Lynch is making a statement on the dream world—the lush and the ghoulish—of Hollywood itself, but what he’s doing above all (as he does in many of his films) is weaving an eerie atmosphere, in which (this may be its ultimate horror) fantasy and reality, the feigned and the authentic, the unconscious and the willed, intersect and congeal, whether we will it or not, into the experience of a certain sort of life. And, as he’s done with his other best works (Blue Velvet, Elephant Man, the first half of Twin Peaks, and, in a completely different vein, The Straight Story), he immerses you in a world, a parallel universe of sorts, from which you never fully wake up.
Cinematographer Peter Deming, who also worked with Lynch on Twin Peaks and Lost Highway, lights up this bizarre landscape with evocative depths, colors, and shadows, which Criterion’s 1080p transfer captures in brilliant fidelity. The ghostly score by Angelo Badalamenti (another longtime Lynch mate) adds shivers to the setting. The special features are fascinating: a mix of interviews with several of the cast and crew (most entertainingly, Badalamenti) and some footage from the set, which reveals much about Lynch’s methods and a startling display of Watts’ intensity as an actor.
Studio: Criterion Collection, 2001
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 146 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux