Exploring David Lynch: Mulholland Drive
No piece of art has ever had as profound an impact on my life than Mulholland Dr. I say, in a very literal way, that Mulholland Dr. changed my life. — I had never looked at cinema as an art form before, I actually had hardly looked at cinema before. I grew up in a single parent home with a childhood filled with independence and responsibility. Needless to say, there was no time for films or television. I was that person on the other side of mouth open stares hearing "how have you never seen (insert film name here)" I don't begrudge my childhood, I read a lot and enjoyed time with my friends, started working at a young age and never thought about movies much. I was always out of the pop culture loop all the way through high school. I worked more than full-time in politics before college which led me to start my undergraduate work when I was 20. I took enough credits to need a signature from an academic advisor and in all the hustle of meetings and trying to gain approval for taking on so many hours I had forgotten even signing up for what I thought the most inconsequential class would be: Introduction to Film Studies.
Exploring David Lynch: Blue Velvet
The 1986 feature by notoriously challenging David Lynch, was an exercise for the auteur to dabble with the topics of voyeurism and kidnapping. Blue Velvet was the vehicle Lynch used to build a film around one of his most vivid childhood memories. As a young boy, Lynch witnessed a bloodied naked woman walking down the street close to his childhood home. What was her story? Why was she on the road naked and hurt? Lynch never knew, but Blue Velvet delves deep into the most idyllic of places and proves just how seedy of an underworld can exist where you least expect it. David Lynch, who even today describes himself simply as an Eagle Scout from Missoula Montana, has always been fascinated by what lurks below the surface. Growing up in one house resting behind a white picket fence after another, David was always in-tuned to the evil that may lurk beneath small town life. As Lynch has said: "I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath."
Exploring David Lynch: Eraserhead
The time will come in every cinephile's life where they will want to watch and review their favorite film critically. If it fills one with as much anxiety as it did me, they'll put it off as long as I did.
Exploring Michael Haneke: Happy End
If Happy End is Michael Haneke merely regurgitating old material, as the world would have me believe, then he is a more exceptional director than I, a Haneke devotee had ever realized.
Exploring Michael Haneke: Amour
With an incredible opening that calls to mind the closing shot of Cache, Michael Haneke begins his 2012 film, Amour by placing his camera on an audience as they prepare then start to listen to a piano concert. Showing the crowd as they settle into their seats then watch the performance, Haneke allows his subjects to blend into the crowd without calling attention to them. Masterfully, we are shown everyone without focusing on anyone. This beautiful humanist opening seems to communicate to the audience that we all live our existences, yet, experience the world among a collection of people that are also living individual lives. A brilliant bit of foreshadowing to his most overtly humanist film, Michael Haneke also informs the audience from the opening shot that the movie we are watching is one focused on the act of observation. Not only do we begin the journey by observing, we then continue observing our subjects, observing their life, age, and union.