English 245 “AUTEUR: DAVID LYNCH”

Watch one other David Lynch film (either Lost Highway or Mulholland Dr.).  You’ll find that, once again, we can boil down Lynch’s plots to one liners: the first may be “a man deals with his jealous feelings for his wife” and the second something like “a young woman dreams of making it in Hollywood.”  How do these films (as well as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet) constitute Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style?

35 thoughts on “English 245 “AUTEUR: DAVID LYNCH”

  1. I watched Mulholland Drive, it constitutes Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style by boiling down the plot to a one liner just like with Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, for example in Mulholland Drive, “Hollywood is a destructive place where people with dreams are crushed by a profit-driven system”. This movie also adds to his signature style by making it appear dreamlike, especially in the first half of the movie where it represents a death dream because that is the life Diane imagined before she came to Hollywood and the nature of the city destroyed her and her dreams, and has that abstract expressionism rather than linear storytelling along with his other movies, like when Betty and Rita discover the dead body of Diane in the first half of the movie because that was actually Diane seeing herself dead on the bed, which we don’t know until the second half of the movie. In Mulholland Drive, to add to signature style, he makes the women still appear muderous, dangerous, deadly, etc to make them revolve around the dangerous or evil things that are happening or are going to happen in the movie, for example, Rita, Betty, and Camilla Rhodes in about the first half of the movie then Camilla and Diane in about the second half signaling death of Diane from the harsh reality of Hollywood that will never end. Also along with his abstract expressions in his signature style, there’s the theater scene in Mulholland Drive, where the unglamorized, real performance by the woman on stage is doomed, by the tragedy of when she dies on stage because that beauty and ability will never be shared again, but suffer like Diane’s through the emptiness and disappointment of reality.

    • I watched the film Lost Highway(1997). This film shares similarities with many of his other films. I believe one of the things that this film shares with his other films is the confusing and abstract nature of it. Like the film Eraserhead(1977), Lost Highway does not give much context into what has has led up to the movie. They both create an odd and macabre feeling throughout their movies. They both also show an awkward relationship between a male protagonist and a female partner. Lynch movies also tend to have quick scenes and and fast movements. This all creates an odd an awkward feel throughout the movements. This makes it so you need multiple viewings to understand a movie.

  2. Also, in Mulholland Drive, the non diegetic sound (music), for example, where the film switches from the first half to the second half of the film definitely gives off that eerie, unsettling feeling that you get from watching all of Lynch’s films in at least one scene, if not more, which contributes to his thematic obsession and signature style.

  3. The movie Mulholland Dr. follows Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style as those we have seen in Eraserhead and Blue Velvet with camera work and his focus on women in the films. In Mulholland Dr. the main character is a woman named Betty but still follows Lynch’s style of perceiving women as dangerous and in this case a murder. In the first half of the film, we see Betty and a woman with amnesia called Rita trying to find out what happened to Rita. However, Betty and Rita are portrayed as having a dangerous aroura around them. Betty is viewed as a woman who is willing to do anything to anything to get what she wants which is showed in the second half of the film. While Rita is portrayed as a seductress who could have some dangerous friends. Lynch’s signature camera style of the normality of life and the unsettling reality of the world opens the film with a car ride that gets interrupted moments into the film with a car crash. Lynch also has many close-up shots of eyes, mainly the eyes of Betty and Rita, in the film reminding me of scenes from Eraserhead. Lynch also uses lots of non-diegetic sounds, following his earlier patterns of film making with abstract or overly dramatic sounds to create an unsettling affect. By examining the camera angles and style of shooting, it is clear that Lynch created the film with its eerie atmosphere and perspective on life that makes the viewer question what is real and what is imaginary.

