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Watch: David Lynch’s Films Are All Chapters in One Story

Watch: David Lynch's Films Are All Chapters in One Story

Try to imagine a universe in which one might have complaints about the films of David Lynch. I can’t, personally, but maybe you can. In this hypothetical, impossible-to-imagine universe, the closest thing I might possibly be able to conceive as a vague complaint–not a complaint, really, but a concern–is that sometimes his films lack–and this isn’t to say this is required, just that certain people require it, who knows why–narrative continuity. There might be all kinds of reasons for this characteristic–that is, if we’re actually saying it’s a quality of his films–and, if I had to produce a statement of “defense,” I might offer the idea that the films are all meant to both talk to each other and to work together as a large assemblage, a story, if you wish. Joel Bocko asserts this idea, both directly and indirectly, in this brilliant video essay. He begins by noting points of correspondence between the creepy interiors of ‘Eraserhead‘ and those of ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,’ and then he goes to broaden his vision a little, making the work of Lynch resemble, more than anything else, a hall of mirrors. The difference between Lynch’s oeuvre and a side-show distraction, though, is that each mirror, each reflection, moves you forward; each repetition of a motif develops it, expands its girth. At this point in time, when we watch a new Lynch film, from ‘Blue Velvet’ to ‘Wild at Heart’ to ‘Inland Empire,’ we are truly watching it to see what happens next: not within the body of the film, but within the body of his work. How will the symbols change? What new side of the human face will he show us? Who will disappear next and the re-appear, magically transformed? Who will die? Who will triumph?

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