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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

David Lynch on Lost Highway

"A 21st Century Noir Horror Film.
A graphic investigation into parallel indentity crises.
A world where time is dangerously out of control.
A terrifying ride down the lost highway."

David Lynch on Lost Highway:

"It doesn't do any good to say, 'This is what it means.' When you are spoon fed a film, people instantly know what it is. I like films that leave room to dream."
- Cinefantastique, April 1997
"Barry may have his idea of what the film means, and I may have my idea, and they may be two different things. The beauty of an abstract film is it's open to interpretation."
- Cinefantastique, April 1997
"You can say that a lot of Lost Highway is internal. It's Fred's story. It's not a dream: It's realistic, though 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."
- Rolling Stone, March 6, 1997
"There's a beguiling and magnetic mood. There's so much darkness, and there's so much room to dream. They're mysteries and there are people in trouble, and uneasiness."
- Filmmaker, Winter 1997
"I don't like pictures that are one genre only, so this (Lost Highway) is a combination of things. Horror. Thriller. But basically it's a mystery."
- Sight and Sound, July 1996
"Barry Gifford wrote a book called Night People, and in it a character used the phrase 'lost highway'. I mentioned to Barry that I just loved this title, 'Lost Highway', and that we should write something together. And he said, 'Well, let's do it.' That was about a year before we actually got together on the script. But that phrase, you know, sparked it."
Lynch on Lynch, Faber and Faber publishing.
"It's about a couple who feel that somewhere, just on the border of consciousness - or on the other side of that border - are bad, bad problems. But they can't bring them into the real world and deal with them. So this bad feeling is just hovering there, and the problems abstract themselves and become other things. It just becomes like a bad dream. There are unfortunate things that happen to people, and this story is about that. It depicts an unfortunate occurrence, and gives you the feeling of a man in trouble. A thinking man in trouble."
Lynch on Lynch, Faber and Faber publishing.

Barry Gifford on Lost Highway:

"Let's say you don't want to be yourself anymore. Something happens to you, and you just show up in Seattle, living under the name Joe Smith, with a whole different reality. It means that you're trying to escape something, and that's basically what Fred Madison does. He gets into a fugue state, which in this case means that he can't go anywhere - he's in a prison cell, so it's happening internally, within his own mind. But things don't work out any better in the fugue state than they do in real life. He can't control the woman any more than he could in real life. You might say this is an explanation for what happens. However, this is not a complete explanation for the film. Things happen in this film that are not - and should not be - easily explained."
- Rolling Stone, March 6, 1997
"We realized we didn't want to make something that was linear, and that's why the Moebius strip [as the film's structure]. 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."
-Film Threat, 1997

Patricia Arquette on Lost Highway:

"It's striaght out scary. It's very dark. It's not for kids or for people who want some light fair."
- The Tonight Show, February 28, 1997
"One of my characters is this man's wife, who's always sort of afar, and there's always this...the divorce word is always between them but they never say it. The more he needs her sex, the less she gives him. The more he needs her love, the less she has for him. It's a sort of dead relationship, this cold, adversarily relationship. He kills her and then he recreates himself as this young veral guy and has this girlfriend who needs him and wants to sleep with him and loves him and wants him to save her. But his whole fantasy again turns to shit because he's just a sick man."
- Hollywood Online
"You feel David in his movies. It's another Universe he takes you to. It's like an alternate reality, close enough to our own to be really distrubing.
- "Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch"

Bill Pullman on Lost Highway:

"It's a very, kind of scary movie, and very enigmatic - a lot of questions it raises."
- Today Show, February 20, 1997

Natasha Gregson Wagner on Lost Highway:

I wouldn't say that I understand the script completely, but I like that. I know that when I see the movie I'm going to be surprised by how it all fits together. We all have our own fantasies about what the secret of Lost Highway is. At times, in David's direction, he'll give you an idea and you'll think you're on to something. Then the next day it will be completely the opposite.
- Sight and Sound, July 1996



We haven’t seen much output from David Lynch since 2006′s Inland Empire. So what has the auteur filmmaker responsible for cult classics like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and Miley Cyrus’ careerbeen up to, other than delivering weather reports from his webcam and jumping on the Twitter bandwagon? Well apparently Mr. Lynch has been selling his own brand of coffee called David Lynch Signature Cup. Now the director (who admits to having a 20-cup-a-day habit) has released a new commercial for his product containing the kind of nightmare-ish sounds and visuals that he’s known for. (embedding disabled for flash, but you can watch the clip over at Huffington Post)
I can’t say whether I’m disappointed the brief dialogue wasn’t spoken in reverse by a dancing midget, but what is surprising is that this doesn’t even come close to the weirdness of the last commercial he produced for his brand, which was basically four minutes of himself conversing with a disembodied Barbie doll head over carnival music and sirens.
I’m not sure why the man even bothers making these bizarre spots… This super-cut of Agent Dale Cooper savoring his cuppa-joe in Twin Peaks (below) says more than any Juan Valdez commercial or Folgers jingle ever could…

