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David Lynch

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Director of Development
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film studies
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Emerson...

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Joseph P.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Classical Hollywood cinema during the latter half of the twentieth century
  3. Postmodernism a view of the world where contradiction reigns supreme
  4. David Lynch's first successful film
  5. The innovative storytelling behind Blue Velvet
    1. The identifiable genre details
    2. A world in which nothing is real
  6. The movie Wild at Heart
    1. What critics failed to realize
    2. A shock laden, intangible road movie
  7. The reality within the films of David Lynch
  8. A postmodern narrative element in the movies
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

Storytelling, since the dawn of time, has served as an invaluable means in which human beings are able to create, sustain, and relay emotion, identity, and ideology. The stories people tell allow them to simultaneously connect to, and differentiate themselves from one another. Arguably more important than the stories themselves are the manners in which they are told. In this century, films have become one of the dominant forms of storytelling. Movies are seen on every continent on Earth, and reach hundreds of millions of people each year. Storytellers who work within the medium of film have a chance to exhibit their work on an unparalleled stage. During the first half of the twentieth-century, a movement known as ?classical Hollywood cinema? thrived. The films created in the time of classical Hollywood cinema operated largely within metanarratives; all-embracing laws which governed human behavior. These films utilized well-known plot structures and familiar characters to tell their stories. There was almost always a hero and a villain, and, in the end, the hero would always get the girl. Specifically, each film genre would operate amidst its own metanarrative structure. Detective movies, thrillers, romance movies, horror films, and comedies all followed their own metanarratives. This was, in the world of film, modernism.

[...] Reality within the films of David Lynch is purely objective. The worlds which Lynch uses as his settings, though seemingly identifiable, are not confined by reality. In his essay Precession of Simulacra?, Jean Baudrillard compares the ?realness? of Disneyland to that of reality itself. He says of Disneyland, its values are exalted here, in miniature and comic strip form. Embalmed and pacified? (Baudrillard 352). Disneyland is viewed by many Americans to be a playful vision of utopia; a place in which people can become lost in unquestioned happiness. [...]


[...] Everything that exists in the film is there not merely to further the story, but to act as story itself; this is Lynch at his best. Foster Hirsch points out that crime scenes in Blue Velvet are of value purely as spectacle, as titillation for the investigator himself, as well as the audience? (Hirsch 174). In Blue Velvet, as in most David Lynch texts, the emphasis is on the storytelling rather than the story; and the storytelling is disturbingly beautiful. [...]


[...] However, the stark originality of the ways David Lynch tells his stories is undeniable. Lynch's work is categorically postmodern, undeniably radical, and infinitely open to debate. While critics and audiences alike have always had mixed opinions of Lynch, his methods of storytelling are the way of the future. The world that David Lynch portrays in his work is simultaneously fantastic and tangible. His movies often exist within a realm somewhere between a dream and an average day. In the book David Lynch, Kenneth C. [...]

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