Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The Score: 8 out of 10

Lost Highway (1997) is an important milestone in David Lynch's career and launches his unofficial identity confusion trilogy, which he would continue with Mulholland Dr. (2001) and later complete with Inland Empire (2006). Clearly drawing on his experience depicting inner conflict in Twin Peaks, (1990-91) Lynch takes the concept of inner struggle to a whole new level in a visceral film experience centering on a husband's disturbing jealousy and denial.
Lost Highway Opening Credits
Five years after the release of Fire Walk with Me (1992) David Lynch returned to the big screen with the bizarre thriller Lost Highway (1997). These long gaps between film releases have become more commonplace, which is frustrating for his retinue of anxious fans. For a long time we simply blamed these gaps of Non-Lynch films on the amount of time it would naturally take to align the kind of stories Lynch wants to tell with those who are willing to finance the movie.
People Paying Millions for You to Make a Movie May Require Certain Creative Compromises
But unfortunately, even after David Lynch switched from film to MiniDV with the making of Inland Empire (2006), he has still maintained a slow pace of production over the intervening five years. So perhaps it is just part of his artistic process, or other factors at work we are not aware of now. Whatever the case, most of us would like to see new Lynch films. We recently discovered this humorous open letter to David Lynch requesting more singular masterpieces, please.

Bill Pullman Joins the Ranks of Actors Who Deliver Their Best Dramatic Work Under David Lynch's Direction
David Lynch once commented that Lost Highway (1997) is "about a man in trouble... A psychogenic fugue is the type of trouble." This explanation takes on greater meaning in light of Lynch's later remarks that Inland Empire (2006) is "about a woman in trouble," a tag line that could apply just as easily to Mulholland Dr. (2001), too. At this stage of his career, Lynch has become drawn to stories similar to his first feature film Eraserhead (1976), which also prominently featured a central character's feelings of guilt.
Bill Pullman Receives a Strange, Inexplicable Message Through His Intercom
When we meet Bill Pullman's Fred Madison, he is already a character clearly unhinged. He starts experiencing phenomena bordering on the supernatural, receiving a transmission through his intercom when clearly no one is outside his house to send it. The transmission contains a simple sentence informing him that a man he has never heard of before is dead.
Fred Madison is a Jazz musician at a local club, whose wife has decided to stay in for the night rather than accompany him at the club as she normally does. When Fred asks her what she plans to do with her time instead, she responds that she wants to read. Fred does not buy this, but his wife maintains her story.
The Main Female Lead is Played by the Underrated Patricia Arquette, Real-Life Wife of Nicholas Cage at the Time of Production. Cage Starred in Barry Gifford and David Lynch's Last Feature Film Wild at Heart (1990)
Fred Madison: "Read? Read?"
Fred Calls Renee at the House and Receives No Answer
Fred goes to the club and performs as usual, but he gives the house a call, but his wife does not answer the phone. Fred is extremely suspicious of his wife and assumes she is having an affair. But when Fred arrives home, he discovers his wife sound asleep in bed, causing him to doubt his assumption. His doubts about his wife's faithfulness, though, begins to eat away at him until he starts having strange hallucinations. Fred even begins doubting whether or not his wife is indeed his wife, or if she has turned into somebody else entirely.
The Madison Residence
Patricia Arquette's Renee Madison Discovers a Something Peculiar on their Front Steps
David Lynch wrote in his book Catching the Big Fish "At the time Barry Gifford and I were writing the script for 'Lost Highway,' I was sort of obsessed with the O.J. Simpson trial. Barry and I never talked about it this way, but I think the film is somehow related to that.
A Manila Envelope Containing a Mysterious Piece of Evidence Important to Help
Solve the Mystery, Echoes a Bizarre Incident from O.J. Simpson's Murder Trial
"What struck me about O.J. Simpson was that he was able to smile and laugh. He was able to go golfing with seemingly very few problems about the whole thing. I wondered how, if a person did these deeds, he could go on living. And we found this great psychology term—'psychogenic fugue'—describing an event where the mind tricks itself to escape some horror. So, in a way, 'Lost Highway' is about that. And the fact that nothing can stay hidden forever" (link to source).
David Lynch Used His Carpentry Skills to Create the Triangular Nightstand Above, Being a Director Who has Always Given His Films a More Personal Touch than Common
As Fred Walks into the Room, Renee Discovers the Envelope from Outside Contains a Video Tape
Renee and Fred Watch the Video Together
By David Lynch giving us this key insight, much of Lost Highway resonates with greater significance than it might otherwise. Perhaps if Lynch had clarified for his audience these parallels with O.J. Simpson, then the original batch of confused critics and viewers would have clicked with this material instead of dismissing it outright. As Roger Ebert said in his review at the time: "It's a shaggy ghost story, an exercise in style, a film made with a certain breezy contempt for audiences. I've seen it twice, hoping to make sense of it. There is no sense to be made of it. To try is to miss the point. What you see is all you get" (link to source).

