The Road to Nowhere, a frightening reality

Highway to Nowhere

The psychological thriller “Highway to Nowhere” has a deep philosophical meaning. It has a non-linear plot, directorial courage and superb acting.

The action of the film takes place in a two-story mansion, which is located in the suburbs. A couple’s relationship is deteriorating. Fred becomes increasingly convinced that his wife betrayed him. Next, Fred finds a videotape of him next to his wife’s corpse.

Many film critics believe that “Highway to Nowhere” is the dream of the killer of his own wife. Such an explanation lies on the surface. But it is not the only correct one.

One can see Highway to Nowhere as a film about a man losing himself. Thoughts of his wife’s infidelity have consumed him. He is trying to escape from reality, plunging into a world of illusions. He sleeps, he dreams a nightmare.

But knowing David Lynch, that would be too simple an explanation.

I like the other interpretation better. The mysterious man in black – from a parallel world chooses Fred to take out the scoundrel Dick Laurent. Why Fred? Because Fred loves his wife very much and will kill to save her. The Man in Black reverses time (a house that burns backwards in time tells the viewer this). The stranger drags Fred out of prison in a different guise and sends him back in time where he can still prevent the death of Fred’s wife Renee by killing the scoundrel who was blackmailing her. The film’s finale confirms this theory – Fred from the past self-destructs so that Fred and Renee from the future can continue their happy lives.

David Lynch stays true to himself and weaves an incredible Möbius strip of a game of inflamed imagination, doppelgangers, violent villains, murder and terrific music. The flow of events, which disrupts spatio-temporal logic, makes the narrative mysterious and completely unreal.

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A benchmark example of surrealist cinema

When it comes to David Lynch’s work, many people think first and foremost of suspense and surrealism. These characteristics are indeed inherent in the director. In fact, Lynch’s first feature film was the gloomy and grotesque The Elastic Head (1977). After that the maestro tried his hand at different genres with varying success, and in the 90s he concentrated on what he does best. “Highway to Nowhere” is one of the typical examples of Lynch’s handwriting.

The rejection of reality, the departure from the harsh realities of life into the world of dreams, the lack of boundaries between the existing and imaginary worlds – such themes made famous the films of David. “Highway to Nowhere is about all of this. At the beginning of the film, the protagonist unequivocally reveals the specifics of his worldview when, in one of his dialogues, he abandons the main topic of conversation to speak about his preference for “remembering events in his own way.” He suspects his wife of adultery and kills her, thereby evoking guilt and provoking a series of events with which he finds it extremely difficult to come to terms.

But can one truly hide in one’s own dream world? Lynch’s pictures repeatedly hint at the need to be careful what you wish for. “Highway to Nowhere” illustrates a situation where one can lose control of even fantasy. Brutal reality is intertwined with a fiction that is only seemingly safe. All the troubles get mixed up and roll in a growing snowball effect on the main character. Lynch blurs the line between reality and imagination.

Highway to Nowhere is characterized by the director’s frequently used techniques, such as the monotony of the narration, the predominance of dark colors, the overpowering atmosphere with the intention of making the viewer feel uneasy. Nevertheless, in some episodes Lynch skillfully spices things up with sarcasm, which, however, is also in his spirit. And, of course, the soundtrack is appropriately chosen, it traditionally multiplies the already gloomy atmosphere. The tandem with Angelo Badalamenti did not fail. The compositions of such performers as David Bowie, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson, etc. also fit in perfectly.

Of course, “Highway to Nowhere” belongs to the “not for everyone” category. This kind of repressive atmosphere and a twisted plot may repel an unprepared viewer. First of all, this kind of movie is suitable for watching for those who are not afraid of surrealism. If you are ready for all that, the film is a must-see and can be easily recommended to get acquainted with the works of David Lynch. “Highway to Nowhere” is a great psychological thriller that shows an attempt to escape from an unfavorable reality, tells the story of a cornered mind beating from side to side in search of a way out.

