Damn! Did i forget to review the best film ever? Damn! I saw it 4 times in the cinema when it played here in 1997, later I bought the video and a while ago the DVD. “Lost Highway” is completely Lynch. Dark (VERY dark I may say), strange, symbolic and ununderstandable. There are two stories that either follow eachother up or run (partly) synchronical. Especially one person being in both stories raises and answers questions. There is a story of a saxophoneplayer who meets a strange oriental person and who may or may not have killed his own wife. Also there is a story about a young car-service man who is very popular with the women, but ran into the wrong person, being the girlfriend of an extremely rich, influential and most of all insane criminal.
Anyway, the little you know about this film when you haven’t seen it, the better. As more of Lynches works “Lost Highway” is more of an atmosphere picture than a film that you can watch and enjoy. Most people don’t like it, others love it.
Just before “Mullholand Drive” came in the Dutch cinemas, Lynch old film “Blue Velvet” was brought back to the Dutch filmhouses on some kind of ‘tour’. In most filmhouses this film is just shown once and then the tapes are brought to the next cinema to please the local Lynch-freaks there.
Of course I have seen this film quite a long time ago even so long ago that I didn’t remember too much from it anymore. I didn’t even remember if I liked it! Well, to any Lynch-freak reading this I have one advice: go and see Blue Velvet on the big screen! The overall effect of such a dark film as “Blue Velvet”, “Lost Highway” of Mullholand Drive” is 100x better in a cinema than on your own television with the lights on. “Blue Velvet” indeed is the masterpiece of mister Lynch as many filmcritics say. It’s yet not as absurd or extreme as the other two mentioned films, but already here are the vague scenes with out-of-focus filming, dark drones, weird sounds and extremely dark filming that can only really get to you when seeing it in a ciname.
For the people who haven’t seen “Blue Velvet” yet (and to clear up the memory of those who saw it a long time ago), the story: The young and naive man Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle Machlachlan, best known for being special agent Dale Cooper in Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”, but also playing in Lynch’s “Dune”) finds a human ear in a field close to the remote small town where he lives. He brings it so a police-officer who lives in his neighbourhood and however the officer warns him to let it go, Jeffrey starts his own investigation together with the officer’s daughter (Sandy Williams played by Laura Dern). Jeffrey gets involved in a twisted world of crime where the extremely disturbed Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosselini) is blackmailed by a group of criminals who have her little son and husband (who’s ear Jeffrey found). The first of the criminals Jeffrey sees is the over-emotional Frank Booth (a great part by Dennis Hopper) who starts to cry by every song he hears, but when not overwhelmed by sadness he is extremely violent, speaks only in terms of abuse and uses a gas that makes him feel to be an oversexed baby. Jeffrey also meets a couple of Franks friend, one of which is called “Paul” (Jack Nance played in every Lynch production until he died in 1996), Franks gay boss Ben (Dean Stockwell) and a corrupt police-officer.
I won’t tell too much of the story, but it is a fact that back in 1986 there still is an understandable story with a beginning and an end. The film has a great Lynch-atmosphere, some pretty sick scenes, rough violence and a beautiful contrasts in whichever way you can imagine.
And as said, “Blue Velvet” is 100x better on the bigscreen, so when you get that change, don’t let it pass by!