We meet a lady, played by Marion Cotillard, in a Shanghai hotel. She goes to her room to mysteriously find music playing on a stereo. She also finds a Dior handbag that seems to suddenly appear out of nowhere. If you've seen a few of Lynch's films, this already feels familiar, but I wouldn't call it hackneyed. The lady thinks someone is in her room, so she calls the front desk, and two men in black suits investigate the room. They find nobody; then, they talk to her, which leads into flashbacks of the woman in Shanghai. The film was dream-like before, but here's where the dreaminess really kicks in.
It almost goes without saying that Lynch knows how to make these types of films, short or feature length. "Lady Blue Shanghai" works. The actors are convincing without overdoing their performances. The cinematography is stunning and although the blurry slow motion camera shots are a bit distracting, they blend right in with the mood and story. The neon lights during the running scene particularly stand out. And what's a surreal film without music? Dean Hurley and David Lynch's heavenly score is really effective. I can't think of anything pretentious about the film.
Like "Eraserhead", "Lost Highway", "Mulholland Dr.", and "Inland Empire", I don't know if there's a purpose to "Lady Blue Shanghai", other than to advertise Dior. There's something about romance. It's linked to the handbag, but I can't go any further. Well, I don't need there to be a purpose to the films I watch, particularly art-house films. They mainly have to be entertaining in some way. If you can take some commercialism, "Lady Blue Shanghai" will hopefully be a beautiful 16-minute experience. I wonder if and when Lynch will make another feature film.