Film and Lit First Quarter Project- The Auteurs.
It's not hard to realize you're watching a David Lynch film when you see extreme oddities such as a disturbingly deformed baby in Eraserhead or the sinister attitude of Frank in Blue Velvet. Even the confusing yet brilliantly artistic style of Mulholland Drive is classic Lynch. Most people would come to the conclusion that Lynch's childhood was completely twisted and he was clearly scarred for life by some tragic happenings. On the contrary, he was born in a Norman Rockwell type small-town American setting-which we see in many of his films-and was constantly moving. He was the son of a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist, and was raised throughout the Pacific Northwest, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout and even serving as an usher at John F. Kennedy's Presidential inauguration. Originally intending to become a graphic artist, Lynch enrolled in the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., in 1963, where he was taught by the expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka and briefly studied in Europe. By the early weeks of 1966, he had relocated to Philadelphia, where he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and began his first experimentation with film. "It was a great time to be at the Academy," Lynch recalled. "Schools have waves, and it just happened that I hit on a really rising, giant wave. There were so many good people at the school. And that really started everything rolling. I kind of got a feeling for things in terms of painting, and my own style kind of clicked in." (DavidLynch.de) .
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was located in a very violent area in the gloomy part of Philadelphia. I believe that this is where Lynch got a lot of his inspiration in his themes and the way he would later choose to shoot his films. According to his films that I have seen, it seems to me that Lynch is obsessed with exploring every possible corner of the human existence, and he brings out the darkest in all of us.