  4. For this assignment I chose to watch Mulholland Drive. David Lynch’s films such as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive all share commonalities within their cinematography that support Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style. David Lynch is widely known for his surrealist style in film making in which he creates sequences of strange, dream-like stories across his films that leave lots of room for the audience’s imagination to run wild during the film and once the film is over, too. Most, if not all, of David Lynch’s surreal films don’t offer one meaning but multiple meanings within their plots. This is a part of David Lynch’s signature style where he creates these strange, dream worlds of double meanings. Additionally, David Lynch’s signature style of filming includes using dark elements within his films such as dark lighting, the presence of shadows and shadowy-figures, and night-time settings. David Lynch’s signature style in his films also includes the use of prominent and “dangerous” womanly figures such as Diane in “Mulholland Drive,” Dorothy in “Blue Velvet,” and Mary in “Eraserhead” to drive each film’s storyline and create additional problems for protagonists within each film. Furthermore, David Lynch’s use of nondiegetic sound contributes to his signature style of surrealism across his films and aids in the strange, dark, and eerie world he creates in each film and uneasy feeling the audience experiences watching his films.

  5. I watched Lost Highway and it did not take very long at all to recognize some Lynchian characteristics, even just in first few minutes and first couple of events. The odd atmosphere between Fred and Renee is immediately reminiscent of Lynch’s struggle with relationships and gender dynamics. The audio in their conversations is so quiet, and every piece of dialogue feels rehearsed, like a move in a chess game – a metaphor for how Lynch views women and men interact. The pace is also surreal – the film moves from achingly slow scenes of Fred and Renee viewing the VHS tapes to jarringly fast-paced scenes of Fred playing on stage or inside Fred’s dreams (yet another Lynchian theme – reality, dreams, and what’s in between). These short, fast scenes are also characterized by flashing lights or sudden, loud, eerie sounds. The sex scenes are uncomfortable – shot in slow motion, with only selective audio (like one large exhale) and focus on unsettling aspects, including Fred crying in the first one. The film ends returning to the very opening, of highway lines running by way too fast, just like Blue Velvet’s beginning and ending. Not only does the highway image speak to Lynch’s circular themes and plots but the high speed of the lines racing by are symbolic of the violence and danger Lynch sees in America and Hollywood, just like the murder at the end of the film and the violence hidden in American ideals of racing down the highway or in gender politics.

  6. I chose to watch Mulholland Drive for this assignment. One element of Lynch’s artistic style that is seen in both this film and the film Eraserhead is his use of surrealistic dream-like sequences. In Eraserhead, this is seen most notably in the scenes with the lady in the radiator. In Mulholland Drive, it is seen when the first half of the film is revealed to have all been a dream that Diane had that had parallels to what happens to her before her death. Another key element of Lynch’s style that is seen in the two previously mentioned films, as well as Blue Velvet, is Lynch’s focus on portraying women as devious or dangerous. All three films also feature Lynch’s signature use of dark lighting, which he uses to portray bizarre and sometimes even sinister settings.

  7. After watching Mulholland Dr. I see the range of Lynch’s work, but also the tell tale signs of his work. Firstly, the plot is unexplained throughout the entirety, and why or how one scene leads into the next are often very confusing. This is very tell tale of Lynch, who’s message lies in the overall, or or very simple, storyline. Next, we see Lynch’s motif of nightmares. Mulholland Dr. is a dream that becomes a nightmare, as many other of Lynch’s films involve a similar theme. Another aspect is the film’s odd length, and it’s ‘split’ style. The pacing is also signature to Lynch, weird timing, and slow pacing. Finally, we can see a signature of Lynch to manipulate the audience. Mulholland Dr. lures and pulls you into a fantasy world, and then Lynch turns the tables and brings you into a nightmare.

  8. Good work, students. Keep the responses coming. I’m quite sure that you’d now recognize a Lynch film within the first five minutes!

  9. I watched Mulholland Drive, and before the movie’s plot officially began, I could instantly see that this was a work of David Lynch. I honestly think that this does capture his themes and style of film work, but it is much more straightforward when compared to something like Eraserhead. However, I can also say that it is in a similar style to Blue Velvet because they both dealt with a bizarre but deadly situation that reveals itself in a roundabout way throughout the film. Lynch’s use of non-diegetic sounds throughout all three of his films creates more impact when events turn more intense or shocking. The scene changes that took place also added to the effect. For example, when Betty and Rita find the dead body inside the apartment, the camera starts distorting and blurring. The non-diegetic sounds also suddenly become louder and more foreboding as the frightening reality of what they had just seen set in. Afterward, there is an abrupt cut to the next shot of Rita trying to cut her hair and Betty stopping her as the sound becomes much quieter. This kind of cutting seems to be a recurring thing throughout this film and the others. These films tell a paradoxically deep but simple story that shows how they are indeed David Lynch films.

