Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

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kmkmiller
 
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Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby kmkmiller » 19 Dec 2012

it is well known that Lynch refuses to discuss what his movies are or are not about, so this interview excerpt jumped right out at me, as it could be construed as a refutation of the entire traditional interpretation of Mulholland Drive. Or at least to suggest there might be something more going on there.

link to interview:
http://parallax-view.org/2011/11/08/interview-david-lynch-on-inland-empire-i-the-idea/

Question:
Inland Empire, like Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, have characters who drift into other lives, as if crossing over into a dream world. And they are often surreal and strange. Do you think viewers are right in seeing your films as dreams on the screen?

DL:
No. I understand what they’re talking about. That dream quality is the abstraction and so people talk and they say things and they react, just a normal thing, but there are other things that swim with that and this is, to me, the beauty of cinema. Maybe next time I’ll do a more straight ahead picture, but you fall in love with ideas and once you’re in love, what can you do?


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Re: Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby Siku » 20 Dec 2012

No, I don't think he is because as ever he's being evasive and arch and just plain bonkers.

He's asked about MD, IE & LH. All three. And to say they're 'dreams on the screen' isn't the same as saying 'in this one (MD) there's a dream sequence'. Consider if someone asked - Are these films 'flashbacks on a screen'? A more straightforward interviewee might answer 'No - they're stories. But there are flashbacks in them'.

I mean, to refute that the whole film, or all three films, are somehow dreams-on-the-screen doesn't preclude the possibility that there's a dream sequence in MD.

This is a great interview, thanks for posting. He's such a crazy dude. Consider this:

Question:
You don’t discuss the meaning of your films. What about the interpretations of your audiences?

DL:
It’s not a game, that I like to confound people and see what they come up with. The filmmaker should have a definite, solid idea of what it means, but that never comes right away. It kind of comes part way and then more and more as it’s all revealed. And then when you’re working on the whole, by then you know what it means until the whole feels correct. When something is more abstract, all kinds of interpretations come out, but if I said, “Oh, that’s a wrong thing,” and I wasn’t willing to say mine, that would be a very bad thing. So I think every interpretation is valid. The analogy I give is, if a painting is a very super-realistic painting, people standing in front of it get basically the same take on it. Now you stand in front of an abstraction, many, many different things, depending on the viewer, start happening. And because there’s this circle between the painting and the viewer, film and the viewer, the mind is lively, the heart is lively, and any intuition they have is going while they are having this experience, and later all these different kinds of interpretations come out because each person has a little different one from the other. It’s just going to come out that way, and it’s kind of beautiful. There’s another thing I’ve been talking about, this thing of harmonics. Sometimes I think it’s possible to be true to an idea and that idea could be seen as the fundamental notes of a chord, and if you’re really true to those and translate them until they feel correct, then also the harmonics from higher things might be true, because the fundamental notes are true. So harmonics that you didn’t even know about might be true. Now somebody in the audience is getting a more sublime, cosmic kind of interpretation. Ten years from now I might see the same film and get that. If you’re true to the thing, you don’t know what you’re doing at all levels. It’s kind of strange.

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Re: Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby kmkmiller » 20 Dec 2012

Yeah. How I use the word "Refuting" is controversial, and to an extent confrontational, because Lynch would never refute one idea of thing before or after another.

That is, essentially, giving an answer. In another interview I read recently some guy asked him if electricity in his movies is analogous to electricity in the brain. And Lynch, again, said "No."

Which I thought was funny because his last movie draws direct reference to the word "axon" which is the part of the brain cell that carries electricity. And in Mulholland Drive you have a large woman shot and killed and she apparently works for a company the sells enzymes to clean cells, and enzymes are the things that keep brain cells functioning and transmitting electricity, and then that scene ends with all the electricity shorting out in the building. etc.

in short the follow up question to Lynch's "No" would be (and I would say this as nicely as possible), "Ok so why do you put such obvious references to brain cells in your movie?" And he would laugh and say "I have no clue."

So for the interview above.... the obvious follow up question (and you would want to ask this as nicely as possible) "OK, so why did you frame the entire dream sequence with obvious images of a person falling asleep and then waking up?" Right.

Truly. You know. Or to be more direct about it (assuming i'm still hypothetically talking to Mr. Lynch at this point): "Well, gosh, David, I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't see those images in your movie."

Ya know.

So...

Even though I put it in boldface, lets no longer focus on the "No." at the beginning of his answer and lets focus on other words I put in bold face.... Because while I'm cool with idea that Lynch, in interviews, will not give us an answer, I am still inclined to think his work is such a by product of his own mind that it would be impossible for him to avoid pointing us in different directions, even if only by accident.

I mean I've seen enough of his presentations on Transcendental Meditation where he compares the light of inner peace to a flickering light bulb, and I'm not prepared to deny myself the opportunity to make a connection there with one of the single most consistent images in Inland Empire and the rest of his work, a lamp... a light bulb.

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Re: Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby kmkmiller » 20 Dec 2012

speaking of Lynch interviews, here's something that I thought was real funny.... it's not just the first question, but the second question from Winston is a whole lot of awesome too....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vtgtkuKs8HQ#t=1664s

i don't think the video will embed in this case. but click on the link anyway.

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Re: Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby blu » 22 Dec 2012

kmkmiller wrote:Yeah. How I use the word "Refuting" is controversial, and to an extent confrontational, because Lynch would never refute one idea of thing before or after another.

That is, essentially, giving an answer. In another interview I read recently some guy asked him if electricity in his movies is analogous to electricity in the brain. And Lynch, again, said "No."

Which I thought was funny because his last movie draws direct reference to the word "axon" which is the part of the brain cell that carries electricity. And in Mulholland Drive you have a large woman shot and killed and she apparently works for a company the sells enzymes to clean cells, and enzymes are the things that keep brain cells functioning and transmitting electricity, and then that scene ends with all the electricity shorting out in the building. etc.

in short the follow up question to Lynch's "No" would be (and I would say this as nicely as possible), "Ok so why do you put such obvious references to brain cells in your movie?" And he would laugh and say "I have no clue."

So for the interview above.... the obvious follow up question (and you would want to ask this as nicely as possible) "OK, so why did you frame the entire dream sequence with obvious images of a person falling asleep and then waking up?" Right.

Truly. You know. Or to be more direct about it (assuming i'm still hypothetically talking to Mr. Lynch at this point): "Well, gosh, David, I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't see those images in your movie."

Ya know.

So...

Even though I put it in boldface, lets no longer focus on the "No." at the beginning of his answer and lets focus on other words I put in bold face.... Because while I'm cool with idea that Lynch, in interviews, will not give us an answer, I am still inclined to think his work is such a by product of his own mind that it would be impossible for him to avoid pointing us in different directions, even if only by accident.

I mean I've seen enough of his presentations on Transcendental Meditation where he compares the light of inner peace to a flickering light bulb, and I'm not prepared to deny myself the opportunity to make a connection there with one of the single most consistent images in Inland Empire and the rest of his work, a lamp... a light bulb.

Kevin

I think this is just about my favourite forum post I've read about anything in 2012. You just sneaked in with a few days to go. Seriously.

Thank you. Have a good Christmas. :up:

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kmkmiller
 
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Re: Is Lynch Refuting the Classical Interpretation??

Postby kmkmiller » 23 Dec 2012

thanks!!!! I'm so glad I could add something to the forum....

last question, are you a Jenny or a Winston?


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