Wild at Heart is one of David Lynch's less known films, despite winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes... you can't even get it on VHS anymore... but it is my favorite film of all time. I first saw it when I was a freshman at KU, with a gaggle of girlfriends from my dorm floor, many of whom will always be vibrant characters in my memory. As with many of David Lynch's works, it's a love story that depicts a cheesy smooth-surfaced 'real world' facade as nothing but a thin permeable layer to the pure weirdness that lies beneath... As Lula puts it, 'the whole world is wild and heart at weird on top...'
"The thing that is so great about Sailor and Lula is that it´s sooo sexy because of the love. And that´s the thing that´s so beautiful about David. Here´s this guy who´s so weird and does things that are so terrifying to the psyche. And yet there´s this purity in him and this belief in love that is almost cartoonlike and childlike."
Only two of my other girlfriends managed to stay through it, and they found it to be terribly offensive and disturbing. I loved it... from the raging fire in the opening credits surging to Strauss to the hoaky Elvis-panavision screen at the end, I just loved it. The raw, twisted macabre humor surrounding death and dismemberment, the heart-pounding sex scenes, the world's sickening underbelly served up with a dash of kitsch, the idealized simplicity and brevity of true love; they all did something to me... When Lula's body betrays her in Bobby Peru's violent clutches it made my stomach lurch and I felt her self-loathing. Juana, Reggie and Dropshadow's ritualized sex-killing of poor Johnny Ferragut scared the shit out of me. Sailor and Powermad serenading Lula in the pit with 'Love Me' after they had been churning out speed metal was more embarrassing than any Potsy sappy love song. Jingle Dale with his aliens and sandwiches and the dog running off with the feed store clerk's hand made me die laughing... much to the shock of more than a couple of people in the audience as they rubber-necked to see who was laughing so hysterically. And the sex scenes... let's just say that Mr. Lynch is rather adept at portraying some very realistic intimacy, and accomplishes the most perfect screen presentation of a woman's orgasm that I've ever seen, hands-down. (For those of you who've seen the film, sorry I couldn't resist!)
"Sex is central to 'Wild at Heart' in the same way it was in Blue Velvet. Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way. Being explicit doesn't tap into the mystical aspect of it either in fact, that usually kills it because people don't want to see sex so much as they want to experience the emotions that go along with it. These things are hard to convey in film because sex is such a mystery."
Essentially, this movie was the most disturbing thing I'd ever encountered, and ellicited a strong response
in me that was unparallelled. I've always been able to get lost in films. This one was no different, right down to it's homage to one of my favorites, The Wizard of Oz
. When I was a kid my mom loathed taking me to the movies because I'd cry hopelessly
when they were over as I'd plod up the aisle. I never wanted them to end, I guess I've always been way too susceptible to fantasy
. Wild at Heart was so disconcerting that it forced me to examine what aspects of Lynch's imagination offended me so and why... I was shocked to find that I saw humor in that graphic violence, such intrigue in that searing sexuality...
The movie is based on the book Sailor and Lula by Barry Gifford. Lynch wrote the screenplay. Another remarkable aspect of this film is the partnership between him and Badalamenti that is positively amazing. They put together a score that takes the edge off or intensifies immaculately wherever necessary. David Lynch is obviously a cinematic genius, whether you like his stuff or not. You simply can't deny the impact he's had on modern film.
Here are some of my favorite quotes...
'The way your mind works is god's own private mystery...'
Marietta Pace Fortune
'No tongue, my lipstick...' and 'Buffalo hunting? What the fuck does that mean buffalo huntin'?'
'Sail, sometimes, when we're makin' love, you just about send me right over than rainbow... I mean it, you pay attention. And baby, you got the sweetest cock, it's like it's talkin' to me when you're inside, like it's got a voice all its own...Oooh you just get right on me.' to which Sailor replies 'You really are dangerously cute, Peanut, I gotta admit it...'
'Just say fuck me, then I'll leave.'
'No, it's best to blow a hole from the back of the head, right... through... to the bridge of the nose... lots of irreparable brain damage.'