Todd McGowan launches a provocative exploration of weirdness and
fantasy in David Lynch's groundbreaking oeuvre. He studies Lynch's
talent for blending the bizarre and the normal to emphasize the odd
nature of normality itself. Hollywood is often criticized for
distorting reality and providing escapist fantasies, but in Lynch's
movies, fantasy becomes a means through which the viewer is
encouraged to build a revolutionary relationship with the
Considering the filmmaker's entire career, McGowan examines
Lynch's play with fantasy and traces the political, cultural, and
existential impact of his unique style. Each chapter discusses the
idea of impossibility in one of Lynch's films, including the
critically acclaimed "Blue Velvet" and "The Elephant Man"; the
densely plotted "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Drive"; the cult
favorite "Eraserhead"; and the commercially unsuccessful Dune.
McGowan engages with theorists from the "golden age" of film
studies (Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey, and Jean-Louis Baudry) and
with the thought of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Hegel. By
using Lynch's weirdness as a point of departure, McGowan adds a new
dimension to the field of auteur studies and reveals Lynch to be
the source of a new and radical conception of fantasy.
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