Friday, July 31, 2020

Wild at Heart - "This Whole World's Wild at Heart and Weird on Top."

Wild at Heart, David Lynch’s surreal (what Lynch isn’t surreal except for the aptly titled Straight Story?) Bonnie and Clyde meets Wizard of Oz mash up, is one of my favorite Lynch films. I dig the simplicity of the plot (Sailor [Nicolas Cage] and Lula [Laura Dern] attempt to be together despite jail stints and Lula’s psychotic mother plotting against them with assassins and whatnot). But more than anything, I enjoy the constant movement necessary for a road movie because Lynch never has time to slow down and wallow in the weirdness, and neither does the audience. You’re forced to just go with it, and if you can embrace that, which I did, then it ends being Lynch’s most enjoyable (not necessarily best) film. I bought Wild at Heart a while back and never got around to watching it. After revisiting Lost Highway a few weeks ago, I figured it was time to watch this crazy movie again. Here are my thoughts.  

The Film That Fixed, or Broke, Nicolas Cage

I’ve written more than enough about Nicolas Cage over the years, and at this point it’s become a bit of a cliché to celebrate the craziness of the eccentric actor. Everyone gets it: Cage is crazy, great, terrible, etc. Obviously, I’m a fan, and I do think of him as endlessly entertaining, even when he swings and misses. But when he swings and connects, it’s something very special. Wild at Heart is one of those connections.

At first, I was just going to focus on how David Lynch and Cage are perfect for each other because they’re both so weird, but that’s a bit too obvious. I don’t think I’d be breaking new ground by claiming these two dudes are on the strange side. So I wasn’t going to write about Cage’s performance much at all aside from pointing out a few moments I particularly enjoyed. Then I came across this bit of IMDb trivia: Nic Cage states that Wild at Heart helped him get away from method acting. David Lynch's spontaneous re-writes and the film's odd characters helped him be more playful with acting.

If that bit of trivia is true (for the sake of this article, I’m going to say it is, but I have not come across this fact anywhere else and, actually, the behind-the-scenes stuff I saw brought up how he stayed in character on set, but oh well...), then Wild at Heart is the film that broke, or fixed, Cage. Cage’s method acting had already produced a few great performances (Raising Arizona and Vampire’s Kiss are my favorites leading up to Wild at Heart), but it wasn’t until this movie that you start to see roles in which it seems like Cage is willing to change things up with the characters he portrays. That’s not to say that he didn’t bring something to the parts he played, he obviously did, especially with Vampire’s Kiss. But with Wild at Heart, he was allowed to deviate from the character on the page. 

The best example of this is the inclusion of the snakeskin jacket Cage wears. He asked Lynch if he could wear it in the film, and then it became this recurring element in the movie. It’s not a coincidence that Cage’s line associated with the jacket concerns “individuality” and “personal freedom.” By wearing the jacket in this film, Cage was freed to start altering his roles in the future, for better or worse. 

Certainly part of the reason Cage was/is allowed to do whatever he wants at times is because of his undulating star power. But I think the bigger part is that director’s see the value in letting Cage have a bit of freedom. Because of this freedom, we not only get exaggerated moments in big films (his moment dressed as a priest in Face/Off comes to mind), but we also get performances like Deadfall, which feel like complete Cage creations. 

Cage’s performance in Deadfall is why his change after Wild at Heart could be seen as both breaking and fixing him. For me, it fixed him and allowed for his greatest, most entertaining work. For others, his eccentric performances might come across as distracting, over-the-top disasters that ruin the movie. I feel sorry for anyone who feels the latter. I’m glad Cage put on that literal and figurative snakeskin jacket, and I hope he never takes it off. 

Embracing the Oddness

This is only the second time I have seen Wild at Heart, and I had forgotten how darkly funny and wacky this movie was. I found myself simply enjoying the film, which is odd for me, as I tend to try to decipher David Lynch movies.

Normally, the Random Thoughts section for any movie, but especially a David Lynch movie, would be the longest section. But when I got to the end of Wild at Heart, I realized I didn’t stop very often to make note of what was happening while I was watching. I couldn’t believe I had so few random thoughts about this batshit crazy Wizard of Oz sex fever dream. I think the all out assault of weird shit throughout the film was too much for me to stop and dwell on any of it. I mean, we’re talking about a movie in which a contract killer manager(?) takes a phone call while sitting on the toilet, drinking tea, and watching a nearly naked woman dance for him. When that’s going on in what should be a simple scene, I just can’t stop to try to decipher any of it because by the time I start to have a thought, something else even wackier happens. And that’s why I love this movie. It’s Lynch unhinged just doing whatever the fuck he wants, and I enjoy the film by just embracing the oddness of it rather than allowing myself to be distracted by it.

