I just watched David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the 1992 prequel to his brilliant television show. The film’s ostensible story is the telling of what happened in the days just before Laura Palmer’s death. It’s real story is a human soul and mind in disintegration, of the hidden dangers lurking just beneath the seemingly normal exterior of the human psyche. One of the things I enjoy most about Lynch’s work is their deliberate interiority, the way the line between what is real and imagined is blurred into non-existence. It’s difficult to tell the difference between things that happen in the physical world, the so-called “real” world, and the things that happen in the minds of his characters. It’s a very real possibility that there is no “real” world in Lynch’s films, just an extended dream sequence meant to represent the darkest thoughts, desires, and nightmares of human beings. In short, this is one weird movie.
This song from the soundtrack of Fire Walk With Me is definitely cut from the same cloth as the film. David Lynch wrote the lyrics, Angelo Badalamenti the music. And like everything else Lynch has his hands on, there is a sense of unreality to this song. It’s unmoored from context or genre. Jazzy but not quite Jazz. Spoken, not quite sung. It reminds of Pere Ubu or the Residents. Or Was Not Was’ great “Dad, I’m in Jail.” I googled the name of the band listed as the performer, but there doesn’t seem to be any information on Thought Gang; most of the hits related to a novel of the same name by Tibor Fischer. That seems appropriate.
It’s also totally appropriate that this clip simply uses the empty red room from Special Agent Dale Cooper’s dreams. And Laura Palmer’s dreams. And the Black Lodge. You won’t know what any of this means unless you’ve seen Twin Peaks. I’m not sure you’ll understand this post at all unless you’ve seen Twin Peaks. I highly recommend both the TV show and the movie, and pretty much every other movie David Lynch has made. He’s one of my favorite filmmakers, although I admit to not having seen several of his films; I think he’d like that. I am positively vibrating in anticipation of the new Twin Peaks episodes premiering in May. I’ve been watching whatever they air on Showtime in preparation for the return to one of my favorite imaginary places. But then again, isn’t every place in Lynch’s world imaginary?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for cherry pie.