David Lynch is a filmmaker like no other. Un-comparable and unique, his films are like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Lynch is a filmmaker like no other. Un-comparable and unique, his films are
like nothing you’ve ever seen. For over 40 years
Lynch has been making avant garde films that have divided audiences and
critics. Whether you see him as a surreal visionary or a provoker you cannot
deny his level of skill as a director. Although he has only made 10 films and 1
TV series to date all of his works are distinct and recognisable on their own.
Every single one contains so many great scenes its hard to pinpoint which one
is the best and which one sums up Lynch himself. So in commemoration of a new box-set release of several of
his films we’ll attempt to analyse and discover what is the best David Lynch
Irulan’s introduction, Dune
kick off the list with Lynch’s most derived and overlooked film. Lynch still
refuses to acknowledge this Sci-fi epic, citing too much intrusion from the
studios leading to it’s failure. Whilst there are a lot of problems in Dune,
there are also a lot of things to admire. One of these is the use of Princess
Irulan. In the novel of Dune, the Princess Irulan introduces each chapter but
beyond that doesn’t really feature in the story. Rather than completely ignore
her, Lynch chose her to instead read the introduction. She tells us of a
mysterious energy known as the spice and of warring planets. It’s one of the
most captivating and memorable moments of an otherwise troubled film.
arrives at Lyle’s house, The Straight Story
swiftly on, we come to perhaps Lynch’s most normal film. The Straight Story
tells the true story of Alvin Straight who travels 240 miles on a
lawnmower to visit his ill and estranged brother Lyle. What could be a strange
and quirky film is instead a sweet and unsuspecting road trip. Whilst Alvin
encounters a number of odd and well meaning people his reunion with Lyle is the
standout moment. Stoic and cold it’s a perfect compliment to the rest of film. (WARNING
VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILERS)
fight scene, Wild at Heart
opening scene here and this time it comes from the Palm D’or winning Wild At
Heart. We start with a panning shot of a large staircase, accompanied by Glenn
Miller music from a nearby party. Then we see the couple of Sailor (Nicolas
Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) descending down the steps. Next, Sailor
is accused of an obscene act by a partygoer, then all hell breaks loose.
Copious amounts of violence and shredding metal music spills out from
everywhere. It’s a stark and brave jump from one extreme to the other. It sets up
the audience for the rest of this insane and wacky film.
unveiling of The Elephant Man, The Elephant Man
Lynch’s most successful film, The Elephant Man introduced the director to a
more mainstream audience when he tackled the sad story of John Merrick. Like
all great directors Lynch builds the anticipation of getting the first glimpse
of Merrick and his unfortunate state. But rather than making a spectacle of
him, Lynch sets the scene in a dark and gloomy cellar, where he is being held
by a freak show owner. Instead of unveiling him straight away, we see Dr
Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) reaction first. Then slowly we catch
a glancing look at the Elephant Man. Cutting back to Treves we see a single
tear roll down his face. In just one scene Lynch managed to change our
perspective of Merrick, from being a monster to an ill-fated human being.
Man, Lost Highway
Blake was a famous child actor during the
1940’s and 50’s. He had starred in many films and TV series and was widely
successful. Then came Lost Highway. Blake plays a character know simply as
‘Mystery Man’ and he is one creepy dude. In this scene he approaches lead
character Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) at a party and informs him that he
is at his house. Not believing him the man convinces him to phone his house.
Subsequently, the man answers from the other end and changes Madison’s life
running, Inland Empire
is the shortest scene in this entire list, but it is without a doubt the
scariest. Inland Empire was Lynch’s last feature film to date and to try and
describe it would be near impossible. The basic story is that Laura Dern’s
character of Nikki Grace has been cast in a movie as Susan Blue. However very
quickly her world begins to unravel into a surreal hell where she cannot tell
if she is acting or not. This scene takes place right into her decent into
madness. It only lasts 34 seconds but if you don’t want nightmares for the rest
of your life don’t watch this video. You have been warned.
in 1977, Eraserhead was Lynch’s first film. It is a dark and brooding drama come
horror film. It features all the themes that we have come to associate with
Lynch. Wild dreams, impending industry and the dark undertones of society.
Eraserhead is about Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) and his attempts to avoid
the wrath of an angry girlfriend and raise a child in a harsh and bleak world.
The dinner scene is fantastic. It includes every fear we have of meeting a
partners parents for the first time. Those tired old stories and awkward
silences are all here, yet having to cut up a still live chicken may not have
happened to many of us.
Sandman, Blue Velvet
is a strong element in David Lynch’s films. Nearly every film contains a striking
musical moment. Lynch even released his own album last year, ‘Crazy Clown
Time’. Blue Velvet contains his most famous use of music in a film. As the
innocent Jeffery (Kyle MacLachlan) is dragged along by the evil Frank (Dennis
Hopper) on an unwanted night out, they visit Frank’s friend Ben. Ben played
by Dean Stockwell is one suave f***er, as Frank describes him. He proves
this by treating his audience to a brilliantly mimed rendition of Roy
Orbisons ‘In Dreams’. It’s an iconic scene from a significant film. It
changed our view on what a drama could be and altered the definition of
suburbia. A true achievement.
Red Room, Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks TV series has probably the biggest following of any of Lynch’s
works. Set in the fictional town of Twin Peaks it largely follows the
investigation into the murder of local girl called Laura Palmer. The strange
techniques employed by Kyle Maclachlan’s Agent Cooper and overriding charisma
helped carry the show through its many confusing twist and bizarre plot points.
Yet its success can be attributed to just one scene. The Red Room is initially
believed to be a dream had by Cooper into which all the clues to the murder are
linked. The Room features a dancing midget, some smooth jazz, red curtains
everywhere and one of the scariest villains ever, BOB. Oh and you can only talk
backwards. Literally incredible.
Silencio, Mulholland Drive. (Main Image)
word masterpiece is an overused term in this day and age but there is no
doubting the level of artistry that exists in Mulholland Dr. For all of his
films Mulholland Dr is David Lynch’s most accomplished piece. A film that could
only be made once and probably never again. To say that it focuses on just one
story would be foolish, except bear in mind that every scene is significant and
therefore nothing should be overlooked. To pick just one scene from Mulholland
Dr is hard enough but to pick a scene that sums up David Lynch is a mammoth
task. Yet Club Silencio may be it. As our two protagonists Betty (Naomi
Watts) and Rita (Laura Harring) enter a strange theatre, where they
are treated to a bizarre performance, all done by tape recording. What features
in this performance is the song Llorando, sung by Rebekha Del Rio.
Incredible doesn’t begin to justify it, except that it may by one of the truest
forms of beauty ever committed to film. Everything about this scene is what
David Lynch is about. The performance. The music. The imagination. The tragedy.