and general elevation to the status of nebulous entity, and Laura's elevation as destined & divine martyr.

The way this is reconciled by FWWM is so abstract. Theresa turns out to have been cohorts with Laura, and Leland's killing of her is actually related to the broader situation with Laura. Cool, this is starting to make sense. But then, Theresa had the ring. Why did she have the ring? It paints her as mythologically important, but to what degree? Was her wearing of the ring somehow related to her cohorting with Laura, did it somehow preempt or beckon Leland's involvement? This overlapping of what seem to be disparate and distinct plot points is so strange, because just by the token of their convergence, it decentralizes at the same time that it recentralizes Theresa.

Regardless of how careful Leland was being, the Tremonds/Chalfonts seem to nip things in the bud. Thanks to them, the investigation is apparently whisked away into the netherworld. Whether this is in collaboration with Leland, or cleaning up after him, or perhaps just salvaging the situation for their aims, is indeterminable. Later on, to the exact contrary, they help investigators in apprehending Leland by way of delivering Laura's page to Coop and Donna. Once again, spirits doing contradictory interventions at different crossroads.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It’s really not clear to me why Cliff reaches for his gun at that moment in the drug deal. I guess he’s just meant to be a complete heel, and he plans to kill Bobby and Laura and steal their $10K. But he should have at least waited to make sure they even had the money on them! What if they’d been planning the same scam, to kill him and steal the coke, and didn’t actually bring any cash? He would have ended up with a bag full of laxative and two corpses! Also, why not just sell them the laxative and take their money? Why go to the trouble of killing them? It’s pretty convoluted. I’m just going to go with, “Cliff is the evil version of Andy.” He ain’t all that bright.

Perhaps it's meant to be viewed more subjectively, the deep woods and wash of drugs making for the perfect cocktail of paranoia and trigger-happiness.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu May 14, 2020 6:52 am

AXX°N N. wrote:
As for the mask and the twig, I don't know why, but it feels very japanese to me. Like a Noh mask or a Tengu, but I do believe I've explicitly seen a twig before.


Ha, that’s so funny. In an earlier version of my post, I compared the Grandson’s mask to a Noh version of Jumping Man, but I then edited that out. There must be something to the fact that we both made this association.

As for the Deer Meadow prologue and your response to IcedOver, you articulated the function of the material better than I could and I completely agree. However, playing devil’s advocate: my major objection to the format of the film, before I gave myself over to it, is that Laura deserves her own movie. Lynch’s movies are typically highly immersive and centered on one person’s subjective POV of the world. Henry Spencer, Diane Selwyn, Nikki Grace, even Alvin Straight. We spend the totality of the film in their heads from start to finish (more or less), to an almost suffocating degree. Laura’s story is more compelling, on both a personal and universal level, than any of them, so why shouldn’t she be given the same treatment? By engaging in metatext (a really atypical exercise in Lynch’s oeuvre), isn’t Lynch just creating yet another distraction from Laura’s story by once again delaying us being able to experience her reality and taking screentime away from her?
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu May 14, 2020 3:47 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:As for the Deer Meadow prologue and your response to IcedOver, you articulated the function of the material better than I could and I completely agree. However, playing devil’s advocate: my major objection to the format of the film, before I gave myself over to it, is that Laura deserves her own movie. Lynch’s movies are typically highly immersive and centered on one person’s subjective POV of the world. Henry Spencer, Diane Selwyn, Nikki Grace, even Alvin Straight. We spend the totality of the film in their heads from start to finish (more or less), to an almost suffocating degree. Laura’s story is more compelling, on both a personal and universal level, than any of them, so why shouldn’t she be given the same treatment? By engaging in metatext (a really atypical exercise in Lynch’s oeuvre), isn’t Lynch just creating yet another distraction from Laura’s story by once again delaying us being able to experience her reality and taking screentime away from her?

Right, while I don't think anything in the film is pointless, I can see what people mean when they say it's unfocused. It's sort of a film that tries to have its cake and eat it too. Because it's not just the prologue, but the fact that we break from Laura into Leland's POV, which then even (sort of bizarrely) cuts into Theresa's POV. I think what Lynch meant by FWWM being "as free as [he] could make it" given the confines of the previously established beats of Laura's last week, also includes the general fact of the film carrying the baggage of not only being a sequel, but a potential jumping off point for more material. To the first point, if the series hadn't failed (imo) to deepen Leland in a satisfying way, I don't think Lynch would have been compelled to explore him to the extreme of shifting the POV, and to the second point, the film in some aspects seems less concerned with character study than with broadening the mythology. I love all that material, but I have sometimes wondered if there's a more Laura-centric film in the drafting that never was. But as it stands, it's such a unique film exactly for the reason that its structure is so contradictory.

