Sunday, October 26, 2008

Theory on Twin Peaks, season 1

Jonathan Rosenbaum says about Lynch:

". . . .he is perceived and celebrated in some quarters not as an integral part of this country's ideological mainstream but as a serious artist subverting the American soil from within. . . "

"It could be argued, morever, that Lynch's increasing visibility and popularity is largely a function of the fresh contexts in which his work has appeared. Compared to ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET is like a TV soap opera, and compared to BLUE VELVET, TWIN PEAKS seems formally unadventurous and fairly tame in terms of subject matter; but compared with other TV serials, TWIN PEAKS looked like a bolt from the blue. . . ."

**maybe. But cinema and television are completely different as mass media. You cannot make ERASERHEAD television, not back at that time, anyway. No one would have watched it or gotten it except for Lynch fans.
(I think all this was taken from the collection FULL OF SECRETS edited by David Lavery, who also edited a collection together on The Sopranos called THIS THING OF OURS. This guy is seriously my intellectual media-idol)

"In my opinion, the first problem---the important problem in our world--is the problem of dissemination, and it's the conception of this dissemination that may lead to catastrophe. The way it's used now, the influence of the masses leads to nothing but the scattering of material. For example, think of a liter of wine: it's certainly sufficient when shared by three or four people. But if we want this same liter of wine to be shared by one thousand people, we have to put water in it, and then it's useless. We have to wonder whether something like this doesn't happen in the process of dissemination."
---Jean Renoir.

Renoir made political films. Poetic realism, French cinema after the first world war. Was of course an artist but always dealt with societal issues, rich/poor, government, etc. This is not what Lynch does, but Lynch is still an artist making comments on society. Whereas Renoir had weightier issues on his agenda, American directors (generally, and even more today) tackle issues using a bubble gum approach by showing us ridiculous situations we think are important but are really just trivial. No one is say, starving to death usually, even in a very serious film. No one is sitting in a back alley somewhere without water to drink or without clothing to keep them warm. American audiences are not usually accustomed to seeing children or babies die. These things happen the world over, but in cinema, as in life, we close our eyes to them.