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David Lynch
USA, 1990

I have only ever seen Wild at Heart in 35mm, and the last time was March 14th at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles surrounded by friends—some of whom had already seen and loved it, others who were discovering it for the first time. Ideal circumstances.

At least once a week I think that Wild at Heart is my favorite film ever. And that’s not just because I have a shrine to Nicolas Cage nestled in my heart and this is the film in which he is at his most roughish and goofy and charming. Or because within these 125 minutes of road, sex, rock ’n’ roll, and good and bad witches, Lynch manages to tear apart, reinvent, and sew together a staggering amalgamation of genres—romance, road movie, comedy, crime, noir, and horror. Or because there is a scene of unassailable perfection in both cinematographic beauty and emotional transparency (inspiring longing and sadness): A medium shot of Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage shrouded by the pitch blackness of the road as Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” curls around their velvet dark journey into the endless night.

Of course I love Wild at Heart for all of those things. But perhaps most of all because it holds within its frames the miraculous: one of the great love stories committed to celluloid. Frankly, the only kind of love story I’m interested in: two people brimming with madness recognize the beat of their own soul’s restless, wild thumping in the bones and blood of the other person. The meeting of equals—of two delirious, beautiful fools.