BBC recently published an article about studies being conducted to research the effect of romantic comedies on expectations in relationships.
Researchers divided the 200 participating volunteers into two groups; one group who chose to watch Serendipity and the other chose a David Lynch Drama. According to the studies, the group that chose to watch Serendipity were more likely to believe in fate and pre-destined love. The study looks at the role of popular media in shaping our view of the world and considers that people who's perception of romance is colored by movies (romantic comedies) may have unrealistic expectations in love and be less likely to communicate with their partners.
Movies. They can mess with your head almost as much as "love" can mess with your heart.
Does this mean that those of us who may choose to watch the oh-so-suave Ben croon In Dreams in Blue Velvet (read on for an explanation of the pic) are more likely to have healthy lasting relationships than those who choose a John Cusack movie? I suppose it depends on our experience of love, because love, especially what is portrayed and perceived as love in the movies, can indeed be ...STRANGE. When you think you're in that kind of love, it can be hard to discern which way is up and which way is down. Yet when you don't have any love, there is no way up.
I am no expert when it comes to love, or David Lynch films for that matter, but one thing I have learned the hard way is that if you have never seen any of David Lynch's films, it's really better to take them in slowly, savoring each one individually leaving room to process them in between viewings. When I met David for the first time, I had only heard of his work and hadn't seen anything other than the Straight Story and Elephant Man. I most often heard his other works described as non-linear, bizarre and pornographic. I knew I had to see more (although I later learned that some of those descriptions were a little exaggerated, and others probably understated)! My (now ex) boyfriend and I had just moved in together and he hadn't seen much of David's work either, so we decided to rent Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and The Short Films Of David Lynch and we watched them all in one sitting.
Bad idea. Not because the movies themselves were bad ...they were brilliant. And intense. Although I will say that as intense and heavy as they could get, each one was also balanced out with quirky humor, love and spiritual insight woven together in such a beautiful way. Each one of his movies and short films is saturated with so many layers of stories, sights and sounds that viewing his movies in one sitting like that was equivalent to eating every holiday meal meant to be spread out over three months in one bite. And it took several days to process what we had just ingested.
The Twin Peaks series is really one piece, so it's definitely an exception and definitely best viewed in a marathon. From the pilot episode on, I couldn't tear myself away. I hid out in my room for a week or two (Joss Whedon's series have the same effect on me), until at long last I was left with the question that all fans of Lynch are still wondering ...How's Annie?
This question and so many others are left unanswered and Lynch's films will probably never satisfy the intellect on such a simplistic level, because he never seems to provide the straight story; in the sense that the subject matters can be abstract and hard to fathom, and at times you don't know what is real and what is the dream or the nightmare of the character. He weaves together opposite elements with an invisible thread that leaves much of a film's content open to the interpretation and imagination of the viewer, which is much more stimulating on an intuitive and emotional level.
David has innate creative genius, and he often speaks nowadays about how his creativity has flourished through his meditation practice which allows him to catch ideas from deeper levels of pure consciousness. In other words he is drawing from a fountain of creativity deep within his Self. This gives his art the potential to effect us on deeper and more subjective levels. In my opinion, this stirring of the imagination is one of the greatest thrills that his work brings and I think it's one of the reasons why Lynch fans are so intently devoted to and in love with his work.
Most modes of entertainment can't even begin to challenge our minds on such a profound level, making David Lynch's films refreshing and (although admittedly sometimes disturbing) they are also deeply inspiring. Working with the David Lynch Foundation the past few years has exposed me to so many talented artist, filmmakers and musicians who's creativity has been directly nurtured by David Lynch's masterful storytelling.
I've heard so much good music that fit into this category, that it's one of the main reasons I started doing this radio program. I've done a few shows this past year highlighting some of the music that falls into this Lynchian genre, like the show featuring BRILLIANCE: a CD compilation of Lynch inspired songs that I put together for David as a birthday present in 06'.
Not all Lynch-inspired artwork is Lynchian in the sense that it could blend seamlessly into one of his movies. Some of the best Lynch-inspired work that I come across have zero cliche Lynchian elements, but are instead crafted in the very unique flavor of the inspired artist. Sometimes however, people draw directly from the existing works of David Lynch (and other artists for that matter), through a cover song or a mashup. And sometimes a cover in a mashup ....you follow?
For example, Miranda Sex Garden's Ben Golomstock (aka Stories From The Moon) did a cover of In Heaven which I included on the BRILLIANCE CD mentioned above, and that same song was also used in a mashup by Phil RetroSpector that I recently came across by happy coincidence via the David Lynch photo pool on Flickr. I immediately fell in love with a couple songs from the Mashed In Plastic compilation.
It's been almost exactly 20 years since Pete Martell declared that Laura Palmer was "dead, wrapped in plastic", but her legend, appeal and mystery live on. Mashed In Plastic brings some of Laura's spirit back to life and also provides some comic relief to the heavier elements of Laura's death ...for example the "cover art" for the compilation is a shopped image of David's coy face over Laura Palmer's infamous corpse. Each track is a combination of audio and visual samples from: Lynch's films and readings of Catching The Big Fish, the music of Angelo Badalamenti (and other Lynch soundtrack contributors), plus various other musicians.
The origin and ownership of mash-ups can be argued as theft or insulting, but Mash-ups are generally intended as a tribute to the original auteur(s). As the Mashed In Plastic "producers" point out on their website: "All content on this website has been created because of our love of film, music and most of all, the work of David Lynch. If you enjoy the music and videos we’ve provided then please support the original artists - buy the soundtracks, watch the DVDs, get yourself an Eraserhead mug and enjoy a cup of David Lynch brand coffee."
Their are so many gems in this particular compilation, which you can hear and see in its entirety at the Mashed In Plastic website, but a couple of my faves du jour are:
-WAX AUDIO's Blue Rigby (pictured -forgive me David, George, John, Paul & Ringo!) - a mashup of the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby & Badalamenti's Main Title (video here)
-COLATRON's I'll Be There In Twin Peaks - (video below)
I'll Be There in Twin Peaks from Mashed in Plastic on Vimeo
If, after watching Blue Rigby, you're wondering what a real life pairing of David Lynch and Sir Paul McCartney would be like ...you can soon find out, because a collaboration is in the works. It's not a traditional collaboration of artists, but a joint philanthropic effort. We've kept it kinda on the down low, but a few stories have leaked here and there. And it's true! The David Lynch Foundation is dedicated to raising enough money to teach one million students how to meditate and we're having one heck of a benefit concert April 4th at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Tickets haven't been officially announced yet, but we expect them to sell out very quickly.
If you haven't already registered for information, be sure to sign up right away at davidlynchfoundation.org
P.S. We'll be announcing a ticket giveaway very very soon. Check back for details.myspace.com/davidlynchfoundation
Click HERE for the complete 02/14/09 playlist