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  • 3 / 2
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I don’t like video cameras. I remember events in my own way…

Lynch’s favorite device is to convey human problems, complexes, and experiences through riddles. The film is about a hero striving for what he truly desires, yet fears. Every attempt of the protagonist to reach harmony and peace ends in a bloodbath and the pursuit of his own complexes and desires.

The mystery man is an abstraction of the main fear of the protagonist, his memory of reality which he prefers to ignore, this can be understood judging by the fact that when they first meet in the film he utters the phrase ‘We have met, haven’t we?’

In every scene of their meeting, we see the protagonist fearing and ignoring his fear in the person of the mystery man – reality.

In the scene with the detectives, Fred confesses that he is afraid of video cameras and sees the world differently, letting us know that his subjective view of his problems, his wife and his life is more familiar to him than the reality of what is happening that scares him.

The highway on which the main character drives is an allegory for the events in the film. The empty road, the dark time of day, and the protagonist’s car moving into the darkness and gloom in an attempt to achieve the desired result.

‘That’s when the one thousand four hundred horsepower pays off’ .

The chosen soundtrack is worth mentioning separately, here it fits perfectly, raising all the suspense and anxiety of the confusing scenes, as if letting us get inside the main character’s head.

This is a movie about a sincere desire to get what you want by trying to reject your complexes.

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  • 4 / 0
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David Lynch is notorious for not giving specific answers about his work, arguing that his viewers are intelligent people and can figure it out for themselves. This implies a certain elitism to his films, but I would not be in a hurry to make such a sweeping statement. Certainly his work is not to everyone’s taste. First of all, you have to be very attentive and watch every detail in the film, possibly revisiting it several times to come to some reasonable conclusion. At times you think you even have to resort to Freudian psychoanalysis, which would also be true. ‘Highway to Nowhere’ is a prime example of this.

In this sophisticated Lynch film rebus, we are presented with just such a situation. Accused of murdering his wife Renee and sentenced to death, Fred Madison mysteriously disappears from his prison cell, and in his place is an innocent and clueless Pete Dayton. Where has he disappeared to? What kind of man has materialized in his place? The events preceding this scene and following it, if you do some analysis, give quite detailed answers to the above questions, which, I think, will be asked by everyone watching, and it’s far from mystical, although, knowing Lynch, this interpretation can’t be rejected either. Through the prism of the sick mind of the main character, Fred, who has schizophrenia or, more likely, psychogenic fugue, we see the world as he himself remembers it – a fact he himself mentions in a conversation with the detectives at the beginning of the film. He doesn’t like video cameras because they capture the true state of affairs. The videotapes the couple receives at the beginning of the film are probably the only true and unadulterated thing in the film, including the murder of Renee herself. While on death row, tormented by his conscience for what he has done, Fred falls asleep and invents a whole new identity in his dream–a young and sexually active Pete, his complete opposite, the person he would like to be now. By coincidence, Pete begins dating Alice, the girlfriend of his patron, Dick Laurent, who is a projection of Fred’s wife. But even in his dreams, in his fantasy, a horrible reality sneaks up on him and makes itself known, until eventually Pete’s identity is completely erased and Fred reappears. He kills his wife’s lover, Dick Laurent, and then Renae herself, and takes off down the highway to nowhere, pursued by the police, until he dies in the electric chair.

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That, of course, is not all there is to write and say about this film, but that would take a lot of time, not to mention all sorts of other interpretations. You just have to enjoy it. Also worth noting is its cool and very appropriate soundtrack to its oppressive atmosphere. All this together forms an interesting, exciting, beautiful and stylish film that you have to think about, think about and think about again. If you liked this film, you should also see Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which has a very similar idea and atmosphere to Highway to Nowhere. In the meantime, “Dick Laurent is Dead”.

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  • 4 / 1
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The Trial of David Lynch.

One of the few films by the maestro that I had yet to see until recently. Certainly worthy of the most flattering words and, in my opinion, along with Mulholland Drive, is the pinnacle of Lynch’s career.

