INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Discussion of all things David Lynch

Moderators: Annie, BookhouseBoyBob, Ross, Jerry Horne, Brad D

Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:56 am

Fitting that I post this while experiencing some insomnia myself and I know on many levels this goes without saying, some of this is pretty, as they say, on the nose. I don't pretend to think I am suggesting anything groundbreaking.

But I think it's important enough to put this down in writing somewhere, I'm not a blogger and dugpa seems as good a place as any...

What follows will be many spoilers about Christopher Nolan movies so there's the warning. What follows also falls under the category of over thinking it....so you've been warned there too... It's everyones choice to see causality where they find it and by the end of this you'll have a good idea where I stand... :-)

One more preparatory remark, there is a lovely children's book by Salman Rushdie called "Haroun and the Sea of Stories". In this short novel, there is, as the title suggests a sea of stories. It is from this sea that all storytellers catch the stories. And i love this conceit because it gives us a chance to sidestep a common misapprehension of how an artistic mind works. None of this is meant to imply Nolan is ripping off Lynch (although if he was we can at least congratulate him for choosing wisely), this is to argue that Nolan and Lynch fish for ideas in the same part of the sea...

Lets start with the obvious, Cooper is the protagonist of Nolan's latest INTERSTELLAR, he is called "Coop" so frequently throughout the movie, it almost becomes too obvious.

Same name? Easy coincidence.

Yet there's a wormhole (an opening to a gateway) between, yep Jupiter and Saturn, and we know that it is when Jupiter and Saturn are aligned that Coop can access the black lodge.

His robot companion is TARS, Tar being a black scorched engine oil like substance.

We also know that in the black lodge Laura can communicate her killer to Coop. In INTERSTELLAR, the astronaut Coop can communicate quantum info to his daughter through manipulation of gravity. It is roughly 25 years later. At least 23 years which is how much time passed while they were stuck on the water planet.

Meh. Well there's a couple INLAND EMPIRE connections. In INLAND EMPIRE Nikki can only save herself by wearing the watch. Murph has to have her watch to receive the quantum info... Although kinda goofy they describe folding space in INTERSTELLAR by poking a hole through a folded piece of paper, and in INLAND EMPIRE Nikki burns a hole in silk to see into the Poland universe.

All a little hokey.....

Let's briefly look at INSOMNIA, do I need to remind anyone that INSOMNIA is yet another story about a murdered young woman. High School darling with secrets. This time even a little further in to the northwest. Will Dormer is out of town detective, he joins forces with local law enforcement, there's a hotel/lodge of course, blah blah blah.

Ok let's move on to INCEPTION and INLAND EMPIRE. Just to briefly note that both movies have bizarrely the same structure,...

Both have the three level dream ...

Dream level 1 -- Nikki in her mansion -- Cobb and team on city streets.
Dream level 2 -- Nikki now Sue in suburban malaise -- Cobb and team in hotel.
Dream level 3 -- Nikki/Sue homeless on Hollywood streets -- snow fortress.
Limbo exists in both -- Poland in INLAND EMPIRE -- it's where you go if you die in your dreams in INCEPTION, where Cobb and Ariadne go to retrieve Saito.

One minor echo of INLAND EMPIRE is in INCEPTION when Mal emerges from a crowd on the street to stab Ariadne in the gut.

Train symbolism exists in both. Cobbs team doesn't do the locomotion but a train does come booming down the city streets. Heh.


So that's it. A little insomniac banter here, ... I know Nolan is maligned because while dealing in these kinds of ideas, he spends a lot of time having the characters telling you what's going on whereas Lynch would never succumb to such clumsy expositional dialog (although when Betty in MULHOLLAND DRIVE says "... and now I'm in this dreamplace..." .... so Lynch can be pretty direct too he's just better at embedding that directness into the tone of the story) .. Also Nolan uses the language of comic books and blockbusters to tell these stories, while Lynch uses surrealism and old movies like SUNSET BOULEVARD...

