Auteur Blog: David Lynch

Now that you’ve seen three David Lynch films, I’d like you to pick a fourth.  Explain Lynch’s “personal style” based upon this film and its relationship with the others.  You may want to discuss the film on the whole (broad thematic and technical details), or focus upon one scene that captures the “Lynchian” dimensions we’ve covered in class.

61 thoughts on “Auteur Blog: David Lynch

  1. As its name would suggest, The Straight Story is fairly straightforward which is a departure from the abstract and open-ended Lynch films we’ve viewed, but somehow it says more than those films ever did. The Straight Story is a movie about an old man named Alvin driving his riding mower from Iowa to Wisconson to visit his brother who recently had a stroke, and the film uses this premise as a vehicle to tell almost a heroes journey story about a man trying to save his relationship with his brother before it’s too late. In almost a reversal of Lynch’s typical storytelling, we have the core theme of the movie at the forefront that broadens to talk about a lot of different things like PTSD and alcoholism, while other movies like Blue Velvet have a lot of different plot elements at the forefront that condense into its core theme. Despite the straightforwardness, Lynch still finds ways to work in strange scenes, specifically a scene where a woman hits a deer with her car and freaks out about it before driving away and leaving the film entirely. The technical and visual aspects don’t quite match with Lynch’s other works either, but it still feels similar. Lynch loves shots of driving down a road, and there’s obviously tons of that here; we have lots of lingering long shots of different locations, interesting-looking characters to fill smaller roles, and there’s a focus on character reactions when shocking things happen. There’s a very specific cadence and style that a lot of the characters in Lynch’s films speak in, and though I don’t know how to describe it beyond that, it’s present in this film as well. The score is once again composed by Angelo Badalamenti, with his usual style complimented with many scoreless shots highlighting diegetic sound that lynch loves to focus on. It feels almost wrong for me to say this is my favorite Lynch film since it doesn’t really require you to think about what you saw, but The Straight Story was surprisingly moving and made me tear up a few times while also proving that Lynch can bring his personal touch into something so wildly different and I see that as a triumph.

  2. I watched A Straight Story. Overall the film felt very different to what I would usually associate with Lynch, partially due to it being a G rated film produced by Disney. I can definitely point out that one of Lynch’s major themes is the idea of family. Eraserhead is centered around the ideas of being a father and husband, Blue Velvet has Dorothy set up like a mother figure, Mulholland Drive centers around Diane’s dream to start a family and be with Camilla, and A Straight Story is about a man who seeks to mend his broken relationship with his brother.

  3. I watched Lynch’s 2002 web-based mini-series Rabbits. The series falls in line with much of Lynch’s other short form work, despite running for nearly 45 minutes, in that any meaning it may have is heavily obscured, and it relies on unconventional methods of audio and cinematography to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. The episodes of the series are characterized by long stretches of silence filled with a deep thrumming sound in the background, something present in other works of his like Eraserhead, and characters who provide nonsensical dialogue. There is a running theme in Rabbits of the deconstruction of a sitcom; characters enter the singular set to off-screen, disembodied applause, and a laugh track sounds off at seemingly random intervals. The set itself has only a single room, and a single camera angle, similarly to classic sitcom sets meant to imply a larger space. There is a sort of deeper, underlying mystery throughout Rabbits that is never developed to the point that the viewer can with confidence attempt to solve, similarly to Mulholland Drive. All of the elements of the film, from the unnatural sound design to the strange and unnatural performances, are reoccuring elements of Lynch’s work.

  4. “The Straight Story” directed by David Lynch was a movie I watched on Disney Plus. This movie was very different compared to the other David Lynch movies I have seen. Instead of it being about psychological horror its a Disney film about a man traveling on a lawn mower to see his brother. The man on the lawn mower is Alvin Straight who is going to see his brother Lyle after he suffered a stroke. Cinematography wise their are extreme close ups of characters like in other Lynch movies for example “Eraserhead” but in that movie he used it to convey more uncomfortable feelings and terror. In this movie he used it to convey more emotions and thoughts. “The Straight Story” also has fades in and out of scenes.
    This was a great movie and I was not expecting Lynch to make a rated PG Disney movie.

  5. In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lynch touches on many topics and themes familiar in his films. Like Mulholland Drive, there is stream of consciousness, differing layers of reality, and a mixing of dream and reality. Like Blue Velvet, there is an exploration of the dark underbelly of a seemingly perfect picture. Lynch also explores another perverse family dynamic. All three previously mentioned movies have investigative main characters. Like Eraser Head, this film features untied loose ends and is an open text. All of these films have the repeated image of a stage, all but one with red curtains.

  6. I watched David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which has many similarities to other Lynch films, especially Blue Velvet. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Blue Velvet involve dark secrets in a small town with fifties aesthetics, subverting expectations of seemingly ordinary towns, particularly the wholesomeness of the town in Blue Velvet. They both contain a woman singing on stage, shots of the road at night illuminated by headlights of a moving vehicle, and retro diner. Some of those features also appear in Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me all contain a mystery, which is common in Lynch’s works. In Blue Velvet, Jeffery wants to know about the ear he found, in Mulholland Drive Betty and Rita try to find out the mystery of Rita’s car accident and the blue key, and in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, the detectives and Laura uncover the mystery around a missing ring. Lynch’s films also have a juxtaposition between femme fatales—Laura in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Dorothy in Blue Velvet, The Beautiful Girl Across the Hall in Eraserhead, and Rita in Mulhholland Drive—and the innocent, girl next door type—Donna in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Sandy in Blue Velvet, Mary in Eraserhead, and Betty in Mulholland Drive. Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me also both deal with sexual assault, although Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me deals more with the resulting trauma. Thematically, both Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me involve family in the world of sex. While Blue Velvet takes a Freudian approach, as Jeffery is like a naïve young child having sex with a mother figure while fighting against a father figure, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me is literal, since Laura is repeatedly raped by her father.

  7. The additional David Lynch film I chose to watch was “The Elephant Man”, produced in 1980. It was based on a true story depicting the life of Joseph (John) Merrick who was born deformed and treated like a freak. This film shows many features of Lynch’s personal style. For example, when the elephant man falls asleep towards the middle of the movie, the camera zooms into the tiny hole in the head cover he had worn. This is Lynch’s way to indicate to the audience that a dream is about to occur. We see the same Lynchian effect when the camera zooms into what looks like a ball of dirt in “Eraserhead”, into a severed ear in “Blue Velvet”, and into the blue cube of “Mulholland Drive”. Another common effect seen in Lynch’s movies is the use of industrial sounds to add to the creepiness of the scene. In “The Elephant Man” dream sequence, there were sounds of pipes and machinery overlapping with the elephants trumpeting. The audience heard similar factory noises throughout the movie “Eraserhead”, as well as trucks transporting lumber in “Blue Velvet”. Lynch uses dim lighting in hallways to create disturbing settings and mysterious spaces, and to focus on the characters that are walking through. We see this effect in “The Elephant Man” as the nurse walks down the hospital hallway at night. In “Eraserhead” and “Blue Velvet”, characters are often seen in hallways of apartment buildings where small lamps give off very little light. These are some of many visual and audio effects repeated in various David Lynch films that add to the surreal quality of the stories.

