Honestly, I expected it to be a lackluster and overly perplexing series of symbolistic nonsense. Glad to see I was wrong, It's an intricate but easy to digest film that Lynch made bearing in mind three focal points: reality, fantasy and memory, and the horrors that surface when they intertwine.
A modern retelling of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari; a film about a man who commits a crime so unspeakable that he's forced to reimagine his life through the perspective of someone else. He can't escape it & soon the truth begins to bleed through into the fiction. It's a fascinating experiment, mysterious, unnerving & cinematic, & precursor to the same theme of psychological transmutation also found in Mulholland Drive.
OJ and a Doorbell ditcher, Deren and noir, lips and nips. Lynch mixes some strange influences into a strange, but surprisingly accessible movie. I'm torn on whether we are meant to be as horrified by the sex as the protagonist/s, whether this is a puerile nightmare or a criticism of sexualisation. It's scary regardless and perhaps the sole remnant of nineties goth culture that holds up.
1.5. Third-rate Lynch. Half a star for those glorious close-ups and the early scenes with Bill Pullman & Patricia Arquette (she really gets put through a lot in this one). Familiar Lynchian devices abound, but the creative epiphany is gone, and the material seems cheap and counterfeit.
CINEMA, 35mm _ rewatched, on a giant screen in the best possible conditions. I was amazed at the editing the way images fade into each other. Also appreciated the iconic film references (Vertigo and Double Idemnity among others). A real dark experience with unexpected soundtrack choices. It annouces in a way a lot of what is about to come in Mullholand Drive. Beautiful to dive in again 17 years later.