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Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)
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People love to debate where exactly Twin Peaks went off the rails. Fresh off the conclusion of Twin Peaks: The Return's finale earlier this month—marking the end of another season and maybe the cessation of the series—this screening of 1992's Fire Walk With Me is either an opportunity for fans to revisit their cartography skills for those age-old arguments or to do as David Lynch intended and let it all just wash over them in a fog of ominous uncertainty. There's a certain irony here in returning to the dawn of Lynch's 25-year saga, as this movie was intended to be the make-good for the show's abrupt cancellation from network television in 1991. As its then-coda, Fire Walk With Me left fans feeling baffled and betrayed: It side-stepped expectations of closing the gap on the original series' many cliffhangers and chose instead to focus on the events of the week leading up to everything we had seen before. At the time, Fire Walk With Me was infamously panned, but as the new and similarly expectation-disregarding Showtime season demonstrates, it's never satisfying to be vindicated by narrative art like it's some sort of checklist your subconscious wrote last summer. Lynch has always been about taking viewers for a ride (interpret that however you wish, as it's true in all ways) and reminding them it's better to wonder than to know. Those who are open to it recognize this movie offers a few glimpses at the Lynchian Rosetta Stone —this movie contains new ways to decode the Twin Peaks mythos, even if  its most trying moments and stunt cameos are intended to jar you from your suspended disbelief. Even if Fire Walk With Me doesn't stand up to the high-water mark of what you think Twin Peaks should be, just know it's a better movie than, like, Sing. —David Wolinsky

Earlier Event: September 29
Against Me!, Bleached, The Dirty Nil (free)
Later Event: September 29
Palehound, Pile, Trophy Dad (free)