4k restoration of “Lost Highway” at the Roxie Theater


Bill Pullman is a jazz saxophonist who may or may not have murdered his wife. Patricia Arquette is the woman, and she may or may not be dead. And Robert Blake, with creepy white powder makeup, is just weird.

Welcome to the bizarre and disorienting world of David Lynch, one of the few surreal filmmakers to make for mainstream Hollywood audiences. “Lost Highway” received stellar reviews in 1997, grossed $3.7 million at the US box office – not bad for an arthouse film at the time – and has now been restored in 4K from Lynch’s original 35mm assets by Janus Films.

“Lost Highway” marked the return of Lynch, who went on a long hiatus after producing “Twin Peaks” and its prequel “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” (1992). He collaborated on the screenplay with Barry Gifford, whose novel “Wild at Heart” was adapted by Lynch in 1990.

The restoration, which comes just over two months after the restoration of the premiere of Lynch’s “Inland Empire” in 2006, is magnificent. Even if you can’t figure out what’s going on (you won’t), the footage is so mesmerizing and even at 134 minutes the interest never wanes. The film’s thrilling score, composed by Angelo Badalamenti with additional music by Barry Adamson and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, also gets a digital upgrade, and includes songs from David Bowie, Lou Reed and Marilyn Manson, which played a bit of a role in the movie.

Incidentally, this is the best performance of San Francisco-raised actor Balthazar Getty’s career (yes, of the famous Getty family), as a hapless auto mechanic under the thumb of a gangster ( Robert Loggia).

—G. Allen Johnson

“Lost Highway” (R) begins Friday, July 1. $80 $14. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF 415-863-1087. roxie.com


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