Episode 83: On David Lynch's 'Lost Highway'
David Lynch's Lost Highway was released in 1997, five years after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me elicited a fusillade of boos and hisses at Cannes. The Twin Peaks prequel's poor reception allegedly sent its American auteur spiralling into something of an existential crisis, and Lost Highway has often been interpreted as a response to -- or result of -- that crisis. Certainly, the film is among Lynch's darkest, boldest, and most enigmatic. But of course, we do the film an injustice by reducing it to the psychological state of its director. Indeed, one of the contentions of this episode is that all artistic interpretation constitutes a kind of injustice. But as you will hear, that doesn't stop Phil and JF from interpreting the hell out of the film. Just or unjust, fair or unfair, interpretation may well be necessary in aesthetic matters. It may be the means by which we grow through the experience of art, the way by which art makes us something new, strange, and other. Perhaps the trick is to remember that no mode of interpretation is, to borrow Freud's phrase, the one and only via regia, but that every one is just another highway at night... REFERENCES David Lynch (dir.), Lost Highway Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), Vertigo Arnold Schoenberg, Three Keyboard Pieces, op. 11 James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake Weird Studies, Episode 81 on The Course of the Heart Jacques Lacan, French psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire Cabinet of Dr. Caligari David Foster Wallace, "David Lynch Keeps his Head" in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story Patreon audio extra on Penderecki's "Threnody" Trent Reznor, American musician David Bowie, "Deranged" Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, "Oblique Strategies" Tim Powers, Last Call Manuel DeLanda, Mexican-American philosopher