Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Krzysztof Kosecki
“In the Darkness of Future Past”. Time in David Lynch’s Films
Magdalena Zegarlińska, University of Gdańsk, Poland
In numerous biographies and interviews published over the years, one of the most controversial contemporary directors and a “notorious shock artist” (Sheen and Davidson 2011: 1), David Lynch extensively defines sources of his artistic inspiration, and provides his own definition of cinema, clearly specified in the following citation: “Films should have power. The power of goodness and the power of darkness, to be able to evoke shivers and shake everything“(Rodley 2005: 206). In his films, Lynch touches upon the mysterious and the ambiguous, creating twofold worlds and characters, cases in point being Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Lost Highway. Through his unique style of “a creative artist who impassions and surprises,” (Chion 1995: xii), Lynch established his reputation as a “Weird American” director, more often than not an author of disturbing, controversial, and certainly characteristic pieces of film art (Woods 1997: 75). Erica Sheen and Anette Davison (2004: 2), in their preface to a collection of essays, entitled The Cinema of David Lynch: American Dreams, Nightmare Visions, characterize Lynch as “a director who has sought to position his work within mainstream production, yet whose creative practices constantly defamiliarise his chosen medium,”. He achieves an effect of defamiliarisation mainly through unusual treatment of time in his films. Time loops, flashbacks and vague boundaries between the past, the present, and the future, create a feeling of uneasiness and Freud’s “uncanny”. Moreover, the director...