Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997, France/USA)


 Lost Highway is something of a black sheep within David Lynch's filmography. It arrived in 1997, 5 years after Lynch's feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. The director was on a downward spin with critics, and he had begun turning to France and Europe for the financing of his features. Lost Highway was released by the now-defunct October Films in the United States to low critical praise and low audience attendance. Siskel and Ebert notoriously gave the film two thumbs down, which Lynch turned into a now-famous poster advertising the film. Yet the film managed to introduce Lynch's auditory soundscapes into the homes of suburban America, with the film's soundtrack - curated by Trent Reznor - reaching number 7 on the Billboard Top 100 and attaining Gold status. 

Lost Highway has gone through a reappraisal in recent years, and rightfully so. The film represents Lynch at his most Lynchian and feels deeply linked two the two other films in his "LA Trilogy" - Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire. What makes Lost Highway unique in Lynch's filmography is its darkness. The sweetness and lightness of his prior films are absent here. However, just because Lost Highway is grim and super 90s goth, doesn't mean the film is without humor. Even Richard Pryor makes a cameo in the film.

The film also fits greatly into the wave of post-Pulp Fiction ironic 1990s crime films, from Natural Born Killers to Se7en. The film also features some of the most horrific moments not only in Lynch's filmography but in film history. In particular, the scene with the Mystery Man (played by Robert Blake) at the party is a scene that is burned into many peoples' memories. The soundtrack is also amazing, with a great blend of Angelo Badalamenti, Barry Adamson, and highlights from the 1990s industrial rock world. 


10/10


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