Lost Highway (1977)
Director: David Lynch
Cast: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Blake, Robert Loggia
Cinema as a gesture of pure magic, the subjugation of the subconscious through the experience of watching a film, filmmaking that uses technical means to create a cinematic mystagogy, a trance rendering atmosphere, a wicked ability to use film as a means of creating delusional and dark reflections of reality: this is what “Lost Highway” represents for the more adventurous audience members. For the more conventional members it is the almost incomprehensible story of a saxophonist who is imprisoned for murdering his wife and while in his cell, one night he suddenly transforms into an unknown young man.
Lynch asks of his audience to welcome this paradoxical narrative, to embrace the abrupt breach of logic and to single-handedly solve the riddles offered up by the plot. At the same time he successfully demands that they unconditionally submit to the film through the narration of a horror story which subtly plays with the notion that cinema as an art form finds its way into our subconscious while the film itself succeeds in using film terms to reenact situations that might be found in psychoanalysis-related books. But above all, throughout its duration, “Lost Highway” remains a dense nightmare from which one might escape if they wake up. The unforgettable sight of the diabolical Robert Blake, the yellow lines on an asphalt highway unfolding before us during the night on a journey to the unknown, the disturbing dark corridor of an apartment, a house in the middle of nowhere which explodes only to return to its original form are images which can not easily be erased from the mind. These images usher the viewer out of the cinema and persistently stay with him as he returns to the world outside. Loukas Katsikas