The temptation when examining TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (FWWM thereafter) is to become bogged down in the minutiae of its originating TV series, and lost in the labyrinthine theories which have sprung up across multiple online forums and discussion groups. TWIN PEAKS is one of the first true Cult TV shows that thrived upon fan interest in the nascent Internet era, and colonised space on the World Wide Web from an early stage. Despite comprising only 30 episodes, the world of TWIN PEAKS has endured and fascinated its adherents long after the show was cancelled.
While FWWM is hugely indebted to the TV series TWIN PEAKS, the film exists as a separate artefact and possesses its own unique identity. It functions as a prequel to the series, but ultimately it is a hymn to Laura Palmer, the fetishised mystery girl of the original series, who was only glimpsed in death through a kaleidoscope of epistolary details: diaries, video tapes, and second-hand recollections.
In this book I will indicate the themes that thread through some of David Lynch's films prior to FWWM, and also touch upon the original TV series to offer context, but my primary interest is to explore and open up TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME as a powerful account of trauma and a nuanced portrait of a complex young woman trying to hold together her shattered personality for the cosy community which wishes her to conform to their ideals and never speak of her torment, or their complicity in it.
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