David Lynch’s ninth feature, widely considered the masterpiece of his late career despite its evolution from an aborted TV pilot, takes its name from the storied Los Angeles road and weaves its plot around the city’s signature industry: motion pictures. Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts in her breakthrough performance) arrives in Hollywood to pursue becoming a movie star and meets an enigmatic amnesiac brunette (Laura Harring). Around this deepening friendship, Lynch builds a unique puzzle movie, steeped in the romance and artifice of a bygone Hollywood. His best reviewed film since Blue Velvet earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director and landed atop many best-of-the-decade lists. It remains the ultimate expression of Lynch’s deep love-hate relationship with Hollywood. An NYFF39 selection.