Lost Highway (1997)

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Lost Highway is a 1997 neo-noir film directed by David Lynch and co-written by Lynch and Barry Gifford. It stars Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty, and Robert Blake. The film follows a musician (Pullman) who begins receiving mysterious VHS tapes of him and his wife (Arquette) in their home, and who is suddenly convicted of murder, after which he inexplicably disappears and is replaced by a young mechanic (Getty) leading a different life.

Lost Highway was financed by the French production company Ciby 2000 and was largely shot in Los Angeles, where Lynch collaborated with frequent producer Mary Sweeney and cinematographer Peter Deming. Lynch has described the film as a "psychogenic fugue" rather than a conventionally logical story, while the film's surreal narrative structure has been likened to a Möbius strip. The film's soundtrack, which was produced by Trent Reznor, features an original score by Angelo Badalamenti and Barry Adamson, as well as contributions from artists including David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Upon release, Lost Highway received mixed reviews and grossed $3.7 million in North America after a modest three-week run. Most critics initially dismissed the film as incoherent, but it has since attracted a cult following and critical praise, as well as scholarly interest. Lost Highway is the first of three Lynch films set in Los Angeles, followed by Mulholland Drive in 2001 and Inland Empire in 2006. In 2003, the film was adapted as an opera by the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth.

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