Vantage point

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That Epiphanic Lynch Moment

SPOILER ALERT: If you have never seen a David Lynch movie in your life, skip this post. If you read it, you will be robbing yourself of something mind-boggling. So if you have never seen a Lynch movie, go rent one, and then come back to read this post.

It is always a pleasure to watch Lynch movies. I mean the "true" Lynch movies, not stuff like Elephant Man. It is wonderful to lose yourself in them, and swirl them around, discovering new flavours.

But what I really hate is that THE moment, the epiphany, occurs only once, and just can not be repeated in your lifetime unless you suffer from amnesia. THE moment when you discover what a Lynch movie really is and how it is different from other movies. The first Lynch movie I ever saw was Mulholland Dr a few years ago. And when the 'changeover' or 'waking up' happened, I was absolutely blown away. I instantly became a Lynch fan for life. About half an hour later, the movie had ended, it was 3 a.m. in the morning, and I was astounded by this approach of story-telling. I was torn between whether I should watch the movie again, or go wake up some friends and rave about the movie. Needless to say, I promptly restarted the movie, and watched it again, trying to "interpret" it.

That exhilaration was never repeated, because right from the initial moments of the opening scene (which always contain a very key element) of the next Lynch movie I saw (which happened to be Lost Highway) I was in the 'interpretation' mode. I was trying to examine each and every thing about each and every frame, and guess what would happen at the "Waking up". Which is fun too. But still, the fact that THE moment will never be repeated seems unfair. And that happened with the other Lynch movies I watched as well.

So your first Lynch movie will always be your most special. You will, of course, enjoy the subsequent ones. But like most other "firsts" in life, this one too will be unparalleled.

By the way, I have been trying to get hold of the longer version of Lynch's Dune, based on Frank Herbert's cult sci-fi novel. The movie bombed at the box office, and was also panned by critics when it was first released. The producer had chopped it down from Lynch's original 3 hr 10 minute to 2 hr 17 mins. I want to see if he really made a bad movie out of the book (which would take some doing!) or if it was the hack-and-chop-job that spoilt the movie. Movietime in Lokhandwala doesn't have it. If you know any place in Mumbai which has it, please email me.