Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Terrifying Sincerity of David Lynch

Over break I tore through Dennis Lim's new book, David Lynch: The Man From Another Place, the
strongest single volume on Lynch I have read. Lim's accomplishment — a vivid yet concise study of Lynch's oeuvre, one that reads like a novel — is most impressive against the excess and, I'd say, stagnation of contemporary Lynch studies. You should read it; it's available on Amazon like everything else.

Lim spends some time elucidating Lynch's treatment of 'the uncanny,' as others have before him. I am one of them, I guess, though barely anyone has read the essay I wrote almost two years ago for Cornell's Kitsch Magazine (certainly not Lim) — which is perhaps as it should be, since it's rough in spots and could use a serious trimming. But I gave it another look, upon finishing Lim's book, and I think I contributed something novel, at least interesting in my analysis of how Mulholland Drive presciently invokes terror, specifically 9/11, a date bookended by the film's premiere and NYC release.

That section of the essay bears the subtitle, "an uncanny connection to 9/11," and can be read by scrolling down a few (5) facile opening paragraphs on Kitsch's Wordpress site, which I never before linked to on this blog. Written for the Spring 2014 issue of Kitsch Magazine, "The Terrifying Sincerity of David Lynch" can be read, warts and all, here.

The Assassin Review

Never posted this review here, so let me resolve that two months late: On Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, for the Ithaca Voice.

I'll be reposting an old David Lynch essay here later today, and later this week I will unveil my Top 25 Films of 2015 List. It'll be as dense and prolix as the 2013 and 2014 lists prior; in fact, since I've been on a reviewing hiatus these past couple months, it'll probably be more so. It's a new year, and it's time to get writing again.