It’s one of the only weird Lynch movies that I can just turn my brain off and enjoy. I don’t feel the need to “figure” it out. I think it’s his most simply entertaining film, even with it being one of the weirdest at the same time. Even with all the Wizard of Oz stuff, I didn’t feel the need to try to assign each character to their Oz counterpart. It’s just a movie that is heavily influenced by that film to the point that it’s kind of a new, weirder and more adult version of that film.

The fact that this is a kind of version of Wizard of Oz means that the film has to be constantly moving. There’s not much time for Lynch to dwell on anything, no matter how strange and interesting it might be. Wild at Heart comes at you fast, and the two hour run time feels like an hour at most. Because of this, it wasn’t until it was over that I had time to gather my thoughts and consider some of the crazy shit going on in this movie. I wanted to list some of my favorite weird moments:

  • Harry Dean Stanton watching a nature show and growling and shit.
  • The mom covering herself in lipstick.
  • The constant heavy metal riff segue.
  • “Fucking field, let’s dance!”
  • Willem Dafoe’s fucking teeth.
  • Laura Dern just puking on the floor and leaving it.
  • Crispin Glover as Cousin Dell...there’s too much going on it that sequence to narrow it down but here goes: dressing as Santa in the middle of the year, living in fear of aliens wearing black rubber gloves, making a hundred sandwiches, putting cockroaches in his underwear and...on his anus, and then disappearing.
  • There are plenty of references to Wizard of Oz throughout (with characters even talking about the movie multiple times), but things get truly crazy when Glenda the Good Witch shows up at the end to teach Sailor to embrace love.

And those are just what come to mind right now. I feel like I could make a list like this after each viewing, and it would be totally different. Wild at Heart is the fucked up movie that keeps on giving.

Why Do I Own This?

I buy any David Lynch movie that even remotely interests me because I know I’ll need to see it multiple times to truly appreciate it. I need to watch this one a few more times in the future.

Random Thoughts

Laura Dern always impresses me in her Lynch films. She just seems so at home in her roles, which is incredibly impressive when comparing this role to her part in Blue Velvet. She is convincing as both an innocent all-American small town girl and as an over-sexed Dorothy. I’m glad she finally won an Oscar for Marriage Story, but she deserved one at least thirty years ago.

A good triple feature would be this movie with Raising Arizona and Natural Born Killers. Of course, I’d need a lobotomy after watching all three of those in one day, but the experience would be worth it.

That is quite a beating to start a film. It definitely sets the tone for this fucked up story.

"My snakeskin jacket! Thanks, baby! Did I ever tell you that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom?" 
I feel like Cage has said this in his everyday life as well.

...and according to IMDb trivia the jacket was actually Cage's and he asked if he could wear it in the movie.

"Sounds like old Dell was more than just a little bit confused, Peanut."

"Lordy, what was that all about?" I think that could be the tagline for almost every Lynch movie.

Bobby Peru is the skeeziest character Willem Dafoe has ever player, and that's fucking saying something.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

No Country for Old Men - "What You Got Ain't Nothing New."

I was a guest on my friend Robie Malcomson’s podcast, Knowing You Know Nothing, (click the link for the episode) this week to discuss No Country for Old Men. As usual, to prepare for the podcast I wrote an article before we recorded. So this article will be a bit more rambling than usual since it’s kind of serving as my notes for the podcast. But I think most of my stuff is rambling, so this article is probably just like all the rest...but with a bonus podcast you can check out.

“What You Got Ain’t Nothing New.”

No Country for Old Men is mainly about an aging lawman struggling to accept what the world has become. Of course, it’s not just people in law enforcement that struggle with the changing world; it’s all of us. For me, I remember it happening pretty early in a sports-related way. Whenever I went from one level to the next (like junior high to high school), I would think, “Man, they have it so much better than we had it.” It was essentially the “back in my day” bullshit we all grow up hearing. 

Things do change over time, but that doesn’t mean they are worse. If I checked game tape on basketball over the past few decades, the style of the play would be different, but not worse. A lot of this type of complaining is technology-based. As people age, they tend to prefer the more comfortable method they use for communicating and whatnot, so they’ll talk about the “simpler” times before everyone had a phone in their pocket.

