Movies · TV

Pretty as a Picture: The Visual References of David Lynch

By  · Published on April 11th, 2017

A new video traces the development of contemporary film’s foremost artist.

There’s no question that David Lynch values imagery more than narrative. He’s a master of the open-ended aesthetic who prefers to present his audience with films that initiate speculation rather than drive home absolute truths. He’s a visual artist who paints in film, and storytelling – at least in a conventional, plot-driven sense – has always come second to the unspoken possibilities of the worlds and peoples he creates visually. It is this hierarchy that makes his films so delightfully abstract and captivatingly confounding.

But Lynch’s strengths don’t just lie in inventing absurd, unexpected, and often difficult imagery, rather also in how he manipulates and recreates existing imagery to fit his particular vision and suit his bizarre purposes, as evidenced in the following video from Andreas Halskov called “Moving Pictures: Visual References and Artistry in the Films of David Lynch.”

Halskov has conducted a very thorough analysis of Lynch’s aesthetic and the sources and influences from which the director has drawn, including art, other films, photography, and iconography. More than a mere comparative essay, Halskov plumbs the impact these sources have had on shaping the director’s own brand of art, one that in turn has influenced generations of artists in all fields.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist