May 13, 2003

Mutante and I have been growing apart for years.

I swear, I barely recognize his voice anymore when he calls. And when we talk movies, up is down, down is up, and there's very little room for seeing eye to eye on anything. Used to be we could agree on at least the fundamentals: Fassbinder is Zeus, Cassavetes' Christ, Neil Labute has potential, Scorsese is lost, Spielberg - Satan. But aside from these impossible-to-argue-with truths, lately it seems all the movies I love he hates, and vice versa. Lately, as he's become a Vera-Cruzian celebrity, taking over round-table discussions at film festivals to incite revolution, I'm noticing a real clarity in his thoughts:

"People don't want to see a film, they just want to see the sexuality of the filmmaker up there on the screen. That's all it is for people, I'm convinced. If it's David Lynch, they know there's something about that guy that's just fucked-up by pretty blonde women. They want to see his universe, where the saddest thing that can happen is a pretty blonde girl dies. That's the saddest thing he can think of, because pretty blonde girls should not die, NO - they should live, but society is sick, and innocence tempts evil, and that's the tragedy. They are corrupted, and they die, and there's an angel - then they're gone".

"And now there's this Latino sexuality creeping into things that seems to like, really be menacing him - I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from. His last movie, like the whole end of it was in Spanish." I remember black sexuality creeping into the end of Lost Highway, and I remember Mulholland Drive's "Crying" being performed, in Spanish, or Portuguese - oh, like anyone can tell the difference! - but I had to think about that ending again. I think the switch into Spanish was creepy for me because I don't speak it, and neither did the pretty blonde girl from Deep River Ontario. So there was this alienation and paranoia about what was being said, for me, though not for Mutante.

David Lynch is great, we can all agree. His films are beautifully made. Mutante: "Beautifully made is like the most condescending thing you can say. If you really like a film, you say 'man, this film is so fucking cool' and you shouldn't even be thinking about how it was made'. The thing is, I love that guy's movies, and yes, they are beautifully made, and I love watching them, but after watching Mulholland Drive for the third time I was sitting there just thinking: it makes too much sense-- I'm just bored of his politics."

So I asked it: "What do you think he could do to break that pattern?"

"I don't know, he could change his politics, I guess. That would be interesting."

In fairness to Lynch, I think he tries. Eraser Head. Dune. Elephant Man. The old man who rides the lawnmower.

But there is something to the thrust of the point, observable in Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, that sounds right to me. It'll be interesting to see how Rabbits and Darkened Room flesh out this equation.

So, that's two cents from Mutante. Mutante, if you're reading this, and I've misrepresented you, please, just let me have it.

And if you're wondering why I'm posting your two cents here, it's because your two cents are more interesting to me today than my whole jar of pennies. I miss you, man! You have to come back to Canada, for all sorts of obvious reasons.

Posted by at May 13, 2003 12:50 PM

no, i can't let you have it.

sorry, i guess i have to speak english more often. i was saying sensuality, you were hearing sexuality, and i was intending to say sensuousness. i am convinced that when an audience goes to see a film, what they go see is the sensuousness of the filmmaker. the sensuousness of his thought process (like in an essay, where as important as the central idea is the length of the sentences and the choice of terms), the rhythm and colours and textures and sounds he uses to create his world.

i don't think it is too far-fetched an idea. just don't try to simplify things saying that that which i am referring to as sensuousness is called style.

Posted by: mutante on May 13, 2003 08:38 PM .


But I could have sworn you didn't say sensuality the first time.

What you say is more interesting, damn -- from now on you will speak for yourself!

Posted by: on May 14, 2003 11:38 AM .


I know this thread is pretty much over and done with, but I nonetheless feel compelled to point out that the sultry, black-haired Latino sexuality which you say has been "creeping into things" lately has actually been a prominent feature of Lynch's films since Blue Velvet (via morally ambiguous victim/temptress Dorothy Vallens) and Wild at Heart (reptile/mercenary Bobby Peru). Their place is to straddle the line between absolute good and evil on the classic Lynchian psycho-political landscape you've mapped out, 'natch!

Posted by: The Albertross on May 14, 2003 08:03 PM .

The Albertross: No thread's ever so over and done with it can't be brought back by a kiss from your sweet lips.

In fairness to Mutante - who never asked to have his views so crudely summarized - (I think) he was saying this is the first time Lynch's lapsed into a language that wasn't, say, gibberish, and for it to happen so close to the end, and in such a harrowing scene...

But wait - if I've learned anything, it's that there's no point in trying to speak for Mutante.

Posted by: on May 14, 2003 08:35 PM .

I realize I'd assumed Vallens was Italian, like the actress who played her - tho I guess her last name's a give-away. Bobby Peru, I always just thought of as Willem Dafoe.

Thank you, Albatross!

Posted by: on May 14, 2003 09:19 PM .

It's true--I hesitated bringing this up 'cause neither actor is actually Hispanic, and yet, call it reckless abondon...

Posted by: Albatosser on May 15, 2003 05:22 PM .

Hi Mutante.

Posted by: on May 16, 2003 12:07 AM .
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