As in Mulholland, we are dealing with a hero who is engaged in a knowingly losing battle with reality itself. The inability to accept the truth turns into a nightmare in which Fred (played by Bill Pullman) unsuccessfully tries to make sense of it. The viewer plunges headfirst into the labyrinth of his illusions and has to wander along with him. The guilt sucks Fred into a veritable hell, allegorically represented in the film’s title. Such is the sentence that the hero has passed upon himself. We can find an obvious analogy with the myth of Sisyphus and the stone.

In The Highway moviegoers can see a certain mockery of noir. There’s the femme fatale (played by Patricia Arquette), the mobster villain (Robert Lodge), the desperate young man (Balthazar Getty) who’s desperate for a vicious beauty, and, of course, the observant detectives in the parked cars. Throughout much of Lynch’s work, these men play out a scrambled love story that is obviously part of Fred’s fantasies.

The gorgeous soundtrack is noteworthy. Primarily the title track by David Bowie and Rammstein’s world debut.

In terms of parsing and ‘deciphering’ ‘Highway’ looks easier than ‘Mulholland Drive’, primarily because of the smaller number of characters and key scenes. This makes it easier to understand and allows you to get into the ‘spirit’ of the work better.

And, of course, it is impossible not to mention the scene at the party (Fred’s conversation with the Mysterious Man). For this miniature alone, you can already give it a ten.

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  • 11 / 4
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A delirious, confusing, reality-like dream

Watching David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’ somehow fit in very properly with the life story that was going on.

What was it? – unclear. The eerie anticipation of the unknown, the tension from the beginning to the end, the desire to understand: what is the essence and why certain events occur – and all in vain.

The characters, foolishly leading to some apparent ‘bait’, like moths to the light, reminiscent of reality. Sobering sounds in my head: and we are the same!

I don’t like making videos, I prefer to remember things the way they are in my head, even if it’s not objective’ – quite a funny thought, food for thought.

Actually, it was definitely a dream. Such a delirious, confusing, reminiscent of reality, but from which you want to quickly wake up and sigh in relief, never to get there again.

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  • 2 / 4
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General Impression : Very difficult to describe my thoughts so as not to spoiler. But what is here is the intricacy of the plot and it is not worth distracting from watching at all, because already little is clear. The picture has a tense atmosphere and so many strange things that captivates not only the plot, but also the characters themselves.

At times I was frightened by what was going on, especially the pale-faced man. It’s, you know, such an unpleasant feeling, Lynch has a knack for spookiness. The constant feeling that someone is watching you, that everything here is not what it seems. And really, there’s so much that your brain is seething with thought, because by the end, in the very finale, you see the movie from a different angle. And everything that’s going on looks different. You can interpret in different ways, and the most puzzling thing is that the director does not give any explanation. They say they saw it, well done, and sort it out yourself! So for some people the movie will be very strange, for others incomprehensible, and others will try to look for different explanations.

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Besides the atmosphere that enveloped the film with fear and the alluring Patricia Arquette, the film has a rather muddled musical accompaniment: Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, David Bowie, classical tunes. And everything is so mixed up that the cocktail is not quite clear to me, what did the director want to show? Because for 20 seconds, to put Rammstein in an episode where there is absolutely no dialogue, it seemed strange. What’s up, the whole movie is weird, and I’m frozen on the music!

I so want to write more to tell you what I saw in this picture. But then you wouldn’t be interested in watching it. But the metaphoricality and interpretation of the lines is off the charts! Do you want to think about the plot? Understand that the endless highway is an escape from yourself. Please, Lynch is waiting for you! And who’s watched it, write sooner how you like it!

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There is so much suspense here that it will haunt you for another week.

The Lost Highway (original title) is actually the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Though, importantly, it’s not made up of screeches, but of suspense, frightening miscommunication, and a genuine sense of apprehension. It’s not even a full-blown horror genre with ghosts or murderers aimed at just scaring you and making money off of it. It’s real art that permeates you to the bone.

