I was interested in seeing some David Lynch films. However I understand some of his films could be considered slightly overwhelming with their style. Could anyone reccomend any good gateway/ entry level David Lynch films? And if not just any of his good ones?
If you’re concerned with the style, try The Elephant Man or The Straight Story, the two movies where there’s not much surrealism. Otherwise, if you want to get to know Lynch’s works with surrealism, go with Blue Velvet; it’s the easiest choice.
Thanks. I’ll probably check out Blue Velvet. Its not so much the style that concerns me. In fact it’s surrealism I’m looking and hoping for. I just figure it would be better to ease my way in to his films rather than jumping in the deep end and finding myself getting completely lost.
Wow….That was a pretty amazing scene.
Blue Velvet is a good place to start. It has a little bit of everything Lynch does best and fits into a more conventional, chronological structure than many of his films. There are intense moments stylistically, but most of the intensity in the film is story related. The filmmaking overall is comparatively restrained.
I’d also recommend The Elephant Man, but Blue Velvet definitely gives you more of a taste of the weirder, abstract side of Lynch that you can expect more of if you move on to the other films. If you find you really don’t care for Blue Velvet, watch The Elephant Man and The Straight Story. They show a gentler side of Lynch and are much more stylistically restrained.
After Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man, I’d recommend Wild At Heart, Eraser Head, Mulholland Drive and the early short films. If you’re still into Lynch by this point, move on to the more difficult films—Lost Highway, Inland Empire and Fire Walk With Me.
You could also stick Twin Peaks in there pretty early on. It’s a time commitment but really fun to follow if you’re able to get into it.
Mulholland Drive was the first of his films I watched all the way through, and I loved it. Since then I’ve seen Blue Velvet and most of Twin Peaks.
blue velvet is the best place to start, it’s gotta about every side of lynch in it. i’d say right after that you should dive into eraserhead.
Don’t start with Inland Empire. I love it to death, but it’s almost impossible to get through if you’re not already invested in Lynch’s work.
Anyone reckon they can give me a list of in which order I should watch his notable films?
Of his surreal films, Mulholland Drive is arguably the most accessible (and, Twin Peaks aside, best). If you can’t get into Mulholland Drive I don’t see you getting into anything else.
My recommendation: (all of his movies are notable)
The Elephant Man
The Straight Story
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Wild at Heart OR Lost Highway (you decide which one to watch last)
Never EVER watch Dune. Do so at your own risk.
^ Of course, it’s without saying that one needs/has to/must see the TV series before ever embarking on Fire Walk With Me. Hazardous to your health otherwise.
I’m not sure what the rationale is for putting Inland Empire ahead of Wild at Heart and Lost Highway in terms of accessibility. IE’s still infinitely more challenging than any other feature he’s made to date. Otherwise, it’s a good ranking.
Dune is at the bottom of my personal tables too, but like all of Lynch’s films, even that one still gets me coming back to it every now and then…(even if never to any avail!).
Depends on what approach you like. For me when I start a director, particularly one that is acclaimed / revered, I like to start with their “best” or “quintessential” film, because a lot of the times, I’ve found that an artists “earlier work” is very similar to their late work, but with less “experience” or honing behind it.
For example, if you’ve never seen a Kubrick film, I would start with 2001… to get the purest “dose” of Kubrick, then if you like it… you can go back and check out The Killing, Lolita, ect.
In that sense, I would just kick it off with a bang and dive in to Mulholland Dr. It’s kind of the perfect stand alone culmination of Lynch’s art, at which point if you like it, you could go back and do him chronological order, so you can get a sense of him and his progression.
BUT that is just one path, there are many equally valid ones to take. Like many have said, Blue Velvet is a pretty great “gateway”, because it is less challenging than Mulholland but it is by no means “restrained” like Elephant Man/ Straight Story (which are also great, don’t get me wrong.)
Twin Peaks is also an excellent place to start, I’d advise trying out the extended pilot, it’s basically a feature film anyway (it was released theatrically in europe after all) and it is easily Lynch’s best work, imho.
I mean it’s basically the debate called what is the “best” way to enter a swimming pool?
If you like to jump in and just take the plunge, do Mulholland Dr.
If you like to wade in from the shallow end, do Blue Velvet
Blue velvet….easily. Wild at Heart is not a bad starter either.
@DT: I didn’t rank it (they’re here). In fact, I believe that Blue Velvet is the most overrated film from Lynch’s ouevre (I still think it’s a good movie, though). But I believe that if Rupert wants to start Lynch, he should probably try Blue Velvet first. Good call on making Rupert watch the TV series first (don’t know how I forgot about that), and how Empire should be last, thanks!
EDIT to the list:
The Elephant Man
The Straight Story
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Wild at Heart OR Lost Highway (you decide which one to watch first)
^ That is insane shit.
@Matt – I think you’ve put that movie up more than a few times. I’m not really a Lynch fan, but I guess I should try this?
To my thinking, the seeds of all the later Lynch are in there.
Definitely think Twin Peaks would be the best starting point.
Yeah, so far Twin Peaks and Mulholland Dr. are the two that I’ve responded to most. I saw The Straight Story before I knew who Lynch was, so I’d like to see it again in the right context, but the rest of his stuff has left me cold. I haven’t seen Lost Highway or any of the early shorts though.
I’m one of the rare people that love dune. never read the book though, which from what i’ve heard, helps me in enjoying the movie.
I loved it enough to make this
so i’d recommend it.
I don’t know about order of watching, but here’s how i would rank him. so maybe even start from the bottom and work your way up. though definitely save inland for last and understand that a straight story isn’t exactly lynchian.
3.Wild at Heart
7.The Elephant Man
9.The Straight Story
Dune was really difficult for me to get through. But I accept it as an aberration in Lynch’s work and don’t hold it against him.
I don’t like Dune Neonbear, but that’s a really nice poster
If you don’t want to get bombarded with absolute insanity, avoid Inland Empire, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Dr. But I do strongly recommned you get around to watching those films, I found them amazing.
See The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet, still strange films but easier to understand.
Start at the beginning and watch them chronologically. If you can.
I would have to agree with THEARSMAN’s approach. So:Eraserhead (1977)The Elephant Man (1980)Dune (1984)Blue Velvet (1986)Twin Peaks pilot (1990)Wild at Heart (1990)Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)Lost Highway (1997)The Staight Story (1999)Mulholland Dr. (2001)Inland Empire (2006)