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146

David Lynch Keeps His Head

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on Lost Highway (really weird film with Patricia Arquette and lizards) and why David Lynch is a genius. DFW gets to visit the set but doesn't interview David Lynch. his main reason for liking his films is the bothness factor (characters can be both good and bad). for Premiere magazine. 1995.

Foster Wallace, D. (2010). David Lynch Keeps His Head. In Foster Wallace, D. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments. Abacus, pp. 146-212

211

[...] This is what Lynch is about in this movie: both innocence and damnation; both sinned-against and sinning. Laura Palmer in Fire Walk with Me is both "good" and "bad," and yet also neither: she's complex, contradictory, real. And we hate this possibility in movies; we hate this "both" shit. "Both" comes off as sloppy characterization, muddy filmmaking, lack of focus. [...] But I submit that that the real reason we criticized and disliked Lynch's Laura's muddy bothness is that it required of us an empathetic confrontation with the exact same muddy bothness in ourselves and our intimates that makes the real world of moral selves so tense and uncomfortable, a bothness we go to the movies to get a couple hours' fucking relief from. A movie that requires that these features of ourselves and the world not be dreamed away or judged away or massaged away but acknowledged, and not just acknowledged but drawn upon in our emotional relationship to the heroine herself--this movie is going to make us feel uncomfortable, pissed off; we're going to feel, in Premiere magazine's own head editor's word, "Betrayed."

—p.211 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 9 months ago

[...] This is what Lynch is about in this movie: both innocence and damnation; both sinned-against and sinning. Laura Palmer in Fire Walk with Me is both "good" and "bad," and yet also neither: she's complex, contradictory, real. And we hate this possibility in movies; we hate this "both" shit. "Both" comes off as sloppy characterization, muddy filmmaking, lack of focus. [...] But I submit that that the real reason we criticized and disliked Lynch's Laura's muddy bothness is that it required of us an empathetic confrontation with the exact same muddy bothness in ourselves and our intimates that makes the real world of moral selves so tense and uncomfortable, a bothness we go to the movies to get a couple hours' fucking relief from. A movie that requires that these features of ourselves and the world not be dreamed away or judged away or massaged away but acknowledged, and not just acknowledged but drawn upon in our emotional relationship to the heroine herself--this movie is going to make us feel uncomfortable, pissed off; we're going to feel, in Premiere magazine's own head editor's word, "Betrayed."

—p.211 by David Foster Wallace 1 year, 9 months ago