  8. The movie that I watched last night which was directed by David Lynch is 1999’s The Straight Story, which the movie is one Disney +. Even though Lynch’s style is meant to be in terms of Lynchian and weirdness but it terms out after I watched The Straight Story, it was totally different compared to some of others Lynch’s films. Instead of the weirdness, we got Alvin who rides a lawn mower to trying to go see his brother who doing poorly from strokes and see how he’s doing. The movie goes into subject about family where in the movie, we want to check in with one of our family member that we known forever and knowing how if they’re doing fine or not where it will be sad to see a family member suffering from illness or strokes where can be sad to see one of our family member die. There have been other Lynch’s films that deals with family. Eraserhead goes into taking of a weird looking baby where it did feel really tough and crazy for Henry and Mary to try and take care the baby. The Straight Story is rated G where many of Lynch’s are either rated PG-13 or R for many of some horrifying or sexual moments where instead Straight Story deals with emotions and heart from Alvin and how does all he can to go out of his way to see his brother. I really do love the movie where it’s really deep, thoughtful, and emotional it is that it makes me wonder to see my family members when I get older and how I still love my family so much. Despite how the film bomb when it was in theaters, it was great received by many critics and audiences and managed to get a nomination at the Academy Awards for Best Actor.

  9. I watched “Lost Highway” and I thought it had a lot of similarities with the other David Lynch movies we have watched so far. Like many of his movies, the plot of “Lost Highway” feels strange and surrealistic. It explores the idea of a shifting identity, just like “Mullholand Drive”, as well as the darker side of a romantic or familial relationship like both “Eraserhead” and “Blue Velvet”. Another thing I noticed, was how the use of sound in this movie was used to make the viewer feel uneasy, with some scenes being very loud and some very quiet. This is like how Lynch used industrial diegetic sound in “Eraserhead” to make the setting stranger and the viewer more uncomfortable.

  10. I watched Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” (1980) as my fourth Lynch film. This film is a true Lynchian film. Despite color films coming out in 1940, many Lynch films were filmed in black and white, including “The Elephant Man”. “The Elephant Man” reminded me so much of his film “Eraser Head”. The films are both based on real-life trauma and problems. “Eraser Head” was based on Lynch’s own personal trauma based on his daughter’s deformity. While “The Elephant Man” was based on a true story about a deformed man making a living off of his deformity. Both films have an underlying discomfort to their atmospheres which is present in all Lynchian films. “The Elephant Man” was one of David Lynch’s earlier films still going through the development of his trademark in the film industry, but his style is still very present. The one thing that makes this film different from most Lynchian films is that the sexual themes aren’t present. For example in “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” sex is a very prevalent theme.

  11. I watched David Lynch’sThe Elephant Man” which has many similar traits to his other films like Eraserhead. They both contain a questionable ending that the audience doesn’t know if both movies had a happy ending or not. At the end of The Elephant Man, John Merrick had decided to sleep sideways, but it resulted in him dying from dislocating his neck through the weight of his head. The cinematography uses those moments to emphasize the main character’s final moments that shine on them to emphasize that they are moving on from the movie and to the audience. Just like in Eraserhead, that movie ended with the father taking his future kid into the bright shiny light. Both movies ended with the audience questioning if both endings ended happily or horribly. The results ended with both John Merrick’s death because of his illness, and the question of the father turned out ok taking care of his child since we don’t know what happens next. Not only that but the sound effects and visuals were a long extended amount of silence and showing bright light made the ending added even more disturbing elements to the conclusion. In the end, we question David Lynch’s movies if there are more to his stories that tie up these loose ends.

  12. I watched the movie “The Straight Story” and although I enjoyed it, it was unlike the other Lynch films I watched, because of it being a G-rated film. The movie was about an older man struggling with the discomfort of aging and death among the horizon of his life. I found similarities between Lynch’s films, Alvin having a daughter who has a daughter who lives with him and has a disability is apparent with Lynch coping with his own daughter who had a disability. Although it is more apparent throughout the films Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Eraserhead, amplifying noises and aggressive close-ups are still noticeable in this film. In the other films, these techniques are used to create an eeriness but since this movie is a G-rated film the techniques are used but in a less apparent way. All Lynchian aspects used throughout these films are the main character being a man and having a reckoning while trying to come to terms with it as well as having a disabled or burdening daughter. More lynch styles are the amplified noises and aggressive close-ups. Lynch always creates an open-ended and abstract film, open to interpretation and appreciation from all ages and people.

  13. I watched “The Elephant Man” made in 1980. The movie is about a man (Merrick) who is born with a disfigurement. Merrick uses his disfigurement to be the “Elephant Man” in a sideshow. In this movie I saw many characteristics of what I would consider the “Lynchian” style. One effect that I have noticed in all his films so far is the use of eerie sounds that make the scenes more suspenseful. Such as in “Eraser Head’ the industrial sounds we hear outside his window and in “Blue Velvet” the amplified sound of the water hose. Each movie gives off a very uncomfortable feeling as I watch, however I feel this is to exaggerate and get people thinking about what really goes on in one’s mind.

  14. I watched Lost Highway. It had a lot of similarities with the others that we’ve watched in the sense that some of the characters become completely unhinged, or are surreal by their very nature. It’s possible that the villains in his story all have some kind of mental illness that warps the way they see the world, thus contributing to their violent tendencies. I’m specifically regarding the antagonists of the Lost Highway, and Blue Velvet. I would also like to note that while the more recent films were less uncomfortable to watch, they were also less memorable than Eraserhead. Perhaps this reflects a change in the way David Lynch is seeing the world, less grotesque, but still terrifying. With all that being said, unfortunately the main theme of this film (as with the others) is completely lost to me, but I think that’s the point. An interesting observation I made is that I didn’t need to understand everything to enjoy the movie, and it’s nice that these movies are designed to reward a second viewing. They’re like a videogame that gives you extra items on the second playthrough, and encourages you to experience it multiple times.

  15. I watched Lynch’s “Lost Highway” (1997). While I was watching this film it was very Lynchian. What I mean by that is Lynch uses a twist in the movie that isn’t straightforward and blends reality with fantasy. Like in “Mullholand drive” the film is the fantasy of Diane’s. when Diane opens the blue box we exit her fantasy. This same Lynchian trademark is also used in “Lost Highway” when we are brought into the fantasy with the scene of Fred in prison and the flashing blue light. The fantasy is Fred imagining himself as Pete, a young adult who is good looking and doesn’t have to worry about his ability too sexual satisfy. Frank’s fantasy continues when he imagines Alice, I would argue is the fan fatale of this film. Which is another very lynchian aspect and seen throughout the movies we have watched. The fantasy ends with the sex scene with Alice and she says “you’ll never have me.” and Frank, comes back as himself in reality and we are able to make more sense of the movie.

