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Movie Review: Lost Highway

lost

Written by Barry Gilford and David Lynch.
Directed by David Lynch.
1997.

“I like to remember things my own way,” says Fred. “How I remember them, not necessarily the way they happened.” Seems that’s the key to figuring out the enigma of Lost Highway. You might say Lynch was working out an idea here that he would perfect in Mulholland Dr.: the murder of one’s lover and the rationalizing fantasy that follows (only, in Mulholland Dr., the fantasy comes first and the murder is the reveal). Here, instead of killing himself afterward, Bill Pullman ends up in jail, and in jail he breaks from reality, is reborn innocent (complete with new body and identity), and proceeds to reconstruct the pieces of his past in order to justify the murders he’s committed — his wife’s and her lover’s, a man named Dick Laurent, aka Mr. Eddy. Or is Mr. Eddy, like platinum-blonde Alice, just a fantasy, substituting for Andy (Eddy/Andy), whom Pullman suspected of cheating with his wife at the beginning of the film (it’s hinted at that he discovers their infidelity in room 26 of the mysterious Lost Highway Hotel)? Either way, the video camera wielded by creepy Robert Blake is a lot like the little blue box and key in Mulholland Dr. It’s the signifier of memory, one that Fred ultimately rejects in favor of his own re-creation. It’s creepy as hell.

Also: nobody makes sunshine and breezes as frightening as David Lynch.

“I had a dream about you last night.” — Fred Madison

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Published by Andy

Andy Davidson is the author of IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN. He lives in Georgia with his wife and five cats.

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