The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
Essentially a prequel to David Lynch and Mark Frost's earlier TV series "Twin Peaks". The first half-hour or so concerns the investigation by FBI Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) and his partner Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) into the murder of night-shift waitress Teresa Banks in the small Washington state town of Deer Meadow. When Desmond finds a mysterious clue to the murder, he inexplicably disappears. The film then cuts to one year later in the nearby town of Twin Peaks and follows the events during the last week in the life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) a troubled teenage girl with two boyfriends; the hot-tempered rebel Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and quiet biker James Hurley (James Marshall), her drug addiction, and her relationship with her difficult (and possible schizophrenic) father Leland (Ray Wise), a story in which her violent murder was later to motivate much of the TV series. Contains a considerable amount of sex, drugs, violence, very loud music and inexplicable ...Written by
Much of the cast credited as starring in the film actually only make brief appearances on screen. Peggy Lipton and Heather Graham each appear for less than 30 seconds in the 134 minute film. See more »
Norma's hair is noticeably shorter than it was in the series, which takes place only a few days after the events of the film. See more »
[shouting very loud]
GET ME SPECIAL AGENT CHESTER DESMOND OUT IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA!
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Lynch filmed about 5 hours of total footage for Fire Walk With Me. However, none of the extra footage was ever released in any way shape or form. Some of it may resurface as additional material on an upcoming DVD release. See more »
Good, but seems like you shouldn't watch before seeing the series
A prequel to the Twin Peaks television series, Fire Walk with Me begins after Teresa Banks has been murdered. Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland), two FBI agents, have been called in to investigate. After forty minutes or so, this story line is dropped and we meet Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), an oddly adult high school student who was homecoming queen and who looks like a stereotypically cute, perky, "middle" American living behind a proverbial white picket fence. But Palmer has a dark side, which Fire Walk with Me takes a great deal of time exploring.
I probably shouldn't be writing this review yet. I'm just now getting around to the Twin Peaks universe, and I haven't yet watched the television series except for "Chapter 1" from the first season. I'll likely completely change this review at some point in the future, but I'm posting it now in the hope that it might help someone decide whether the film is worth viewing for them, or at least it might provide some interesting comments.
If one wants to avoid spoilers and have a better chance of understanding this film, it seems like maybe Fire Walk with Me should not be viewed until one has seen the television series. Here's why I watched it first: I've long been a fan of Lynch's films. When Twin Peaks appeared on television in the early 1990s, I was working as a musician on a cruise ship and did not have the opportunity to watch it. I knew there was a film made, but I didn't realize it was made after the series, and I did not want to watch it without being able to also experience the television show. Cut to 2002. The first season is finally released on DVD, so I figure here's my chance to watch it. The beginning of the first episode says, "Previously on Twin Peaks". Previously? I'm pretty obsessive about watching series in order, so "previously" bothered me a lot. I ran to the Internet to look for Twin Peaks chronologies, and I find out that there is a two-hour pilot episode--often those are simply thought of as feature-length films, so I figured that Fire Walk with Me is it.
I finally picked up Fire Walk with Me yesterday. Before watching I double-checked just enough of the DVD box synopsis to be sure that I should watch it first. It said "prequel", so I went ahead, figuring that "prequel" just meant it was the "initial film". I know prequels are usually made later in film series, but even when that's the case, I more often than not watch prequels "in order" before the other films on subsequent viewings. Besides, I thought that "prequel" was likely just being used in a different way here. When you're a fan of someone like David Lynch, you often expect almost everything they do to be deeply enigmatic.
So is the film worth watching under circumstances similar to mine? Well, I did enjoy it, but primarily for the reason that attracts me to Lynch--I'm a big fan of surrealism, absurdism, etc. Fire Walk with Me is nothing if not bizarre. However, unlike other Lynch films there seems to be an absence of clues within the film to figure out Fire Walk with Me. I'm only assuming that the series will provide more clues. I may be wrong. But at this point, I'm not about to read others' interpretations of the film, as I'm worried they might give further spoilers for the show. As I've mentioned, I've only watched the first episode of the television series so far. I finally figured out that the two-hour pilot episode is something different, and not included on the Season 1 disc, but it's too late now. I assumed that the "Previously on Twin Peaks" intro was just Lynch being bizarre again, but unfortunately that's not the case. While we're at it, I have to note that based on the first episode, the series isn't doing much for me. It's far too normal and non-Lynchian (of course not helped by the fact that Lynch doesn't direct most of the episodes). I'm not a fan of soap opera-like, realist drama, and so far that's what the series primarily seems to be.
As always, Fire Walk with Me has Lynch's extreme attention to and manipulation of cinematic details. For example, there is a sequence of long, odd silence (in the police station), there is a production design-related instance of weird, minute "clues" in the appearance of a woman in a pink dress, characters are directed to use strange speech mannerisms, there is an unsettling combination of eras in the setting (cars of different eras, characters acting liking combinations of 50s and 80s youths per popular depictions, etc.), there are peculiar layers of information, such as the cowboy/redneck bar band playing uncharacteristic music, and of course there are cutaways to bizarre people, saying and doing bizarre things--such as the midget talking about Formica tables and saying "Garmonbozia". I love all of that stuff.
I was a bit disappointed that the early part of the film was abandoned, as the investigative story was good, but the material about Laura Palmer was intriguing in its own way. Her behavior, and the behavior of those around her, became increasingly more abnormal and fascinating as the film went on, so that worked for me well. But I still don't know how to interpret the film, and I hope the series doesn't put me off. I also hope the series is eventually released in its entirety (including the two-hour episodes at the beginnings of seasons--it was a crime to leave that off of Season 1). Fire Walk with Me is worth watching for fans of Lynch weirdness, but I can't really recommend watching the film before watching the series.
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