  16. The fourth film that I decided to tackle is the film Lost Highway, directed by Lynch and released in 1997. This movie encapsulates many themes, similarly placed motifs, edits, visual queues, and other similarities to some of Lynch’s other films. In particular, Lost Highway has aspects that are reminiscent of both Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Eraserhead. Similar to Eraserhead, this film tackles some supernatural elements with the way our antagonist is set up as well as carrying a similar beat by beat mystery for the audience to follow like in Blue Velvet. There are also subtle motifs throughout the movie that return every now and again. In Blue Velvet, these motifs included the Robin, the romantic dichotomy that Jefferey had between both Sandy and Dorothy, some familial motifs, as well as a more subtle motif in the left ear references that are placed throughout the movie. Here, we see the video tapes near the beginning of the film, as well as many sexually explicit moments that for one reason or another move the plot forward, which we also see with Jefferey and Dorothy in Blue Velvet. The stage motif is also within all of these films, albeit used in different ways from each other. Two other small motifs is that each of these films includes one specific moment, or several, where a big flash of light envelopes the camera in some way as well as a play on dreams. In Blue Velvet for example, dreams were referenced during Sandy and Jefferey’s conversations and when Frank gave his monologue to Jefferey during the joy ride. Here in Lost Highway, we see this throughout the film where the lead character is having dreams about his wife and other instances and individuals that are in the film, with it coming to a head at the end of the movie when he fantasizes about Alice until the fantasy ends. Then, when it comes to editing, Lynch uses fade ins as well as ominous sounds to transition from scene to scene and from one establishing shot to another. The sound design in a lot of moments also seems to be carried over between the films, with some stock sounds being either reused or done in a way similar to what Lynch would usually go for when developing the sound.

  17. “Eraserhead”, “Blue Velvet”, “Mulholland Drive”, and “The Elephant Man” demonstrate Lynch’s personal style because they have similar themes and characteristics. Sound and imagery are important in these Lynch films because they all include disturbing noises and images that make the viewer uncomfortable. “Eraserhead”, “Mulholland Drive”, and “the Elephant Man” all have a similar droning noise in the background. Lynch’s films usually also include other disturbing sounds like screaming and eerie music. For example, in the final scene of “Mulholland Drive” there is frantic screaming and yelling. In “The Elephant Man” Bytes puts Merrick into a cage and the monkeys begin to screech so much that it is almost difficult to watch. These movies all include disturbing imagery as well. In “Blue Velvet” the idyllic neighborhood is undercut by a close up of beetles crawling in the grass. In “Eraserhead” and “The Elephant Man” Lynch emphasizes the deformities of certain characters. Another common theme in Lynch films is the dream-like or strange world setting. In “Eraserhead” there is no outside or real world, the film is nightmarish. “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” present an idyllic neighborhood and a Hollywood dreamland. There is a scene in “The Elephant Man” where Merrick has a dream about his mother being attacked. All four of these films present viewers with ugly realities like a disintegrating marriage, abuse, unfulfilled dreams and inhumanity. A final “Lynchian” aspect of his films is the heavenly imagery at the very end. “Eraserhead” ends with a bright light, “Mulholland Drive” ends with bright, happy images of Diane fading in and out, and “The Elephant Man” ends with stars and a sun-like image of Merrick’s mother.

  18. I watched the 1997 film Lost Highway. I noticed several Lynchian aspects, including uncomfortable/disconcerting scenes and images, a blending of reality and fantasy, and a God-like figure. The opening scene of the movie is prolonged and nearly silent, until it is interrupted by a cut to a loud, overwhelming jazz club. The transition between quiet and loud scenes continues throughout the film. The jarring, unsettling effect that this creates is also prevalent in Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. The construct of the film is especially similar to Mulholland Drive in that it appears to exist in two realms–one real and one imagined. Also like Mulholland Drive, it is difficult to distinguish which world is reality and which is fantasy. Lost Highway also appears to have its own god-like figure, the Mystery Man. The Mystery Man has some sort of power over Fred/Pete, as well as a certain level of omniscience. It is unclear if he is real, imagined, or both, but his purpose in the film seems to be somewhat similar to that of the man in the planet in Eraserhead. These creative decisions appear in many Lynch films, and they contribute to the surrealism that he is known for.

  19. For this assignment, I chose to watch Lynch’s “The Elephant Man”, which was released in 1980. The film was true story about a man named John Merrick who suffered from extreme physical deformities in an unaccepting society, and his journey of being in freakshow to staying in a hospital. This film was a good demonstration of a “Lynchian” style put in a more digestible and easier to follow storyline, considering many of Lynch’s films tend to have a very convoluted plot. Lynch tends to create films that have a surreal and almost dreamlike quality to them, and this film includes bits and pieces of that style, especially in the opening sequence and in Merrick’s dreams, as well as when people are sneaking into his hospital room to look at him. There is also a very Lynchian use of sound, with a lot of loud diegetic and non-diegetic sounds to build a sense of anxiety and surrealism during certain scenes, particularly the opening scene. There is also a lot of Lynchian camera movement with the way the camera zooms in very close to certain objects or faces. This film also bears some close similarities to Lynch’s “Eraserhead”, both with the choice for the films to be in black and white and his use of prosthetic/special effect makeup in both movies. Other than these more technical elements, this film explores the cruel underbelly of society and the awful people that can be part of that as well as the victims of that, which is very similar to the themes Lynch explores in the films “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Dr.”

  20. The movie I chose was “Lost Highway” and it had many similarities with the classic Lynch style. The film contains many claustrophobic shots that are present is a majority of Lynch movies including “Eraserhead”, and “Blue Velvet”. Another tell tale Lynch trait is how choppy, awkward, and uncomfortable much of the dialog in the movie is, especially in the first half before Fred turns into Pete (though the awkward dialog does return at the end of the movie as well). Another aspect that is similar to Lynch’s other works is the focus on the relationships which ultimately lead to violence. This is shown in both “Blue Velvet” and “Eraserhead” as abusive sexual relationships are prevalent in “Blue Velvet” and Henry ends up killing the baby that he and Mary had together in “Eraserhead”, and in “Lost Highway” adulterous relationships lead to the two mob bosses being killed by Fred and Pete.

  21. I watched Lost Highway (1997). Lynches style really bleeds onto this movie. For example, a good portion of this movie happens in Fred’s head, not unlike Mulholland Drive. Fred gets sent to prison for killing his wife and then fabricates an ideal new life as Pete. Pete is a young man who has many mistresses. Pete reverts into Fred once he hears Allice; a love interest, that he can never have her. Then by the end of the film, it shows Fred getting the electric chair. Lynch doesn’t just put Fred in an electric chair but does it in a cryptic way. There is a flashing effect to simulate lightning in one of the scenes. In the final scene, the same flashing lights effect is present, and Fred starts to aggressively shake in response to it. Fred is getting the electric chair while he still is in his fantasy. Lynch also likes to have some godly figure pulling the strings in his movies. In Eraserhead, it was the man pulling all the levers. In this movie, It’s the ghastly white man who never blinks. He’s a consistent force in the film. lynch also enjoys droning noises that happen in the background. This sound is present in Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive.

  22. The Movie I watched was Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. The movie has many characteristics of a David Lynch movie. The there is Lynch’s odd sense of humor present throughout the film with many characters acting in unusual and bizarre ways. Often making scene longer than they need to be. There is also a heavy focus on surrealism with normal locations being mixed with super natural elements. Such as the town of twin peaks and Laura’s. There is also constant sexual undertones, similar to both Blue Velvet and Eraserhead. These traits make the movie feel very unsettling and uncomfortable to watch. This allows for the movie to form the trademark Lynchian style.

