a wild bowie appears
Having gotten up at five to fly from Texas to NY today, seeing this with my light headache and chapped lips at a midnight screening was something, maybe like an off-kilter drug experience; who knows if that is an apt comparison, certainly not my puritan soul.
All the successes of Fire Walk with Me remain, even after gaining the vantage point of our post-The-Return existence. As with nearly all of Lynch’s work, when you strip back all those little continuities and adornments (that I certainly love), there is still something—Laura’s trials (and her small salvation).
It was a bit difficult to use my tired eyes tonight, but there were two particular shots that struck me (during what I think is my fourth viewing of the film?). One was when Donna, all buttoned up, positioned herself at the table when Laura dealt with the men. The warmth of the lighting and set swathe her, her swaddling clothes turning into inky blacks. The other shot is when Laura enters the bar as Julee Cruise sings “Question in a World of Blue.” Starting mid-frame, Laura walks, coming toward the camera, with horizontally lined paneling behind her. She settles in a light that lines her hair with red but cools her face. There’s something about the separation or lack of caused by light in these shots that pulls me. Neither Sheryl Lee nor Moira Kelly, replacement Donna (or the rich man’s Donna by my thinking), ever really play their respective characters in the two-season Peaks. They were both off the stage. But the light and set pull together to envelop this Donna and Laura, with just a bit of Laura peaking out to crawl toward Julee Cruise’s blue. Blue is the color of warmth in Fire Walk with Me [insert something about the hottest part of the flame being blue]—Laura’s deliverance at the end of Fire (no, not her false “relief” in The Return; foolish future Dale) is blue. A wall of blue. While her despairs come out of her father as red blood, blue prevails—that de-contrasting, flaw-erasing, sorrow-overwhelming, welcomed blanket of blue.