Fire walk with me | Eraser Head | Elephant
Man | Dune | Blue Velvet | Wild at Heart | Lost Highway | Unproduced
TwinPeaks; Fire Walk
Sex and Power
Suspicion and Violence
Clean and Dirty Thoughts
The World of David Lynch and Twin Peaks
Meet Laura Palmer...
Free from the censorship restrictions of television, David Lynch once
again returns to that idyllic setting in the Pacific Northwest, where
just beneath its tranquil surface lurks a sinister world of weird villagers
with dark erotic secrets.
After the series completed its network run, Lynch felt there were still
more Twin Peaks stories to tell, this time without the restrictions of
Lynch: "(I found myself) falling in love with the place. A small town
surrounded by deep woods...It's almost like a fairy tale. I had to go
Sheryl Lee: "Nothing that happened in the series (holds) a candle to the
scenes in (TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME), the TV censors saw to that."
Kyle MacLachlan: "(The citizens of Twin Peaks) have certain quirks of
behavior. Usually, in a film, you'll have one character who is a little
off-kilter and he's used for comic relief. Here it's everyone...it's all
about these little moments of behavior. It's like sitting down and just
Joining MacLachlan (Agent Dale Cooper) and Lee (Laura Palmer) are series
veterans Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), James Marshall (James Hurley), Dana
Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Catherine E.
Colson (The Log Lady), Michael J. Anderson (The Man from Another Place)
and Frank Silva (BOB). Appearing in cameo roles are a diverse series of
David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Jurgen Prochnow, Harry Dean Stanton, Kiefer
Sutherland, Miguel Ferrer and Pamela Gidley. Moira Kelly (Chaplin, The
Cutting Edge) replaces Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward, Laura Palmer's
Also returning for the feature film is composer Angelo Badalamenti, winner
of a Grammy for his "Twin Peaks" score. Beginning his association with
David Lynch with Blue Velvet, he went on to compose the score for Wild
at Heart as well as co-composing (with Lynch) the Brooklyn Academy of
Music's theatrical production of "Industrial Symphony #1."
Besides the return of key personnel and series characters, TWIN PEAKS:
FIRE WALK WITH ME also includes several scenes taking place inside the
Red Room, a setting Lynch developed for the TV series. These sequences
were shot backwards - the actors moved in reverse and spoke in mirror
language, reading from right to left. The footage was then reversed, creating
a surreal effect taht in Lynch's words, perhaps, can also sum up both
his unique approach to filmmaking as well as the overall concept of "Twin
"I just sort of took off and got into a very strange world."
In a Town Where Nothing is As it Seems...
And Everyone Has Something To Hide.
-From the Fire Walk With Me laser disc jacket
A Young man named Henry Spencer gets a girl named Mary pregnant and is
forced by her parents to marry her. He ends up living in misery, chained
to a baby he doesn't want. That's the general plot idea without getting
into the deep symbolism found in this film. This was Lynch's first full
length film, much of which he developed while at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts.
The Elephant Man
The Elephant man has been acclaimed by critics the world over for cinematographic
excellence and for its outstanding story of the triumph of human dignity
over ignorance, prejudice, hatred and fear. Based on a true story, the
film examines the complex emotional experiences faced by John Merrick,
"The Elephant Man," (John Hurt) when he is discovered by a dedicated surgeon
(Anthony Hopkins). Rescued from his degrading life as a circus freak,
Merrick is given a chance to live his last years with comfort, respect
and dignity. Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud and Wendy Hiller add their impressive
skills in strong supporting roles. An unforgettable motion picture...a
remarkable story, remarkably told. Nominated for eight Academy Awards
including Best Picture, Best Director (David Lynch), and Best Actor (John
A WORLD BEYOND YOUR
It is a world where sandworms 1,000 feet long
BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION
guard creation's greatest treasure -
the spice that prolongs life. And enables the mind
to fold space and slow time.
Where a prophecy will be fulfilled,
And a young leader with incredible powers
will emerge to command an army
of five million warriors in the final battle
for control of a universe
and its source of ultimate power.
The Planet called Dune
It's a strange world, isn't it? A college student stumbles across a bizarre
mystery and wants to know more, perhaps too much more. The strange world
he's found lurking beneath his hometown's picture-postcard veneer is about
to become much stranger.
