Back in 1992, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was screened at Cannes to disastrous effect before bombing in most countries during its theatrical run. One of the problems many people had with the film was that quite a few secondary characters from the television show did not appear at all, and the series’ characteristic humor had turned deeply black. But most of these characters had scenes filmed, some of which appeared in the long Cannes cut before being removed to make the story tighter, if not (in the end) much more friendly to non-fans.
For years Lynch has talked about securing a release for that ‘lost’ footage from MK2, the French company that now holds the rights. More than once they’ve nearly hit DVD. A few years back, for example, when a new French disc of the film was on the horizon, it seemed like something might happen but the deal never came to fruition. Now that Lynch has been out promoting the 10-disc Lime Green box set, which contains a massive trove of deleted scenes from Wild At Heart, the question of the lost FWWM material has naturally come up.
Sadly, the best answer I’ve seen so far comes from a great WNYC public radio interview, in which he says “I spoke to [MK2] a couple of moths ago…I spoke to them several times about this. I think it will happen….I’m pretty sure there are 17 scenes in that, at least. But it’s been a while since we looked into that.” That’s a start, but not really good enough, since this is the last ‘new’ Peaks material we’re ever likely to see. I’ll admit that, assuming the material ever sees the light of day, I’ll inevitably be disappointed. The stuff has been lodged on my Holy Grail list for many, many years. But that doesn’t mean I want it to happen any less. That parcel of 17 scenes, by the way, has been discussed since around 2002, when the crop of footage was supposedly ‘hand-picked’ by Lynch to be finished and mastered for the New Line DVD, and there are a few indications that more usable material actually exists.
And yes, I know this interview is a solid two weeks old at this point. But it’s a good one worth listening to, as it extensively hits the subject of new filmic media and presentation standards, and touches on the Catching the Big Fish web series I reported on recently. Check out the source page, which also has a taste of the Wild At Heart deleted scenes. Those are worth celebrating, too.