« Last post by Erniesam on Yesterday at 03:36:29 PM »
I'm responding now quite spontaneous without having written some notes on paper beforehand which I usually do. Like other users here I come from the IMDB board which is closed now. There I had some extensive and in depth discussions about some movies I love and this one in particular. Yes, IMDB could be a board with an unusual amount of trolling and egos, but now and then one could have interesting talks. I was looking for another film forum to discuss movies in depth and so I came upon this site. At first glance it seems pretty good to me with thoughtful and polite discussion and feedback. My experience is that while discussing a movie on an open thread it tends to result in people trying to explain their particular view and convince others. Perhaps that's only human when one is really invested in their approach, but it does stifle the conversation fairly quick. I try to keep an open mind, but I sometimes catch myself doing just that also. But...what do you learn from spouting thing one already knows?
I had seen Eraserhead on tv in the eighties when I was quite young. Well, needless to say I couldn't watch it all the way through; I didn't understand it and I found it incredibly dull. I had seen Blue Velvet in the late eighties and this too was not my cup of tea back then. I did follow Twin Peaks when it aired in the early nineties; I didn't understand it, but I found it pretty entertaining. Still later on I watched Lost HIghway and I simply hated it: this frustrating feeling that I did not understand it and could not figure it out bugged me, so I decided Lynch was not for me. Still, I found the photography of his movies stunning, the music quite good and the imgaery interesting; if only I could make SOME sense of his work. Than came Mulholland Dr. I was flabbergasted by what I had just seen in the theater. I could make SOME sense out of it, but alot of things I couldn't place nor figure out. So...I talked about the movie with friends and family, searched online for interpretations and took part in discussions about the movie just to get a grip on it. Through this process I came to look at Lost Highway also through a different lens and it finally clicked with me. A large part of the interpretation is subjective, of course, but I'm convinced that Lynch does leave tangible clues in all his work that leads the viewer in a certain direction. Still, when one takes one sidestreet before another one can end up in vastly different places.
I was very, very excited to watch Inland Empire for the first time (somewhere in 2012 I believe it was). Wow, what was I disappointed! The digital camera, absense of a "classical" soundtrack and a story....well, I couldn't mak heads of tails out of it. I couldn't watch it all the way through and the time I watched it completely was about a month later! Well, the same process as with MD started, but very, very slowly. Again many discussions and searches for meaning online etc. I finally came to some interpretation with which I feel pretty comfortable. What's more: it enhances the actual viewing experience immensely. I still have questions though and some parts I struggle with to place in the whole. I don't know how it is with others on this board, but the way I go about is to first have a general overview of what I sense the movie is about and than see if individual scenes can be placed in it. I have revised this overall view many times over the years sometimes due to very minute details. I came to the conlusion that Lynch's LA trilogy (LH. MD and IE) are very similar in themes, but that the structures are different. Moreover, it seems to me that Lynch gets more mild and nuanced in his work when I notice that the endings of all three movies go from violent, to mournful and melancholic to upbeat and positive.
I find it pretty difficult to get some coherence and structure in the discussion about IE because I find that pretty much all in IE is connected to each other: when one discusses one scene it's very difficult to isolate this from one's overall view for this pretty much determines WHY one interpret this scene a particular way. Like you state in your analysis Jeremy, one objective could be to be at least consistent in one's interpretations: if it does not contradict any other interpretation it's a possibillity and therefor legit. I think logic should be the driving force behind...well, any discussion really, though in the case of the work of Lynch I guess logic doesn't always cut it and one must leave some room for cinematic poetry.
I will read your analysis more thoroughly tomorrow and see if we can start a fruitful discussion with that as starting point.