  23. In “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”, Lynch’s mark shines through. There’s the trademark femme fatale who is foiled by a more docile, more innocent woman – in this case Laura is the dangerous influence and Donna is the who is caught up in her life and dangers. Specifically, it’s like when Jeffrey got involved in Dorothy’s life that caused him to be exposed to more dangers – Donna starts to experiment with drugs and sex when she’s hanging out with Laura. However, Lynch pulled a palette swap with the more innocent girl and the femme fatale. Usually he makes sure that it is clear to tell the difference between the two by having the femme fatale have dark hair (The Woman Across The Hall, Rita, Dorothy) and the more traditional, ‘innocent’ woman have blonde hair (Mary, Camille, Sandy). There is also the tense relationship between the father-like figure and the curious main character in both Blue Velvet and Fire Walk With Me. Jeffrey and Frank’s relationship is marred by Frank’s way of establishing dominance over Jeffrey with odd shows of affection – all nonconsensual (i.e. the car and highway scene where he kisses him and sings the song to him) and the repeated rape of Laura by BOB, who is later revealed to be Leland. There is also the unsettling disruption of Small Town, America with the drama and mysteries and upsetting spirits or hallucinations that mar the towns and it’s inhabitants – like in Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. Lynch also uses disturbing and warped beings to help the main characters in the film process their trauma (the man behind the diner in Mulholland Drive and BOB in Fire Walk With Me.)
    Overall, this is very clearly a Lynch film.

  24. I watched Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me. The Lynchian elements I noticed while watching this movie are on the music is still very well thought out and helps the shots and scenes that the music is in. The music also sometimes makes the scenes or shots seem like there is something wrong or make you feel like you are always on edge which is typical for Lynch films. Also an aspect I noticed with this movie that is from David Lynch is how some scenes seem very drawn out or awkward but it also shows how he was thinking less talking and more physical acting. Specifically the two men fighting after one bent a bar with his hands.

  25. I chose to watch Lynch’s 1997 film “Lost Highway”.I could see many similarities between this movie and a lot of Lynch’s other work. The lighting throughout the movie was one Lynchian aspect I noticed. Lynch tends to use lowkey lighting in a lot of the shots to contribute to the overall feeling of confusion and uneasiness of the story. Another Lynchian aspect I noticed was the shot of Pete in the lawn chair, with the picket white fence in the back. This shot reminded me of the opening shot in “Blue Velvet”. The relationship between Pete and Alice is comparable to the relationships in “Eraserhead” and “Blue Velvet”. In all these films, the woman are femme fatales. They are seen as mysterious and beautiful, but there are obvious consequences for the men if they get involved with them. In “Lost Highway”, Pete has a relationship with a girl his age, but Alice successfully seduces him only to drag him into her violent and dangerous life. Finally, the diegetic sounds that are used in “Lost Highway” are very similar to Lynch’s other films. There are industrial undertones throughout most of the movie, like in “Eraserhead” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”.

  26. The fourth film that I decided to tackle is the film Lost Highway, directed by Lynch and released in 1997. This movie encapsulates many themes, similarly placed motifs, edits, visual queues, and other similarities to some of Lynch’s other films. In particular, Lost Highway has aspects that are reminiscent of both Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Eraserhead. Similar to Eraserhead, this film tackles some supernatural elements with the way our antagonist is set up as well as carrying a similar beat by beat mystery for the audience to follow like in Blue Velvet. There are also subtle motifs throughout the movie that return every now and again. In Blue Velvet, these motifs included the Robin, the romantic dichotomy that Jefferey had between both Sandy and Dorothy, some familial motifs, as well as a more subtle motif in the left ear references that are placed throughout the movie. Here, we see the video tapes near the beginning of the film, as well as many sexually explicit moments that for one reason or another move the plot forward, which we also see with Jefferey and Dorothy in Blue Velvet. The stage motif is also within all of these films, albeit used in different ways from each other. Two other small motifs is that each of these films includes one specific moment, or several, where a big flash of light envelopes the camera in some way as well as a play on dreams. In Blue Velvet for example, dreams were referenced during Sandy and Jefferey’s conversations and when Frank gave his monologue to Jefferey during the joy ride. Here in Lost Highway, we see this throughout the film where the lead character is having dreams about his wife and other instances and individuals that are in the film, with it coming to a head at the end of the movie when he fantasizes about Alice until the fantasy ends. Then, when it comes to editing, Lynch uses fade ins as well as ominous sounds to transition from scene to scene and from one establishing shot to another. The sound design in a lot of moments also seems to be carried over between the films, with some stock sounds being either reused or done in a way similar to what Lynch would usually go for when developing the sound.

  27. After watching Lost Highway, Lynch fans start to understand his personal style more because of certain repetitions used in this movie that were seen in his others. For starters, in all four movies we have seen by Lynch, there is always a femme fatale. In Lost Highway, the femme fatale is Renee and Alice, who are played by the same actress, similar to Diane and Betty and Rita and Camilla in Mulholland Drive. Another example of similarity is that towards the beginning of the film, Fred is playing saxophone onstage. Just like the other three films, the stage represents expressing feelings, dreams and escaping from reality. When Fred gets on- stage, he is escaping from his troubles with his wife at home, like how in Blue Velvet when Dorothy is escaping from her bad “relationship” with Frank. Another case of similarity is when Fred says “I like to remember things my own way. How I remember them, not necessarily the way they happened” when talking about if he uses a video camera. This relates to Mulholland Drive in that Diane makes up a fantasy in which her new role as Betty gets the girl, and they live happily ever after like how Fred makes up his new identity as Pete and also gets the girl that wants to be with him. Diane wants to imagine her life the way she wants it to be, not how it is, just like what Fred wants too, so they both imagine two version of themselves, the reality vs. the imagination of what they want their lives to be. This is shown in both films by the flashing lights. All these Lynch’s films put the audience into the world of the character’s unconscious where both Diane and Fred are imagining their alternative dream lives. A fourth similarity between all four movies is the unavailable love interest and jealous boyfriends. Just like in Blue Velvet when Jeffrey is interested in Sandy, but Sandy already has a boyfriend, Pete takes a liking to Alice, but she is already taken by Al. As for jealousy, Diane is jealous of Camilla’s relationship with Adam Kesher in Mulholland Drive just how Fred is jealous of his wife, Renee’s affair. Lastly, between all four of those films, they have a very distinct sound to them of eerie and suspense noise in the beginning to alert to audience that something weird and creepy is going to happen later in the film.

  28. I watched “The Elephant Man” (1980), directed by David Lynch. This film is a historical drama about the real life “Elephant Man” named Joseph Merrick (called John in the film) who was born with severe deformities including a bigger head, looser skin, a curved spine, and tumors on his back. He spent a majority of his life as a circus “freak” that was shown to customers for money. A man named Dr. Frederic Treves finds out about Joseph and brings him to his home where he learns about how kind and charming Joseph is despite his physical appearance. He gets Joseph to be able to live in the London Hospital for the rest of his life while letting him live with dignity. This film features many Lynchian characteristics including metaphors such as when Joseph has a dream where he looks into a mirror and sees an elephant instead of himself, just like how in “Eraserhead” Henry has a vision where a lady is crushing sperm to signify him having fears of not wanting a child. Also, in this scene where Joseph is traveling back to London from the cage he was put in toward the end of the film, Lynch relies on the background sounds just like in films such as “Blue Velvet” where in some scenes there is no music and just industrial sounding sounds. This characteristic allows Lynch to make his films creepier and darker.

