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  • Hysteria By GIRLONFILM Contributor

David Lynch and The Mundane

From Hysteria By GIRLONFILM Issue 02 "CHERRY KISSES".


Written By: Jade Kilbane


Seen in David Lynch's first production, "Eraserhead." Henry Spencer, the main character in the movie, has a job as a factory worker and resides in a dilapidated apartment. The everydayness of Henry's life is juxtaposed with the bizarre and unsettling images that plague him, including the presence of a malformed child. The viewer is left confused as to what is genuine and what is really a creation of Henry's troubled mind, which heightens the dread that permeates the movie.


Lynch's later works, including "Blue Velvet" and "Twin Peaks," also display his obsession with the banal. In "Blue Velvet," the picture-perfect little town environment is in contrast to the sordid and twisted underworld that lies just below the surface. Similar to this, in "Twin Peaks," the sweet and innocent town hides a sinister underside that includes corruption, drug addiction, and murder.


In both instances, the banal aspects of daily life help to amplify the sense of confusion and uneasiness that distinguishes Lynch's work. Lynch's use of the ordinary, nevertheless, goes beyond merely serving as a counterpoint to his bizarre and fantastical visuals. In fact, a lot of his movies investigate the shadowy side to what would otherwise appear to be common people and places.


For instance, in "Mulholland Drive," the glitzy and showy Hollywood industry is exposed as a façade hiding a darker, more evil reality. Similar to this, in "Lost Highway," a mysterious videotape that uncovers a startling secret upends the everyday routine of a suburban couple.


In many respects, Lynch's use of the commonplace reflects his conviction that underneath the surface of daily existence, there is darkness and mystery. The audience is drawn in and kept on edge by the tension and anxiety he instills by contrasting the every day with the extraordinary.


His films serve as a constant reminder that there is always more to the world than meets the eye and that even the seemingly unimportant details of our life can have deeper significance.


He makes use of the mundane to draw attention to the shadowy aspects that can exist beneath the surface of what appear to be regular people and situations, serving as a constant reminder of the fact that there is always far more to the world than meets the eye.

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