  10. I watched the move lost highway, in short, the movie is about a man named Fred thinking he is framed of the murder of his wife, Reene. We go on a journey to find the culprit in the movie mostly through stalking tapes/videos. Like Eraserhead and blue Velvet, we get this surreal, nightmare like state, in the movie. I feel we mostly get this through sound non diegetic and diegetic. A big example I felt of this what when Fred meet the mystery man, and everything around them when dead silent. The mystery man tells his at his house even though he is standing in front of him at a party. We get the feeling the nightmare state, due to it physically not being possible and as well as the dialect and the lack of sound around them gives us the eerie feeling. Another thing that this movie has in common with the other two is the fact that it’s related to a type of violence or crime. In lost highway, we have this whole murder mystery of who killed. In Blue Velvet we get the mystery of whose ear it is and then the gang related involvement. Then in Eraserhead we get that moment of him getting his head chopped off and then it is relating it to crime then the boy stole it or even at the end when his baby kind of exploded. We also see that women (female lead) kind of bring the worst on the man (male lead), seen in Earserhead with the Henry anxiety with Mary family and baby situation. Blue Velvet when Jeffery fell for Dorothy who was related with the whole gang business. In Lost Highway when Fred was the one who killed his wife.

  11. David Lynch is able to create surreal, macabre worlds in his filmmaking. Creating an otherworldly view of the world that is shown, much like the post apocalyptic theme seen in Eraserhead. Blue velvet is based in a small town in America. Taking you through one young man’s journey to find himself in the seemingly inescapable town he lives in. Lynch delves into a person’s journey and shows us the path they take throughout the film. In Mulholland Drive we see Rita try and figure out who she really is. Aimlessly wandering the city streets in a dream-like state. David Lynch is able to portray his movies in such a way, it feels like you’re viewing someone’s dreams and nightmares. Women are oftentimes portrayed as being dangerous and murderous, which can be seen when Betty and Rita discover Diane’s dead body. There is a large presence of macabre themes throughout his films, often shown through taboo relationships and dream-like sequences. Lynch also creates intricate non-diegetic and diegetic sounds throughout the film to create suspense and fear.

  12. I watched Lost Highway, and after watching it, I could quickly make a comparison to some of Lynch’s other films. Lynch often, uses men in his films, that always seem to have an issue with the woman. In the Lost Highway, Fred is concerned about his wife (Renee), and her relationship with Andy. Fred and Renee were being watched, while they were in their house, as they found videotapes. He was being accused for the murder of his wife. Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature styles all link, even when looking at Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. In Eraserhead, Lynch has Henry marry Mary, after she gets pregnant. Not only this, but the girl across the hall catches Henry’s attention. Same goes for Blue Velvet, woman play a huge role in many of Lynch’s films. The woman tend to have some sort of negative impact on the men as well. His use of sound in many of his films, creates a mysterious and strange vibe. From the settings to the storylines, Lynch’s signature style of imagery and dreamy thematic obsessions are continuous throughout his films. Watching his films, allows you to use your imagination as well, getting you equipped to the Lynchian style.

  13. I watched Mulholland Drive. Much like Lynch’s other films Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, the film immediately descends into a dreamlike state. Lynch’s style sticks with “narrators” or characters who are almost unreliable, with the dreamlike state of the movies accentuating the fact that the viewer can never be completely sure of what’s going on. The surrealism of Mulholland Drive follows in the footsteps of Eraserhead, especially with the timeline being nonlinear. Lynch also continues to present women who are perceived as dangerous by the protagonists, although because of the surrealism in the film we can never be too sure if they’re as dangerous as the protagonists perceive. Mary in Eraserhead and Diane in Mulholland Drive both represent this thematic obsession of Lynch. Lynch’s use of non-diegetic sounds as well are also a major factor in the dreamlike, almost chaotic state of the film and the way the characters feel about the world they’re living in. As the characters (for example Rita and her amnesia in the beginning) are unsure of themselves, the world around them takes on an almost sinister feel.

