David Lynch‘s cinematic prequel to his cult TV series provoked a mixed critical reaction back in 1992. Freed from the stifling conventions and draconian censorship of that era’s US TV, he gave free rein to his disturbed imagination, using bizarre images and discordant sounds to create an atmosphere of dark existential dread. Anyone looking for a clearer explanation for the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) will be frustrated, but much of the film’s power derives from Lee’s moving portrayal of a fragile, confused teenager, hell-bent on self-destruction, reaching her lowest point in a seedy, red-lit nightclub where she betrays her best friend in pursuit of kinkier and even more dangerous highs. Kyle MacLachlan‘s Special Agent Cooper plays only a minor role, while Sherilyn Fenn‘s Audrey and other key characters are absent.
Compass Presents‘ contribution to this year’s Encounters festival is an immersive ‘expanded cinema’ outdoor screening of the film in St. Werburghs’ atmospheric Boiling Wells Amphitheatre. Expect coffee, cherry pie and, er, owls. Go here for tickets and further information.