Lost in the Movies: River's Edge (TWIN PEAKS CINEMA podcast #3/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #14)

River's Edge (TWIN PEAKS CINEMA podcast #3/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #14)

Several months ago, I shared my first "Twin Peaks Cinema" episode, exploring four films by directors of Twin Peaks episodes. The theme continues here with work by Tim Hunter (who directed three episodes), but this time - as I did for co-creator Mark Frost's Storyville - I set aside a full segment for one film; while the previous titles had intriguing whispers of Twin Peaks about them, River's Edge - starring Lynch actors like Dennis Hopper and Crispin Glover - is more deeply tied to the series that followed it four years later. The 1986 film even has the same exact hook as the TV pilot: a teenage girl's dead body appears on the shore of a small town, serving as a narrative gateway to meet eccentric characters, a totem around which the community confronts long-lingering traumas, and a haunting presence for her own friends consumed by an eerie mix of guilt and fascination - although in River's Edge the grief that saturates Lynch's work is far more muted. Indeed, the killer is revealed right away in this film (he's the one who freely shows everyone else the body), and the point is how little everyone seems to care rather than how much. If Twin Peaks roots itself in an out-of-time fifties sensibility, River's Edge is very much an eighties film, catching the already jaded Generation X on the cusp of their rise to cultural centrality.

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'River's Edge' Not Quite As He Recalls: Commentary by Glenn F. Bunting (Los Angeles Times) - the reporter of the actual murder case that inspired the film criticizes River's Edge


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