Jazz saxophonist Fred (Pullman) is haunted by anxiety about the fidelity of his wife Renee (Arquette) and the mysterious arrival of video recordings shot inside their house. Fred sees himself, on one tape, next to his wife's battered body, and is arrested for murder. Overnight, Fred vanishes, to be replaced by garage mechanic Pete (Getty), who hasn't a clue how he ended up in jail. To make matters more mystifying, Pete presently becomes involved with Alice (Arquette again), mistress of his gangster pal Mr Eddy (Loggia), leading him into a nightmarish intrigue which only gradually begins to connect, obscurely, with Fred. The plotting, with its inexplicably metamorphosed protagonist and its various doubles, makes one suspect Lynch may be having us on. It's ironic, then, that narrative is the most intriguing thing about the film, leading us either to dismiss it as pretentious rubbish or to try to make sense of it on a metaphorical level. Fortunately, Lynch's mastery of mood through sound, space, decor and lighting means that we're more or less engrossed throughout, even though some of the sillier moments - not to mention the uncharacteristically clumsy use of music - try one's patience.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Barry Gifford, David Lynch|
Natasha Gregson Wagner