Ed Tom in No Country certainly yearns for the simpler days of the past, as the film begins with his narration about how some sheriff’s didn’t even pack a gun. In his mind, the past was more peaceful, but now, with the drugs and everything, the world has become much more violent and confusing. It’s not until the end of the film that Ed Tom realizes that it’s not so much the world that has changed; it’s him. His uncle, Ellis, sums it up far better than I can: “What you got ain’t nothing new. This country’s hard on people. Can’t stop what’s coming. It ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”

Ed Tom finishes the film by recounting a dream he had about his long-dead father passing him on horseback and knowing that his father would be waiting for him ahead. I always thought that dream meant Ed Tom had accepted that he had aged beyond this world and felt comforted knowing that his father had gone through the same thing and would be waiting for him. His final line, “Then I woke up,” signifies that he’s at least aware of his situation now and has found a little peace in a hard world.

Accepting the chaos and Chigurhs of the world is something everyone throughout time could benefit from. When I was outlining this article, I thought I would focus on how crazy the world is right now and write about how this film can help someone realize that the world has always been crazy and chaotic. I still believe that, but I think focusing on that would defeat the point. It would assume that the world now is more chaotic than it’s ever been, and while that might seem like it’s the case, I can think of plenty of other historical events/time periods that would make the world feel less certain than it is today (the Holocaust, slavery, 9/11, JFK assassination, the Civil War, etc.). And I find it silly and disrespectful to try to compare horrible events to see which one is worse. 

Yes, learning the same lesson that Ed Tom learns in this film would be beneficial for a lot of people right now, but it would also be beneficial for a lot of people at any time in history. We all need to accept the title of the film and realize that this is not a country, or world, for old people. There are children growing up right now (my own two among them) that don’t see this current world as chaotic or different, even. This is just the world to them because this world is for them. Talk to them in twenty to thirty years, though, and they’ll probably tell you about how this chaotic world of ours right now is much simpler than the bullshit happening to their world in the future. And if I’m there to talk to them about it, I’ll just remind them of the lesson I took away from this movie: the world may change a bit, but people have and will always suck.

The Terminator, as Directed by the Coen Brothers.

It really hit me watching No Country this time how similar it is to The Terminator. The easy comparison is that Chigurh is machine-like and lethal like the Terminator and Llewelyn is the scrappy Kyle Reese, doing all he can survive.

There are certainly plenty of thematic differences between the films, but the long segments of tense cat-and-mouse interactions along with the scenes of preparation and self-surgery are spot-on Terminator. It makes for an interesting watch, seeing how the Coens would’ve made The Terminator.

As far as Chigurh as the Terminator goes, I actually think he’s a bit scarier because of his obsession with chance. It’s one thing to be a machine on a mission, but his strange coin flip game is a cruel addition. But then again, death in general is the same. Although I’ve never thought of Chigurh as a simple representative of death, but more as a personification of the brutal chaos of the world. In that way, Chigurh is more realistic. I can imagine someone like him existing, whereas the Terminator is more of a science fiction fantasy.

It’s pretty obvious, and plenty of others have made this comparison (as evidenced by the video below), but it stuck out to me a bit more this time for some reason.

Why Do I Own This?

I own almost every Coen Brothers movie (except Buster Scruggs [which seems silly to own since it’s a Netflix movie] and Hail, Caesar!, which has not grown on me enough yet. I used to be a completionist, which is why I own Intolerable Cruelty. All that written, I’d own this no matter who the filmmakers were. I believe this is easily in the top ten of the past twenty years.

Random Thoughts

I’ve seen this movie at least a dozen times, and this is the first time I noticed that Llewelyn’s first line is, “You hold still,” which is very similar to what Chigurh says to the unfortunate motorist in the previous scene. One is killing a man, the other is killing an animal. I suppose this film is asking if there’s a difference.

Gas station and grocery store scenes in period films always bother me because they rarely get the product packaging right. In this case, the Jack Link’s beef jerky in the background should not be there since the movie takes place in 1980 and Jack Link’s wasn’t founded until 1986. Not to mention that there’s no way the packaging looked like that in 1986. It’s a pet peeve that I wish I could ignore. Who else would let beef jerky take them out of such an amazing scene?

“Age will flatten a man.”

I love how the trailer park office lady says, “Did you not hear me?”

“You telling me he shot this boy in the head then went digging around in there with a pocketknife?”
“Sir, I don’t want to picture that.”
“I don’t either.”

