Lynch. Lynch’s case is really strong. Lynch has 10 features- I have 9 of the 10 films in my archives. I’ve given Dune a few chances and probably have another one left in me but it’s pretty bad. His filmography ranks him 22nd overall and he’s a style-plus director. He creates his own cinematic world- surrealism- a nightmare of a world. He’s wildly stylish and concerned with reoccurring imagery (both in-film and throughout his oeuvre) which plays so well formally. There’s still potential upside with me even if Lynch never creates anything else worthy of the archives. I’ve got him as #18 all-time despite being much lower than lower on Eraserhead and Inland Empire – I’m itching to get to them and Lost Highway again to revisit and evaluate.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lost-highway-lynch-red-2-.jpg
haunting use of color in Lost Highway

Best film:  Blue Velvet. Man, this is close with Mulholland Drive For now I’ll say Blue Velvet still.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blue-velvet-3-lynch-1024x429.jpg
Blue Velvet is filled with indelible images/scenes
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blue-velvet-roses-lynch-5.jpg
Lynch’s small town naivety through formal reoccurring images in Blue Velvet

total archiveable films:  9

top 100 films: 2 (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is room-in-mulholland-drive-423-lynch-1024x640.jpg
drapes and shadow in Mulholland Dive- these drapes could be used in Blue Velvet or Fire Walk With Me
surrealism in Mulolland Drive with a perfect dissolve edit

top 500 films: 7 (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, The Elephant Man, Eraserhead)

mesmerizing photography work in Lost Highway

top 100 films of the decade: 7 (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, The Elephant Man, Eraserhead)

most overrated:  Eraserhead– It’s #278 of all-time (his 3rd ranked film) and I’m just not there yet (I’ve only seen it once- not enough). I have it ass his 7th best film. Inland Empire is also overrated by TSPDT at #531 all-time—I hope the next viewing for me is a major revelation because I can’t figure on what planet this is better than Cuaron’s Children of Men.  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eraserhead-images-lynch.jpg
It all started here with Eraserhead,- on stage, a strategically lit interior

most underrated :  Fire Walk With Me  at #1000 on TSPDT is a travesty. I have it at #423 and that feels underrated- haha.  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is twin-peaks-fire-walk-with-2-lynch-1024x576.jpg
Lynch as the world creator in Fire Walk With Me
distinct horror/surreal imagery

gem I want to spotlight:  Wild at Heart is about as good a time as you can have watching a movie. Nic Cage at his Nic Cageyest (or nearly), a Laura Dern matching him step for step, Willem Dafoe and other supporting actors wonderfully chewing scenes (Diane Ladd and Harry Dean Stanton among others), David Lynch doing his own nightmare remake of The Wizard of Oz? 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wild-at-heart-in-car-lynch-1024x434.jpg
whether it’s Elvis or Roy Orbison — shows of driving, behind the vehicle (here in Wild at Heart) or just of the open road

stylistic innovations/traits:   

Lynch often explores the gulf between the seedy underworld and the hokey veneer or small town (or small town embodied like Watts in Mulholland). Voyeurism (Hitchcock), surrealism, transformation and role switching—often doppelgängers (Bergman’s Persona) are also pet themes and as I said he makes absolutely beautiful films (less so his television work and Inland Empire). His world often has reoccurring (firm form) shots of people driving or behind cars, people on stage or holding a microphone singing, the lines in the street while driving, red fabric rooms, the blurring/distortion of objects, close-up of objects (ears), back of heads during dialogue.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lynch-highway-shot-1024x576.jpg
this one is from Lost Highway but it could be Mulolland Drive (literally named after a road), Straight Story, Wild at Heart or Blue Velvet
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shot-behind-head-mulholland-drive-lynch-1-1024x550.jpg
recourring closeups of objects, backs of heads during dialogue- an admirable formal rigor

top 10

lighting, makeup, costume and foreground/background work– the full mise-en-scene in Blue Velvet
  1. Blue Velvet
  2. Mulholland Drive
  3. Lost Highway
  4. Wild at Heart
  5. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
  6. The Elephant Man
  7. Eraserhead
  8. The Straight Story
  9. Inland Empire

By year and grades

1976- Eraserhead HR
1980- The Elephant Man MS
1986- Blue Velvet MP
1990- Wild At Heart MS
1992- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me HR
1997- Lost Highway MS
1999- The Straight Story HR
2001- Mulholland Drive MP
2006- Inland Empire R

*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film

MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film

HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film

R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives