Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Maya Deren & David Lynch: Spend a "lost afternoon" with my video essay MESHES OF LYNCH for Fandor Keyframe

Monday, April 4, 2016

Maya Deren & David Lynch: Spend a "lost afternoon" with my video essay MESHES OF LYNCH for Fandor Keyframe

Every month, I will be offering at least one post on Twin Peaks...up until Showtime re-airs the original series. Then I will post extensive coverage of each episode (mixing new reactions with my many older pieces) immediately after they air. Stay tuned.

If I had to pick a favorite among my recent outpouring of video essays, this would probably be it. Requiring a lot of organization, contemplation, and experimentation, my non-narrated split-screen comparison of Maya Deren and David Lynch finally emerged as a video that speaks immediately and directly to the viewer but also contains a lot to unpack if they want to go further with it (to dig into this common ground, I would recommend this collection of quotes I posted to accompany another Deren video essay last summer). I've created videos on both directors before so it was a joy to join them together in this approach.

advisory: I would very much suggest listening to the video with headphones or good speakers. I use Lynch's subtle soundscape in Inland Empire (including his song "The Ghost of Love") as the backdrop and there are connections there too, even though Deren's film is silent. While nothing is explicitly spoiler-y, some of the selected scenes are suggestive and/or surprising. If you want to fly completely blind with his work, including Twin Peaks, be warned. The montage also contains violence and frightening images.

Here is the introduction from my description on Fandor Keyframe (you can read the rest over there - although the video link no longer works), followed by screencaps of sixty-one comparisons from the video, going film by film.

"As many viewers of Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon and David Lynch's Mulholland Dr have recognized, there are many similarities between these two filmmakers (Deren's innovative co-director Alexander Hamid continued his documentary career while Deren explored the themes and style of Meshes in her later work). An ordinary key apparently charged with dangerous supernatural power; characters who multiply, bending space and time; an Angelino atmosphere in which daydream becomes nightmare...these are just a few of Meshes' and Lynch's common touchstones. Others have compared Meshes to Lost Highway, with characters in high windows nearly or actually viewing themselves on the street below, or Inland Empire, which escalates Mulholland's fragmented identities in a suburban home that serves as a multidimensional portal. In fact these threads - or meshes, if you will - extend to almost all of Lynch's work in the second half of his career, from the moment Twin Peaks took a particularly dark turn in 1990 through Inland Empire's climax sixteen years later. ..."

(continue reading on Fandor Keyframe)
For the third and final time in a row, I will be posting every weekday this week.

The YouTube upload:

Every comparison in the video

from episode 14 of Twin Peaks (1990)

from episode 29 of Twin Peaks (1991)

from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

from Lost Highway (1997)

from Mulholland Dr (2001)

from Inland Empire (2006)

from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me & Mulholland Dr (l-r)

from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Mulholland Dr, Lost Highway, and Inland Empire (l-r clockwise)

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