  29. The fourth David Lynch film I chose to watch was “The Elephant Man”. It follows the true story of a man named Joseph Merrick, who lived in 19th-century London and was deformed. Right off the bat, the similarities to Lynch’s first film, “Eraserhead”, are evident; both follow the lives of deformed humans. Considering that “The Elephant Man” is Lynch’s second full-length film, it makes sense that he would choose to stick to writing about deformities. The inclusion of a stage or performance is another similarity to his first film and many of his others, such as the Spanish club scene in “Mulholland Drive”. What truly makes a Lynch film, however, is the eerie, dream-like sound design- which is usually diegetic. “Eraserhead” has a constant white noise in the background that is reminiscent of urban sound pollution, making for an uncomfortable experience on top of the grotesque imagery. Another Lynchian technique is the zoom-ins that indicate a dream sequence is about to occur, such as the blue box in “Mulholland Drive”, the dirt in “Eraserhead”, and Merrick’s head cover in “The Elephant Man”. Overall, Lynch’s sophomore film shows that he is still establishing himself in the industry, but has many elements of the “Lynchian-style” such as eerie sound design, certain camera techniques, and stories about deformities.

  30. I watched David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me. The movie draws many similarities to other past David Lynch films like Blue Velvet for example. The way David Lynch makes actors act is present in this film with their weird, borderline insane, acting. It is definitely in attempt to make the audience almost uncomfortable which he does in most of his movies. If I had to describe it I would say the scenes always never feel the right length to be normal. Lynch also shows scenes of sexual assault which seem normal in his movies. There is also another aspect of authoritative figures, like parents, creating sexual tension between them and their children like in Blue Velvet. To me it seems Lynch may have struggled with that as a child and now expresses it in his films.

  31. I watched David Lynch’s film Twin Peak: Fire Walk with Me, which touched on many similarities to his other films, like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. Both Blue Velvet and Twin Peak: Fire Walk with Me deal with a small town that has dark secrets, as well as has some fifties aspects. Plus, a subverting of expectations from seemingly ordinary towns. Some similarities between the two films are a woman singing on stage, shots of the road at night illuminated by headlights of a moving vehicle, and retro diner. Some of these characteristics also appear in two other Lynch films, Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive. Like Mulholland Drive, this movie deals a stream of consciousness, with differing layers of reality, as well as a mixture of dream and reality. This film as relates to EraserHead, by the features of untied loose ends and is an open text. A common thing that is found in Lynch’s work is some sort of mystery, like in Bule Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. For example, in Blue Velvet, Jeffery wants to know about the ear he found, in Mulholland Drive Betty and Rita try to find out the mystery of Rita’s car accident and the blue key, and in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, the detectives and Laura uncover the mystery around aa missing ring. Another thing that appears in Lynch’s films is that they have an association between a femme fatale- Laura in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Dorothy in Blue Velvet, the beautiful girl Across the Hall in Eraserhead, and Rita in Mulholland Drive- and the innocent, girl next door type- Donna in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Sandy in Blue Velvet, Mary in Eraserhead, and Betty in Mulholland Drive. Overall, this is very clearly a Lynch film.

  32. I watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. This movie was thematically similar to other Lynch films in that it included incestuous/Freudian relationships (similar to those portrayed in Blue Velvet). It also included strange/out of place character behavior, like when the police officer/ receptionist at the Deer Meadow sheriff station began to laugh hysterically when Agent Desmond arrived. The movie also contained characters in ambiguous settings, and characters with atypical body proportions, similar to characters in Eraserhead and Mullholland Drive. Much of Lynch’s use of sound to create tension can be recognized in Fire Walk With Me. It remind me of the use of sound in “Eraserhead”. Another aspect of Lynch’s films that I observed was his use of fade-in and fade-out editing. This movie reminded me of Mullholland Drive in that the first part of the movie occurs following one set of characters, (the FBI agents), and concludes following another set of characters (Laura and the people who surround her).

  33. At first glance of Lynch’s “The Straight Story”, you would not imagine it is a David Lynch film because it is an outcast from the rest of his work. Unlike “Mulholland Drive” and “Eraserhead”, “The Straight Story” has almost no subconscious exploration. However, The Straight Story does deal with unspoken secrets and struggles of the main character similar to other Lynchian films. But, these struggles that the main character, Alvin Straight, have are different from other conflicts Lynch has portrayed. Alvin’s struggles deal with reconnecting with his lost brother after finding out he had a stroke. This opening of “The Straight Story” is very similar to the opening of “Blue Velvet” where Jeffrey’s father has a stroke that causes him to come home in the first place. The similarities between this film and other films of Lynch are minimal. “The Straight Story” does not have an eerie, angry, and gory theme like most of Lynch’s works do.

  34. The fourth Lynch film I watched was “Lost Highway”. As an auteur, Lynch’s personal style comes out in this movie through his use of eerie and amplified diegetic and non-diegetic sound, fades and bursts of light as transitions between shots, as well as the implementation of short and overwhelming images the have an underlying meaning and delve into your psyche. Throughout each of the films, the Freudian theory of the Oedipus complex is prevalent like with Dorothy and Jeffery as well as Alice and Pete. Also, mysterious characters are seen in multiple Lynch films including the homeless woman in “Mulholland Drive” and the mystery man in “Lost Highway” that both serve as a sort of psychological symbol of what the character is going through and help enforce the themes seen in each movie. We also see dramatic power dynamics in each movie with main characters like Jefferey and Pete being meeker and older men like Frank and Dick holding an intimidating role that is meant to threaten the main character and spur them into action. This also contributes to the theme of the Oedipus complex with the older male appearing as a father-like figure who has to compete with the younger character for the mother’s affection. Smaller elements that capture the Lynchian style are the appearance of femme fatale figures including Dorothy, Rita, and Alice, that seduce the main character. Lynch loves to use fire, smoke, and color such as the blue box, wig, and stage light in “Mulholland Drive” and the red curtains in “Lost Highway” in order to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality. He creates beautiful poetic associations with each of his obsessions. Overall with “Lost Highway” and his other films, a huge element between all has been poetic imagery that appeals to your sub-conscience and a sort of open text that allows you to interpret the film how you wish.

    • The movie that I decided to watch was Lost Highway. This movie exhibited Lynchian moments such as when Fred is calling someone and it cuts to various ringing phones, one of which appears to be on the floor, or when Fred wakes up from a nightmare and sees a pale man’s face on Renee instead of her face; both of these moments felt very surreal or dream-like, which is very typical of David Lynch. There were also several parts throughout the movie where a benign sound would be amplified to the point of being somewhat unsettling, such as when Fred and Renee are breathing heavily while having sex.

  35. The David Lynch film I have chosen is a short film. What did Jack do?” (2017). This film is the perfect depiction of a Lynchian film. David Lynch is undoubtedly an auteur. This short film is shot like it was filmed on old film. The tonality is black in white throughout the whole movie, much like “Eraserhead.” Like other Lynch films we have watched in this class, it has an element of randomness, the surreal, and is highly peculiar, though this short film is similar mostly to Eraserhead.” All of these Lynch films, “Blue Velvet and “Mulholland Drive” included, have had a sense of being dropped into a dream-like reality. Familiar elements become unfamiliar. We can see this In What did Jack do? Here the typical element is an interrogation taking place, the detective holding an interrogation. An interrogation is an everyday occurrence, though the unfamiliar is that the detective speaks with a monkey, who has a grown man’s voice. While the dialogue is in English and has some sense, it is highly warped and slightly nonsensical, much like other Lynch films. Another personal style added was the stage scene, the monkey performs a small musical number, which is seen repeatedly in Lynch’s work. This scene inserts heavy dream-like imagery. Watching his films is like being stuck in a reality that is macabre and confusing.