It's also an unforgettably fascinating and foreboding world, a unique
vision that made Blue Velvet #3 in a critics' poll of the '80s best American
films (American Film, November 1989). Award-winning moviemaker David Lynch's
Blue Velvet spins a spidery web around dreamy, disparate characters in
a place called Lumberton...then knots it tight.
Doe-eyed Isabella Rossellini shivers with a fearsome blue secret. Dennis
Hopper, his veins bulging and his engines pumping sleaze, wheezes psychotic
rage. Painted, preening Dean Stockwell mimes a Roy Orbison tune. Laura
Dern radiates off-kilter girl-next-door sunniness. And Kyle MacLachlan
(also the star of Lynch's Dune and Twin Peaks) peeks from closet and car
at a constantly spiralling mystery that attracts and repels him. "Are
you a detective or a pervert?" Dern asks. The answer may be both.
Blue Velvet is a detective thriller. A love story. A hate story. A comedy.
It's a movie landmark whose impact may reach far beyond its own era.
-From the Blue Velvet laser disc jacket
Wild at Heart
Master filmmaker David Lynch burns up the screen with his explosive, sexy
tale of fugitive romance. Nicolas Cage ("Raising Arizona," "Moonstruck")
and Laura Dern ("Mask," "Blue Velvet," "Jurassic Park") star as Sailor
and Lula, two young lovers who are truly Wild At Heart. When they aren't
making fiery love, they're on the run from Lula's wicked-witch mother
(Diane Ladd) who's put a murder contract out on Sailor. Featuring a cavalcade
of Lynch's trademark offbeat characters, "Wild At Heart" is a compelling,
provocative and hilarious visual feast! Will Sailor and Lula's dreams
take them somewhere over the rainbow...or will they break down along the
Yellow Brick Road?
"A 21st Century Noir Horror Film.
A graphic investigation into parallel indentity crises.
A world where time is dangerously out of control.
A terrifying ride down the lost highway."
Bill Pullman (Fred Madison)
Patricia Arquette (Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield)
Robert Loggia (Dick Laurent/Mr. Eddy)
Balthazar Getty (Pete Dayton)
Robert Blake (Mystery Man)
Gary Busey (Bill Dayton)
Richard Pryor (Arnie)
Natasha Wagner (Sheila)
Lisa Boyle (Marian)
Michael Massee (Andy)
Jack Kehler (Prison Guard Johnny Mack)
Henry Rollins (Prison Guard Henry)
Gene Ross (Warden Clements)
Scott Coffey (Teddy)
John Roselius (Al)
Lou Eppolito (Ed)
Jack Nance (Phil)
Lost Highway" is a mysterious, ultra-Lynchian exercise in Designer Noir.
The cult filmmaker's first feature in more than four years sees him traversing
familiar roads involving weird crimes, bizarre sex, sometimes freakish
characters, societal unease and fully warranted paranoia with characteristic
stylistic panache and daring. Although uneven and too deliberately obscure
in meaning to be entirely satisfying, result remains sufficiently intriguing
and startling to bring many of Lynch's old fans back on board for this
careening tide, adding up to decent returns on the specialized circuit
and possibly better figures in select overseas markets. Pic debuted in
Paris this week in advance of its Sundance unveiling.
A director as reliant upon precise style and tone as Lynch more or less
has to hit the bull's eye to score at all; if his aim is even slightly
off the mark, his effects tend to fall flat. Here, there is a notable
disparity between the numerous knockout sequences, passages loaded with
disquieting moods, sinister intent and sudden eruptions of violence, and
scenes of borderline banality. On balance, the former outweigh the latter,
and the film does intensify and deepen as it progresses, but there remains
a nagging sense of a work not quite completely achieved.
Pic starts in high gear with a classic credits sequence of names blasting
across the wide screen as the rolling camera hugs the center of the road
at night. In a city very much resembling Los Angeles but never specified
as such, tenor sax player Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) and his wife, Renee
(Patricia Arquette), see their life destroyed through a deeply disturbing
series of events.
Over a period of time that comes perilously close to being boring onscreen,
they find ominous videotapes dropped at their door. The first merely shows
their house. The second depicts the couple in bed. The third, coming some
40 minutes into the picture, reveals their bedroom as a murder scene.
With brutal suddenness, Fred is convicted of first degree murder and sentenced
to die in the electric chair.
In his very old-fashioned-looking prison cell, Fred is afflicted by tormented
visions. Then, in the film's great jump into the unexplainable, a young
man named Pete (Balthazar Getty) is suddenly occupying Fred's cell, only
to emerge and take up his work as a garage mechanic in the employ of a
wheelchair-bound boss, Arnie (Richard Pryor).