Hotel clerk, incredulous: “That’s got two double beds!”

This is a movie largely comprised of scenes of preparation and tension. Come to think of it, that’s another reason why this movie reminds me of The Terminator more and more each time I watch it.

It’s also an all-time Coen Brothers film in regards to scenes with people working behind counters and desks.

“Is Carson Wells there?”
“Not in the sense that you mean.”

“They torture them first. Not sure why. Maybe the television set was broken.”

“But that’s what it took, you notice, to get someone’s attention. Digging graves in the backyard didn’t bring any.”

“Oh. That’s all right. I laugh myself sometimes. Ain’t a whole lot else you can do.”

“It’s certainly true that it’s a story.”

At first, I was annoyed that Llewelyn died off screen. Now I see that the shift in narrative focus is part of the point. People die and the focus drifts to the next person.

I was confused for a while about where exactly Chigurh is when Ed Tom goes back to the hotel. But you can see briefly that the lock to the next room has been shot out, as well. So I believe he’s waiting in the next hotel room and takes off while Ed Tom is looking through Llewelyn’s room.

“I always thought that when I got older, God would come into my life.” I’m not so certain now, but there was a time when I just thought older people were religious because they were old, and that’s what you do when you’re old, and that when I got older I would become much more religious. I’m not exactly old, so perhaps this will still be the case when/if I’m elderly.

The “vanity” line from Uncle Ellis really speaks to me. The idea that it’s vain to assume the world is at its worst during your lifetime is something I use to comfort myself from time to time. When I was little, I used to be very worried about the end of the world (the impending year 2000 was a point of concern for me for a while). Eventually, I came to the realization that this current generation of humanity is nothing special, so why should the world end while we’re here? It’s a bit of a messed up way to comfort yourself, sure, but it works for me. Why would the world end while we’re here? We suck too much for the apocalypse. An apocalypse would be wasted on us!

When I watched this in the theaters the first time, some dido behind me said, “Are you serious?” at the end. Yeah, they’re serious, you fucking moron. Look at the title. It’s called No Country for Old Men, not The Coen Brothers Made a Terminator Movie and That’s All. I hate to claim that someone doesn’t “get” something, but if you watched this movie and came away disappointed by the end, which encapsulates what the movie is actually about, didn’t get it.

Here are a couple paragraphs of notes that didn’t make the cut for the first section, but I didn’t want to just delete them:

This is why we die. If we live too long, this world changes too much for us to handle. It happens sooner for some people. For simple folk like myself, I’m able to step away from it mentally and focus on other things, like parenting, video games, movies, work, etc. Life sometimes seems like one big distraction from the world.

But I don’t believe humans have become worse over time. We just know more things now. I imagine plenty of fucked up terrible shit happened even back in the cave dwelling days of humanity. But all we have to go by are some cave paintings of deer and shit. Now, we can just go back through someone’s Twitter history to find out how big of a piece of shit they are. We’ve always been awful, now we’re just better at letting everyone know, and, worse, a lot of people are proud of it.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

"Lost Highway" - "I like to remember things my own way."

Actually wanted to write about Wild at Heart, but I guess I let someone borrow it, because I cannot find it. So here’s Lost Highway.

Update: I found my copy of Wild at Heart. So I’ll write about that one next month.

David Lynch’s “Difficult” Films

Years ago, when I first watched a “difficult” film from a filmmaker like David Lynch or Terrence Malick I hated it. This was the case with Mulholland Dr. and other films that follow non-traditional narratives. My impulse at the time, and to this day to a slight extent, is to be dismissive of a film that feels intentionally confusing. When a film isn’t very accessible, it annoys me, but only if I find that the film doesn’t have much to say and uses confusion to mask this fault. With David Lynch, I always know that there’s a lot going in amongst the weirdness, and while I prefer his more straightforward films (Blue Velvet is one of my favorite movies of all time), I am willing to watch movies like Lost Highway multiple times even if I hate them after the first viewing.

With Lost Highway, I was taken in by the trailer. I was thirteen at the time, and I prided myself on liking weird shit when it came to movies. The preview made this movie look so cool and mysterious; I had to know what the fuck was going on with Robert Blake’s character. After finally getting to watch Lost Highway, I came away thoroughly confused. I can’t remember exactly, but I’m sure my initial response amounted to, “What the fuck did I just watch?” I just did not get it. I didn’t understand how Bill Pullman turned into Balthazar Getty and everyone just seemed to go with it. And was there time travel? And who was Robert Blake supposed to be? And...just...what? Despite my disappointment, I knew there was something more to the movie (the soundtrack was amazing, at the very least), but it was beyond me. I didn’t write off Lost Highway so much as I told myself, “Let’s try this one again in a few years.”

