Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 6th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: France, January 15th, 1997
Director: David Lynch
Writers: David Lynch, Barry Gifford
Cast: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty
DVD Released: 2005
Approximate Running Time: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Cinema Club
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: $31.95
Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) hasn’t been himself lately. He suspects that his wife is having an affair. Things only get worse after he has bizarre encounter with a man who tells Fred that his is at his home at that very moment and when he calls how the man answers the phone. Fred paranoia increases when video tapes of the houses interior and of him and his wife sleeping start to show up on his doorstep. Somewhere along the way Fred’s wife is murdered and he becomes the police’s number one suspect. Fred is convicted of murdering his wife and one day on death row while awaiting his execution he mysteriously disappears and a young man named Peter Raymond Dayton (Balthazar Getty) now occupies his cell.
David Lynch more then any other modern filmmaker likes to test the patience of his audience with his complex stories that are as easy to solve as a puzzle the first time around. In 1997 Lynch would direct Lost highway which to date is his most challenging film with its schizophrenic plot. On the surface Lost Highway looks like a series of scattered ideas that were just thrown together. When it is exactly the opposite as the story is being told out of sequential order and in order to solve the mystery one must listen very closely to every word of dialog being said, because the dialog more then anything else in this film is the key to what is going on.
The acting as is par with all of Lynch’s films is extraordinary. He has a knack for creating some of the most unique characters in cinema history. One of many amazing scenes in the films involves an incident were Mr. Eddy is being tailgated by another driver. This scene is so important as it showcases Lynch’s dark sense of humor and it also serves as a moment when the viewer can take a deep breathe after what has to be Lynch’s coldest set up of his career.
None of the characters in this film are that likeable which is in direct contrast to virtually all of his other films which are filled with many characters that are so easy to latch onto.
The photography in Lost Highway is one of the films greatest assets and it is some of Lynch’s most picturesque compositions to date. There is more flesh on parade in Lost Highway then in any other of Lynch’s films and as usual he handles these scenes with class as they look sexy and never feel dirty. Lost Highway must be seen several times to fully appreciate it since there is just way to many ideas and themes to be digested in one viewing.
Cinema Club presents Lost Highway in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Lost Highway has been one of David Lynch’s most elusive releases on DVD when it comes to finding it in its original aspect ratio and a transfer that wasn’t plagued by something. This releases transfer was sourced from the French DVD release form MK2. The colors look vivid and nicely saturated. Flesh tone look healthy and lack levels are strong as there is an exceptional amount of detail present in every frame. Overall this transfer looks exceptional and it is the closet this film has look to immaculate on DVD to date.
This release comes with two audio options DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 and both audio mixes are in English. Both mixes offer crystal clear and sound that never sounds distorted. The DTS audio mix is the better of the two with its fuller sound that fully captures the mood of the film.
Extras for this release include a who’s who menu which can be located on the first DVD and they are essentially a few second clips for each character. The bulk of the extras are contained on the second DVD and they include the films theatrical and teaser trailers. Other extras include four interviews with David Lynch, Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette and Robert Loggia. These four interviews were all conducted during 1996 and include comments that can also be found in the making of featurette which is also include as an extra for this release. There is also an making of documentary that is comprised of mostly behind the scenes clips. Rounding out the extras is a 2005 interview with David Lynch about Lost Highway. This new interview with Lynch like the rest of the interviews’ included on this release are more fluff then anything really worthwhile.
I am a little more then disappointed with the extras included for this release as they are a real chore to sit through. This is best version of Lost Highway that we have to look forward to for any foreseeable time and I recommended this release if for only its exceptional audio/video presentation for the film.