  14. The David Lynch film I chose to watch was Mulholland Drive. From the very first scene of the surreal sequence of dancers on a strange backdrop I could recognize his trademark approach to filmmaking. I find one of the most prominent features in his films to be the use of dream-like sequences to convey some kind of deeper meaning or message. In Mulholland Drive, one of the very first scenes is a man in a diner explaining a cryptic dream he had set in that location. From there, the film begins to blur the line between fantasy and reality more and more, with the revelation at the end that all of the previous events may very well have been in Betty/Diane’s head. I can’t think of another director who implements dreams in this same style, using them not as a brief digression from the plot but as a means of creating a sort of double reality. This is easily comparable to Lynch’s earlier film, Eraserhead, in which the protagonist, Henry, imagines a woman living inside his radiator to keep him company, as well as long surrealist sequence in which his head falls off and is turned into erasers. Additionally, another trademark of Lynch that can be seen in both of these films is his consistent use of non-diegetic sound, adding to the overall feeling of uncertainty to the events being shown. These elements help to create signature films that rely more on visuals and interpretations than orthodox storytelling.

  15. For my third Lynch film, I chose to watch “Mulholland Drive”. From the beginning, as well as throughout, there are so many signs that point to Lynch’s unique and distinct style and thematic obsessions. And these components are all intertwined in the other two as well. One of the biggest indicators of a Lychian movie would be the diegetic and non-diegetic sounds that occur in the place of conversations in most cases. He uses normal, everyday sounds such as a hose spraying things, bed repositioning, or scratching, but drowns out the others sounds, so they become more of a focal point. They also usually end up alluding to the movies’ overall theme. Other pieces that are part of the Lynch puzzle for his movies include: signage closeup (road signs being repeated/focused on briefly), women and beds sexualized- a temptation, broad or distant shots with the main character in them, someone pulling or talking about levers to symbolize decision making, close-ups on body parts, especially eyes and ears, and specific characters portraying individual emotions. There is also usually less talking and more emphasis on background music, body language, and silence to build anticipation or get a distinct reaction from the viewer. These things together create the surreal, experimental style and atmosphere that Lynch strives for to help accentuate the inner turmoil that each of his main characters are dealing with as well as doubts that everyone in ‘society’ may have. Each character is faced with temptations and decide whether or not to act on them which may or may not lead to their downfall.

  16. I watched Mulholland Drive for this assignment, like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet they all share the same concepts with cinematography which supports Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style. They all also share the same concept of boiling down the plot of their stories to one liners. David Lynch is well known for his unique style in film making in which he creates sequences of strange, dream-like events throughout his films that leaves room for the audience’s imagination to run wild with thoughts during the film. David Lynch’s signature style also includes using dark elements within his films like the dark lighting, the presence of shadows and dark shadowy-figures, and night-time settings. Lynch’s signature style also includes using dangerous female characters in his films like Mary in “Eraserhead,” Dorothy in “Blue Velvet,” and Diane in “Mulholland Drive”. All of these female characters drive each film’s storyline and create additional problems for the protagonists within each film. The use of non diegetic sound also contributes to Lynch’s signature style by giving off the unsettling feeling the audience gets from watching his films.

  17. For this assignment I watched Lost Highway and within the first few minutes of the film, I did not even have to question that it was a David Lynch film. Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Lost Highway all feel very mysterious and have a dream-like feel. The choices that Lynch makes for his films make you feel a certain uncomfortable/disturbed feeling that you only feel watching one of his films. Lynch portrays those feeling through different non-diegetic sound, dreamy imagery and shots as well as many intense and violent scenes. In all three of these films there are recurring techniques and patterns like the use of dark environments, dreams that the main characters have, many violent scene as well as distorted characters that create a surrealist/horror theme to his films.

