The Film Paintings of David Lynch (Book)
Challenging Film Theory
This book addresses director David Lynch's films from the perspective of the relationship between commercial film, avant-garde art and cultural theory. It offers a unique perspective on the director, weaving together a range of theoretical approaches to Lynch's films to make new connections among film theory, art history, psychoanalysis and cinema.
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One of the most distinguished filmmakers working today, David Lynch is a director whose vision of cinema is firmly rooted in fine art. He was motivated to make his first film as a student because he wanted a painting that “would really be able to move.” Most existing studies of Lynch, however, fail to engage fully with the complexities of his films’ relationship to other art forms. The Film Paintings of David Lynch fills this void, arguing that Lynch’s cinematic output needs to be considered within a broad range of cultural references.
Aiming at both Lynch fans and film studies specialists, Allister Mactaggart addresses Lynch’s films from the perspective of the relationship between commercial film, avant-garde art, and cultural theory. Individual Lynch films—The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire—are discussed in relation to other films and directors, illustrating that the solitary, or seemingly isolated, experience of film is itself socially, culturally, and politically important. The Film Paintings of David Lynch offers a unique perspective on an influential director, weaving together a range of theoretical approaches to Lynch's films to make exciting new connections among film theory, art history, psychoanalysis, and cinema.
Allister Mactaggart is a senior lecturer at the Directorate of Art and Design, Chesterfield College and an associate lecturer of Leeds Metropolitan University. He teaches film studies and art history, specializing in David Lynch, psychoanalysis, and visual culture.
Introduction: Towards a Palimpsest
Chapter One: Ever Died? Ever Failed? No Matter. Die Again. Fail Better. Immanence and Transcendence In Twin Peaks (With Apologies To Samuel Beckett)
Chapter Two: Reasons to be Tearful: Snapshots of Lynchian Excess
Chapter Three: Driven to Distraction: Hitching a Ride along the Lynchian Highway
Chapter Four: Pierced by the Past: Filmic Trauma; Remembering and Forgetting
Chapter Five: ‘It is Happening Again’: Experiencing the Lynchian Uncanny
Chapter Six: The Return of the Repressed: INLAND EMPIRE, DavidLynch.Com, and the Re-emergence of Film Painting
Conclusion: Stitching up Lynch