Abandoning the initial plot to take off in a new direction, action picks
up with Pete doing some jobs for a gangster named Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia)
and ill-advisedly taking up with the rich man's girlfriend, Alice (Arquette,
back now as a bleached blonde). A member of the porno underworld with
an abundant supply of seedy friends, Alice leads Pete astray in classic
femme fatale fashion with inducements to commit crime and deception until
an eerie nocturnal confrontation at a cabin on a beach brings the film's
two story strands full circle, after a fashion.
The narrative strategies of Lynch and co-screenwriter Barry Gifford, who
penned the novel "Wild at Heart" that Lynch adapted for his 1990 feature,
combine with key casting decisions to create intentional mysteries for
which there are no answers. When Pullman's Fred transforms into Getty's
Pete, one is left to ponder whether these are two version of the same
man. And using Arquette in the two principal female roles automatically
raises the questions of the fate of the first woman and the identities
of both of them.
Beyond these factors, the most alarming element here is an insinuating
man who resembles a malevolent clown (Robert Blake). First turning up
at a part in the first half, this little creep announces to Fred that,
appearances to the contrary, he is actually in Fred's home at that very
moment, and proves it. Not surprisingly, the character materializes again
late in the game, to purposely ambiguous, but still skin-crawling, effect.
None of this stuff can be explicated rationally, making this a dream-film
that will leave its partisans attempting to puzzle out its mysteries and
non-fans out in the cold. In the Lynch canon, it stands squarely in the
middle, not up to the summits represented by "Blue Velvet" or the best
of "Twin Peaks," but decidedly superior to "Fire Walk With Me" and "Dune."
Dramatically, film verges on the lethargic at times, but stylistically
there is no mistaking this for the work of any other director. Lynch's
visionary, impressionistic approach to the deep, murky and vile recesses
of the psyche is again boldly on display, as is his talent for putting
memorable im- ages on the bigscreen in concert with extraordinary sounds.
Lynch's own audio design has been intricately devised, and the soundtrack,
which combines the efforts of longtime Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti
and additional composer Barry Adamson with some dynamite contributions
by David Bowie and Brian Eno, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and others,
should enjoy a prosperous life of its own on disc.
With the exception of the blustery Loggia, performances tend toward the
low-key. Getty's relatively uninflected turn as an unexceptional young
man led into deep water by a sexpot (virtually an extension of his brief
role in "Natural Born Killers") comes off best, as Pullman and Arquette
register in just OK fashion.
As usual in Lynch's carefully crafted pictures, all technical contributions,
notably the artful lensing of Peter Deming and production design by Patricia
Noris, are aces. -Todd McCarthy
Ronnie Rocket was a screenplay originally written by Lynch as a vehicle
for Michael Anderson (The Man From Another Place in "Twin Peaks" and the
Woodsman (Twin #1) in " Industrial Symphony #1"), who would have played
Ronnie. This was the first film Lynch offered CIBY 2000 as a part of his
current three picture deal, but they elected to pass on it. This means
Lynch has to make two more films (" Lost Highway" being the first picture
of the deal) before he can possibily do Ronnie Rocket.
Based on the Kafka story, Lynch was working on the screenplay to this
film as far back as the early 80's. At the time, the cost of creating
a believable beetle (and the technology involved) pretty much put the
possibility of the film on hold. However, with the modern advances in
CGI, rumors say this is a likely canidate for a future Lynch feature.
Lynch on Metamorphosis: "It's a story that millions of people have read
and about a hundred-thousand people have written about, and each one has
seen it from a slighly different angle. But...it's just rich with things.
But there's a certain kind of dark humor that I love about Kafka and it
is his stuff that thrills me to my soul. It's just a completely perfect
mood and story and characters. I like pretty nearly everything about it."
Walk With Me is copyright of Lynch/Frost Productions and New Line Cinema.
The Elephant Man is a copyright Paramount Pictures and Brooksfilms.
Blue Velvet is copyright De Laurentiis Productions and Time-Warner.
Dune is copyright De Laurentiis Productions and Universal Pictures.
Wild At Heart is copyright Propaganda Films and PolyGram Pictures. Eraserhead
is copyright AFI. Lost Highway is copyright Asymmetrical Productions
and CIBY 2000.
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