And but there has always been something so loaded to me about the Leland focus, especially the car scene. We escape the subjective experience of the victim into that of the perpetrator, but the leap is necessitated by what appears to be an involuntary psychological break--perhaps an instance of the narrative flow being dictated by the workings of a shared pain.

It's worth pointing out also that although the film is often seen as a championing of Laura, the victory she experiences is one of reconciliation, and she has to rely on, for instance, an esoteric object thrown her way by the One Armed Man, a being of nebulous intent. She's never truly able to get away from the mythologies surrounding her, not as a plot device and not as a soul in the greater framework. The most she does is find peace within these confines. Perhaps the closest Laura ever gets to true plot centrality is Odessa, a plane all her own, in what appears to be her own sprawling film unfolding. But she seems to be placed there by Judy if not by dictates of the narrative, and Cooper inevitably invites her back into his plot.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby IcedOver » Thu May 14, 2020 6:00 pm

Thanks for the replies and ideas. Perhaps I need to rewatch it as I definitely need to do for season 3. It's been almost three years for the movie too. Despite my initial issues with season 3, I think I might be more inclined to view it in a good light than I would the movie. Its creation comes through as feeling a little more whole, perhaps because it's telling an original story and not one that is constantly working against ideas you had in your imagination for two years about how the murder of Laura played out. Sure, I think with season 3 we all had to come to terms that this was the story that we were getting, not what we had imagined. With the movie, when you have Laura teased so much in the series from how she affected people and then this is the representation Lynch chose to give it, it's been hard for me to look at this as the best version of what it could have been.

The scene that I've never been able to find anything but dislike for is the murder scene. Again, I can't help but compare it to the creepy, intense, amazingly edited one-sided murder scene in episode 8, and it's not unfair to do so. I dislike almost everything about the scene - the editing, the lighting, the framing, the music, the sound effects, the script, the ring, and the performances (and yes, "Don't make me do this!"). They bring in Ronette not because she has been allowed to belong anywhere in this movie as is but because they have to. I think it's actually shoddily made, poor work.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby dreamshake » Thu May 14, 2020 6:21 pm

First, axxon and mr reindeer I wanted to say I really appreciate the posts yall have been making during reindeer's rewatch.

Mr. Reindeer wrote: As unforgiving as FWWM’s portrayal of Leland is, it’s interesting to note that Lynch does provide him a little bit of an out at the end: right before killing Laura, Leland screams, “No! Don’t make me do this!” arguably implying that he’s not in control of his actions.


So my reading of that line has generally been that it is implying Leland is out of control. But your post got me thinking about how it can be read two ways. one, that bob is in control but two, as the classic language of an abuser. So many abusers blame the victims for their abusive acts and frame their abuse as out of their control and the result of the victims actions. I definitely think that could be going on here or at least it's an allusion to the way abusers blame their victims.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu May 14, 2020 6:47 pm

IcedOver wrote:The scene that I've never been able to find anything but dislike for is the murder scene. Again, I can't help but compare it to the creepy, intense, amazingly edited one-sided murder scene in episode 8, and it's not unfair to do so. I dislike almost everything about the scene - the editing, the lighting, the framing, the music, the sound effects, the script, the ring, and the performances (and yes, "Don't make me do this!"). They bring in Ronette not because she has been allowed to belong anywhere in this movie as is but because they have to. I think it's actually shoddily made, poor work.

I do wonder what the originally intended version would have looked like. You might already be aware, but apparently it was originally much more violent (perhaps like Ep. 8's version, which I agree is amazing) but Lynch ended up agreeing with a suggestion by (iirc) the producer to go for something more subdued, and was even suggested the classical track he ultimately did use. Also worth noting, the ring (or at least the shot of it on Laura's hand with the great super bright white flashlight illumination reaching out over the dark) was footage shot and added much later. So it appears that scene had a lot ammended to it. Personally, I find the final version effective for the reasons Mr. Reindeer has highlighted.

