Lost Highway

A feature-length Twilight Zone episode, filtered -- not entirely successfully -- though the sensibilities of David Lynch and his WILD AT HEART collaborator, Barry Gifford. Sax player Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) and his slinky, auburn-tressed wife Renee (Patricia Arquette) are stalked by a video camera-carrying creepy-crawler who prowls through their house...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A feature-length Twilight Zone episode, filtered -- not entirely successfully -- though the sensibilities of David Lynch and his WILD AT HEART collaborator, Barry Gifford. Sax player Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) and his slinky, auburn-tressed wife

Renee (Patricia Arquette) are stalked by a video camera-carrying creepy-crawler who prowls through their house and films them in their sleep, then deposits the tapes on their doorstep. All very eerie -- until Madison gets sent to death row for killing Renee, changes inexplicably into someone named Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty) and begins an affair with noir-ish, blue-nailed gangster's slut Alice Wakefield (Arquette again), and the whole thing spins off into some sort of chic, isn't this decadent? spookshow. This time, the Devil isn't in the details -- he's prowling around in the

person of Robert Blake in chalky, CABARET-era Joel Grey whiteface -- but the fun is. Lovecraftian shadows on the wall. NATURAL BORN KILLERS-style montages featuring shock-rockers Marilyn Manson and Twiggy Ramirez writhing in the neon slime. A just-plain-horrifying cameo by Richard Pryor, along with the late Jack Nance, John Waters' gutter-diva Mink Stole and tattooed rock-boy Henry Rollins. The look is to die for and the soundtrack is drop-dead cool, but there's something distastefully synthetic (as well as a bit sophomoric) about the proceedings. As to the story, it goes off-road at the moment Pullman is transformed into the sullen Getty and it never comes back.

In 2003, Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth and librettist Elfriede Jelinek transformed Lynch and Barry Gifford's enigmatic screenplay into an opera. The words of the opera's first, relatively straightforward, half were spoken, while the second half, which Neuwirth called "the phantasma," was sung. Neuwirth's Lost Highway premiered at Helmut List Hall in Graz, Austria; ironically, Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown as well as Neuwirth's.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A feature-length Twilight Zone episode, filtered -- not entirely successfully -- though the sensibilities of David Lynch and his WILD AT HEART collaborator, Barry Gifford. Sax player Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) and his slinky, auburn-tressed wife Renee (P… (more)

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