Pictured: One of the Funniest Newspaper Advertisements Ever
The Couple Discovers Footage on the Tape Showing Their House
Unfortunately, Lost Highway has a tendency to confuse viewers a little more than it should. We argue David Lynch pushes his style a little too far, as he did before in his similar film Wild at Heart (1990). Although we understand many will disagree with our assessment, we have always felt the collaborations between Gifford and Lynch do not really gel perfectly with our tastes—with the exception of the Hotel Room (1993) episode Blackout. The two men obviously complement each other's styles in certain ways, but their collaborations seem to degenerate a little too quickly into lurid sex scenes and some gratuitous displays of graphic violence that feel a little too puerile and exploitative for mainstream audiences to accept. We understand this is likely their intention, but audiences should be forewarned.
Renee Suggests it Might Be Footage Shot by a Realtor. Fred Suspects Otherwise
Now Blue Velvet (1986), on the other hand, was both directed and written by David Lynch, and as a result the film benefits from a more consistent mixture of humor and horror. That same mastery of tone is again visible in Twin Peaks, which manages to remain completely unique and utterly bizarre without completely violating the threshold of good taste. But for us, Wild at Heart (1990) and Lost Highway (1997) take their portrayal of sex and violence to an extreme that will surely put off most mainstream audiences. But for many horror-centric viewers, these same complaints might actually be compliments. We simply offer you fair warning about the ride you are in for so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
Lost Highway and Wild at Heart are More Gut-Wrenching Viewing Experiences
Compared to Most of David Lynch's Other Films. Use Discretion.
Many filmmakers can pull off a simple horror gag to get you to jump out of your seat, but few filmmakers can get under your skin with real psychological horror. David Lynch clearly excels in this style, so only go into Lost Highway (1997) if you have thick skin for these kinds of stories. This film is not for the faint of heart or the easily confused. He will work your psyche even harder than normal, possiblymaking this Lynch's most demanding and disturbing film, which is really saying something. In our opinion, Lost Highway is a powerful work of art, but its level of entertainment value is lower than most of Lynch's other movies. That is our impression, but feel free to comment below to explain why you agree or disagree.
Fred Madison Plays the Saxophone at a Local Jazz Club
David Lynch once shared that "the unit publicist was reading up on certain mental disorders during production and she came upon this true condition called 'psychogenic fugue'... a person gives up himself, his world, his familyeverything about himselfand takes on another identity. That's Fred Madison completely. I love the term psychogenic fugue. In a way, the musical term fugue fits perfectly... The film has one theme and then another theme takes over. To me, jazz is the closest thing to insanity that there is in music."
"Fugue in D Minor" by J.S. Bach
Renee Leaves the Club Suspiciously with Another Man
At another time, David Lynch reiterated that "the person suffering from [a psychogenic fugue] creates in their mind a completely new identity, new friends, new home, new everythingthey forget their past identity. This has reverberations with 'Lost Highway,' and it's also a musical term. A fugue starts off one way, [then] takes up on another direction, and then comes back to the original. So it [relates] to the form of the film."
Lost Highway's Structure Resembles a Moebius Strip
Barry Gifford explained that he and David Lynch used the concept of a Moebius strip to help them structure Lost Highway (1997): "We realized we didn't want to make something that was linear, and that's why the Moebius strip. A Moebius strip is a long strip of paper curved initially into a circle, but with one end flipped over. The strip now has only one side that flips both inside and outside the shape. It made it easier to explain things to ourselves and keeping it straightforward. The story folds back underneath itself and continues."
Dream Scene
Renee Seems Unusually Supportive and Caring as a Wife, Which Just Seems to Drive Fred Crazier
Fred Shares a Dream He Had About Renee and that in the Dream She Was Not Really Renee at All
David Lynch Returns to a Familiar Visual Symbol from Twin Peaks
Supposedly in His Dream, Fred Approaches Renee...
But as He Approaches He Says that Renee Really was Not Renee, Echoing Fred's Own Transformation Later
Fred is Frightened After Recounting the Dream and Looks to His Wife for Comfort
But No Longer Sees Renee as Renee, But as a Strange Figure Lynch Refers to as the Mystery Man
Fred is Really Becoming Someone Else, But He Projects His Own State of Mind on Renee
David Lynch remarked: "You can say that a lot of Lost Highway is internal. It's Fred's story. It's not a dream, it's realisticthough according to Fred's logic. But I don't want to say too much. The reason is I love mysteries. To fall into a mystery and its danger... Everything becomes so intense in those moments.
"When most mysteries are solved, I feel tremendously let down. So I want things to feel solved up to a point, but there's got to be a certain percentage left over to keep the dream going. It's like at the end of Chinatown: The guy says, 'Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown.' You understand it, but you don't understand it, and it keeps that mystery alive. That's the most beautiful thing."
Someone Broke into the House and Taped Them as They Slept
Renee Calls the Police for Help
This Image Connects Visually to Fred's Skewed Perspective of Renee Later
The Police Inquire About Whether the Madisons Own a Video Camera. Fred
Explains His Dislike for Video: "I like to remember things my own way."
When the Police Ask Fred to Elaborate, Fred Responds: "I do not necessarily want
to remember things as they happened, but the way I want to remember them."
The officers do not seem amused by Fred's quirky disenchantment with reality, but after checking the house thoroughly they suggest the Madisons make use of their security system once again. Apparently the system was always going off, leading the couple to abandon its use until now. After this quick encounter with the police, Fred and Renee return back to their normal routine.
Fred and Renee Go to Andy's Party, Apparently an Old Friend Who Hooked Up Renee with a Job Before
Although Roger Ebert disliked Lost Highway as an overall film, he was partial to this scene in particular and felt it was done with a masterful Hitchockian sense of style. In fact, Ebert enjoyed many aspects of the film, but he felt the ending of the film failed to mesh all the story threads together properly and left the film feeling too much like random short stories stitched together. This statement echoes our own sentiments about Wild at Heart (1990), so it appears Barry Gifford's influence on Lynch naturally tends to lean in that direction. Ebert suggests this discordant flow tends to jerk around the audience a little too much.
Robert Blake in a Chilling Performance as the Mystery Man
The Mystery Man
Roger Ebert: "... a scene Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of."