Ronette's presence in the Power and the Glory is the only real connection/reference we have to One Eye'd Jacks, so she sort of operates as an extension of Laura's activities. It's funny, because that's what she was in the show, too, she was there to be a proxy for what Laura was up to. Ironically, it works less well, like you say, when she's actually in those events, because her original purpose sort of has no purpose anymore. Even with the addition of the angel, and her actress does a great job beholding them, she's only really seeing the angels to contrast with Laura, and allow Laura to be denied the angel (which can be read in the pain on her face) and later to receive them and be overjoyed. Ultimately, it's hard to take Ronette as a character in her own right.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu May 14, 2020 6:51 pm

dreamshake wrote:So my reading of that line has generally been that it is implying Leland is out of control. But your post got me thinking about how it can be read two ways. one, that bob is in control but two, as the classic language of an abuser. So many abusers blame the victims for their abusive acts and frame their abuse as out of their control and the result of the victims actions. I definitely think that could be going on here or at least it's an allusion to the way abusers blame their victims.

I like that idea a lot. The phrasing is just too exact.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu May 14, 2020 7:03 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:
dreamshake wrote:So my reading of that line has generally been that it is implying Leland is out of control. But your post got me thinking about how it can be read two ways. one, that bob is in control but two, as the classic language of an abuser. So many abusers blame the victims for their abusive acts and frame their abuse as out of their control and the result of the victims actions. I definitely think that could be going on here or at least it's an allusion to the way abusers blame their victims.

I like that idea a lot. The phrasing is just too exact.


I also really like this. Obviously everything that happens with Leland/Bob in the film (and in some parts of the TV series) can be read on two levels, as literal franchise mythology, but also as abuse metaphor, and your take is definitely my preferred reading of that line (even though I’m not 100% sure that was Lynch’s intent).
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu May 14, 2020 7:40 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:
IcedOver wrote:The scene that I've never been able to find anything but dislike for is the murder scene. Again, I can't help but compare it to the creepy, intense, amazingly edited one-sided murder scene in episode 8, and it's not unfair to do so. I dislike almost everything about the scene - the editing, the lighting, the framing, the music, the sound effects, the script, the ring, and the performances (and yes, "Don't make me do this!"). They bring in Ronette not because she has been allowed to belong anywhere in this movie as is but because they have to. I think it's actually shoddily made, poor work.

I do wonder what the originally intended version would have looked like. You might already be aware, but apparently it was originally much more violent (perhaps like Ep. 8's version, which I agree is amazing) but Lynch ended up agreeing with a suggestion by (iirc) the producer to go for something more subdued, and was even suggested the classical track he ultimately did use. Also worth noting, the ring (or at least the shot of it on Laura's hand with the great super bright white flashlight illumination reaching out over the dark) was footage shot and added much later. So it appears that scene had a lot ammended to it. Personally, I find the final version effective for the reasons Mr. Reindeer has highlighted.

Ronette's presence in the Power and the Glory is the only real connection/reference we have to One Eye'd Jacks, so she sort of operates as an extension of Laura's activities. It's funny, because that's what she was in the show, too, she was there to be a proxy for what Laura was up to. Ironically, it works less well, like you say, when she's actually in those events, because her original purpose sort of has no purpose anymore. Even with the addition of the angel, and her actress does a great job beholding them, she's only really seeing the angels to contrast with Laura, and allow Laura to be denied the angel (which can be read in the pain on her face) and later to receive them and be overjoyed. Ultimately, it's hard to take Ronette as a character in her own right.


I was just writing in the Part 3 thread how Ronette never really felt like a character in her own right!

While I like the sequence, it certainly feels a tad off, even rushed perhaps. They get from the cabin to the train car in like two seconds, with that one horrifying but almost sickly funny shot of Leland running them through the woods like cattle, which feels weirdly staged and unnatural (I love Wise’s manic glee there). There’s a weird inevitability to it all (why does he take them to the train car? It’s not really clear except that we know from the series that’s where he has to take them). As in Episode 14 with Maddy, the rape element is entirely left out, even though we know that Leland raped both Laura and Ronette (not saying I need to watch that happen, but it’s strange that it’s never even touched on). It’s also really weird how he just throws Ronette out of the train car once she opens the door.

