Lost in the Movies: January 2015

Twin Peaks: Untangling Fire Walk With Me from the deleted scenes

If you are asking yourself, "Did I just see TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME or the deleted scenes (THE MISSING PIECES) or some other fanedit/mix?" this post is for you.

Because Fire Walk With Me (the 1992 Twin Peaks prequel) is not available on most streaming services, many people attempt to download it. Unfortunately, this can yield alternate versions of the film. I've been noticing on Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet, that first-time viewers often emerge confused as to what they actually just saw.

Well, I'm here to help.

Below I have laid out the content of the deleted scenes, as well as the scenes from the actual movie. But first, some context. There are four possibilities...

1. Congratulations! You did just see Fire Walk With Me. With its abrupt shift in tone, dual narrative, and fragmented style, the film itself has perplexed viewers over the years. That said, it still plays like a feature film. Chances are if you think you just saw a collection of deleted scenes then you probably did just see a collection of deleted scenes.

2. Good news (sort of)! You just saw The Missing Pieces. This past summer, David Lynch released 90 minutes of unseen footage originally cut from the film. This is good news (sort of) because you haven't actually seen anything from Fire Walk With Me out of context (except for a few scenes that are extended in The Missing Pieces). Surprisingly, the deleted scenes actually make a good transition into the film. They are more in the style of the series (longer takes, wider shots) than the actual movie, and they bridge between the town's and Laura's perspective. If anything, you may enjoy the film even more now, so get to it! Word of advice, though, try renting the disc from Netflix or borrowing it from a friend before tossing the dice in Torrent-land once again...

3. Bad news (to my mind)! You just saw Q2's four-hour fanedit combining Fire Walk With Me and The Missing Pieces. Just to be clear, I am not necessarily knocking Q2's efforts (which I haven't seen, although enjoyed his/her fanedit Northwest Passage, boiling Twin Peaks down to the Laura Palmer investigation). This compilation sounds like an interesting experiment...that should be watched only after you've already seen the film and deleted scenes in their proper context. Lynch presented them separately for a reason; the scenes, while entertaining on their own, mostly detract from the power of Laura's story. What's more, he cut and mixed them in a very different way from the film so I can't imagine they would gel aesthetically. If you watched this, my advice is to revisit Fire Walk With Me as it was meant to be seen, in its theatrical cut.

4. Worst news of all! You just saw some other fanedit that not only combines different material, but leaves out scenes from the movie. I've heard rumors that there are numerous "remixes" out there, playing fast and loose with what is and isn't in the actual film. Again, potentially interesting as an experiment but...not the best way to see this movie for the first time. If this is what you encountered, or think you encountered, then you are the one most in need of this list.

Just watched the film and you still have questions? Who doesn't?! Feel free to check out my video 7 Facts About Fire Walk With Me. It explores the context of the film's controversial relationship to the TV series. And more videos are on the way, with much to discuss. Fire Walk With Me is a rich, provocative movie that deserves to be seen in its proper context. Here is a list of deleted scenes, followed by a list of scenes in the actual movie:

Journey Through Twin Peaks (Introducing Fire Walk With Me)

Last week I posted chapter 21 of Journey Through Twin Peaks - "7 Facts About Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" - because I wanted it to go up before New Year's. To do so I had to skip a chapter, but with this video (the introduction to Part 4 of the video series) we're all caught up. I will probably not post again until I'm either done with the project or one last chapter remains. I'm expecting four more videos in the series. The first focuses on the FBI, Cooper, and the Teresa Banks investigation. The second explores Lynch's extension of the Twin Peaks mythology in Fire Walk With Me (including, hopefully, connections to the Rig Veda and Upanishads, which I am reading now). The third, which will probably be the longest chapter of the series, covers the last seven days of Laura Palmer and, finally, her death: a grim premise transformed - perhaps - into a spiritual climax (this may require a separate fourth chapter; we'll see). And then the final chapter traces the legacy of Twin Peaks mostly through the subsequent additions (Log Lady intros, Missing Pieces, Between Two Worlds, etc.) and feature films of David Lynch.

For now, you can watch Chapter 20: "Introducing Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" which sets up the themes (particularly through the title montage) that will be explored in the upcoming chapters, especially the Laura one.

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