Cinematic ideas

David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive"

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Abstract

Lynch, I want to suggest, can be regarded as a cinematic philosopher -artist, presenting thought through sound and image ('ideas', to use Lynch's term). In what follows I shall explore this thesis by considering one of Lynch's most challenging films, "Mulholland Drive", a film that we can 'understand' by being attentive to not only to its complex narrative structure, but also to the role of what I shall call 'cinematic Ideas'. Although Lynch never really explains what he means, I take cinematic Ideas to mean visual and aural sequences that combine images and sounds liberated from a purely narrative function with images evincing a complex cinematic reflexivity. This striking conjunction of sensuous immediacy and complex reflection is the hallmark of Lynch's cinematic world. In a manner recalling Kant's 'aesthetic ideas', Lynch's cinematic Ideas are presentations of the imagination that exceed conceptual determination and linguistic expression. They are inexhaustible imaginative representations open to infinite interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFilm-philosophy
Volume9
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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