I do prefer the more impressionistic and terrifying Episode 8 sequence (it’s strange that the version of the scene that aired on network television feels more horrifying and maybe even more explicit than the R-rated movie version). I think the reason the rushed/chaotic nature of the FWWM version sort of works for me is that there IS a built-in inevitability: Laura has already resolved to die so Bob can’t inhabit her, Leland knows he has to kill Laura...so in a way, it is sort of a race to the finish line at this point for both the characters and the audience. And the fragmented nature of the editing sort of mirrors what it’s like to be in a traumatic experience. I like that the ring is there, as it does in a weird way seem to give Laura some autonomy. Even though it’s a deus ex machina literally thrown to her by Mike, she defies Cooper’s advice and puts it on, seemingly defeating Bob in some way by doing so. And I cannot say enough how much I absolutely love how creepy MfAP is in his cutaways, and Mike’s smile is as he runs off.

I do wish Lynch had tried to reassemble his original cut for TMP. It would be really interesting to see what else was shot. While he reimagined/re-edited several other sequences for TMP (even using the new Missing Pieces version of the Jeffries scene when it’s sampled in TR, apparently now the “official version”), he does seem to be truly married to the version of the train car scene as released in the film, despite it not being his original intention.
Last edited by Mr. Reindeer on Thu May 14, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu May 14, 2020 7:49 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:Right, while I don't think anything in the film is pointless, I can see what people mean when they say it's unfocused. It's sort of a film that tries to have its cake and eat it too. Because it's not just the prologue, but the fact that we break from Laura into Leland's POV, which then even (sort of bizarrely) cuts into Theresa's POV. I think what Lynch meant by FWWM being "as free as [he] could make it" given the confines of the previously established beats of Laura's last week, also includes the general fact of the film carrying the baggage of not only being a sequel, but a potential jumping off point for more material. To the first point, if the series hadn't failed (imo) to deepen Leland in a satisfying way, I don't think Lynch would have been compelled to explore him to the extreme of shifting the POV, and to the second point, the film in some aspects seems less concerned with character study than with broadening the mythology. I love all that material, but I have sometimes wondered if there's a more Laura-centric film in the drafting that never was. But as it stands, it's such a unique film exactly for the reason that its structure is so contradictory.


While I like to imagine a more Laura-centric version, I’m pretty sure one never existed in the drafting. Everything I’ve read and heard indicates that the earlier drafts were even more mythology-based, with 1950s flashbacks and more time in Buenos Aires, and possibly even Josie and Windom Earle’s spirits! It sort of feels to me like Lynch wanted to make a movie about Laura (which was his original intention), and Bob Engels kept pulling the two of them down fun mythology-related rabbit holes. Who knows if that’s accurate, but I’m not sure otherwise how a film about Laura led them to write a scene about Eisenhower and I Love Lucy at one point! The expansions of the mythology that we ended up getting are great, and informed so much of TR. I think they ultimately struck just the right balance, and you’re right that the off-kilter give-and-take between “sobering story of abuse victim narrative” and “fun expansion of TV series supernatural mythology” really make the film unique. It has no business working as well as it does, and maybe that’s why I’ve really come to love it so much.
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Re: Fire Walk with Me General Discussion

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu May 14, 2020 8:44 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I think the reason the rushed/chaotic nature of the FWWM version sort of works for me is that there IS a built-in inevitability: Laura has already resolved to die so Bob can’t inhabit her, Leland knows he has to kill Laura...so in a way, it is sort of a race to the finish line at this point for both the characters and the audience. And the fragmented nature of the editing sort of mirrors what it’s like to be in a traumatic experience. I like that the ring is there, as it does in a weird way seem to give Laura some autonomy. Even though it’s a deus ex machina literally thrown to her by Mike, she defies Cooper’s advice and puts it on, seemingly defeating Bob in some way by doing so. And I cannot say enough how much I absolutely love how creepy MfAP is in his cutaways, and Mike’s smile is as he runs off.

Absolutely, the cutaways make the sequence for me. There's something awful about them. I don't know if I can articulate it, but there's a quality to it of a veil being lifted off. There are, what seems to me, nothing but horrible implications that that character can even appear so gleefully in that context. Honestly, makes me have a pit in my stomach, and brings the same sense of dreadful inevitability that Ep 14 does, although instead of meloncholy, it's horror.

I think the use of the classical music also makes it seem like an inevitability, as if its montage, an old fable, somehow removed from the present. It is after all a requiem, which is rhetorically directed at the dead after they're passed. Ironically my favorite part of the sequence is the denoument. Laura being inside the plastic comes so sudden, her floating in the river almost catches you off guard and slips by without time to ever fully apprehend it. It's really sad.
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.

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