Who is the Mystery Man? Is he real? Is he a figment of Fred's imagination? A psychological representation of his own anger and jealousy about his wife's possible affair? Could he be a dark entity on the order of Bob and the other Lodge entities from Twin Peaks?  A dark sorcerer? Or is he another personality of Fred trying manifest itself? At the end of the day, we receive no definitive answers from David Lynch, and in fact, not knowing who he is really is the point of the character. Humans tend to fear the unknown, not the explanations. All we know for sure is that he is a dark figure of supernatural power from Fred's point of view, baiting Fred to take a destructive path.
Fred Thinks Someone Else Might Be in the House But Finds No One Besides Them
In a strangely surreal scene we will not spoil for you here, Fred becomes lost in a dark haze and wakes from his strange state being beaten by a police officer who he had been speaking to earlier in the film. Fred's wife Renee has been brutally murdered and the police obviously suspect Fred is the culprit.
Then David Lynch makes an interesting cut from the interrogation scene to Fred being escorted to a cell on death row. The entire murder trial is handled with a quick death penalty sentence being pronounced by a judge in voice over. This opens the door to several possibilities. Did the police really arrest Fred at all? Did Fred actually have a trial and found guilty? Was Fred actually sent to prison to be executed on death row? Is Fred possibly imagining this justice?
According to the British website ArtMovements:"Expressionism is an artistic style in which the artist attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements.
"Unlike Impressionism, [expressionism's] goals were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the surrounding world, but to strongly impose the artist's own sensibility to the world's representation. The expressionist artist substitutes to the visual object reality his own image of this object, which he feels as an accurate representation of its real meaning."
David Lynch creates a surprisingly sophisticated expressionistic film in Lost Highway (1997), and is clearly his most expressionistic film since Eraserhead (1976). As suggested by Fred's spoken distaste for the cold objectivity provided by video cameras, film images are also frequently used to convey a hyper accurate view of objective reality. But Lynch has always looked at film production as an extension of painting, which is by nature a more subjective and expressionistic form. Lost Highway seems to represent the subjective reality of a murderer who has gone insane, as if he were painting the tapestry of reality to match his own emotions. So Lynch was correct when he explained we are not entering a dream state, but a compromised reality perceived through the prism of Fred's fractured sense of reality.
One of Lost Highway's producers, Deepak Nayar, commented in the documentary Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1997): "The death row prison. Now here's a prime example of how the director and the production designer work. When we scouted that place it was a fire station building. And you walk into that place and say to yourself, 'Somebody's lost their mind.' They want to shoot a death row prison at THIS place? I mean, we all have our own imagination of what death row should look like... Then they build the sets and you arrive for the very first day of shooting and it's phenomenal. It looks beautiful. It's death row and yet it's not a death row. It's a David Lynch death row, which is what he wanted."
David Lynch remarked "To give a sense of place, to me, is a thrilling thing. And a sense of place is made up of details. And so the details are incredibly important. If they're wrong, then it throws you out of the mood. And so the sound and music and color and shape and texture, if all those things are correct and a woman looks a certain way with a certain kind of light and says the right word, you're gone, you're in heaven. But it's all the little details" (link to source).
The prison is strange and different from what we normally see. Is Fred Madison the only prisoner here or is he kept in isolation from the general prison population? Is this a prison of Fred's own mental construction? All we know for sure is that Fred is stuck in this prison until he turns into someone else. Call it guilt, denial, or anything you will, but this is a lonely man trapped and looking for a way out.
Fred Suffers a Crippling Headache, So He is Brought to the Prison Doctor
The Prison Doctor Does Not Explain Anything, Simply Force Feeds Fred Some Pills
Afterward Fred is Brought Back to His Cell, Where He Requests an Aspirin
to Help Him Deal with a Pounding Headache
In the Tradition of Rocker Performances in Lynch's Past Films, Like Sting in Dune (1984), David Bowie and Chris Isaak in Fire Walk with Me (1992), Henry Rollins of the Rollins Band Cameos as an Unsympathetic Prison Guard
Fred Cries Out in Agony as His Mind and Body Transform in the Tradition of Werewolf Movies
He Looks Up and Travels Across the Lost Highway Where He Encounters Pete Dayton
Pete Dayton's Girlfriend and Family Members Later Hint at Knowing Something About this Incident
But Pete Does Not Understand It
After Fred Madison Meets Pete Dayton Along the Lost Highway...
Fred Apparently Turns into Pete
The Next Morning a Guard Performs a Cell Check to Make Sure Everyone is Where They Should Be
But the Guard Cannot Believe What He Sees in Fred Madison's Cell

