Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Email to a Friend Concerning David Lynch

"Hola, It seems Mulholland Drive was voted the best movie of the last 16 years by critics. Not just in the top 100, but the actual #1 best movie for critics. And I remember that movie chiefly because you and I watched it during a 'Summer of Movie Rentals' in Arcata. Maybe 2001 or 2002? I forget. It was the summer I was crippled by the spine infection and I fell down on the bridge and you carried me to get donuts downtown. And I taught you how to play Black Boys on Mopeds by writing out the rhythm in chalk on the sidewalk. 15 year ago! But I like David Lynch and we watched and appreciated Lost Highway...but this movie really didn't work for me and I remember you made a face like you just eaten a shit sandwich and said, "What the fuck?"  

Maybe we made the mistake of watching it among lots of other generic mainstream movies. Remember I did a Footloose, Flashdance and Xanadu marathon and the guy at the rental store did a double-take when I returned them? I know that would influence my perception because Mulholland is a mess, but it is a David Lynch mess, which is better than Tarantino on his best day, and Lynch really jumped through a lot of hoops to make something. So I was in Guatemala and Mulholland came on the television and I watched most of it and I still did not like it. It was in Spanish but I got the general idea. Visually it is pretty and there are some attractive scenes that are artsy in their own right, but the entirety still seemed like a cut and paste. And we later learned it was indeed a cut and paste of rescued footage from a cancelled television series. So, I know Lynch had to paste these scenes together and I know some of the scenes don't actually contribute anything to the plot. Like the lesbian make-out scene. What the fuck? It's like Lynch thought he could not have these two pretty women together without asking them to kiss, even if it makes no sense. It's a 'statement' about pornography, but it's also Lynch simply being pornographic in a slightly more tasteful way than Larry Flynt. Is there a big difference?  Sure, the cameras Lynch used are more expensive than the ones on the Barely Legal Cheerleaders set. It is still two women kissing and showing some nipple for no reason other than sex sells. But Lynch gets applause because he's astute enough to mock gratuitous nipple shots? Uh, I think that's simply low-hanging fruit...pardon the pun. He's no artist because he mocks nipple shots and lipstick lesbian fetish. It's not even a good tease.

It's like if I write a long essay and a paragraph is nice, but doesn't work at all in the essay, so I take the paragraph and throw it into another essay full of paragraphs that don't add up. does that make me a genius? I guess if each paragraph is pretty spectacular then people will try to imagine there is some bigger message, but really it was all cut and pasted and I fooled them, like a drunk Bob Dylan. It's like the critics fooled themselves into thinking they needed to do more work than David Lynch to invent a plot for his movie. I guess that's true; a movie with no independent value will make the audience work hard to find value, and Mulholland wins the top spot in movies with little independent value, but are open to interpretation. Who would go through so much trouble to get some pretty women to kiss one another without a bigger motive? Add some Oscar Hammerstein lip-sync and it's genius...??

I accept that the movie is pretty and the scenes are watchable, but the mystery is not intentional, rather it is a result of having all these unrelated scenes to paste together. The diner scene, the man in the wheel chair, the cowboy at the corral, the box, the lip-sync concert, the movie the director is trying to make...none of it is intentional and none of it adds up, nor should it. The only thing is the blonde who has gone crazy and thinks she is an innocent newcomer to Hollywood but is actually a washed up junkie dying in her own bed and hallucinating that she meets a brunette with amnesia. I get that part (especially since it accurately predicted my future in L.A.), but what the hell does everything else have to do with it? nothing. it's all pasted from footage for the television show and so unrelated that movie snobs think they are superior if they invent a connection. But it's voted the best movie since 2000? I don't get it. Am I slipping? Am I becoming too old to see quality in movies? please advise."

I later received this response:

"I need to watch it again, but I remember it being my least favorite Lynch movie. 
I have tiny frogs in a glass box. 
I filled an aquarium with plants and rocks and water, J put fire bellied toads in.  
The toads fuck and sing all day long.  It's really kind of horrible. The female frog tries her hardest to get away.  She wriggles and swims close to rocks to try to scrape him off her back. I thought we had all males, and that the males were raping each other. But one day we came home and I saw tadpoles swimming around.  The internet told us to separate the adults from the babies because they eat their young, so we are breeding cannibalistic infanticide rapists.  
The tiny frogs are really cute.  We have two babies. They are smaller than my pinky nail. 
I wonder when they will start raping each other. Then we will have cannibalistic Infanticide incestuous rapists."  
My Response:
"Sounds like a David Lynch plot."
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.