My Personal Journey to Understanding David Lynch

And then, one afternoon, just like that, I bought a copy of the Blue Velvet 25th Anniversary blu-ray. I didn't even think about it, I just purchased it, went home, and watched it, almost like there was some sort of unseen driving force behind my decision that was out of my control. I watched Blue Velvet, and for the first time I saw what others saw. David Lynch had made an American masterpiece about the decay of Suburbia in only the way he could. This was no milquetoast American Beauty look at suburban angst; no no, this was a brutal and unflinching bit of genius about what may be going on right around the corner from any of our front doors. I saw the artistry in his compositions, in the haunting musical number by Dean Stockwell, in the unhinged performance by Dennis Hopper. And in that moment it was as if everything about David Lynch made sense. I sought out Mulholland Drive and immediately fell in love with it. Yes, this is a film about dreams, but it is so vividly and completely succinct about dreams the accuracy is frightening. The way characters interchange and the way threads of time drift in and out of focus shape the film into an avant masterpiece which also manages to sharply comment on the nature of celebrity. Wild at Heart was a stroke of madness from Lynch, and the perfect vehicle for Nicolas Cage. Sure, Lost Highway was a bit of a misfire to most people, but there are certain elements of the film that will forever creep into my nightmares. I'm talking to you, Robert Blake. I went to another Lynch film, then another, and it was all in focus like an alcoholic a week after sobriety. Everything made sense in the way it didn't make sense. I still don't know what happened or what made me "get" Lynch all of a sudden. But I am glad I finally understand the way he operates within the universe of his pictures. The magic surrealist portraits he paints through his off-kilter view of the world belong in cinema. They exist to be confounding, they thrive on bewilderment. I think turning thirty had something to do with it, although I don't really see why that would change my opinion. Sometimes, I suppose, art takes time and work to understand If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then again, then one more time, four years later. Then, maybe it will click.

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Self-made film aficionado with a background in creative writing. Proprietor of www.themoviesnob.net. Lover of all things cinema. Follow me at @LCTmoviesnob and enjoy the ride.