This is a reprint of my review which
was first published on Three Men on a Blog in December 2011, with a number of minor revisions. My original review can be found here.
Wild at Heart (USA, 1990)
Directed by David Lynch
Starring Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Willem Dafoe
You know you've arrived as a filmmaker when a bespoke adjective is created to describe your work - Gilliam-esque, Kubrickian, Lynchian and so on. But with this honour comes the danger of said film-maker producing films which consist of familiar images or elements, without the narrative or thematic cohesion which earned them the label in the first place.
Eraserhead as his version of The Philadelphia Story, so Wild at Heart could be described as his take on The Wizard of Oz. Lynch has acknowledged its influence throughout his career, and his most recent works, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, have incorporated visual or narrative references to it throughout. But whereas these films are Lynch works with little nods to Oz thrown in, this is a full-on marriage of the two, as Lynch takes all the touchstones of L. Frank Baum's story, adds plenty of violence, cranks up the creepiness (if that were possible), and makes the central relationship more emotionally raw and raunchy.
Blue Velvet, Lynch blends the laid-back 1950s sound of Chris Isaaks brilliant 'Wicked Game' to some very aggressive speed metal, the latter of which foreshadows his work with Marilyn Manson on Lost Highway. It's an oddly effective blend, depicting the violence and possible redemption which confront the characters.
Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive.
Wild at Heart was the most recent film screened at Filmstock, a film screening event in Culmstock. You can read my blog post about the screening here. The next screening will be The Rocky Horror Picture Show in November, so watch this space for announcements about that event.
NEXT REVIEW: The Incredibles (2004)