Movies that make you go WTF are special indeed. Just ask (or read) this Whatculture contributor who’s viewing habits make Hollywood focus groups cringe in fear that she has such influence on main stream culture. While we all bitch about the current state of cinema with its popcorn predictability, dumbed down mass releases and beating on the usual dead horses, let’s instead take a look at a visionary director that has such influence on cinema that his contribution cannot be overlooked at a time when our attention span is so short that we want to just jump into the main part of this article, so much so that it’s difficult to follow to the end of this sent
David Lynch is an oddity within himself. A non-mainstream visionary who hit the mainstream right in its American nutsack. His film genre CV reads like a student itinerary with ‘Undeclared’ written all over his class choices. Nothing wrong with that. Yet at a time when ‘family connections’ play such a large part in Hollywood’s next generation of film-makers, Lynch is the strange uncle at the family Christmas Party that nobody ever talks about yet you found he was the most amazing person in your family.
Here’s a personal ranking of David Lynch films, in order of bizarre surrealism, story-telling and cinematic vision.
11. The Straight Story (1999)
This is the easiest of the bunch when ranking WTF, although it bears special merit as straying far outside the norm, like Snoop Dogg doing a song with Miley Cyrus. The Straight Story is what it proclaims to be: a rather straight up bland Americana drama (for David Lynch) based on the true story of a man who drives his lawn mower 300 miles across America to make amends with his ill brother.
No dancing midgets, no moody soundtrack or supernatural splits of reality, it starred Hollywood legends Richard Farnsworth and Sissy Spacek and for a brief moment in time, Lynch’s confusing career trajectory looked like it was heading for ‘After School Special’ territory. It was the only Lynch movie ever to be rated ‘G’ to the viewing audience. WTF?
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This article was first posted on July 20, 2013