Fred Madison Becomes an Entirely Different Person
Again, David Lynch is apparently showing us Fred Madison's perceptions. To Fred, his transformation is literal. In real life, a sufferer of a psychogenic fugue would not look drastically different after switching identities. However, Fred does not like to remember things as they happened, but as he chooses to remember them. To him, his entire reality changes. Even his flesh changes. He is a new, innocent man who should not be held responsible for the crimes of this stranger named Fred Madison.
Pete Dayton is Taken Home from Prison by His Parents and He Returns to His Normal Life as an Auto Mechanic
Robert Loggia Plays the Underworld Mob Boss "Mr. Eddy" Who Values Pete's Instincts for Car Maintenance
Except for a brief coda at the end, the remainder of the film takes place without Bill Pullman's Fred Madison, centering instead around his alter ego Pete Dayton played by Balthazar Getty. If for no other reason than this one stylistic choice, Lost Highway would be considered a strange, unique film. Yet, the oddities only begin there. As we switch our focus to Pete Dayton, the film also switches gears and transforms from a psychological thriller into a film noir. This shift in tone and themes is unsettling and strange to accept at first, but there is something rather playful about the shift, too, in a bizarrely Lynchian way.

We Transition from the White Side to the Blue Side
Mr. Eddy Hates Tailgating
Be Careful Not to Tailgate... It's Dangerous
Lost Highway's Alice Wakefield is Similar to Twin Peaks' Evelyn Marsh
Strangely enough, this half of the film closely resembles an unsuccessful subplot in Twin Peaks revolving around James Hurley's motorcycle odyssey to a neighboring town. James is solicited by a wealthy woman named Evelyn Marsh to work as her private mechanic. Over time James notices Evelyn is bruised and he is told lies about how her husband abuses her. In attempting to help Evelyn, James is pulled into her web of deception and was nearly framed for her husband's eventual murder. Although the last half of Lost Highway has many surface differences with the Twin Peaks subplot, the core storyline is practically identical.
Evelyn Marsh, the Most Random Femme Fatale of the Small Screen
We Should Point Out that James is Working as a Mechanic in His Sweater
Pictured: The Worst Twin Peaks Subplot Ever
Sorry, We Meant Second Worst
Yeah, that Random Film Noir Adventure Definitely Takes Second Place to Ben's Nervous Breakdown.
If You Cannot Tell, Bobby Briggs is in the Upper-Right Corner Blowing a Bugle
Ben Horne's Nervous Breakdown Transforming Him into a Civil War General was Actually Worse,
But at Least We Got to See Audrey Horne in a Classic Dress for that Excursion into Crazy.
Although the James Hurley and Evelyn Marsh subplot did not mesh with the grand scheme of Twin Peaks, this same storyline does feel more organic in the world of Lost Highway (1997). We partly accredit this to David Lynch's direction, since he did not direct any of the episodes connected to the James Hurley mechanic subplot, or Ben Horne's Civil War breakdown, for that matter. If anything reveals the depths of Lynch's superior skills as a director, then this would be a prime example.
Fred Madison Becomes Pete Dayton, Auto Mechanic and All-Around Ladies' Man
Renee Madison Becomes Alice Wakefield, a Beautiful Victim or a Femme Fatale? You Decide...
That Magic Moment
Pete Falls Hard for Alice, Alienating His Former Girlfriend and Upsetting Mr. Eddy
Alice Asks Pete to Help Her Steal Money so They Can Runaway Together from Mr. Eddy
Alice is Mr. Eddy's Kept Woman and He Will Not Let Her Go So Easily
