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Lost Highway (1997)
Masterpiece psychedelic noir.
Saxophonist Fred Madison and his wife, Rene, begin once to receive anonymous wrappers with videotapes. On them spouses, in whose relations and without that there is a tension hidden from the eyes, see their home and themselves, as if shot by a hidden camera. But on the last tape something was shot that makes you feel numb, namely, the murder of Fred Rene. However, before this message arrives, Fred meets at the club a strange demonic man, who seriously asserts that he is currently at Fred's house. In proof - he stretches the phone and offers to call. Tomorrow Fred is arrested.
In prison on the eve of the execution, Fred turns into another person - Peter's mechanic - and acquires a completely different appearance. Therefore, the guards have nothing left but to release the unknown to the will. Here begins a second story, as it were - the relationship between Peter and platinum blonde Alice, who resembles Rene as two drops of water. After a series of bloody misadventures with Peter, a reverse metamorphosis occurs, and he again becomes Fred.
Lynch, following his rules, does not answer the (for many people mistakenly main) question: do we deal with a split consciousness of the main character, or is everything shown here a story of mental insanity dressed in a mystical aura? The director, who increasingly actively uses surrealistic images in his paintings, addressed to the viewer's subconsciousness, surpassed himself this time. As a result, "The Lost Way" has become perhaps the most hypnotic and fascinating of his creation.
Like a drug, the film draws into the pool of unknown sensations and on this plotless journey offers neither a climax nor a denouement. An outlandish psychedelic puzzle, addressed to something vague, but threatening and disturbing, is surreal before an excess, before idiosyncrasy. And this is its essence and its beauty.
The tangible impact of video art, the absence of a tangible reality, a series of substitutions, a tendency to peep, the indispensable presence of a femme fatale, plus the whole is the magic work of the operator Peter Deming and unforgettable music by Angelo Badalamenti.
The cinema of the 1990s began to search harder and harder for the energy hidden in the celluloid. As a result, this energy began to crowd out the usual artistic images that were previously developed mainly in European cinema. Lynch, at first glance, seems to be taking on serious topics, but bravely goes beyond the limits of common sense, balancing somewhere in the dim space between real and fantasy, copyright cinema and purely genre.