wild at heart (1990)

Between the masterpieces Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, Lynch directed Wild at Heart, a film that stands within and apart from the rest of his ouvre. Odd that the film that won Lynch the Cannes Film Festival would feel shallow and tepid decades later by comparison to the film that only two years hence would make him an outcast in the world of cinema. Wild at Heart is about indulging adolescent values, and has a warm quality amidst the attempts at darkness, violence and perversity. Laura Dern, here, far from her Lynchian 'Woman in Trouble' as she would later come to inhabit in INLAND EMPIRE, is a lost little girl with a domineering mother. Cage is a punk with a heart of gold, a man in the American sense, sticking up for his lady and overly obsessed with his snakeskin jacket, which he sees as a symbol of his individuality and his belief in personal freedom. All the while, Lynch balances youthful ideas of letting loose; rock and roll, sex, driving fast, dancing, dressing cool, skipping town and fantasizing that one's mother is a character from The Wizard of Oz with the reality of consequence that would serve to slow down the revving engine at the heart of the young. Sailor and Lula should have the perfect young romance, but the adults in their lives, be it Lula's mother, Sailor's business associates, or the law itself always seem to bring them down. Bad news on the radio and fears about the ozone layer need to be drowned out by some heavy metal and dancing, but our heroes can't seem to drown it for long.