Alice Reveals to Pete How She was Forced at Gunpoint to Perform Explicit Acts for Mr. Eddy and Participate in Underground Porn Movies
The story Alice relates to Pete fits in perfectly with Fred Madison's paranoid delusions about his wife Renee's former job arranged by her friend Andy, a man Fred suspects slept with her in the past. But now in Pete's world, Renee was actually pimped out by Andy and has continued sleeping with her all along. Pete will do anything to help Alice obtain enough money to escape from Mr. Eddy, so as Alice planned, Pete arrives at Andy's house to knock him out and steal his valuables. But Pete is in over his head as he finds himself caught in Alice's web of sex and deceit, becoming party to an unintentional murder.
This Lighting Technique Emphasizes Patricia Arquette's Eyes and was Common to 30's and 40's Film Noir
When the Mystery Man Returns into His Life, Pete Dayton Reverts Back to Fred Madison
At the end of the day, Pete's delusions suffer the same fate as Fred Madison's former delusions, resulting in a murder that he should not be held responsible for committing. The Pete Dayton alter ego vanishes, revealing Fred Madison once again. Fred Madison has apparently killed Andy and is now on the run from the police in a scene evoking O.J. Simpson's police chase. Fred Madison tries desperately to escape down the Lost Highway... [Cue dramatic music].
Fred Madison Attempting to Evade the Law
O.J. Simspson Attempting to Evade the Law
Link to Source
For those who paid attention to the O.J. Simpson case, you might recall a number of theories O.J. and his defense attorney offered to explain who really killed his ex-wife and her apparent boyfriend, Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Their conspiracy theories centered primarily around allegations that the mafia killed them and then the police framed O.J. to cover it up. In Lost Highway (1997), Fred Madison's perception of his own downfall seems equally absurd. And at the end of the day, is there anyone better at capturing the absurd on film than David Lynch?
And Who Knew the Best On-Screen Portrayal of O.J. Simpson Would Be Bill Pullman?

David Lynch Interview
Lost Highway (1997) is available on various DVD releases, but the only one we recommend purchasing in the U.S. is the version advertised to the left. If you try to order this movie through netflix, you will receive a DVD containing another abominable 1.33:1 transfer that crops off approximately 40% of the original 2.35:1 frame. That Netflix DVD release also had generally fuzzy video quality, too. Do not watch Lost Highway via Netflix until they correct this problem. A beautiful high definition rendering of the film is available on the Region B Blu-Ray. Here are two reviews of the Blu-Ray, which is also where I acquired the bulk of our HD screencaps. The first review is at DVD Beaver and the other at Blu-Brew.
UK Horror Channel David Lynch Promo
Next week we analyze David Lynch's next film, a surprisingly gentle and family friendly Disney treat. The Straight Story (1999) recounts the true story of an elderly man whose health, eyesight, and finances limit his ability to visit a recently stricken brother living in another state, with whom he has been estranged for nearly a decade. So Alvin Straight decides to drive his lawnmower on a touching odyssey across America's heartland to make peace with his brother in person. The film is a pleasant change of pace from Lynch's horror-centric work, yet still showcases true Lynchian style from beginning to end. The Elephant Man (1980) and The Straight Story (1999) are often mentioned in the same breath as Lynch's most mainstream and accessible films.
The Straight Story Trailer

