Thursday, June 12, 2008

Better Than Sex: David Lynch's Wild at Heart

“No tongue – my lipstick,” Diane Ladd’s conniving Marietta Fortune admonishes at the beginning of “Wild at Heart,” flirting with Harry Dean Stanton’s Johnnie Farragut, while perfectly setting the tone for the tantalizing sexual games to follow. Lynch’s typically bizarre noir contains one of the steamiest foreplay scenes ever to grace the indie screen. Strangely, this kinky non-sex scene involves not Laura Dern’s Lula and Nicolas Cage’s Sailor Ripley (whose love scenes are saturated with such hyper-real color and artistic angles as to overshadow the screwing), but the childlike Lula and Willem Dafoe’s greasy, so-creepy-he’s-charismatic Bobby Peru (”Just like the country,” he drawls, introducing himself to Lula and Sailor outside the hotel they’re all staying at, sliding snakelike into “Wild at Heart” nearly an hour and twenty minutes fashionably late). Dressed in black, sporting a Clark Gable moustache, Bobby’s the ultimate contrast to Dern’s big blonde hairdo, red lipstick painted, 20-year-old piece of mentally damaged white trash. That the episode doesn’t culminate in predictable fornication only proves that the iconoclastic director truly understands how to harness the power of the erotic chase––that is, that it’s hotter than the catch.

For more on my take on the best non-sex scene ever to grace the indie screen visit Spout.

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