Close Up

5 - 24 May 2023: Wild at Heart


Wild at Heart
David Lynch, 1990, 125 min

“With its good and wicked witches, and references to Toto and the yellow brick road, Wild at Heart (based on Bay Area writer Barry Gifford’s homonymous novel) is an overt, elaborate homage to The Wizard of Oz, a “road movie” before the term existed. Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nicolas Cage) set out from Cape Fear, North Carolina, in a Ford Thunderbird, headed for the obligatory Oz of California but end up detained in the Texas hellhole of Big Tuna. In many ways conceived in direct opposition to Blue Velvet, the film is anxious and scattered where the earlier film was contained and claustrophobic; where sex in Blue Velvet is wrapped up in guilt and terror, this film is as close as Lynch has come to a celebration of libidinal energies. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, Wild at Heart is Lynch’s first all-out comedy, but despite the prevailing tone of aggressive absurdity, it nonetheless contains some of the filmmaker’s most harrowing scenes.” – Film Society of Lincoln Centre

Part of our Histoire(s) du cinéma series