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  1. Just wanted to post that I've been thoroughly enjoying your 35 Years of David Lynch retrospective. I'm a Lynch fanatic and have been for many, many years now.

    My least favorite films of his would have to be Dune and Wild At Heart. I like bits and pieces of those films but as a whole, they don't connect with me as all of his other films do. My favorites would have to be Mulholland Dr., the Twin Peaks saga (including Fire Walk With Me), Eraserhead, and Lost Highway.

    Have you seen the Lynch-produced film directed by Werner Herzog: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? I rather enjoyed it and even though Herzog says there is zero creative input from Lynch in the film, his presence is undeniable. Brad Dourif and Grace Zabriskie. A little person in a suit who shows up inexplicably. There's even a character in the film who appears to be very much into meditation.

    Anyway, keep up the great work! You're almost finished now. (I look forward to reading your INLAND EMPIRE report. That movie is a beast!)

  2. I love the scene where Alicia reveals to Pete that he never had her while both making love!

  3. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I love this blog. I really like your take on Lynch's works. I think that Lynch's movies are so much more about mood/tone and evoking an emotional experience than they are about plot, but I have to applaud you for being able to verbalize aspects of his work that I have found myself unable to. Also, your research has been fantastic.

    I had to comment this time because the aside to the bad 'Twin Peaks' subplots made me laugh out loud.

    Great work.

  4. Lost Highway (LH) is right up there with Mulholland Drive (MD) imo....I absolutely love this 'film noir' of a movie.

    Obviously with Lynch films...there is always your own personal take and meaning to be garnered and explored...and one that doesn't allow 100% knowability...which is the main part of the fun.

    Lynch is a lot like Dennis Potter in this regard...he wants all mystery and no solutions, just like Dennis...I mean, there is no fun or very little to learn in the solutions, only the mystery!

    Still that doesn't stop us trying. :-)

    Structurally could even be more perfect than Mulholland Drive. I find there to be many, many similarities with Mulholland needs to be deconstructed and re-ordered mentally for it to make any kind of sense.....and it does (make sense)!!!

    I'm not even sure if any of the film takes place in any linear reality at all (save a few minutes here or there)...or whether we're dealing with 'psychogenic fugue' and 'fuzzy underpressure denial based recollection' (see Fred's nose punch the Diane pillow moment MD).

    I'm toying with the idea that the brief opening sequence is the morning after Fred has murdered Alice...and then we get the Dick Laurent message. The one he is really delivering to himself!

    We then open with the scene about Fred going to the club minus Alice....I feel from this point we are actually experiencing the 'denial based recollections' of Fred as told to the police officers...who have obviously been questioning him for quite sometime...judging by their relaxed state of dress etc. (we get the i don't like video cameras hint and are reminded that he likes to remember things as he remembers them etc) This runs for about 35 mins or so and then we get the nose punch and 'sit down wife killer' met with the response from Fred 'tell me I didn't kill my wife' (denial).

    Then we get the prison sequence (possibly reality here) and then to the 'fugue' and into the persona of Pete...we see Pete's fantasy world get wobbly at various intervals in this the real world and events try to get a foothold and return him to Fred..which is who he really is.

    Pete's world seems to really lose it...when he sees the porno image at Andy's. Reality is trying to break in etc.

    I get a totally different feeling watching this, than say compared to Wild At Heart...also Gifford....they are just streets apart and in so many ways.

    Lost Highway as a metaphor for the 'path of life'...Fred is lost on the path of life and is deranged! (to quote Bowie)

    Just the sound design alone for this movie...blows me away....definite shades of Eraserhead.

  5. This is really interesting reading, I have always been a big fan of David Lynch. I own all of his movies on DVD and Lost Highway is one of my favorites!
    I really like your analyze of the movie!