    • These films constitute Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style by The way he used lighting, sounds/atmosphere, and the way the characters act. In Mulholland Dr., the lighting in the opening scene came from a car that was symbolizing entering the unknown with darkness surrounding the vehicle. It is similar to Eraserhead with a character walking down an alleyway surrounded by darkness. For the sound/atmosphere in the films, both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds are powerful, haunting, and gives you an eerie feeling like something is about to happen. David Lynch’s films are familiar yet they feel are out of this world. For example, in Blue Velvet, at first, he showed us a small lumber town with its white picketed fences, then he shows us a severed ear in the field. In Eraserhead, we hear that the main character is going to have a child, yet when we see it, it is a mutant lizard child. Also, most of his films are male-oriented and females characters usually are portrayed as a femme “femmes fatales” (deadly females). They are important to the story he is telling but they are also dangerous and usually bring some kind of misfortune to the people they are with. For example, in Eraserhead Henry’s girlfriend, Mary, who got pregnant, in Blue Velvet, Dorothy, whose husband was kidnapped and murdered, and in Mulholland Drive, both Betty and Rita both change their personalities and looks to become someone else. Rita got Betty’s dream role and her dream guy. These examples show us that he is in control of the films and can show us his visions from the beginning to the end of the films.

  18. These films constitute Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style by The way he used lighting, sounds/atmosphere, and the way the characters act. In Mulholland Dr., the lighting in the opening scene came from a car that was symbolizing entering the unknown with darkness surrounding the vehicle. It is similar to Eraserhead with a character walking down an alleyway surrounded by darkness. For the sound/atmosphere in the films, both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds are powerful, haunting, and gives you an eerie feeling like something is about to happen. David Lynch’s films are familiar yet they feel are out of this world. For example, in Blue Velvet, at first, he showed us a small lumber town with its white picketed fences, then he shows us a severed ear in the field. In Eraserhead, we hear that the main character is going to have a child, yet when we see it, it is a mutant lizard child. Also, most of his films are male-oriented and females characters usually are portrayed as a femme “femmes fatales” (deadly females). They are important to the story he is telling but they are also dangerous and usually bring some kind of misfortune to the people they are with. For example, in Eraserhead Henry’s girlfriend, Mary, who got pregnant, in Blue Velvet, Dorothy, whose husband was kidnapped and murdered, and in Mulholland Drive, both Betty and Rita both change their personalities and looks to become someone else. Rita got Betty’s dream role and her dream guy. These examples show us that he is in control of the films and can show us his visions from the beginning to the end of the films.

  19. It didn’t even take me 5 minutes to realise this was a David Lynch film. His whole discography is all surrounded by an iconic dark mysterious vibe. Eraser head, Lost Highway and some of his other films give off that same vibe. Lynch does a fantastic job of conveying a certain uncomfotable feeling you would only get by watching a David Lynch film. He portrays those feelings by using abstract, non-diegetic sounds, violent imagery and dark, dystopian scenery. It is almost an insult to call his films horror because they go so much more in depth mentally than your average horror film.

  20. The movie I watched for this assignment was Mulholland Dr., similar to Eraserhead and Blue Velvet they share the same concepts with cinematography which supports Lynch’s artistic thematic obsessions and signature style. Like Eraserhead this movie show his style of dreamlike and close up shot cinematography along with his use of non-diegetic sounds to create and unsettling atmosphere. It also follows Lynch’s style of portraying women as dangerous, like in Blue Velvet with Dorothy Mulholland Dr. portrays this with Betty and Rita. All these together form Lynch’s surreal and eerie style of movie making.

  21. I watched the film Lost Highway(1997). This film shares similarities with many of his other films. I believe one of the things that this film shares with his other films is the confusing and abstract nature of it. Like the film Eraserhead(1977), Lost Highway does not give much context into what has has led up to the movie. They both create an odd and macabre feeling throughout their movies. They both also show an awkward relationship between a male protagonist and a female partner. Lynch movies also tend to have quick scenes and and fast movements. This all creates an odd an awkward feel throughout the movements. This makes it so you need multiple viewings to understand a movie.

