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(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular

Greetings, all. 

Much of what I relish about Lynch's work is its illegibility-- no matter how many times I view Mulholland Drive, for instance, it exceeds my comprehension and leaves me awestruck. My relationship with the film encapsulates the seemingly endless wellspring of discovery and wonder I find across the span of Lynch's films (and Twin Peaks , of course).

That said, as I get older, I have begun exploring why I find David Lynch's films so compelling-- a process that has been complicated by thoughtful and impassioned critiques of his work and its political implications from scholars and critics I admire.  I have some new misgivings and, candidly, I have yet to arrive at an understanding of what drives my fascination ... If his work is problematic (which I believe it is, despite my affection for it!) I have yet to land on a self-justification beyond the egotism of fanboy apologism (believe me, I'm more than capable of doing this, but I think there's a more substantive conversation to be had here....)

I follow Stuart Hall in my conviction that all artworks-- whether mass mediated or singular and self-contained-- are not only immanently political, but that their political meanings, in fact, carry imminent implications for living people.  That is, I no longer buy the premise that it is right and good for art and artistic discourses to insist on art's autonomy from society, for a variety of reasons likely outside the scope of this post (although, we'll see if I'm able to get a discussion going...)

I'm fixing here for a civil exploration of what others feel to be the social value of Lynch's work. I hope to clarify for myself why his work matters to me beyond its appeal as entertainment and sensuous escapism.

If what I've described makes sense (an open question!), would you kindly share:

1) Why do you love David Lynch's work?

2) How did you find it and why it mattered to you when you did?

3) How-- if at all-- your relationship with David Lynch has changed over time?

4) What do you feel is the value of Lynch's work for yourself ? For others?

Thanks very much for anyone willing to participate.

Let's rock!

 

 

 

 

Quote
Posted : 27/07/2017 2:15 pm
(@badalamenti-fan)
Roadhouse Regular

Hellooooo-oooooooo!

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Posted : 27/07/2017 3:35 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

Saw Eraserhead and for the first time in my life, I saw something very close to my dreams.  Saw Elephant Man and loved it.  I like the way he uses different, often non-standard visual clues and elements.  He also has a fascination with old industrial stuff, as do I.

From then on, I looked forward to seeing Lynch's stuff and I've enjoyed (Yes, even Dune) what I've seen.

I don't believe I have a relationship with Lynch.  He makes stuff, I watch it.

Value?  Hard to say.  I get a lot of enjoyment and inspiration.  Sometimes, it makes me think of things differently, other times there's a strange kind of comfort and satisfaction in realizing that others see things in the same way.  

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 27/07/2017 3:58 pm
ella liked
(@silentbobni)
Roadhouse Regular

I can't remember if it was Twin Peaks or Wild at Heart I saw first but was around the same time and I was definitely too young for either. I've seen everything he's done bar Inland Empire which I will get round to at some point. I just enjoy his work, nothing more than that.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:08 pm
(@colin_basterfield)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: Badalamenti Fan

Greetings, all. 

Much of what I relish about Lynch's work is its illegibility-- no matter how many times I view Mulholland Drive, for instance, it exceeds my comprehension and leaves me awestruck. My relationship with the film encapsulates the seemingly endless wellspring of discovery and wonder I find across the span of Lynch's films (and Twin Peaks , of course).

That said, as I get older, I have begun exploring why I find David Lynch's films so compelling-- a process that has been complicated by thoughtful and impassioned critiques of his work and its political implications from scholars and critics I admire.  I have some new misgivings and, candidly, I have yet to arrive at an understanding of what drives my fascination ... If his work is problematic (which I believe it is, despite my affection for it!) I have yet to land on a self-justification beyond the egotism of fanboy apologism (believe me, I'm more than capable of doing this, but I think there's a more substantive conversation to be had here....)

I follow Stuart Hall in my conviction that all artworks-- whether mass mediated or singular and self-contained-- are not only immanently political, but that their political meanings, in fact, carry imminent implications for living people.  That is, I no longer buy the premise that it is right and good for art and artistic discourses to insist on art's autonomy from society, for a variety of reasons likely outside the scope of this post (although, we'll see if I'm able to get a discussion going...)

I'm fixing here for a civil exploration of what others feel to be the social value of Lynch's work. I hope to clarify for myself why his work matters to me beyond its appeal as entertainment and sensuous escapism.

If what I've described makes sense (an open question!), would you kindly share:

1) Why do you love David Lynch's work?

2) How did you find it and why it mattered to you when you did?

3) How-- if at all-- your relationship with David Lynch has changed over time?

4) What do you feel is the value of Lynch's work for yourself ? For others?

Thanks very much for anyone willing to participate.

Let's rock!

