Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wild at Heart (Twilight Time Blu-ray) - When Sailor Met Lulu

Throughout cinema history there have been a rather sorted group of lovers that might be considered bad seeds, some based in historical representaton or first written in about in the pages of novels. Others come to us for the first time on the silver screen. While Sailor and Lulu of Wild at Heart weren't born in Hollywood, they landed there. They live there. On screen they are the crazy, half cocked, fully-loaded, mind altering romantics of your dreams. They embody what it means to be in the fullest, most passionate of loves that a duo can experience; a walking, talking, thick as thieves love that bends and breaks from erotic to symbolic and all the way to a homicide or two on the edge of town. These are the kind of lovers created to give eighteen year old kids bad ideas. Kid don't realize the tests and trials that lovers like these go through.  I think of the obvious: Romeo and Juliet which is the cliche nonetheless a valid mention, but beyond that Bonnie and Clyde. Beyond that, what would come after, Mickey and Mallory Knox. Jordan and Amy from Doom Generation. These are wrong place, wrong time kind of lovers who end up in the right place in our hearts and wicked, filthy, criminal fantasia. These lovers exist like Harlequin romantic concepts to make us swoon on our couch and in theater seats while living comfortably and carefully. We wouldn't want to get into too much trouble. Let them do all the heavy lifting. Twilight Time has seen fit to bring us a couple of lovers on Blu-ray, courtesy of the legend David Lynch. Set your heart strings to stun and put on your snake skin jacket (it is a symbol of your individuality after all).

Synopsis from Twilight Time:

Adapted from the picaresque novel by Barry Gifford, writer-director David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (1990) is a scarifying road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as Sailor and Lula, a pair of star-crossed lovers pursued across the American landscape by all manner of horrors. Most are unleashed by Lula’s unhinged mother (played by Diane Ladd, Dern’s real-life Mom), a woman scorned who will stop at nothing to destroy Sailor.

David Lynch and I have a strange relationship. From Eraserhead to just about Wild at Heart he and I see eye to eye. Each movie he has crafted has spoken to me viscerally. He gets in my guts and turns on the blender but lovingly, with style. I have enjoyed his characters and even fallen in love with them. Shortly after Wild at Heart my romantic relationship with the cinema of Lynch ended in a bitter divorce. I know everyone but me adore Twin Peaks. I love the music from Twin Peaks and even certain scenes, but as a whole I feel like we part ways when Sailor and Lulu set off to do one young lovers do, tested and worn and having been laid like the Georgia asphalt that they're hotter than. Bits and pieces of Lost Highway feel natural. It looks stunning. It sounds like a nightmare I had when I was a child, and make no doubt about it, I'm not saying that David Lynch wasn't just peachy post-Wild at Heart, but his disjointed and often mysterious, surreal evolution of storytelling was lost on me. I say this because I want you to understand that I consider Wild at Heart a peak. It is the point at which the tidal wave stopped creating mammoth, gorgeous destruction upon the wrinkles in my mind and began to roll back out to sea. It's a bitter moment because up until having enjoyed Wild at Heart, I thought Lynch and I would be a metaphorical lovers forever. It means that Wild at Heart is our breakup movie.

From the dirt and grit and the grime of Willem Dafoe's performance as certain sleaze capital S number one creeper to Crispin Glover's inspired, maniacal neurotic jungle gym of a performance I would challenge you to find fault with a movie as perfect as Wild at Heart.  Each moment is carefully planned to induce maximum passion or sickness as the case may be. Tell me that Laura Dern in strange lingerie and Nic Cage with chest bursting forest moon of Endor hair in a bed doesn't make you want to grab some quarters, find a cheap motel and play a game of romp and roll with the bed akimbo, full of life swaying the vibrating beat after you insert a couple quarters into the bedside dispenser. There are moments where Dern and Cage feel like their hearts burst on screen, that their wild eyes and perhaps slightly overdramatic reenactments of long distance lovers may pop the celluloid right off it's track. You will be crippled by the balance of staunch, cold reality in the face of a Disney-like fantasy world that could very well inspire its own park or ride in a theme park. Mr. Toad... you have competition in Wild at Heart.

Visually this movie watches like a Lynch movie, and in a sense is more indicative of what we can expect from his future work. Strange burned in shots with absolutely vivid Crayola color against the backdrop of large expansive back drops. Lines painted by buildings or hotel walls or telephone poles carved into your eyes like Picasso painting on your retinas. This is what David Lynch does. Constructs images in your mind rather than developing scenes that you can interpret any way you like. Each musical selection taken to accompany a moving image is like a story in itself. From the weeping guitar of Chris Isaak to severe death metal toils that roll out the madness in your Amygdala, each sound you hear will provoke an emotional response. As a kid, the Isaak video for Wicked Games was a sexually transmitted mind crime. It penetrated my head, and only when eventually combined with its placeholder in time, Wild at Heart, did I understand the crazy depth to which two people could find the inert desire to actually wrap themselves in the skin of the other to live cocooned as one.

Twilight Time has put out a disc that looks great. Sounds great. Contains an assortment of extras including a couple of making of featurettes, old and new, a look at the methodical, acid trip director David Lynch, 4 TV Spots, a horde of interviews and a rather handsome introductory booklet. The packaging is the traditional artwork for the movie. This release is limited to 3000 units so find it. Stalk it like the lover you expect in bed every day but one morning goes missing or is taken from you inextricably. It's a worthy release that demands your collection. The only way they could have made this particular edition better would be to have included the original soundtrack as an extra.

Note: 5.1 DTS-HD. 1080p HD 2.35:1 AR.

This particular release inspired something deeply emotional in me; not your typical response to a Blu-ray release of a film that may or may not have had a pivotal role in establishing your concept of a relationship in much the same way as a Doom Generation or Natural Born Killers may have. I'm not saying that that's a healthy nostalgia, but it's one that I would prefer to have you understand is at the root of a well constructed emotional wreck of a picture. Feel the Laura Dern with all tens of your fingers. Taste your Nicholas Cage with a tongue hidden in your mouth too burdened with fear to utter words.

Now go make your lunch.

Full release notes:

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA / Spanish 1.0 DTS-HD MA
1990 / Color

Special Features: Isolated Music & Effects Track / Love, Death, Elvis & Oz: The Making of Wild at Heart / Original 1990 Making-of EPK / Dell’s Lunch Counter (Extended Interviews) / Specific Spontaneity: Focus on David Lynch / David Lynch on the DVD / 4 TV Spots / Motion Gallery / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

Enjoy the extensive Julie Kirgo liner notes and film art packaged with the Blu-ray disc.

You can order Wild at Heart on Blu-ray from Screen Archives while they are still available.

-Doc Terror

Humorous Note: When I was a kid I was absolutely awe struck by the TV spots for this movie. I was too young to see it upon its initial release. My parents new how naughty it was going to be. I didn't. I'd go to the video store asking for Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken... that's the movie about the riding diver who trained horses. The kids movie. Never were the video store clerks so confused as to when I would look miserable when they found it on the shelf for me. I was dumbfounded for a short while. After all, to movies having the words "Wild" and "Heart(s)" releasing within a year of other... what were the odds?

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