Lynch is aware, as Coleridge was and critics are not, that all of a work is vital to it and “the beginning is most delicate”, so he takes his position on Star Wars with a spoken introduction and even a map, in spite of which the critics professed to finding Dune quite thoroughly incomprehensible.
“Your water shall mingle with our water.” Out of such dialogue as this the satire is made, snatching victory from the triple jaws of defeat, with a natural kinship to Hodges’ Flash Gordon and consequences also for Verhoeven’s Total Recall and Starship Troopers.
The surrealist mystery of Lumberton, wherever.
The form can be successfully compared with Lubin’s Impact. The first part, which made The New Yorker complain of “abstraction”, is the story of an abstract artist on the tenor saxophone who finds his wife and audience have stepped out. A meticulous construction in the most classic manner builds “line upon line, precept upon precept” his predicament.
The same material is treated from another angle by way of Robert Graves in Skolimowski’s The Shout, and the perfect logic of Dürer’s Melancholy finds the far horizon in Arnold’s The Incredible Shrinking Man.
The middle part (mildly rebuked by the New York Times) has indomitable reference to Edwards’ 10, and throughout there is an efficient surrealism derived from Cassavetes’ Love Streams as much as anything else, Buñuel’s Cet obscur objet du désir, for instance. Je est un autre, Lubin’s garageman played by another actor, the brunette wife is a gangster’s moll, blonde.
The vision thus afforded is understood as a definitive break in the last part, and that constitutes the final realization leading to the highway of the title (for the end frames, cf. Ruben’s Dreamscape and the portraiture of Francis Bacon), which suggests by way of Koster’s No Highway the geometrician’s “royal road” that isn’t.
For the critics, pleasantly dreamy or irritating. Nothing is more precise than surrealism, but you have to speak the lingo.
A Canadian actress comes to Hollywood to stay with her aunt, who goes to Canada to shoot a film. This is one of the ways in which Lynch’s film is to be understood, it has several angles on its main theme, a satire of Hollywood.
Fleischer’s Mr. Majestyk figures structurally, but its stern surrealism has never been grasped, either. John Osborne’s play A Patriot for Me has the peripeteia (Lee Grant’s short film The Stronger is indicated by her bit), the “Llorando” scene echoes a comic one in Fernandez’s Una Cita de Amor, Polanski’s The Tenant (and Rosemary’s Baby) people the flurry at the end.
Silence reigns in the Hollywood Hills, that is the image sought.