  36. I watched “Lost Highway,” and found striking similarities with “Mulholland Drive.” Partway through each film, a metaphysical breakdown occurs–characters become other people, and new stories begin. Each half of the film mirrors the other half, in both films. The idea of a character’s shifting identity through experiences is a through-line for Lynch. The ‘mystery man’ antagonist is an example of one of Lynch’s supernatural characters, who instills eerie tension with his uncomfortable dialogue. “Lost Highway” and “Eraserhead” mark Lynch as an auteur; he employs uniquely disturbing sound design and surreal imagery in his films, which create truly memorable psychological thrillers.

  37. In David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001), Lynch asks his audience to “listen” through the voice of a magician, and in his 1997 film, Lost Highway, he does the same. This time, however, the request is presented by pressing the “listen” button on an intercom, which is followed by a confession. Other important thematic elements in Lynch’s work that can be seen in Lost Highway include his use of the femme fatal, the amplification of natural sound, body horror, and rough dialouge. Lynch once again plunges beneath the surface of his film, seen after Fred Madison is sent to prison and an interior of flashing blue lights is entered. We meet Pete Dayton, who shares common features of a Lynchian character. He also is associated with a Mob Boss, who he mirrors (first revealed through a fade-in transition of Mr. Eddy and Pete), and can be seen as his Freudian father figure. Alice, who has also been forced into a relationship with this cruel Mob Boss character, can be seen as Pete’s strange Freudian parental figure. Pete’s vision of his world is created to deal with the dark reality of his guilt. Trauma is connected to memory loss. This trauma is shown by Lynch as the shaking, or faulty vision of his characters. The film ends in a familiar fashion, Fred’s white-light transcendence.

    Music choice and song lyrics are also very important to Lynch’s vision in film. In Lost Highway, Bowie’s “I’m Deranged” is used. Lynch wants us to listen, and by listening to the words that are sung, we are given insight into what exists below the surface of his film. Previously, we have talked about navigating through the “dark American labyrinth” during class, and “I’m Deranged” is sung from the perspective of the Minotaur (Genius Lyrics Annotations), which connects well with this description of Lynch’s work.

  38. One thing is very clear when watching a David Lynch film, one will never be able to fully understand everything. This remains true in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. If compared to other films, such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. In all of these movies, the “main” idea is someone finding themselves in their environment. In this film, we can tell it is about a sexually active teenager finding her way in a small town. Yet, the events that take place in the film are gross and unexplainable, which also relates to the others. Along with this, Lynch often includes characters such as evil, devil-like figures, and the femme fatal. Examples of the devilish character would include the grotesque figure behind the dumpster in Mulholland Drive, and the man in the shack in Eraserhead. In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the devilish character would be Laura’s father or Bob. The femme fatal would likely be the main character herself Laura, this being a twist from the normal side character the fame fatal normally plays in his films. An example of his normal femme fatal would be in Eraserhead with Henry’s next-door neighbor. The sound in this film also stays relatively normal compared to the others, as in it seems normal until something sinister begins to happen in which the music becomes horrifying and adds deep amplified sounds. All in all, one can clearly see the “Lynchian” way of filmmaking in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

  39. The fourth film I decided to watch is “Lost Highway.” It is a perfect example of lynch’s personal style. Compared to the other films “Mullholand Drive,” “Eraserhead,” and “Blue Velvet,” he has very similar techniques and characteristics. The way he uses sound, light, acting, and the use of a femme fatale, all are part of his personal style making his works seem uneasy. The way he uses those in this film is how he made the sound super quiet and then loud, and for the lighting, Lynch uses a lot of flashing blue light and low-key lighting. The acting also seemed awkward and stiff. Other similarities include the use of body horror, as well as dreams to blur the lines of reality, which appears in the other films. Another is how some of the characters play another character but in disguise. All of this adds to his personal style as an auteur to create the Lynchian style.

  40. I watched the movie the Twin Peaks: fire walk with me, and what i found from watching this movie is that Lynch has many themes that is touched on. Swell as having many similarities with other movies by Lynch especially Blue Velvet. This is because both Blue Velvet and the Twin Peaks: fire walk with me they is a underbelly or dark secrets in small towns. Both movies shows shots of the road at night time in the dark and car headlights with a old retro american diner. This is also very similar to other Lynch movies such as Eraser Head because they are all mystery which is what lynch always involves in his movies. Lynch as well explores a awkward family dynamic. All the movies but one have a repeated image of stage, apart from one other with different colour curtains.

  41. “The Straight Story” (1999) is unlike any other David Lynch film. There is no eerie sense of dread, paranoia, or feeling like you are wandering some dreamland. This is a road film that follows Alvin Straight, an elderly man who drives 240 miles from Iowa to Wisconsin on a lawn mower. During the beginning of “The Straight Story,” we see some establishing shots of a small, rural American town. This scene juxtaposes the establishing shots in “Blue Velvet”; except, in Alvin’s story, there is no creepy bugs or chilling non-diegetic sounds. The main motivator for Alvin in this film is his sick brother. After his brother suffers a stroke, Alvin makes it his mission to see him, even though he cannot drive a car and cannot afford a plane ticket. Although, there are some off-beat moments that are quite Lynchian, such as when Alvin comes across a woman on the road who has hit a deer with her car. The scene is almost comedic as she frantically wails about how often she hits deer on this road going to and from work. She yells “And I love deer!” at Alvin before speeding off in her wrecked car. Even when death constantly looms over this film, Alvin’s journey is surprisingly heartwarming.

  42. I watched Lost Highway (1997). If I am being entirely honest, Lynch’s work has grown on me. Although Lynch’s particular style is not exactly my favorite, I would definitely consider him an artist, and one with a very clear signature. There are almost too many similarities between his movies to count. In both Lost Highway and Blue Velvet, the main character drove a red car. There was also an emphasis on cars in general, like the car race and crash in Mulholland Dr., the intermittent driving sequences and road rage scene of Lost Highway, and the fact that Bettie and Jeffrey were almost always in Jeffrey’s car in Blue Velvet. Another significant similarity that has always stuck out to me in Lynch films is his use of noise. Eraserhead was the most obvious, but the other three movies have many instances of noise that just doesn’t feel right. The puppies in Eraserhead sound like squeaking rats, when the woman in Mulholland Dr. is shot through the office wall she sounds like a screaming animal rather than a human, and so far I have not seen one Lynch film without some form of static noise or ominous whirring. Another conclusion I have made about Lynch’s use of sound is that it is almost always silent before something weird happens. Most movies would have tense music that builds suspense, but Lynch uses silence which I feel may be even more effective.
    The roles of the women in Lynch’s films are one of the things I dislike about his film style, but their roles are similar in almost all of his movies. Eraserhead has the sweet girlfriend Mary and the femme fatale neighbor woman. Blue Velvet has the sweet girlfriend Sandy and the femme fatale Dorothy. Mulholland Dr. has the sweet girlfriend Bettie, and the femme fatale who was either Rita or Diane, possibly both. Lost Highway has the sweet girlfriend Sheila and the femme fatale Alice. The women are often married, and abusive relationships are often portrayed. The last thing that I will write about is the disgust factor in each of the Lynch movies. Beetles, spiders, oozing chickens, creepy men living behind diners. For a movie to be directed by David Lynch, it must have at least one scene that makes you feel disgust. There is so much more that I could write about but I think the Lynchian style could take up an entire book if it hasn’t already. Also, this is really random, but I think I just saw the same dog that was in Blue Velvet in Lost Highway.

