David Lynch's suburban nightmare is often named the best American film of the 1980s
Jeffrey (MacLachlan) is the contemporary knight in slightly tarnished armour, a shy adolescent inhabitant of Lumberton, USA. After discovering a severed ear in an overgrown backlot, he embarks upon an investigation that leads him into a hellish netherworld, where he observes - and comes to participate in - a terrifying sado-masochistic relationship between damsel-in-distress Dorothy (Rossellini) and mad mobster Frank Booth (Hopper).
Grafting on to this story his own idiosyncratic preoccupations, Lynch creates a visually stunning, convincingly coherent portrait of a nightmarish substratum to conventional, respectable society. The seamless blending of beauty and horror is remarkable - although many will be profoundly disturbed by Lynch's vision of male-female relationships, centred as it is on Dorothy's psychopathic hunger for violence - the terror very real, and the sheer wealth of imagination virtually unequalled in recent cinema.
Screening as part of our year-long retrospective - Dreaming of Darkness: The Films of David Lynch
Programme Type: Film
Director: David Lynch
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern
Running Time: 120 minutes