As has oft been noted Lost Highway
is a difficult enough film to digest, let alone critique. For its first
50 or so minutes it plays like a noirish mystery, not unlike Blue
Velvet or Mulholland Drive, before disintegrating into an
hour-long miasma of dream-logic and unrelenting Lynchian surrealism.
Just like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, come to think
I studied Lost Highway during my
first year of uni and fell in love instantly with its languid visuals,
its strangeness and its audaciousness, and I still think itís one of the
most immersive and atmospheric films ever released. The general
consensus at the time of its release in 1997 was that it marked
something of a return to form following the critical and commercial
disaster that was Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, but that when
all was said and done the film didnít entirely hold its own against
Lynchís previous directorial high points.
This may be, but as a masterwork of
surrealist cinema Lost Highway nonetheless stands as a potent
dissection of fantasy and desire, and of the boundaries diving the two.
Its narrative has been called cryptic by some, incoherent by others, but
thereís no denying itís completely engrossing in spite of (or perhaps
because of) its puzzle-like complexity. Featuring uniformly intense
performances from Patricia Arquette, Bill Pullman, Balthazar Getty and a
singularly haunting Robert Blake as the ĎMystery Maní, a character that
could only exist in a David Lynch film, Lost Highway is a
thoroughly complex and challenging work from one of modern cinemaís true
auteurs, and as multifaceted a study of the inner world as has ever
graced the screen.
Audio & Video
Its soundscape combines the contemporary
rock stylings of Rammstein, Marilyn Manson and David Bowie with typical
jags of Psycho-esque violin caterwauling, and sounds absolutely
amazing in DTS-HD 5.1 Ė almost as pungent and immersive as the film
itself, and the perfect complement to its stunning visuals. Speaking of
which, Madmanís new HD transfer is likewise a thing of beauty, with nary
a blemish or artefact to be seen.
Quite a lot on offer in this regard,
including an original 1996 interview with Lynch and subsequent
interviews with Arquette, Pullman and Robert Loggia, as well as two
featurettes and a couple of trailers. The disc also contains chapter
breaks, which Mr Lynch would surely disapprove of given his repeated
avowals that his films are designed to be watched in a single setting.
Naughty, naughty Madman!