Thursday, January 20, 2011

Film Analysis- The Lost Highway (Jessica Barker)

David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” is nothing shy of strange. Though I initially had a hard time following it during the first 30 minutes of the movie, the major plot and chunk of the action seemed pretty stable for the most part. I liked how Lynch used a cycle to connect the beginning and end of the story. The main character (Fred/Pete) suffers from psychological distress, and Lynch tends to play on Freud’s two major personality factors of sex and aggression. Thanks to the psychology class last semester, one can see part of the main components of personality (id, ego, and superego) circulate in the main characters life. The id, or primitive process, is driven by Pete’s pleasure-seeking tendencies. It’s ironic that in the beginning Fred accuses Renee of sleeping with another man, and in his “second life,” he is in fact the “other man” that Alice is cheating on Mr. Eddy with. He very much lacks the “ego” principle, because he cannot seem to define a clear line in his conscious reality and why strange incidents are occurring in his life. It seems as if he is living in a fantastical, psychological dream. I agree with what was stated below in Cara’s blog, when you can see Lynch trying to exemplify people’s daily struggle to express our true desires. Fred/Pete’s character almost seems to suffer from a metamorphic personality disorder. He struggles to understand the reality of his life. I did not like how Lynch left open a lot of “loose ends” in the movie. When Pete asks his parents what happened to him that one particular night, the scene just fades into another without any real explanation. But then again, maybe Lynch intended the movie to be open ended in some parts.

1 comment:

  1. The “loose ends” that accompany the movie may leave parts up to interpretation but such is the case with most aspects of life, as nearly every human can see the same situation in different forms. Relating the movie to Freud’s beliefs, we not only see the presence of the “ego” and the “id” but additionally the “superego” with the supposed Mystery Man. Looking at the scenes where the Mystery Man makes his appearance, it becomes obvious that initially he is keeping Fred in check, forcing him to take a step back and look at who he truly is and wants to be. When the Mystery Man first introduces himself and tells Fred that he is at his house at that instance, Fred undoubtedly feels continuous intense discomfort, making him question why he is at the party, decide that he is uncomfortable, and then rush home with his wife.
    Later in the film, Fred asks the supposed Mystery Man where Alice is, at which the Mystery Man remarks that he must be referring to Renee. Intense aggression spews from the Mystery Man, as he now questions Fred. This manifestation of anger creates the idea that perhaps here the Mystery Man is playing the role of the ego. Fred is reminded of who he and his wife truly are. Any pleasure has suppressed and he is brought face to face with reality, though reality is in fact unknown.