Lost Highway | Chicago Reader

Lost Highway

Rated R 134 minutes 1997

It's questionable how much Barry Gifford has benefited the work of David Lynch—either in furnishing the source material for Wild at Heart or in collaborating on this even more noir-heavy script—but this 1996 feature was Lynch's most audacious break from conventional narrative since Eraserhead. The enigmatic plot, shaped like a Möbius strip, concerns a jazz musician (Bill Pullman) who inexplicably changes into a much younger garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) after possibly killing his wife (Patricia Arquette). The wife seems to have been reincarnated as a gangster's girlfriend (Arquette again), who pursues the mechanic. Despite the shopworn noir imagery and teenage notions of sex, this beautifully structured (if rigorously nonhumanist) explosion of expressionist effects has a psychological coherence that goes well beyond logical story lines, and Lynch turns it into an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. With Robert Blake (as Arquette's eerie doppelganger), Gary Busey, Lucy Butler, Robert Loggia, Jack Nance, and Richard Pryor in a somewhat out-of-kilter cameo.

Film Credits

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch and Barry Gifford

Producer: Deepak Nayar, Tom Sternberg and Mary Sweeney

Cast: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, Robert Blake, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Richard Pryor, Lisa Boyle, Michael Massee, Jack Nance, Jack Kehler, Henry Rollins, Gene Ross, Scott Coffey, Gary Busey, Robert Loggia, John Roselius, Lou Eppolito, Michael Shamus Wiles, Mink Stole, Leonard Termo, Jenna Maetlind, Ivory Ocean, David Byrd, F. William Parker, Guy Siner, Alexander Folk, Lucy Butler, Carl Sundstrom, John Solari and Al Garrett

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