So much to write about, and so little time!
Here’s a fun exercise that I did manage to complete, prompted by an IMDB thread, of all things!
Rank the Lynch films (giving a few reasons along the way)–and then tack on 5 favourite non-Lynch films.
This is what I came up with:
1. Mulholland Dr.
I wrote so much about it here that I’m afraid to do anymore. Suffice it to say: it’s my favourite film, and the most compelling examination of the divided nature of the self ever created in any medium… Naomi Watts is astonishing… it also delivers some of the best laughs in the Lynch canon
2. Inland Empire
absolutely unnerving, touching and metaphysically sublime–the ultimate fuck you to the people who waste their time worrying about what’s “real” and what’s a “dream” in Lynch’s work… it’s ALL real and all a dream… just like our own lives… the Grace Zabriskie stuff, the chase through the sound stage, Laura Dern on the street(“Where am I? I’m sca-yared.”), the facial transformation in the theatre near the end… it all lives in my subconscious as if it had always been there
3. Lost Highway
The best thing about Lynch is that he nearly always hits you with the full spectrum of emotion and thought at once… this one is quite exceptional in that regard–presenting the horror of desire (“you’ll NEVER have me”) without giving us much in the way of the euphoria generated by those fleeting victories over abjection and alienation…still, deeply, deeply compelling… and a real breakthrough in terms of narrative structure… a declaration of independence from linear plotting
4. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (including the episodes)
Amazingly empathetic examination of the physical and psychological trauma inflicted upon Laura Palmer–whom I like to think of as the Christ of modern America… her suffering is more typical (of life under patriarchal late capitalism) than anyone would like to admit
5. Wild at Heart:
Amour Fou. this is what the surrealists were trying to do
6. Blue Velvet:
this would be any other director’s best film… it IS amazing–and really establishes the pattern for Lynch’s meditation upon life in America… it is both the most optimistic and the most nihilistic of films–just as America is the most optimistic and nihilistic of cultures… it doesn’t flinch from the American Dream or the American Nightmare–both are absolutely real
astonishingly great–and already shows an artist near the full possession of his worldview–but not in dialogue with the history of cinema (and of America) in the way that most of his subsequent films are… if the truest cinema plays like the collective dream of its audience, this one still seems more like a dramatization of the artist’s own personal dreams
8. Elephant Man
Another extraordinary piece–alternately cruel, objective and heart-breakingly empathetic in equal measure… this is #8–and it too would be most directors’ best film
9. Straight Story
have only seen this one once (when it was released)–it IS wonderful–but (by design of course) lacks the ability to infect the viewer’s dreams
did not like this when I saw it as a kid–some day I will have to give it another try
5 Non-Lynchian favourites: VERTIGO, PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, SCARLET STREET, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, BLOW OUT
Do let me know if you decide to make your own list!
bonne apres midi