DAVID LYNCH’s films have a reputation for sex and violence and his latest, Wild at Heart, is no exception. Karen Krizanovich examines a cinematic world with its own rules and its own logic.
ild At Heart is already being heralded as sexier and more violent than any of Lynch‘s previous works. ()ne of its co-stars. I larry Dean Stanton. says that ‘David is plugged into the American pysche. He takes things to the edge. which we're badly in need of now.‘ A harrowingly beautiful story ofyoung love on the run. Wild/it Heart won the Palmc D'Or at this year‘s Cannes Film Festival. Reportedly. the director was so pleased. he wouldn‘t let the award out ofhis sight.
Certainly. WildAt Heart is the most complex film to issue from the man who brought us Eraser/read. Dune. The Elephant Man. Blue Velvet and the smash hit TV soap opera Twin Peaks which had Americans addicted bv the thousands this summer. '
‘David has a capability to make very complex plots.‘ says Nicolas Cage. who plays the film's hero Sailor Ripley. an ebullient ex-con. ‘but his set is the most relaxed. As soon as I finished the movie and went on to make other movies I realised it was a luxury to work with him. He likes to give you surprises and you react offthem. What I get from David is his own freedom and his ability to be in tune with his own thoughts and moods and dreams. I think dreams mostly. It‘s honest. It‘s pure. I never get the impression that it is strangeness for its own sake.
'David creates a world with its own rules and its own logic. And that is liberating because it
triggers your imagination.‘ says Willem Dafoe. who portrays Bobby Pery — “a black angel‘ who lives without ethics and thinks without feeling. ‘You aren‘t bound to certain behaviour being realistic or not. And that is what makes it fun — that’s what makes it playful.’
While Wild At Heart. is the first Lynch film for Dafoe and Cage. Laura Dern has been a member of ‘the Lynch family' since her portrayal ofSandy. the girl-next-door in Blue Velvet. The film‘s catalyst in more ways than one, some may find her portrayal of Lula’s total appreciation of sex rather intimidating. In one scene for example, she tells Sailor that when they make love it is like his genitals are speaking to her.
‘A man actually said to me about that scene that everyone was really shocked.‘ says Dern. ‘That the people on his left and right shifted (with discomfort) because people don’t talk like that. But hopefully what David and I both succeeded in doing was (summed up) when a reporter from LA said, “I feel like you've really given a tribute to women with Lula." Lula isn't a bimbo, but she‘s hot and that‘s. like. the greatest compliment I got.‘
It seems that for about four days during the shoot. the crew didn‘t realise Diane Ladd (who plays Lula‘s cloying. over made-up mother Marietta) and Dern were related at all. ‘My favourite thing in the world was on the third day of shooting. Nicolas came up and whispered in my ear. “Look over there" He turns my head and l A
The List 24— 30 August l9903