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Campus Theatre to host 25th anniversary screening of ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’

LEWISBURG — Can’t wait another 25 years for more Twin Peaks? You’re in luck because it is happening again. The Campus Theatre, 413 Market St., will present the new Janus Films restoration of “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” for its 25th anniversary at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Cherry pie and coffee will be served and cosplay is welcome. There is a cost.

The screening, hosted by Andy Gabrysiak, preparator and operations coordinator at the Samek Art Museum, and Sarajane Snyder, owner of the Mondragon Bookstore in Lewisburg, came to be after the realization that they both shared a love for the world of Twin Peaks.

“Over the summer I’d been thinking about finding a way to screen it at the theatre and remembered Sarajane last year making an offhand remark about us co-hosting a film together. I knew she was a big Twin Peaks fan so she was the first person I thought to go to,” Gabrysiak said. “I asked the theatre’s technical director, Andy Seal, where to start — I usually see him when I’m projecting anyway. Andy brought it up to the rest of the staff, then the rental director, Jenni Stieler, walked Sarajane and I through the details of renting the theatre and purchasing the rights to show the film.”

And for Gabrysiak, co-hosting a screening also meant possibly seeing something “Twin Peaks” on the big screen for the first time. “Twin Peaks” has always — apart from “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’s” theatrical release, which flopped hard — been a big screen entity that played on the small screen. And only it’s original two-season run on ABC seemed to fit into its weekly slot on a network — and yet, even that was incredibly bold for television.

It was Showtimes 18-hour run of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” which just concluded earlier this month and is heavily influenced — both narratively and stylistically — by “Fire Walk With Me,” that helped inspire the screening.

“Leading up to the new season of Twin Peaks I’d been pacing around my apartment for a few weeks straight quoting lines from ‘Fire Walk with Me’ outloud to myself and thought maybe there was a more constructive way to share my excitement,” Gabrysiak said.

For those unfamiliar with the show, “Twin Peak” always has been about the death of Laura Palmer and how it has impacted its tight-knit community. “Fire Walk With Me,” which came out after “Twin Peaks’ “ initial two-season run, takes place over the course of her final days. It’s a strange, surreal and hysterical work of art, that’s as emotionally draining as it is rewarding.

” ‘Fire Walk with Me’ has always been floating around at the top of my favorite movies list so I’d really wanted to see it in a theatre, especially after seeing how ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ referenced it so specifically, and learning that it recently went through a 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch,” said Gabrysiak. ” ‘Fire Walk with Me’ might not be a straight horror film, but it’s certainly a scary film and will be an appropriate first night of October screening.”

Though the work of David Lynch is not for everyone, “Twin Peaks,” plays like a perfect gateway into his style with its cast of incredibly likeable quirky characters — including David Bowie’s Phillip Jeffries, Catherine Coulson’s Log Lady and Harry Dean Stanton’s Carl Rodd, all of whom sadly passed away recently — you can follow along with and a deep and satisfying mixture of humor and surrealism.

“I first heard of Twin Peaks during college — I had a few roommates and one of them had bought the series on DVD when it came out in 2007, but that roommate was an obnoxious film snob so anytime he suggested watching it the rest of us would drown him out by turning up Two and a Half Men real loud,” Gabrysiak said. “Because of that experience I had an impression of Twin Peaks being some kind of prestige, high-brow TV for people who don’t actually enjoy TV. Of course when I came to it on my own a couple years later, realized I’d only been depriving myself and loved the spooky, foggy, atmosphere, absurdist imagery, and metaphysical symbolism in contrast to all the ‘Andy Griffith stuff.’ “

Though it is recommended to be see most of the first two seasons before viewing “Fire Walk With Me” it is not absolutely essential, according to Snyder, “You don’t have to know anything about ‘Twin Peaks’ to see or be moved by the descent of Laura Palmer in ‘Fire Walk With Me,’ she said. “Yes, if you don’t know ‘who killed Laura Palmer’ yet, you will know by the end of this movie. In my opinion, this does not ruin the ‘Twin Peaks’ series at all. It’s just a different perspective.”

For Snyder, no one describes the experience of watching “Fire Walk With Me” better than one of its characters.

“As Donna says to her mom in one of the first episodes of the tv show: ‘It’s like I’m having the most beautiful dream and the most terrible nightmare all at once.’ ‘Fire Walk With Me’ took me to that place,” she said. “I can’t say I like that feeling, but it is captivating — complex, confusing, funny, sexy, scary, comforting, transcendent. ‘Fire Walk With Me’ also took me to the town of Twin Peaks where I got to meet Agent Cooper and have further experiences in the Red Room — all of which have certainly shaped who I am and how I understand the world. Things are not what they seem — nor are they otherwise.”

For more information, call the Campus Theater at 570-577-7900.

“Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” runs 135 minutes long and is rated R for strong violence, sex and drug content, and for language.

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