  43. I watched David Lynch’s 1997 film “Lost Highway,” a movie described as “neo-noir” and surreal, which I feel is what Lynch specializes in. A common Lynchian element that I recognized in this movie is the trope of a relatively normal person having an interaction with someone or something otherworldly, causing the storyline to take a dark twist. In this movie, the “Mystery Man” character is another common Lynchian element, where he uses a surreal or supernatural creature or humanoid as a character, like the baby in “Eraserhead” or the cowboy in “Mulholland Drive,” to add an unnerving element to the movie.
    I also noticed that the editing style of the characters fantasy or dream sequence in this film is common amount Lynch’s films, where the scene focuses on an object or a bright light fills the screen and then cuts to or fades in and out of the characters mind, blurring the lines between the characters fantasy and reality.

  44. I watched “The Straight Story” (1999), in which an elderly man, Alvin Straight, sets out on a long journey to reconnect with his brother, who just had a stroke. He travels the numerous miles of the trip on his lawnmower and meets many different strangers along the way. Lynch’s directing style is still very apparent in this film, despite it being very different from his other films. Even just in the first fifteen minutes, I noticed many similarities between this film’s and Eraserhead’s directing style. Lynch uses very prolonged shots with subtle camera movement (slow panning and/or zooming) to establish a setting (i.e. Alvin’s house at the very beginning of the movie). Additionally, he uses fading between shots to transition a scene multiple times in this film, which he has done in other films. Alvin’s story may also be reminiscent of Lynch’s life and hardships, just as Eraserhead was because both Lynch and Alvin have a disabled daughter and struggle with the idea of getting older and mortality.

  45. The movie I chose to watch was David Lynch’s “The Straight Story”. In this movie Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth), is a retired farmer and widower in his 70s, who one day learns that his distant brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has had a stroke and may not recover. Alvin wants to make amends with Lyle before it’s too late, but his brother lives in Wisconsin, and Alvin is stranded in Iowa without a car or a driver’s license. This film was very different compared to the past David Lynch films we have watched. In “Eraserhead” and “Mulholland Drive” he connects with audiences through his characters’ struggles with darkness and confusion and their inner conflict shows fundamental brokenness, which is frequently manifested in the form of trauma or evil. In “The Straight Story” he takes a very different approach by showing brokenness that isn’t very strange or unusual it is more heartfelt and heartbreaking. In “Eraserhead” he uses eeriness, fictional characters, and messed up situations but since this is a G-rated movie he wants us to reflect on how our individual life experiences shape the people we meet on a daily basis.

  46. I watched Lynch’s Dune (1984), based off of the Frank Herbert novel of the same name. Looking at this film in relation to Lynch’s other films is interesting because of how little of his personal style seems to be present in the film. For the most part, it is a sci-fi in the vein of the (then) recently released star wars, however there are moments in the film where Lynch’s style does bleed through. It is most visible in the scenes of the guild navigators and the Baron Harkonnen’s introduction. Both scenes utilize body horror in a fashion not-unlike his other films. The guild navigators are humans, mutated by use of the spice mélange. The film depicts them as large fleshy creatures, with disturbing mouths and eyes, deliberately showing their eyes and mouths in close-up. The Baron Harkonnen’s face is covered in pustules and sores, and in the scene where he is introduced, the Baron appears to be having these sores treated by a doctor. The doctor is sticking something akin to a syringe into the barons face while cooing things such as “Your wounds are so beautiful, my baron. Lovingly cared for eternity.” The orderlies who appear in the scene are featured in a serois of close-up shots. One has his ears sewn shut, another their mouth. Yet another has their eyes sewn shut and from their lids protrudes a tube. In another part of the same scene, the Baron’s nephew Rabban consumes an odd drink(?) which appears to be a living creature in a small container which is then squished, and its innards drank. This likewise is shown in close-up.

  47. For my fourth Lynch film I watched “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.” This film shows us the life of Laura Palmer the week before her death. It exhibits many Lynchian themes, the classic camera tunneling shot into the hallway, representing the entrance to a different world. There’s lots of eerie non-diegetic sounds that put the viewer on edge, we see these sounds in other movies like “Eraserhead” and “Mulholland Drive.” Lynch’s characteristic femme fatale takes its place in Laura Palmer, a woman with many lovers. In this film there is a sort of dream land which seem to be a common theme in his movies, especially after watching Mulholland Drive. This dream land has what seem to be ringleaders who control her father, using a gold and jade/emerald ring to mark his next victims with. His films also sometimes feature a very dirty character who seems to represent the dark underbelly and secrets of the town, we saw a similar character who appeared in the trailer park where Teresa Banks lived.

  48. The film that I chose to watch was Lost Highway, one of the few Lynch films I still hadn’t seen. Lynch’s style is at a very interesting place in its development, with this film being produced between Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and Mulholland Drive (2001). Recognizable aspects from these and other Lynch films can be found within Lost Highway (1997). Not only is the Angelo Badalamenti score the perfect blend of sleaze and glamor, but the sound design harkens back to the howling void of Eraserhead (1977), especially during the scenes toward the end of the film in which Fred is alone outside. The themes of dream worlds and creating fantasy lives are also very prevalent, as most of the film takes place within a fantasy that Fred constructs while waiting on death row, only ending when the electric chair interrupts his fantasy while he drives on the highway. These themes are present in much of Lynch’s filmography, but they are especially stressed in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Mulholland Drive. The dialogue of this movie is also highly Lynchian, being strangely retro for its time, but very much like his other work. In the end, Lost Highway is a film about a man coping with the death of his wife and his own sentencing to death by creating a fantasy world, a vEry Lynchian concept if I’ve ever heard one.

  49. “Lost Highway” was the fourth Lynch film I saw. Lynch’s personal style shines through in this film as an auteur through his use of eerie and amplified diegetic and non-diegetic sound, fades and bursts of light as transitions between shots, and the use of short and overwhelming images with an underlying meaning that dive deeper into your emotional life. The Freudian theory of the Oedipus complex is prevalent throughout each of the films, such as with Dorothy and Jeffery and Alice and PeteAlso seen in multiple Lynch films are mysterious characters, such as the homeless woman in “Mulholland Drive” and the mystery man in “Lost Highway,” who both serve as a sort of psychological symbol of what the character is going through and help enforce the themes seen in each film. In each film, we also see dramatic power dynamics, with main characters like Jefferey and Pete being meeker and older men like Frank and Dick playing an intimidating role that is meant to threaten and stimulate the main character into actionLynch seems to use fire, smoke, and color to bridge the gap between fiction and reality, such as the blue box, wig, and stage light in “Mulholland Drive” and the crimson drapes in “Lost Highway.” With each of his passions, he develops lovely lyrical associations. Overall, poetic imagery that appeals to your sub-conscious and a sort of open text that allows you to interpret the film whatever you like is a big part of “Lost Highway” and his other works.

