The City of Absurdity Papers & Essayes
Lost Highway


Nenad Ilic

Director: David Lynch.
Screenplay: David Lynch, Barry Gifford.
Actors: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Gate, Robert Loggia, Robert Black.

For movie fans, David Lynch is famous for his weird movies like "Blue Velvet" and "Wild At Heart" and to wide public for his famous TV series "Twin Peaks" that shows unforgettable union of director's weirdness with an American soap opera. For years I have had a problem with accepting morbidity built in Lynch's talent (many says ingeniousity). I have been surprised when I realised that Lynch is not revolted academic Englishman-In-States, which was the only reason to accept Lynch's film puzzles I was put before.

From the moment when Orthodoxy opened my eyes for an spiritual dimension of the world, I started to experience Lynch as dangerous and sick poisoner. One of rare film - makers that constantly pushing away to the Dark Side. Lynch always focused himself at fallen spirits of Dark Side. Nobody like him did not succeeded to see in everything that surrounded him the details of Prince of Darkness' Empire. The problem was in Lynch's not willing to open an way to the God, to let any light in Darkness' that he created even since he started as a painter.

"Good" characters in his films are always nearly feebleminded. Positive thoughts and ideas belongs to Lynch's version of New Age religion and nobody like him did not laugh at the idea of World's power of love. We should only remember Tibetan split in "Twin Peaks" agent Cooper or decision of one of the characters to become good. Humour that accompany Lynch's morbidity supposed us to accept his dark view to the world and to reconcile with that.

In the newest film "Lost Highway" Lynch got too far. In one of darkest movies that are ever seen (Lynch himself called this film as a 'noir - horror thriller of the twenty first century') Lynch rarely let us laugh. He shut down the only valve which - until now - he used for a compromise with a cinema box offices.

A film plot is full of puzzles that confuses auditorium. Jazz sax player seems that killed his woman and than before he was executed he turns into young handsome auto mechanic. He met blond copy of his dark-haired woman. That woman is a lover of a gangster that is obsessed with pornography and noiseless motor car and, above all, he obeys traffic signs. Final plot is a presence of paleface character without eyebrows (The Mystery Man) that could not be anyone else than Devil himself. The reason this movie makes a masterpiece is power of art that deeply involves us in a state of the world closed for God, and drives us to despair. Then we feel nauseous, and we want to run away from that kind of the world. In a thanks to carefully selected colours, light (or darkness, better say), textures and developed spaces and human skin, as for strong Angelo Badalamenti's music, instead of passive wiewers we became divers in a Sea of Darkness, struggling for some air. I can't remember that, even watching the scariest film sights felt physical sickness. In Lynch's movie that happened to me, watching the scene of phone bell of the dark room's floor! Lynch's ingeniousity (now I'm joining the club of those who says that he is a genius) the presence of Evil in a Godless world is present even in the scene of ordinary everyday situations. A risky passions that film industry constantly accustoms us to, in Lynch's film are throwing us to a hopeless infinity and lost highway. In that highway we are driving faster and faster through an Eternal Darkness, following the pointless line, and when we are driving, we all feel sleepy and we can't and should not get asleep. On that highway, we meet each other, but not to get close: but that we in mysterious, timeless spot get into there's nightmare and then we feel lonely ever since.

Not only auditorium but people from film industry and critics also are mad at Lynch. He exceed a limits of film. He is accused for degeneration of his own parody and one critic says that during film projection he wanted to leave and go to the nearest church so that he could take back his lost soul. That was the best description of the movie I could find. Lynch in his 'lost highway' actually helped us not to accept abandoning of God.

The compromise for the Mystery Man keeps us without soul, lonesome in Eternal, Dark, and 'lost highway'. Lynch succeed in something that even twentieth century art give up with - that we, through the arts survive consequences of spiritual chaos. After the projection of 'lost highway' we can't be peaceful and satisfied. In front of us is painstaking but only possible way – a way to the God.

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© Mike Hartmann