The plot is cleverly twisted, extremely non-linear, but by the end of the film it all adds up to a big picture with purposefully left-over obscurities.

You can’t even retell the movie, because it’s not just a story, it’s a combination of music, acting, words, colors and mystery, which has no less effect after the movie than it did while watching it.

I advise it, indeed, to watch it simply as a strange dream, not otherwise. To feel, not to think (which you will still have to do after watching it). Let those unhappy events and the protagonist’s deepest fears fill your brain, so that you become immersed in what’s going on.

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  • 5 / 5
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A journey through the author’s inner world

David Lynch. A man who lives in a completely unique inner world and creates films that make you experience a whole range of the most contradictory emotions while watching them and then reflect on what you saw for several more days. Every film he makes is like that, Highway to Nowhere is no exception.

It is extremely difficult to tell what the movie is about – it is such an amazing mosaic, made up of many details that add up in the most bizarre ways. Every detail counts, you have to watch the film very carefully, and then the journey through Lynch’s worlds will seem incredibly fascinating.

Some people think that what is happening on the screen doesn’t make any sense and that is why Lynch films have a strictly definite audience for whom it is interesting to be as if in the dream of the producer – a place where anything can happen and you don’t have to be surprised. Just watch and believe your eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

The film makes you feel completely immersed in what’s happening on the screen thanks to the great camerawork, the play with color, and the very appropriate musical accompaniment. The editing, direction and acting are also unmistakable. The film is created with a lot of love, and it immediately catches your eye.

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  • 7 / 3
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Eh, movies-films are like another art form-a reflection of reality. Hey, I guess we’re having a chat, huh? Okay, as everyone knows there’s a plot here – it’s in the synopsis, so here we go. But you’re not ready, no, no, no.

You know, it’s always like this. rushing down the highway with yellow stripes to David Bowie, but at David Lynch’s, sitting in your quiet cell. The garbage here and there, the red curtains there, and the herringbone floor stained with that shit, not a pretty picture, but what can you do – the road goes on and on while you’re toasting in the electric chair.

I think it’s ’94, but remember – you only see what you see. You and I here are Fred Madison, but a little farther back in time is already Pete Dayton. Old friend Badalamenti on the classics threw in the soundtrack, but trends nowadays call for Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and Charles Monroe (backwards) on the backing, Lou Reed too – but that’s for connoisseurs.

Well, here reigns the noir horror of the 21st century, the purest psychedelia of cinematography, the charming absurdity. If only King Crimson had been launched and everything would have been wrapped up. Grim eroticism and mysteries of the pornographic past.

Just know, brother, we don’t like cameras and we remember everything in our own way. shh. that’s the main thing. yes, yes. your head is like an eraser. Patricia Arquette looks good to be dismembered, Freddy was unlucky and had to burn the other one in the fourth movie. so, wait, I lost it.

Remember: I’m both a car repairman and a saxophonist, it’s not like that here. even the midget isn’t my hand, he’s my partner. My wife is like Renee and Alice, but Dick Laurent is dead and Mr. Eddie fucked her, so it makes sense. But that was after we changed passports.

What was the bottom line? I told myself at the end, well. arriving at the beginning, that ‘. dead’ and here I sit in my cell, racing down the highway and burning in agony. My maestro – David Lynch, a genius – creates labyrinths of the subconscious with Penrose ladders, there’s no way out – just clues to nowhere.

The road to nowhere.

Told from the words of my dad, who was a witness. I love this story and always ask my dad to tell it to the next friends.

