j****’s review published on Letterboxd:
lynch's most lizard brain affair. i’ve always admired his aleatory approach to filmmaking as the best possible means to encourage a critical attitude toward his more objectionable tendencies, but lost highway’s wavering between rote libidinal frustrations and inspired structure/genre-bending is more id-driven than anything he was to make after blue velvet (imo fire walk with me marked his transformation into a much more self-conscious artist). in its own way this is pretty straightforward, or about as straightforward as a noirish ouroboros can be; it's not hard to link the sequence of events together if you're willing to accept the more fantastic occurrences as materially consistent, which i think the film encourages us to believe up to a point. psychoanalyzing fred/pete is a fairly easy matter, but in the shift to a suspiciously vague-by-design anachronistic neo-noir template we finally get into the real juicy contradictions rolling around their head(s). fred's impotence becomes less easy to intellectualize in few words and, in whispers of the return to come, all the familiar movements of genre become reconfigured and refracted through his eyes.
not my favorite lynch, but still worth engaging with. for me he’s at his best when for others he’s at his worst, by which i mean his most problematic material is also the material most worth engaging with. this lies somewhere on the “good” side. lynch is clearly no saint, but there’s something to be said for putting yourself on display like this, grime and all. the monster behind winkie’s is always closer than you think.