 

 

 

 

1 & 2. My introduction to David Lynch was from a guy I worked with. He handed me a VHS cassette of Blue Velvet, a copy, so it only had Blue Velvet written in pen on the otherwise blank label. I've always loved the surreal, the macabre, anything off kilter, so I was mesmerised by this movie, and like anything else I love, I do obsession very well, so sought out anything else he'd done which brought me to Eraserhead. Then someone who worked at Warners Bros. in London handed me a VHS copy of the Twin Peaks pilot. She said, 'I'll think you'll enjoy this.' Why it mattered at the time? Hmm, I guess I was ready to absorb it.

3. David Lynch got me to meditation, first Transcendental (TM), then Vipassana, which led me to come up with an idea for a script, but no idea of how to go about it. A ten day silent meditation retreat (Vipassana) had me start a blog, then attend creative writing courses, for fiction - short stories, poetry, screenwriting and then improvisation. Watching Inland Empire back to back 5 times while my wife was away happened somewhere in there. That left me hopelessly anchoress. Someone recently called it a three hour panic attack. It is nonetheless brilliant and I feel this TP along with Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive seems almost like the evolution of Lynch's art, which includes so much beyond his fieldwork, music, painting etc, etc.

4. The value of his work for me is the integrity of it, the staunch refusal to subject his universal view, the unified field in his head, if you like onto us whom appreciate his work, outside his work, preferring us to interpret it with our own experience for ourselves. I go through phases of this TP where I almost don't want to hear anyone else's opinion about it, but I made a compromise and don't read anything until I've seen each part at least twice. 🙂

I could go on...:-)

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:10 pm
Karen and SamXTherapy liked
(@rbowser)
RR Diner Patron
Posted by: SamXTherapy

Saw Eraserhead and for the first time in my life... 

I really like your contribution on this thread, SamXTherapy - Seeing Eraserhead as a youth was also my mind-blowing intro to Lynch. I remember being annoyed when at one point all we were looking at for what seemed at eternity was an elevator door that had closed. But by the end of the film, the un-rushed lingering look at an alternate reality/dream had grabbed me.

Some years before Eraserhead, I had started seeing Fellini films, around the age of 14. For the first time, with Fellini I was seeing there's much more possible with film than simply telling a linear story. Since then, I've been entertained by conventional movies, and as I get older, even find fun in getting caught up with some big crowd-pleasing blockbusters. But what I'm always drawn to most are films that are the most un-Hollywoodish, which are fresh, unique creations, and which have plotting and story line their least important elements.

It's fun to get caught up in attempting to unravel the mysteries of The Return, but I think too many people are hung up on insisting that it all "make sense." Yes, each episode has moments where we all have "Ah ha!" moments - but for me, what's most enjoyable, as it is with all of Lynch films, is the non-stop flow of imagery, the constantly astonishing looooooong pauses, and seemingly static moments - elements that squarely put what we're watching into a category apart from most anything else we can see on a screen.

I think Lynch is primarily a surrealist who just happens to use film as his medium. Like the original surrealists, he would like his audience to Stop Making Sense, the way he has as he weaves his cinematic dreams.

 

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:27 pm
(@samxtherapy)
Detective

I fell for surrealism when I was around 9 or 10.  At my grandparents' house, they had a huge encyclopedia with a large section about different styles of painting.  Surrealism immediately appealed to me.  As I got older I read more about it, discovered many different artists and from there my appreciation grew.  I believe I have a reasonable understanding of the form, beyond the simple "weird stuff" appearance.

Lynch's work seems to fit with surrealism because he uses images and situations to create an atmosphere or emotion beyond the simple story.

Whatever it is, it works for me.

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum

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Posted : 27/07/2017 4:45 pm
(@1stdragonarse)
RR Diner Patron

I'm terrible remembering dates. I was a mailman for 25+ years; can still remember names and addresses, kids' names, dogs' names; but dates... yuck!  I think Lynch's works intrigue me because I've always enjoyed 'mysterious' stuff. I loved TV like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Hitchcock, Night Gallery and X-files later on in life... I think the first computer game I ever played was MYST. I was lucky to have some good friends at college who were into film festivals, cult classics and a bunch of old comedy that they projected, outdoors, on the side of a huge building on campus. Simply put, it was just an exciting experience. Can you imagine 500 students, all reciting the lines, in unison, from 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'? Good times! Anyway, 'Eraserhead' was my initiation into the club. I had no clue what was going on... only that I had a feeling like I had been trained for it, and failed. Luckily, I'm a patient man, and since, have seen all of Lynch's work many times... and guess what? I still don't know what's going on half the time, but I've certainly enjoyed the journey.

P.S.    One of my favorite cult classic-type films is "King of Hearts" (circa 1966? orig. french) That movie had a deep impact on me and actually taught me to view life from different perspectives. Lynch relates to me exactly like that.

 

I have total recall of everything and anything I ever made up.

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Posted : 27/07/2017 7:17 pm
ella liked
(@pynchjan)
RR Diner Patron

1) Why do you love David Lynch's work?

It has enriched my worldview and philosophy of life, led me to meditation / mindfulness / secular buddhism, and made me a more compassionate person.  

2) How did you find it and why it mattered to you when you did?