  50. I watched David Lynch’s 2002 horror anthology entitled Rabbits. It houses eight shorts, each framed like an episode of a sitcom. They play out entirely in a singular box set representing the living room of a home, with the audience watching from a stationary perspective (lending to the sitcom feel), and feature a family of humanoid rabbits named Jack, Jane, and Suzie, as well as some supporting characters who only have singular appearances. The “episodes” themselves are each around 5 minutes long and primarily feature the main characters doing menial tasks, but each short is at some point interrupted by a mysterious event, such as a low, demonic voice accompanied by a red light. These events have no explanation and happen seemingly at random. The first thing that pops out at me in terms of recognizable Lynchean attributes is the exploration and deconstruction of the nuclear family dynamic. Similar to Blue Velvet, the idea of a stereotypically quaint American homelife is purposefully used by Lynch in order to show dissonance and disillusionment, though in Rabbits, the way this is shown is through the narrative framing of a family sitcom instead Blue Velvet’s white picket fence neighborhood. Oftentimes the characters’ lines are punctuated by canned laughter at strangely timed moments, lending the experience of a viewer an uncanny feel– a trait that can be found in many of Lynch’s works. This directly leads me into the second thing I noticed, which involves the dialogue between characters and the sound design, which includes a lot of stock sound effects and unnatural, out-of-place noises, similar to those found in Eraserhead. The dialogue especially is extremely odd, stilted, and seemingly even random. Most often, characters speak in complete non sequiturs, with phrases such as, “I am going to find out one day”, being responded to with something like, “When will you tell it?”. Although undoubtedly much more enigmatic than dialogue in a film like Mulholland Drive, the unnerving quality the broken dialogue and otherworldly sound design creates is something that can be found in a wide array of Lynch’s work.

  51. I watched David Lynch’s 2002 mini-series Rabbits. The series contained a series of various odd sounds which added to strange nature of the director’s choice in performance. The dialogue did not string together, similar to Lynch’s work for Eraserhead, which conveys emotion and deep thought from the series’ uncomfortable feelings and terror. The use of dim lighting, and dark colors to narrow the focus onto the characters odd behavior, is a common form of lighting used in his film “The Elephant Man” as well. The dark colors in light and costume create mystery to what is going to occur next, which Lynch uses commonly while directing. As for the laughing track, singing and awkward applause, it adds to the mystery and confusion of the show for the audience and adds to the deconstruction of an ideal sitcom. These elements, of costume, sounds, and abnormal characters are combined create David Lynch’s dubious work.

  52. The fourth film I watched was Lost Highway. This film much like other lynch films messes with the audiences view of reality. Like Eraserhead and Mulholland drive, there isn’t a clear distinction between the real and unreal. There were also common lynch tropes, such as a stage and a femme fetal. One scene I found particularly similar is the one where the antagonist chases someone down in a car and beats them up. This reminded me of the scene in blue velvet with frank. Both Frank and Dick use an excessive about of profanity and the characters are shown for how violent and unhinged they are. The uses of sound in Lost Highway are also a common lynch theme. He jumps from quiet scenes to jarring loud ones. Much like in his other films this is another way Lynch puts the viewer on edge.

  53. The film that I chose to watch was Lost Highway, one of the few Lynch films I still hadn’t seen. Lynch’s style is at a very interesting place in its development, with this film being produced between Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and Mulholland Drive (2001). Recognizable aspects from these and other Lynch films can be found within Lost Highway (1997). Not only is the Angelo Badalamenti score the perfect blend of sleaze and glamor, but the sound design harkens back to the howling void of Eraserhead (1977), especially during the scenes toward the end of the film in which Fred is alone outside. The themes of dream worlds and creating fantasy lives are also very prevalent, as most of the film takes place within a fantasy that Fred constructs while waiting on death row, only ending when the electric chair interrupts his fantasy while he drives on the highway. These themes are present in much of Lynch’s filmography, but they are especially stressed in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Mulholland Drive. The dialogue of this movie is also highly Lynchian, being strangely retro for its time, but very much like his other work. In the end, Lost Highway is a film about a man coping with the death of his wife and his own sentencing to death by creating a fantasy world, a vEry Lynchian concept if I’ve ever heard one.

  54. The last Lynch film I decided to watch was “Lost Highway.” It is similar in many ways to “Mulholland Drive” as much of the film is actually the main character’s fantasy. However, it is also very similar to “Eraserhead” in that it depicts a failing marriage and the sexual fantasies of the man. It has similar portrayals of sex, revenge, jealousy, denial, and fear that other Lynch films have. Particularily, the way sex and grief or anger are tied together, especially when he has sex with Alice, is similar to his other films. The use of forshadowing early in the film is also a staple of Lynch, and seen in this movie. In “Lost Hightway,” we see this when his wife brings up his dislike of video cameras and he explains that he prefers to remember things his way. Stylistically, it is very much a Lynch film. There is plenty of incredibly bright, or blue lighting, interesting transitions, and actors that emote in weird ways. He also does a great job of using diagetic and nondiagetic sound and noise to make situations feel eerie. He uses long shots and periods of no action to build suspence and put the viewer on edge. Overall, “Lost Highway” was a good movie, and certainly fits the idea of a Lynch film.

  55. The fourth David Lynch movie I chose to watch was “The Straight Story”. It is very unlike any of Lynch’s other movies in the sense that it has a more child friendly and homey feel to the movie. Unlike Lynch’s other movies, The Straight Story had more of a Disney spin with a tiny bit of Lynch’s style in it. There were certain sections in the movie that you would be able to identify and relate with Lynch’s other films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet and that is his use of weird and odd sounds. One example I saw was when Alvin was on the road and saw the bikers riding past him, there were shots of Alvin turning his head to the side and then the next shot would be a view of the bikes. What made it very Lynchian was the sound of his head whooshing to one side and then the repetition of the whooshing.

  56. The David Lynch film I watched was ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’. In this film it shows us the life of Laura before her tragic death. Throughout the film, I noticed many different themes presented by Lynch. Like his film Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks also has dark secrets that happen in a small town. Another Lynch film, EraserHead, displays mystery and eerie music. Lynch tends to present that in a number of his movies. He also tends to represent images of stages in his films as well.

  57. The last Lynch film I watched was “Lost Highway.” This film was most similar to “Mulholland Drive,” as in both films, most of the film was the protagonist’s fantasy after a failed relationship and a murder. Both films also include scenes where the reality breaks through the fantasy and the protagonist struggles to remain in control. However, the film also focuses on a failing marriage and the man’s fantasies, similar to “Eraserhead.” It had many elements that we see in other Lynch films such as sex, death, revenge, jealusy, action, confusion, and horror. There was also foreshadowing early in the film, like in a lot of other Lynch films, specifically “Mulholland Drive.” In this particular film there was foreshadowing around the video camera and Fred’s wish to remember things his own way rather than how they actually happened. Stylistically, the film is very much a Lynch film. It includes lots of very bright or blue tinted lighting, interesting transitions, and actors emoting in weird ways. Also similarly to his other films, Lynch uses diegetic and nondiegetic sound and noise to make the whole thing more eerie. Lynch does a masterful job of making “Lost Highway” disturbing, confusing, and entrancing.

  58. Thanks for all the contributions! Together, we’ve seen enough Lynch films to form clear ideas about “personal style.” Whether or not you love Lynch now, I hope you’ve understood the basics regarding the auteur theory and its application.

  59. The fourth David Lynch film I chose was Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. I noticed smilaries to other Lynch films in the way the films are set up to bring out the disturbing and unusual behaviors of the characters. A number of Lynch films are set in small towns, containing various skeletons in the closet, from incestual relationships to strange actions seen as normal within the storylines. Lynch’s auteur status is shown as he combines sound to create tension, similar to his films like Eraserhead and a majority of his films incorporate seemingly lengthy, almost awkward scenes. A majority of Lynch’s films reveal another point in his personal style as trauma and its aftermath are explictly revealed throughout the film

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