Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): "5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" begins next week

Friday, October 20, 2017

"5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" begins next week


UPDATE: “5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me” will begin next week (the week of October 22) rather than this weekend as originally announced, and the podcast posts before the Criterion review.

This week the Criterion Collection released DVD and blu-ray editions of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Considering its inclusion in a deluxe Twin Peaks boxset three years ago, this may seem anticlimactic; aside from a couple new interviews, it's nothing we haven't seen before. However, I think Criterion spine number #898 is significant and worth celebrating, for reasons I'll explain more in-depth in a few days, after I've had a chance to rewatch the film.

This review/statement of "Why Fire Walk With Me Belongs in the Criterion Collection" will discuss the new interviews and older special features, but will particularly pay attention to Fire Walk With Me's legacy as cinema, and not just a part of Twin Peaks. It will also kick off "5 Weeks of Fire Walk With Me" during which I am planning to celebrate this great, still underrated film with a new post each week. (This ended up appearing as the second entry instead.)

The next week I will cross-post a podcast appearance - the return of my short Lost in Twin Peaks segment on Twin Peaks Unwrapped where I discussed Fire Walk With Me, the third season, and the relationship between the two, with hosts Ben and Bryon.

The following week I am planning to publish an extensive essay on "The Legacy of Fire Walk With Me" offering similar treatment to my overview of the three seasons a few weeks ago. This will cover the film's genesis, much of what is known about its production, the immediate critical reaction and the slow reappraisal of the work, as well as reflections on why it stirred the reaction it did and what its significance is today. The essay will cull many other reactions as well, particularly from the media round-up I conducted several years ago.

Most of these pieces will emphasize Fire Walk With Me on its own terms rather than focus on its place in Twin Peaks, but the following week I will publish an exception. "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and the third season" will explore links between the film and the new series from two directions - first, by tracing all of season three's references to Fire Walk With Me, and second, by looking back at the film through the lens of the new material.

In the final week, I will offer a culmination of the previous points in a piece called "Four Perspectives on Fire Walk With Me"; this will investigate the impact, limitations, and appeal of Fire Walk With Me as a chapter in Twin Peaks, as a horror film, as a piece of Lynch's feature filmography, and as a standalone art film exploring trauma through psychodrama. I will also probably include a round-up of all my work on Fire Walk With Me (perhaps as a bonus post).

I hope that fans of Fire Walk With Me enjoy this series, but more importantly I hope that those who feel confused by the film, who didn't click with it, or who simply haven't given much thought to its importance outside of Twin Peaks (or at all) will gain new perspectives on the work.

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