  22. I chose to watch Lost Highway to answer this blog post about David Lynch. Many of Lynch’s signature styles as an auteur are seen very easily in this film. Similar to Eraserhead, the characters seem very odd and their relationship appears awkward and fabricated. Their lines are usually monotone and seem rehearsed. The setting in Lost highway is very vague and not much is explained about the history of the setting or the context. The atmosphere created by the setting and awkward interactions is mysterious, another famous characteristic of Lynch.

  23. David Lynch is known for giving off a dark and horriffic tone with his work so it was very easy to tell that it was from him. Lost Highway, Blue Velvetand Eraserhead are prime examples. He gives off this very weird spooky feeling through all of his films that I feel like is only unique to his style which is very impressive, makes him stand out from other film makers. He conveys these emotions by using abstract, non-diegetic sounds, using dark yet dream like scenery, which was shown in all three films. Seems that Lynch takes the whole genre of horror to a whole different level.

  24. I chose to watch the film Mulholland Dr, and I certainly noticed a consistent and unique style, as well as similar themes and thematic elements, across all three Lynch films. It is very easy to recognize Lynch’s trademarks, now. For example, Lynch loves to create a nightmarish tone using sound, lighting, and transitions. Eraserhead was shot in black-and-white, and this, as well as his use of soft lighting, definitely contributed to the dramatic, horror-esque tone of the film. In Blue Velvet, the repetition of the song “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton (used in both diegetic and non-diegetic ways) reinforces the tone of that film. In Mulholland Dr., Lynch uses the old Hollywood stereotypes combined with unsettling non-diegetic sound to create an unsettling tone. In Lynchian films, the audience never knows what is real and what is not. The audience knows that not everything is as it seems. All three films also represent Lynch’s thematic obsessions, including a promising young male character, the femme fatale woman who corrupts him, and small-town Americana-turned-horror (or, in the case of Mulholland Dr., big-city Americana).

  25. For this assignment I watched Mulholland Drive, and in addition to having already watched Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, I’m definitely able to notice the signature identity of Lynch’s films that’s distinct from anyone else. His films all have an element of suspense that isn’t so much a part of the movie itself as it is built in through your head. He does this by having extremely ominous scenes with minimal light, dialogue, or background noise. His films also tend to have, as has been mentioned, fairly simplistic overall meanings that are expressed in much more complex ways using symbolism and imagery.

  26. In the “Lost Highway,” David Lynch continues to show his signature style and thematic focuses. Like most of his films, Lynch heavily uses surreal imagery throughout the film, often in dream sequences showing violent imagery. The film also uses prolonged shots with little immediate action, complementing it with odd sound design designed to unnerve the viewer. The film has many of these shots, used to build the mood of the scenes, with limited dialogue. Concerning themes, the film follows a male main character as he struggles against his jealously, both physically and internally. Using a prominent female figure as the main driving force, Lynch continues his focus on largely male oriented issues.

  27. The movie I watched was Mulholland Drive. This movie starts off with a lady (Rita) getting in a car crash, she cannot remember much, and she takes to the streets of LA. She seems to be in a haze and finally settles in an apartment. At this point she is found by Betty who is an aspiring actress. They try to find Rita’s actual identity among the strange and mirage like city of Los Angeles. This movie, Along with his others such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet capture David Lynch’s Surrealist style. They are all very unique movies which capture Lynch’s dream imagery and uniqueness.

  28. Lynch approaches two intersecting but separate stories. The two stories are connected by the women that are played by the same actress. One is about a young mechanic who is drawn into a trap of treachery by a temptress who is cheating on her boyfriend, a gangster. The other is about a jazz musician that is tortured by the belief that his wife is having an affair, but unexpectedly finds himself accused of her murder. David Lynch is known for his surreal films, he illustrates them by giving them a reverie imagery and scrupulous sound design. His sound usages make his viewers uneasy, alongside, he uses long shots with little action to add suspense.

  29. I chose David Lynch’s much-loved Mulholland Drive. The film is a dream-esque trek of a tale. The time Lynch takes to bring you along this ride is captivating, much like all of his work. The first half being what it is makes it that just by itself, but even going without mentioning the plot, the atmosphere and mood that runs throughout it and tone of his other films align. His ability to grab your attention and hold onto it with what is happening in front of you is one of the main themes that runs through all of his work.