But perhaps it’s all an act of subversion. As AdWeek put things into focus, “Lynch is famously ambivalent about marketing. He’s directed a number of ads, and is now an advertiser himself. But he had a famously great response to an interviewer who once asked him about product placement in movies…”

David Lynch Mulholland Drive

David Lynch wrote and directed this look at two women who find themselves walking a fine line between truth and deception in the beautiful but dangerous netherworld of Hollywood. A beautiful woman (Laura Elena Harring) riding in a limousine along Los Angeles' Mulholland Drive is targeted by a would-be shooter, but before he can pull the trigger, she is injured when her limo is hit by another car. The woman stumbles from the wreck with a head wound, and in time makes her way into an apartment with no idea of where or who she is. As it turns out, the apartment is home to an elderly woman who is out of town, and is allowing her niece Betty (Naomi Watts) to stay there; Betty is a small-town girl from Canada who wants to be an actress, and her aunt was able to arrange an audition with a film director for her. Betty befriends the injured woman, who begins calling herself "Rita" after seeing a poster of Rita Hayworth. While Betty's audition impresses a casting agent, and she catches the eye of hotshot director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux), Kesher's producers and moneymen insist with no small vehemence that he instead cast a woman named Camilla Rhodes. As Rita attempts to put the pieces of her life back together, she pulls the name Diane Selwyn from her memory; Rita thinks it could be her real name, but when she and Betty find a listing for Diane Selwyn and visit her apartment, they discover the latest victim of a mysterious killer who is eluding police detective Harry McKnight (Robert Forster). Rita's emotional identity soon takes a left turn, and it turns out that neither woman is quite who she once appeared to be. David Lynch originally conceived Mulholland Drive as the pilot film for a television series; after the ABC television network rejected the pilot and declined to air it, the French production film StudioCanal took over the project, and Lynch reshot and re-edited the material into a theatrical feature. The resulting version of Mulholland Drive premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where David Lynch shared Best Director honors with Joel Coen. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Mulholland Drive

David Lynch’s works have always existed in a world of their own, from 1976′s Eraserhead and 1980′s The Elephant Man, right through Twin Peaks and 1996′s Inland Empire, the writer/director has always enjoyed toying with the surreal; twisting the bounds of fantasy and reality. Perhaps, arguably, none of his films did this more effectively or evocatively than 2001′s Mulholland Drive.

A neo-noir anachronistic pulp fiction trip through the dark underbelly of Hollywood, Mulholland Drive throws away any notion of traditional, linear storytelling in favor of blending of fantasy and reality where you’re never really sure what’s real, or which direction you’re heading.

It’s Hollywood, and the pie-eyed blonde Canadian actress Betty (Naomi Watts) has arrived at her aunt’s place to find a mysterious and beautiful brunette, Rita (Laura Elena Harring) who’s been in a car accident and lost her memory. Betty endeavors to aid Rita regain her memory, and it takes the two down a strange path where the dream world and the real world collide. Their story intersects with a film director (Justin Theroux) being strong-armed into hiring an actress in the lead role of his film by two gangsters, but his connection to the two ladies may run deeper than it seems.

Sexy, sleek, dark, and erotic, Mullholland Drive is filled with esoteric symbolism. It is wide open to interpretation, particularly given Lynch’s brilliant and completely unpredictable plot twist that turns Mulholland Drive into two different films, forcing viewers to reinterpret what they’d come to assume during the first part of the film. But, what is the reality? That, I am afraid, is for you or anyone to decide. Brilliant.

This Blu-ray offers a nice, clean 1080p encoding of Mulholland Drive that is unhindered by any processing or compression artifacts. The artistic nature of the production is such that detail is purposely soft and lighting diffuse, but the film looks good in this edition. There’s a nice layer of grain that remains consistent, flesh tones look realistic, and shadow detail is nicely extended. The midrange tones are warm and contrast is strong without clipping.

The mostly ambient soundtrack, provided in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix (48kHz/16-bit), provides strong, clean dialogue, but it can get downright boomy at times when the score kicks in, sometimes become a little overwhelming. Still, it provides for good, engulfing entertainment.

The numerous new and recycled bonus materials offer good background and insight into David Lynch’s thought-provoking drama.

The supplements provided with this release are:
Introduction by Thierry Jousse (1.78:1; HD)
In the Blue Box (1.78:1; HD) – A retrospective documentary featuring directors and critics
On the Road to Mulholland Drive (1.33:1; PAL)
Marie Sweney
Angelo Badalamenti
Angelo Badalamenti: audio interview. 10 Years After
Back to Mulholland Drive (1.33:1; PAL)
Booklet: Essay by Adam Woodward, Journalist. Adam Wodward has worked as online editor for Little White Lies magazine since 2009 and currently writes for a number of film-related publications, including Playground magazine and Eye For Film.

