People not interested in abstract art, simply need to stop watching it.
" I’ve only seen it once, but what makes you rank it ahead of Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire?"
Those two are going for the same thing, but Lynch is less invested in them (artistically speaking) and therefore has less at stake.
Matt, that’s interesting. Not looking to pick a fight or start endless back and forth, but what makes you say that Lynch is less invested in MULHOLLAND DR and INLAND EMPIRE? Is he more invested in LOST HIGHWAY?
It feels like more is at stake in Lost Highway. The story is more emotional. I don’t know what Lynch had invested in it but for me he pushes all the right buttons. The film just gets under your skin in a way that Mulholland Drive doesn’t. I think the best Lynch films get under your skin in an uncanny and uncomfortable way.
Mulholland Drive is a nice save of a failed TV pilot, but it’s basically the Whitman’s Sampler of Lynchian plots, tropes, imagery, etc. (though Naomi Watts is fantastic), and Inland Empire is a nice recasting of same in the possibilities of DV (and Laura Dern is fantastic), but it’s a work of (and about) exhaustion. The reach of Lost Highway, on the other hand, exceeds its grasp, and it feels more, excuse the pun, driven by the need to express what it expresses.
I’d pick Inland Empire over Mulholland Drive, although I like them both (and Blue Velvet is also great). As far as having more or less at stake I got the impression that with Empire Lynch was laying his subconscious bare for everyone to see. Inland Empire gives me the willies.
Matt, well said on all counts. Thanks.
I always rather felt that LOST HIGHWAY was somewhat autobiographical — Lynch the artist morphing into Lynch the Hollywood mechanic.
Hadn’t really thought of it in those terms. To me it’s sort of bubbles of Lynch floating in a stream of Gifford.
I agree with your thoughts about Mulholland Drive. It feels like a very broad grab bag of all things Lynchian. Not to say it’s bad, but average, and again, for me a bit overrated.
Yeah, to clarify, I like all of the above well enough (and most of Lynch’s other work as well), I just don’t think that those others are at the level of Lost Highway or Eraserhead.
Lost Highway is very good, but for me MD just brings such emotional resonance to the table, largely from naomi watts. That’s a key element though that not all of Lynch’s films can claim.
I think Nick Cage and Laura Dern give off a lot of emotional resonance in Wild at Heart.
^Yup, MD certainly packs the biggest emotional punch out of all Lynch’s films (though I have yet to see The Elephant Man, Dune, and The Straight Story). Lost Highway is good, but probably my least favorite Lynch. There’s something about the tone and feel of the film that I don’t really like, but I can’t put my finger on it. Also, it’s the only Lynch film I’ve seen which doesn’t deal, in some way, with the corruption or satire of a typically innocent topic.
I also think Badalmenti’s best work is in Twin Peaks and Mulholland, playing a major role in why I like those two the best :)
MD score has something like between touching and disturbing, one of my favs.
Bobby Wise: I still don’t understand how it is that Blue Velvet is becoming underrated.
I don’t understand how a movie in the Sight and Sound top 100 can be considered underrated.
In any case, I’d take MULHOLLAND DR. over BLUE VELVET without hesitation. It’s a lot more emotionally moving and poignant.
Wow — all these references to MULHOLLAND DR. being so emotionally involving and even poignant, I just didn’t see that at all. I found it Lynch’s single coldest and least emotionally involving film. It makes BARRY LYNDON look like IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Roscoe, I think the emotions people are referring to are horror and sadness mostly.
Though come to think of it there’s lots of joy at the beginning.
I have seen all of Lynch’s features…except Lost Highway. Until reading this thread, I had no interest in seeing it either. Thanks, Matt and Roscoe.
Dark — right, I’m certainly not discounting horror and sadness as being valid emotions and or emotional responses. But beyond a little twinge during the Club Silencio sequence, the film’s highlight, I never felt even horror or sadness. The film’s far too studied and gimmicky for that. Which I’m sure may be the point, but it never feels like it is the point.
Your post reminds me of a friend who hates Scorsese with a passion — she keeps saying that Scorsese’s never brought a real emotion to the screen. I was patient for a while and then I pointed out that there are few more emotional films than RAGING BULL.
Nathan, I haven’t seen LOST HIGHWAY in a long time, and have been wanting to revisit it. I don’t think anyone is saying it is a masterpiece, but there’s some interesting stuff in it, to be sure.
Am I the only one who can’t really stand Badalamenti?
DFFOO — what’s your beef with Angelo?
“But beyond a little twinge during the Club Silencio sequence, the film’s highlight, I never felt even horror or sadness. The film’s far too studied and gimmicky for that. Which I’m sure may be the point, but it never feels like it is the point.”
Yeah, to me that’s the emotional peak of the film, but it’s also immediately undercut by Lynchian reflexivity—“no hay bando”—so he’s giving you emotional expressivity and highlighting the artificiality of it at the same time. It’s a bravura sequence, but its emotional impacts are filtered (to me, anyhow) through an intellectual effect, and overall it just feels like a compendium film that doesn’t add anything new to Lynch’s repetoire.
In some ways Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive can be thought of as male/female versions of one another, and both hinge upon the idea of a “fugue” state where one character becomes another, so they can be seen, I suppose, as sort of companion pieces to one another, but Lost Highway is more intuative in construction and, in terms of noirishness, several shades darker.
@Matt – Okay, that makes it sound pretty interesting. I’ll be out of town for the rest of the week, but I’ll try to take a look at it next week.
what’s your beef with Angelo?
I mean, he’s alright… but his Lynch scores are all pretty boring. My biggest beef with him is that if he’s scoring a Lynch film, it means Lynch isn’t scoring a Lynch film. And that’s something I can’t abide, given the sonic brilliance that is Eraserhead.
I can’t help being more moved by Mulholland Dr. than Lost Highway. I also find it easier to unravel, that it deals interestingly with the Hollywood machine, and that it has less annoying direction (in every sense) than LH.
But I really like Lost Highway and its ‘feel’. I think it was the first Lynch film that I saw. Don’t dig Balthazar Getty.
Not sure if I prefer Blue Velvet, it loses me at the end. Lynch has been criticised for his males being corrupted in some way by females and sex. But he has a genuine unironic interest in both depravity and corruption (admitting that it was him who wanted to hide in a woman’s closet), and sex and beauty.
I suppose this is probably the 12,767th thread on this very topic. Sigh! Can we please stop comparing and questioning which is the better Lynch film: Mulholland vs. Blue Velvet, Blue Velvet vs. Inland Empire, Lost Highway vs. Mulholland. Jesus Freakin Jehosephat! Filmmaking is not an Olympic Sport. David Lynch would certainly not approve of this fodder!
I’m David Lynch.
And I certainly approve of this fodder.
Mathew — nobody digs Balthazar Getty.