David Lynch’s movies aren’t easily explicated. After trekking through Mulholland Dr. shot by shot over 12 hours with some 1,000 students, even Roger Ebert gave up on that one. For this reason his work is perhaps best explored through something like Richard Vezina’s new video essay, “David Lynch in Four Movements,” embedded below.
While you could spend hours attempting to puzzle out the plot mechanics of Mulholland Dr., Lynch’s substance more often comes through style, mood, and motifs—and those are the aspects Vezina highlights here. Over twenty minutes, Vezina collects and juxtaposes several of Lynch’s most powerful recurring images—maternal faces staring kindly at the viewer, cameras diving into hidden cavities, headlights prowling down deserted night highways, bare flickering lightbulbs, clownish spooks, and the kind of loungey musical performances I explored in a previous post for Slate—letting viewers run their own analyses.
It’s a little artsy, perhaps—the title, “In Four Movements,” tells us Vezina is aiming for something symphonic—and, as with all Lynch’s work, inscrutability doesn’t always conceal hidden depths. But each segment also doubles as a pretty killer music video. I should lastly warn that it’s slightly NSFW—it seems that female frontal nudity is just one more of Lynch’s motifs.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.