Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lost Highway

Lost Highway; Mystery, USA, 1997; D: David Lynch, S: Bill Pullman, Balthazar Getty, Patricia Arquette, Robert Blake, Robert Loggia, Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Busey, Richard Pryor

Middle-aged saxophonist Fred leads a bland marriage with his wife Renee. One day, they find a video tape in front of their door and it shows a small clip of inside their home. Fred meets a mysterious man at a party. He gets hallucinations and gets arrested when he wakes up since the police suspect him of killing his wife. He has a headache and suddenly there is a young lad, Pete, in his cell. Pete gets released and goes to his job as an auto-mechanic, but starts an affair with Alice, the mistress of underground boss Eddy. At a cabin, after sex, Pete transforms into Fred who kills Eddy and meets the mysterious man again. Running away in a car from the police, Fred enters a metamorphosis.

Another typical hermetic movie by David Lynch - alien and bizarre, and yet somehow pure poetry at times. In the second phase of his career, Lynch departed from normal storytelling and leaned more towards the subconscious, equipped with abstract images that echo Salvador Dali and Rene Margritte, which is why automatically a big deal of viewers will feel confused and repelled by "Lost Highway". The situation at the beginning, where a young married couple, Fred and Renee, find a video tape in front of their doorstep that contains a small clip of inside their mansion, is chilling and steadily raises the suspense of the unknown enemy, whereas the "plot switch" in the middle of the movie even slightly reminds of "Mullholand Drive". Even comedian Richard Pryor has a one-minute cameo as the auto-mechanic.
Make no mistake about it, the mystery of the whole events will seem incomprehensible to many, though some commentators, including many on IMDb, offered some surprisingly insightful explanations, including the one that the increasingly impotent Fred suffers from schizophrenia and thus imagines a younger self having plenty of sex with a blond version of his wife, which would explain the appropriate "schizophrenic" expression of the whole movie, though the "Faustian" theme of the mysterious man who can "warp" reality in order to cause mischief for the protagonists should also be considered. A strange experience, yet the 'tour-de-force' sequence where Pete and Alice are making out naked on the meadow at night, while the car lights illuminate them so much that they are overexposed, which makes them look like "creatures of light", is one of the most beautiful and inspirational representations of making love in the history of cinema, completely untypical for such a film, as if it was a dream inside a dream.


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