Saw Blue Velvet on VHS as a teen and in a flash appreciated the unsettling depths and implications of "things are not what they seem." Fundamentally changed my approach to literature (prepared me for Pynchon) and film (ruined my interest in mainstream cinema). 

3) How-- if at all-- your relationship with David Lynch has changed over time?

I've tried to keep up. It has developed as Lynch's work has "matured" from cult cinema (Eraserhead) to social critique (Mulholland Drive). I find his work rotten only to the extent that aspects of our existential (social) situation is rotten, and needs to be faced.

4) What do you feel is the value of Lynch's work for yourself ? For others?

It is potentially folk philosophical. It (i) cues, guides, encourages, demands reappraisal of one's worldview via cognitive discomfiture, and this (ii) nudges reorientation and reintegration of perceptual, intuitive, rational, and affective embodied cognitive processes. I see evidence of this in many of the comments made in this forum and in the general attitude of its Lynchian contributors. 

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Posted : 29/07/2017 2:36 am
(@karen_paynter)
Deputy

The Outer Limits had some great stories using quality writers ( and actors ). One of the spookiest was about a scientist who creates an artificial world in a chamber, and living beings on it are the result, and they evolve, then this ghost-like thing escapes out of it which seems to be an energy generated from the tiny beings on the world. 

Fire Walk With Me

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Posted : 29/07/2017 9:07 pm
(@karen_paynter)
Deputy

With his films ( with the exception of Dune, Straight Story, and the Elephant Man ) like abstract art you have to experience & feel it, if you just sit there trying to analyze every moment you are missing the EXPERIENCE ( I'm not saying never do so, but the first time is best without trying to have it "make sense," you can miss a lot that way ).

Fire Walk With Me

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Posted : 29/07/2017 9:27 pm
(@mark_chamberlain_stevens)
Roadhouse Regular
Posted by: Karen

The Outer Limits had some great stories using quality writers ( and actors ). One of the spookiest was about a scientist who creates an artificial world in a chamber, and living beings on it are the result, and they evolve, then this ghost-like thing escapes out of it which seems to be an energy generated from the tiny beings on the world. 

That was one of my favorites....as well as "Galaxy Being"

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Posted : 29/07/2017 9:34 pm
(@groofay)
Dweller

Hey, I'm just getting around to the non-Twin Peaks bits of this forum. This seems fun.

1) Why do you love David Lynch's work?

It's difficult to quantify (both the work and why I love it). Some artists just have that feel. And Lynch has it in untold abundance.

2) How did you find it and why it mattered to you when you did?

I'm one of those millennials who saw Twin Peaks on Netflix (while taking a break from undermining the moral fabric of modern society, of course) and thought, "Hey, I've heard good things about this, so why not?" Completely changed everything. That was one of those times in my life where I was not interested in very many things. And I don't want to overstate it or place significance where there is none (I'm an atheist, and have always been heavily skeptical of such things)--but it did feel rather like it entered my life of its own accord. I don't really believe it did, but the timing was eery.

3) How-- if at all-- your relationship with David Lynch has changed over time?

This is a difficult question. I'm a classical musician, and my relationships with other artists' work have so many different forms. If I had to assign a role for Lynch in my brain right now, he's the "What would [x] do?" guy. His process is so fascinatingly confident.

As for how that relationship has changed over time, though...I think he's had more or less the same presence, just in fluctuating levels of intensity, or something like that. I've obviously gotten to know more of his work and his process, but it's all reinforced my initial impression in a way. 

4) What do you feel is the value of Lynch's work for yourself ? For others?

Lynch--along with Satie, Bowie, Gesualdo, Scott Walker--brought on this sort of paradigm shift in the way I approach music (and art in general) these days: the focus being on how deliberate the artist is, rather than any preconceived notions of form, drama, etc. I see his work as remarkably similar to music to begin with. He takes a handful of thematic material and percolates it in his brain (probably with a fish), and applies tempo, phrasing, dynamics, atmosphere, structure--all of it with extreme subtlety and deliberateness. And even with Inland Empire, which was basically improvised, he improvised it with every bit as much intention as if he had worked on it for ten years. It's a wildly liberating experience to watch the result happen in front of me.

As for others...I think his major value is that he forces you to question what you value, and maybe you arrive at a different place as a result. That kind of art is irreplaceable.

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Posted : 01/08/2017 8:45 pm
(@melville-pembrokehurst)
Dweller

I saw Eraserhead when it first came out in 1977... at the age of 11. Despite being horrifically scarred for life, I still enjoyed this strange man who no-one had ever heard of, this weird man known as David Lynch. That was even more reinforced when I saw Blue Velvet when it came out (I did see The Elephant Man and Dune as well, but they are vastly different in tone to the rest of his work). Since then I have seen every one of his films as soon as they came out, and loved them all (except maybe Dune but I can forgive that to an extent.

“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.” - Dale Cooper

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Posted : 02/08/2017 2:12 am
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