The background: My grandmother, from birth, lived in the village of Ostrov in the Pskov region on the shore of Lake Peipsi, on the border with Estonia. If you look at the map, make sure – forests, forests, forests, forests. Everything as it should be: 11 brothers and sisters, fishing, cows, chickens, vegetable gardens, hayfields, collective farms. A classic Russian village. My dad used to go there for the whole summer. There were roads from the village in different directions: to other villages, to the highway, to the forest, to the lake. But there was one road that the locals avoided and advised no one to take. They called it “The Road to Nowhere”. My grandmother told me: before the war, the road led to a large village where more than 30 families lived, but during the Second World War, the village became a haven for the Germans, and after they left, they burned it completely, and all the residents were killed. Of course, no horror stories and bans could not stop the boys, among whom was my father. He and his friends often liked to go there, because it was a real paradise to play in. All that was left of the houses were the ruins of the stoves and part of the foundations. It was a wonderful place to play war.

In the summer of 1982, a girl of about 15 from Moscow came to my grandmother’s village to rest. She was such a city hottie. All she did was walk around in fancy dresses, chewing candy and making eyes. She didn’t know what a forest is, who lives in it, or what a vegetable garden is for. Well, one day her grandmother sent her early in the morning to a neighboring village in the autolavka (who does not know, autolavka – a store on wheels). The road was straight, to get lost was impossible (info 100%, I myself go to her every summer), just go straight, and all. So my grandmother naively thought that her granddaughter would be fine. But apparently, the urban disorientation or just a girlish curiosity played a role. The girl never came home. She wasn’t there that night, or the next day. Daddy says you should have seen what was going on in the village! They searched everywhere, combed the woods and the lake, involved the neighboring villages, relatives from Moscow, the police came. Such a commotion was caused in the godforsaken village. They made raids with lanterns in the forest, on boats on the lake, etc. Dad and the boys also took an active part in the search. All in vain, the girls disappeared. Two weeks passed! The mother, barely alive from the sleepless nights and tears she had shed, no longer believed in a miracle. But they found her! And my daddy found her. They were walking with the boys near the lake, and he noticed a strange black hillock at the edge of the path. The boys ran over, and this is what they saw: a girl lying there, completely naked, with tangled black hair. There was not a living thing on her skin. Ants and other insects swarmed all over her, plus she was all cut and scratched. Daddy said it was a terrible sight. Vij and Stephen King are a smoke screen compared to that. I’m surprised the girl was alive! She couldn’t move, moaning and rolling her eyes. But the most amazing thing is that they found her 100 meters away from the village. That is, all this time she was very close. As we are 100 km away from the hospital (to Pskov), we decided to take her to Estonia – it took 15 minutes by boat with a motor. When she came to herself in the hospital, she told me this.

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At 8 a.m. she came out on the road and went to a neighboring village. There were strawberries growing along the road, she hadn’t even noticed when she stepped aside for berries and when she turned around, there was no road to be seen. She did not know how to orient herself in the forest, so she went wherever she could. She came out on that very scary “Road to Nowhere” and reached the ruined village. It was already late at night. She was very frightened, frightened of everything: the crunch of branches, the noise of trees, birds. She sat down to rest on a stump and fell asleep there. Night came, and the night in the woods itself is a quiet horror! She woke up from the fact that someone pushed her in the side. When she opened her eyes, she saw a black silhouette before her. No details, just a shadow. The shadow of a man stood silently before her. She crawled backward, wildly terrified, and saw that the silhouettes were many – small, large, and filled the entire clearing where the village had once stood. They just stood there and didn’t move, as if they were looking at her, though she couldn’t see their eyes. The girl rushed to run. Well further she told that she was running/wandering/crawling through the woods for a very long time. She was eating berries and some herbs. Another amazing thing is that she even managed to go to the lake, but for some reason she did not think to walk along the shore. Apparently, she was completely exhausted and just lay down. That’s where my father found her, 100 meters from the village on the shore of Lake Peipsi.

Judging by the condition in which she was found, she had been lying there for a very long time. She was cured, of course. She never came to her grandmother’s village again, and, as they say, she remained touched on the head for the rest of her days. And she died early from a heart attack at the age of 33.

P.S. The story is written from the words of my father, who in ’82 was 14 years old, so do not judge strictly. And the shadows – it was probably the souls of the dead villagers during the war, or hallucinations of a frightened girl who was the first and last time he was alone in the woods.

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