One of our stock moves here at Dangerous Minds on a slow traffic day is to post something related to David Lynch. Like almost anything about the guy or even tangentially Lynch or Twin Peaks-related (like a cherry pie recipe) is guaranteed to be shared on social media. A lot. People seem to love David Lynch… or do they really?
To be honest, I’m not so sure how genuine all this supposed rabid Lynch fandom actually is. I think people think they’re supposed to like his work and if they don’t get it, then they aren’t cool. How else to explain the Emperor’s new clothes-ishness of Lynch fans, most of whom, if pressed, have rather a difficult time explaining why they like his films so much. Even smart people will twist themselves into pretzels offering pointless interpretations and tenuous excuses for his work. Ask one of them to be specific sometimes, the resulting word salad, it’s a good laugh.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the earlier part of Lynch’s filmography: I first saw Eraserhead projected on a wall in my parents’ basement on a 16mm film projector with a print that was acquired via an interstate film library lending system. I’d read about it and I HAD TO SEE IT and that’s the kind of hoops I had to jump through back then to be able to clap my eyes on the film. I saw The Elephant Man in a cinema by myself when I was 14. I must’ve watched Blue Velvet five times in a movie theater. I saw each and every episode of Twin Peaks as it aired. Wild at Heart, I’ve seen this multiple times, too.
But after that… I mean come the fuck on! From Lost Highway onwards, his films (for the most part) simply stop making sense. Moody? Sure. Sexy? Often. Nice to look at. Okay. They’re also incoherent self-parodies and ultimately say nothing. Frankly I think people extolling the virtues of Lynch’s incomprehensible later films are fooling themselves into believing that there is some occult profundity contained therein. The message? Go ahead and search for one. I’ll just wait here until you’ve given up.
Writer/director Joe McClean seems to feel the same way I do about David Lynch. McClean made a step-by-step guide on How To Make A David Lynch Film and cleverly disguised it as a David Lynch film within a David Lynch film.
It’s plain and simple. I watch David Lynch movies and I just don’t understand them. I decided I was going to try and figure them out so I stapled my eyes open and had a Lynch-a-thon. It didn’t help. I thought if I forced myself to watch, at some point it would just click and it would all make since. That never happened. I believe that good and bad are subjective terms so I allow others to spew forth praise and amazement at the genius of Lynch’s work, and I fully believe they have a right to their opinion.
This movie is my opinion.
I’m with him. See if you agree: