Twisted Nostalgia: Chris Isaak in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Tim Greiving at The Current:

Lynch’s adoration of musicians has been a constant, and he’s often blurred the line between musical and on-screen performance. In Blue Velvet (a film named after a 1950 ballad), Frank Booth is almost driven mad by the beauty of Roy Orbison’s 1963 song “In Dreams,” as lip-synced by Dean Stockwell’s character. Composer Angelo Badalamenti has played an outsized emotional role in every Lynch project since Blue Velvet, where he also appears in-world as Dorothy’s pianist. Lynch loved “Mysteries of Love” singer Julee Cruise so much that, after making an entire album with her, he planted her among the residents of Twin Peaks as a performer at the Roadhouse. Twin Peaks’ James Hurley (James Marshall) is a would-be Chris Isaak, a sentimental singer with a guitar, a motorcycle, and a heart of gold. Lynch also frequently uses musicians as actors, as he did with Sting in Dune, Henry Rollins in Lost Highway, Chrysta Bell in Twin Peaks: The Return—and David Bowie, who appears alongside Isaak in Fire Walk with Me. “Musicians are very close to actors,” Lynch told me, simply. “They go in front of people on a stage, and they have really no problem being in public, just like being in front of a camera. And they perform.”

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