“Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds
Fire walk with me”
Having David Lynch, America’s utmost American, salacious, seductive and savage auteur return to a medium meant to reach a mass audience, a feat he hasn’t attempted since his Laura Dern vehicle “Inland Empire” crashed and burned on impact 11 years ago, seems totally bananas to me! It’s like Lynch is walking up to a despondent firing squad and offering it a box of maggot-covered donuts from his personal favorite pastry shop, oblivious to the fact his name is on its docket, his back is going up against the wall and it’s gonna send a love letter straight into his nicotine-coated heart.
Let’s be crystal: I don’t think David Lynch is welcomed around these parts no more.
When modern-day television, the now preferred form of long narrative entertainment has the ability to ruffle feathers to the point of protest over content and context, whether it be the sword-clanging war-room fantasy behemoth that is “Game of Thrones,” or the more intimate, but no less intense teenage melodrama “13 Reasons Why,” I have to sit and wonder what sort of fresh hell is Lynch about to unleash with the reboot of “Twin Peaks,” because assemble no mistake kids, Lynch makes every show that has followed in the footsteps of his game-changing, culture-shaking soap opera of bleakness look like fuckin “Sesame Street” in comparison. His mind-melting oeuvre of all things sinister and secret have David Lynch standing as the very embodiment of problematic self-expression as it pertains to the modern-day gatekeepers of good taste and yummy, American wholesomeness.
Lynch has spent the entirety of his uncanny career multitasking in a multitude of art forms in which he probes the depths of psychological chaos and terror from small towns to the bedlam of Hollywood without damage control. An artist completely untethered to explore human-made hell and then act as a conduit, filling the screen, canvas and tape with surrealist tragedy. There has been no form of abuse that can be laid upon a human body that Lynch hasn’t meticulously, instinctively and compulsively captured and sold to the public without apology. And his critics, over time, have always looked darn foolish in the wake of their outrage because Lynch’s output has always been a molten subconscious comment on the human condition, which means it’s always a harrowing journey into the abyss of what it means to breath and be sentient in a world that is constantly trying to destroy you.
His films are traumatizing because they are focused solely on the traumatic. From infanticide to incest, to sexual slavery, torture, murder and mayhem — you name it, and David has served it up, along with his folksy, chain-smoking charm and endless curiosity for the broken and the begotten. He isn’t a monster but he sure as shit isn’t afraid to show us the monstrosities that lurk inside each and everyone of us. Which in turn seems to be why so much of today’s viewing audience is beginning to turn its collective backs on our more-morbid wizards working within the dark arts. Hard truths hitting too hard at home. It’s as if people have decided to close the door on anyone presenting a unique, potent vision.
The last time David Lynch invited us to visit the mysterious and dangerous town of “Twin Peaks” was with his 1992 feature length prequel “Fire Walk With Me,” which created such an uproar of pearl clutching, booing and out and out disgust among the film industry and viewers at large that many felt he had committed career suicide in 134 minutes of pure, unrestrained cruelty and malaise, so irresponsible in its content, it was lambasted, Dr. Dobson style and flung into the trash.
But that misguided hate didn’t last long.
Today, “Fire Walk With Me” is considered a masterpiece and one of Lynch’s most-powerful statements, and the film’s central nervous system, Lara Palmer, is seen as one of the most complex, sympathetic and ultimately doomed characters in all of popular culture. Many people, myself included, relate to her plight in a very personal and emotional way. We get it, wholly and completely.
So Mr. David Lynch, whatever hate comes your way in the coming weeks, know that in dreams, I walk with you, in dreams I talk to you,
In dreams you’re mine all of the time, we’re together in dreams, in dreams.