A few years later, Mulholland Dr. came out, and I had the same reaction, although I wasn’t as drawn to the film as I was to Lost Highway. In fact, the praise for Mulholland Dr. actually made me want to rewatch Lost Highway. I was completely confused by Mulholland Dr., but with Lost Highway, I knew, somewhere deep in my brain, that I had a theory that would make the movie make sense for me. (I plan on revisiting Mulholland Dr. soon, since I haven’t watched it since it first came out. I imagine I’ll enjoy it much more the next time around.)

I’ll get to that theory in the next section, but I wanted to explain a bit more why this movie sticks with me more than the more beloved Mulholland Dr. Lost Highway is simply cool. I think this is easily Lynch’s coolest movie. The creepiness of Robert Blake, the cast, the dark mysteriousness of it all, I just found it all to be very cool. But the soundtrack and score resonate with me the most. The sound design in general of the film is extremely effective. Many moments are truly jarring and disturbing largely thanks to abrupt changes in sound (the quick cut to the saxophone performance, the overly loud phones, etc). But the soundtrack makes the film memorable. The haunting Bowie song during the opening credits, the multiple uses of Rammstein for brutal/dangerous moments, Lou Reed’s cover of “This Magic Moment” during Alice’s introduction; all of these moments stick with me years later. 

Because of all these elements, Lost Highway was a film I know I liked even though I didn’t understand it at first. Lynch’s films, like any art, can be enjoyed without being understood. But it’s his style that makes me want to understand. And when it comes to Lynch’s “difficult” films, Lost Highway has the most style.

Personal Theory

“In the East, the Far East, when a person is sentenced to death, they’re sent to a place where they can’t escape, never knowing when an executioner may step up behind them and fire a bullet into the back of their head.”

The above quote is spoken by the mysterious man played by Robert Blake, and it plays heavily into my personal theory about Lost Highway. Despite my confusion after first watching the film, I still found myself thinking that I might be able to figure the film out. This is why I prefer this film to Mulholland Dr. For whatever reason, at the time after watching Mulholland, I just wasn’t taken in enough by the film to want to puzzle out a meaning behind it. Maybe because it was even less straightforward than Lost Highway, in my eyes. With Lost Highway, I knew if I watched it again I would figure something out. Here is my simplistic reading of the movie.

Lost Highway is all about a man’s mind right before, during, and after being executed by electric chair. As far as I’m concerned, there may be nothing real in this movie aside from the fact that Fred kills his wife and is executed for it. I would argue that the events actually take place up to the moment Fred transmogriphies into Pete except that the movie begins (and ends) with Fred telling...Fred that “Dick Laurent is dead” after going through all of the events of the film. Because of that element, not to mention the fucked up interaction with the Mystery Man at the party, I believe everything is happening in Fred’s mind. He’s reliving these moments, and they can’t be trusted exactly, because as he says at one point when asked about why he hates camcorders, “I like to remember things my own way.” (Of course, per my theory, he’s saying this in his own mind, so does he believe this? Better not to delve too deeply into that line of thinking…)

I believe that Fred does in fact kill his wife and get executed for it because of all the lightning strikes throughout the film post-transmogrification. Each time lightning appears, Fred/Pete becomes more distressed and reality seems to blur a bit more. This is his brain dying through electricity. Fred is working out his psyche and what happened to him, and his execution keeps getting in the way. A major reason why I think this is because they make a point to state that Fred is set to die by electric chair, even though the film takes place in California, and the electric chair has never been used as a form of execution there. The electric chair is the method of execution because Lynch wanted to use the lightning as a signifier. 

My initial problem with my own theory was time. How is all this happening during an execution? But time in the subconscious is different than how we perceive time while awake. You can be asleep and dreaming and months can seem to pass by in the dream, but you wake up and it’s been five minutes. I also like a theory about the afterlife I first encountered of The Eric Andre Show of all places. Dominic Monaghan was the guest. When asked what he thinks happens when you die, he said that Timothy Leary had a theory that since your brain is active for around ten minutes after death, and dreams that feel like hours are only a few seconds of brain activity, then perhaps the after life is simply your brain dreaming for what seems to be an eternity. With that theory in mind, this makes the hallucination while dying or even after theory a bit more plausible. (I’d attribute the afterlife theory directly to Leary, but I can’t find a source anywhere, and I’ve never read anything by him that confirms Monaghan’s quote.)

