4. THIS ARTICLE'S SPECIAL FOCUS
OR "ANGLE" W/R/T 'LOST
HIGHWAY.' SUGGESTED (NOT ALL THAT
SUBTLY) BY CERTAIN EDITORIAL
PRESENCES AT 'PREMIERE' MAGAZINE
WITH THE SMASH Blue Velvet, a Palme d'or at Cannes for Wild at Heart, and then the national phenomenon of Twin Peaks' first season, David Lynch clearly established himself as the U.S.A.'s foremost commercially viable avantgarde-"offbeat" director, and for a while there it looked like he might be able to single-handedly broker a new marriage between art and commerce in U.S. movies, opening formula-frozen Hollywood to some of the eccentricity and vigor of art film. Then 1992 saw Twin Peaks' unpopular second season, the critical and commercial failure of Fire Walk With Me, and the bottomlessly horrid On the Air, which was cuthanatized by ABC after six very long-seeming weeks. This triple whammy had critics racing back to their PCs to reevaluate Lynch's whole oeuvre. The former object of a Time cover story in 1990 became the object of a withering ad hominem backlash.
So the obvious "Hollywood insider"-type question w/r/t Lost Highway is whether the movie will rehabilitate Lynch's reputation. For me, though, a more interesting question ended up being whether David Lynch really gives a shit about whether his reputation is rehabilitated or not. The impression I get from rewatching his movies and from hanging around his latest production is that he really doesn't. This attitude like Lynch himself, like his work seems to me to be both grandly admirable and sort of nuts.