Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lost Highway

Movie Name: Lost Highway
Year of Release: 1997
Director: David Lynch
Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Blake, Robert Loggia, Gary Busey, Lucy Butler, Michael Massee, Richard Pryor, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Jack Nance, Scott Coffey, Giovanni Ribisi, Henry Rollins
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

In the early 90s David Lynch was at the peak of his popularity, with a successful show by the name of "Twin Peaks", a Palm D'Or winning film by the name of "Wild at Heart". This wave of accolades quickly subsided, with the quick fade of the tv show and the subsequent "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" - a remarkable feature that sadly not many people saw. "Lost Highway" was his next feature, which saw the light of day in 1997. The film, co-written with Barry Gifford (whom had written the novel "Wild at Heart", adapted by David Lynch in 1990), has an enigmatic tone: we're introduced to Fred Madison, a successful saxophone player, married to the beautiful Renee. This couple starts receiving disturbing videotapes at their front door, upon which they contact the police to help them out. Much to Fred's horror, one of the videotapes shows him killing Renee, and the police uses it to arrest and convict him. While on death row, the prison guards are shocked to find that the man in Fred's cell is no longer him: it's in fact Pete Dayton, a young auto mechanic. Since he has not committed a crime, he's released to the custody of his parents, and resumes his every day life. Pete is soon being followed by the same police detectives, and he also comes across a beautiful woman, a doppelganger for Renee, by the name of Alice, who turns out to be the mistress of a crime boss. Things quickly spiral out of control.
As usual in David Lynch's films, the director is more interested in the journey and path of the characters, he also focuses in creating a universe that borderlines the surreal, as a metaphor to underline the horrible events of every day life. "Lost Highway" features many of his usual trademarks, from the duality of personalities (something also featured on "Mulholland Drive"), to the extreme violence, sensuality, odd sense of humor and abstract concepts of time and space where characters seem to exist as a catalyst for a specific event. The cast is as usual eclectic and talented, with Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette creating indelible characters. The cinematography from Peter Deming is fantastic as is the phenomenal soundtrack. A unique film from one of the most distinct voices in American film.