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Lost Highway (1997)

by British Film Critic

Even though Lost Highway is far from my favourite film, nor the best film that Lynch has created, I couldn’t help but come out of it with the firm hope that the surrealist filmmaker is remembered as one of the best directors of our generation, because it is very rare that a filmmaker is so incredibly able at orchestrating all the moving parts of a film in such a way as Lynch is.

As more than capable he would be at it, and as more than happy I would be to watch it, Lynch never does horror, or deeply unnerving atmospheres that come so close as to replicate it, for the sake of it: there is always something being said beneath the surface, and that something is almost always regarding the psyche of our protagonists, with the details being very up for interpretation, but the groundwork for understanding always being very clear if one takes the time. With that being said, some of my favourite films, and some of the best films ever made I think, are much moreso, if not entirely about the pursuit of understanding or the experience, rather than understanding itself, and Lost Highway absolutely falls within that category.

As is the case with practically all Lynch films, Peter Deming’s cinematography is both incredibly beautiful and meticulously composed, all while being unbelievably haunting at the same time. Arquette, Pullman and Getty all give compelling performances, even if Robert Blake’s ‘Mystery Man’ is the standout: he must be one of the most terrifying characters to ever grace the screen, with his image, mannerisms and meaning all forming this uncontrollable nightmarish amalgam, of which his frightfulness isn’t simply dispelled by an understanding of what he represents.

Lost Highway only reminded me just how visceral, mind-bending and captivating Lynch’s work truly is, and now I genuinely cannot wait to complete his filmography, once and for all.