The Definitive Word

Optimum and The StudioCanal Collection do a wonderful job bringing yet another one of David Lynch’s masterpieces to high definition with this solid Blu-ray effort of Mulholland Drive. This film is not to be missed under any circumstances.

David Lynch

David Lynch
David Keith Lynch is an American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Wikipedia

THOUGH HE'S OFTEN assumed to be as peculiar as the creepy characters his movies feature, in person director David Lynch seems to have less in common with the Pabst-swilling sadist Frank Booth in "Blue Velvet," and more with do-gooder Special Agent Dale Cooper, portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in "Twin Peaks."

For starters, despite his proclivity for the outer limits, there's no place like home for the Missoula, Mont.-born maker of such profane films as "Mulholland Drive" and "Lost Highway" and humane ones as "The Straight Story" and "The Elephant Man."

"What I really like is to be at home, working," he said one recent sundown from the penthouse suite of the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles, near the residence he shares with his wife, Emily.

The homebody element had been evident the evening before at Hollywood's labyrinthine Milk Studios. Guests were feting the 66-year-old filmmaker and painter for the debut of his collaboration with Dom Pérignon—he designed a signature look for a limited-edition run of vintage bottles. Mr. Lynch looked like a deer in the headlights, his grayish-blue eyes wary below his camera-friendly pompadour.


Even though 2001's "Mulholland Drive" stuck a star on then-newbie Naomi Watts's forehead, and earned Mr. Lynch his third Oscar nomination for best director, he has made only one feature-length movie since: 2006's "Inland Empire." In the meantime, he has focused on other passions—of which there are many.

Mr. Lynch embraced transcendental meditation around the time he made the 1977 curiosity "Eraserhead," and since 2005 has headed the David Lynch Foundation, a charity he created to fund the teaching of T.M. in schools. It's become a consuming mission.

He also has written a self-help memoir, "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity"; conceptualized and designed furnishings for a Paris nightclub-arts space called Silencio (named after the fright-house theater in "Mulholland Drive"); and released a solo CD, entitled "Crazy Clown Time." He and his wife are expecting a baby, who will be his fourth child.

Colleague Mel Brooks once called him "Jimmy Stewart from Mars." But despite his dark reputation, the former Eagle Scout is sincere, folksy and ha-ha funny. He uses the word "beautiful" to describe nearly everything.

The greatest thing my father left me was a love for cutting wood, my love for sawing, especially pine wood.

The most delicious food is far and away super-crisp, almost snapping-crisp bacon with two scrambled eggs, toasted hash browns, white toast with butter and jam, and coffee.

I have a coffee brand. But I'm not a businessman and I think my line of coffee will die the death this year. It's very hard to make a profit.

I have deep love for my Swatch watch.

I can't live without coffee, transcendental meditation, American Spirit cigarettes, a freedom to create ideas that flow and my sweet wife, Emily. And this business of just being able to work and think: It's really, really beautiful.


You don't need a special place tomeditate. You can transcend anywhere in the world. The unified field is here, and there, and everywhere. Maybe if you sat on a bed of nails to do it…no, not so much comfort. Find a comfy chair, though, close your eyes and away you go!

I don't paint the town red. But when I do go out, people always want to touch my hair. It happens every time.

I first started buttoning my shirt [all the way to the top] because, for some reason, my collarbone is very sensitive. And I don't like to feel wind on my collarbone.

The best cities of all are Los Angeles and Paris. They're where I feel most comfortable.


I used to deliver The Wall Street Journal in Los Angeles. I did it to support myself while making "Eraserhead." I'd pick up my papers at 11:30 at night. I had throws that were particularly fantastic. There was one where I'd release the paper, which would soar with the speed of the car and slam into the front door of this building, triggering its lobby lights—a fantastic experience. Another one I called "The Big Whale." There was a place, the Fish Shanty, on La Cienega. A big whale's mouth was the front door you entered through. I'd throw a block before it, and hit the paper directly into the mouth.


One designer I love is [the late] Raymond Loewy. He redesigned the Coca-Cola bottle that stuck, designed the 1963 Avanti Studebaker…and his locomotives were incredibly beautiful.

I am currently working on some paintings and music. I am also trying to catch ideas for my next feature film. But I haven't caught the right ones yet.

My advice to finger-painters would be to go with your intuition: it's action and reaction. I paint with my fingers quite a bit. A brush will do a certain thing…but your finger will do a different thing.


I recently collected a toy telephone. It's from the 1940s and made of metal.

People say my films are dark. But like lightness, darkness stems from a reflection of the world. The thing is, I get these ideas that I truly fall in love with. And a good movie idea is often like a girl you're in love with, but you know she's not the kind of girl you bring home to your parents, because they sometimes hold some dark and troubling things.