Time is love/Life is celebration
Describing this to a friend, I said it works against titilation in an almost defiant way, despite its classification as an adult film from the Golden Age and a significant amount of the running time devoted to hardcore sex. Even ostensibly "erotic" moments are contextualized into a narrative of trauma, incest and repressed horror. Of the many bizarre decisions made by Middleton, Catherine's masturbation scene into her childhood mirror, the portal to her damaged psyche, is the first…
It's always striking to watch how tuned in to each performer Lynch is. A few of my favorite moments: Juana's (Grace Zabriskie) dead-eyed introduction and subsequent orgiastic freakout; Willem Dafoe’s repugnant Bobby Peru grinning like a mule post-robbery in close-up; Diane Ladd’s lipstick mask reveal as Marietta Fortune; Jack “00 Spool” Nance raving a tale of his dog to Sailor and Lula (“I have not told you the type of dog which I have!”).
These characters are some of the…