  30. I watched both films and I came to see that David Lynch loved packing as much stuff into a film as he possibly can before the producer says enough is enough. 4 hours and 45 minutes of David Lynch showing me sex, murder, violence, love, desire, hallucinations and “spooky shit.” How these films were not X rated despite the soft pornography passed over my head completely, maybe the marketers thought the name David Lynch would let people know what the movie was gonna throw at them. Anyway… David Lynch uses a lot of surreal sequences that make you question if the characters are dreaming from the start of the scene or had begun to start dreaming half-way through. The two female leads in Mulholland Drive watching the female singer at the show continue to sing despite her being passed out and dragged away by two stage-hands for instance. The singer clearly wasn’t lip singing, or if she was, she was pretty darn good at it and David Lynch didn’t show us the whole song was her lip syncing. One thing that stuck with me in Lost Highway is when the older mafia man is beating a tail-gaiter senseless in front of the lead while screaming safety facts at him you’d expect to see in a driving lesson pamphlet. “DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO STOP A CAR GOING 35 MPH?!” It seemed so weird, that this older shady guy remembered all this information and was so enraged he made the tail-gaiter cry in the dirt in front of the lead. Acting like it was nothing when all the characters were back in the car, and giving him (the lead) some money at the end. It immediately set up who this older man was. Someone who paid attention to detail, liked our main lead enough to let him live after watching that, had money to bribe the lead into keeping quiet, and filled with self-confidence in that he’d get away with it all while backed by just two of his lackeys. The sound design ties things together very nicely, heightening the beat-down of the tail-gaiter and the horror of everything in both films. Betrayal, finding a dead body, seeing disturbing tapes, wondering when they’ll finally decide to put you on the electric chair. What stuck out to me in both films is that David Lynch knew how to use sound to make sure a scene really impacted the audience. He wasn’t afraid to show us some boobs and he enjoyed the sense of mystery to build up tension.

  31. Lynch’s approach to Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Dr. (2001), are unmistakably him in every sense. From his unique approach to lighting, to his addictive characters, he never fails to bring the audience to along for an invigorating and interesting journey. Blue Velvet brings you in with its sexual intrigue, by putting us, the audience in the place of a naïve male protagonist as we are both unfamiliar to the dark and deviant world of the film. Lynch does not pull any punches; he is brutal and straightforward in his execution of this film. Mulholland Dr possess a different kind of honesty though; it is the unsureness of the plot that draws the audience closer. In both films, Lynch continues his familiar theme of unpredictability by sucking you into his world and only letting you when the credits roll.

  32. David Lynch is one of those directors where you can tell a movie is directed by him within the first few seconds of viewing. His style and tone are incredibly distinct. Each film in his directorial catalogue possesses a sort of surreal, fever dream-esque atmosphere to them. What would pass as a bizarre dream sequence in any other movie serves as the entirety of a David Lynch film. By making the plots of his movies loose one-liners, Lynch is able to explore increasingly strange and creative ideas while never straying too far from the established story. Lynch’s less-than-grounded sense of reality allows for much more artistic expression when it comes to lighting and framing. Often times, these elements are used to make a shot feel even more unnatural, with lighting that makes the characters feel disconnected from their environments, and framing that draws the viewer’s focus entirely on these detached elements. Lynch has proved himself to be a master of this, with Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive being two of the greatest examples of this.

  33. For me, an easily recognizable feature of David Lynch films is the lighting, as they are often very dark films with hard lights. The harsh, overwhelming diegetic sounds of simple actions is another, such as rubbing one’s face sounding rubbery, or a hose drowning out everything else. He has a thematic obsession with awkward characters having strange conversations, like the protagonists of both Lost Highway and Eraserhead. Lynch’s films have a disconnectedness to them that feels like a nightmare going in a disturbing direction and leaves you thinking “What is wrong with me? How did I come up with that?” for the whole day. And all that built upon a simple premise that flips between moods and lighting and sometimes realities as it treks through Lynch’s mind. David Lynch is driving us off the tracks and we’re along for the ride.

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