Because of this, I just find the entire film to be Fred’s subconscious melting down as a kind of defense mechanism against the execution. Fred’s mind becomes the titular Lost Highway, as he tries to figure out what exactly happened. Why did he kill his wife? What is wrong with his mind? I’ve come across other, more detailed, theories focusing on the film on a Freudian level, and I completely agree with most of it. I won’t copy it here because you can just check it out yourself here, and because when I first watched this movie I didn’t much about Freud and his theories about ego and superego and all that stuff.

While I didn’t really have names to apply to the different forms of Fred, I still picked up on the idea that this was a man with a split mind that was trying to put itself together at the end of his life. You see him dealing with so many issues: his violent nature, his impotent sexual performance, his fear of infidelity, etc. It all plays out in this neo-noir in which Fred has become this subconsciously idealized version of himself: young, cool, good with his hands, good at sex, etc. While this fantasy plays out, however, his demons are constantly attacking him in the form of Mr. Eddy and his rage and the Mystery Man and his capacity for evil. (Once again, the article I linked to above goes into much more informed detail about this.)

The fight within Fred’s mind comes to an end with the death of Mr. Eddy, yet his appearance at his own door to deliver the message makes it seem as if he’s stuck in an endless loop. Perhaps that’s what Fred’s afterlife will be: an endless trip on the Lost Highway, battling his own subconscious demons. 

Watching Lost Highway again for the first time in years, I find my theory to be pretty obvious, what with all the lightning flashes. But it’s up to the viewer what a lot of things represent and how much, if any, of the film is “real.” My main takeaway this time was that even if this is a film that requires a little theorizing to be understood, it’s still a stylish, entertaining, and effective film even if you don’t take the time to try to “figure it out.” This is why it’s one of my favorite Lynch films.

Why Do I Own This?

Well, I just wrote that it’s one of my favorite Lynch movies, so there’s that. But if you want to appreciate any of Lynch’s films, you should just buy them because all of his work needs at least a second viewing to really appreciate it. Also, his films are the type that can feel radically different to a person at different times in their life. I certainly watched Lost Highway with a different mindset at thirty-six than I did at thirteen.

Random Thoughts

The only scene that messes with my theory is the one with the cops near the end of the film. It bothers me because Fred is not in the scene. When a movie is supposed to take place in someone’s mind, I think the person needs to be present at all times. I can’t recall ever having a dream in which I was not present, but that doesn’t mean I never have. And how could I dare to claim what goes on with other people’s dreams. In other words, my own little rule is moot, so the scene with the police is not a problem for my theory...but it still bothers me a little.

What an odd cast: Henry Rollins...Richard Pryor...Gary Busey...Marilyn Manson.

...and Robert Blake as himself.

Patricia Arquette really brings it as the femme fatale in the second half of this film. It's not a role in her wheelhouse, and she's perfect. She definitely deserved more notice for this film, certainly more than some random asshole devoting three sentences about it in some obscure blog 20+ years after the fact.

“That’s fuckin’ crazy, man.”

The landlord from Big Lebowski being a prison guard is hilarious to me.

“This is some spooky shit we got here.”

Robert Loggia’s driver’s safety rant is one for the ages.

Pete fucked up. If Robert Loggia offers you a porno, you take that fucking porno.

Pete having an ear for car problems makes sense since Fred is a musician. 

This movie was the first time I heard “This Magic Moment” covered by Lou Reed. I still picture this scene every time I hear the song.

Of course Gary Busey would play a normal character in a David Lynch movie.

Pete listening to Fred’s saxophone playing messes with his head. It’s like his subconscious trying to wake him out of this fugue state.

Robert Loggia, holding a gun: “I’d take this and shove it so far up his ass it’s come out his mouth. Then I’d blow his brains out.” I think he’d need to scale back that gun shove to blow out the guy’s brains. But who am I to argue with an angry Loggia?

This movie would be a good double feature along with Eyes Wide Shut what with the themes of fidelity and male insecurity and marriage in general.

I love the use of Rammstein in this movie.

Watching Robert Loggia watch porn is pretty disturbing, even for a David Lynch movie.

The mind being a lost highway is a great metaphor, especially for a mentally ill person.

Watching it again, all the lightning flashes throughout, especially during moments when Fred/Pete is losing it, make it pretty fucking obvious what’s going on.