Anyway enough said, hope you liked some of these observations, again I sometimes think they go without saying, but if it doesn't, I think Nolan's primary influence, when he is making his own movies (not the batman movies), is Lynch.
FauxOwl
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 3:08 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby FauxOwl » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:24 am

I hope this isn't taken as a criticism, Kmkmiller, these are just the thoughts I had after reading your post and I thought I'd share. I always feel there's no "wrong" way to interpret a film, or any work of art. Not too long ago I watched the film "Room 237" which contained a variety of interpretations of "The Shining". Some of them were pretty far fetched, but as far as I'm concerned, they were all legitimate, save for one detail... every single one of the interpreters tried to assign their interpretation as "Kubrick's intention". It's the one mistake almost every intellectual and academic approach to art... they all want to view art analysis as a conduit into the psyche of the artist instead of a conduit to their own psyche, the latter of which is the more honest, introspective and powerful approach to art, but perhaps too personal for people to be comfortable expressing in whatever forum it is they choose to drop their analysis. But trying to plum the intention of the artist in any analysis is always a cover... like putting shades over a black eye... even when the intentions are clear or the artist chooses to make it clear in an interview.

So all this is to say, it's totally legitimate to be reminded of Lynch when viewing Nolan's work, but I think it's irrelevant whether or not Nolan would actually site Lynch as an influence. The approach to dreams in "Inception" couldn't be more different in tone or aesthetic than the way Lynch approaches them in his films, which is far more like actual dream structure (the "dreams" in Inception are more like induced virtual reality than actual dreams). Insomnia was an almost scene for scene remake of a Norwegian film, so was it Nolan or the or the original Norwegian filmmakers who were influenced by Twin Peaks story? Does it matter? Viewing either version could take the viewer into the same areas of the psyche Twin Peaks brought them into. The real magic and power of art happens in the dynamic between the art and the viewer, not the art and the artist. IMO, of course!
Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:34 pm

I hope this isn't taken as a criticism, Kmkmiller, ..... .... But trying to plum the intention of the artist in any analysis is always a cover... like putting shades over a black eye... even when the intentions are clear or the artist chooses to make it clear in an interview.


LOL...

My post really does fall under the category of take it or leave it. As long as I'm not using some Freudian tripe to suggest something biographical and potentially slanderous about the artist (which many seem to think is ok), or suggesting Lynch and Nolan think the moon landing was faked (although oddly enough the topic does come up in INTERSTELLAR but to show that only those who are the heroes know it to be a fact when the government tries to cover it up), then I feel pretty OK with what I'm suggesting. In short, right or wrong, that Nolan might be interested is the same things Lynch is isnt THAT far out. And it does nothing to harm the reputation of either. It is only to let the light shining from one set of works illuminate the mysteries of another, however misguided that might be.

Whats funny is i tweeted Martha Nochimson about this. It only made sense to me that if she interviewed theoretical physicist quantum mechanics guru David Z. Albert to better understand Lynch's work and Nolan consulted with theoretical physicist quantum mechanics guru Kip Thorne on INTERSTELLAR, there might be a connection there, go figure. But she wasnt into it either, oh well.

But in the end, most of this, for me, at this point has to be about just having fun, and I do have fun when I see that Chris Nolan, in the INTERSTELLAR credits, thanks the "Inland Empire Film Commision"... :-)
djerdap
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:42 am

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby djerdap » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:03 am

I think there is very little connection between the two. Calling Lynch a primary influence to Nolan is really reaching it.
Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:47 am

Thanks!!! you guys are awesome!!!
User avatar
james
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:12 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby james » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:42 am

Honestly, I think you're right on all of this. Nolan must be inspired by Lynch - he's not blatantly ripping-off certain stylistic tricks or camera techniques though, so what he's doing is more interesting.

Unless I've missed it, you've not mentioned one of my favourite Nolan films, The Prestige.

Important similarities in the film to Lynch's work -

- the film is about magic, which is referenced in Twin Peaks, Mulholland Dr and INLAND EMPIRE, if not more of Lynch's films.

- the inventor Nikola Tesla, working with electricity to create a teleportation machine, is played by David Bowie. In Fire Walk with Me, Bowie's character is teleported across some huge distance.

Nolan said that "David Bowie was really the only guy I had in mind to play Tesla because his function in the story is a small but very important role."

Why is Bowie vital to this role? I can't say, but it does seem related to his previous casting by Lynch and probably in The Man Who Fell to Earth, an important film which may have influenced Lynch and Nolan.
Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:27 am

Thanks James. I really do appreciate it.

Some of the scenes in The Prestige were filmed at the tower theater... Aka club silencio.
User avatar
james
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:12 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby james » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:17 am

That's interesting too. I suppose there were other theatres Nolan could have chosen. Insomnia was a film that really had something of a Twin Peaks mood and look to it at times.

Why do you think Nolan did choose Bowie for the Tesla role by the way?

I think on these boards people react against something just because they don't have enough insight sometimes, or they think certain directors are sacrosanct. Nolan's films often have a Lynchian mood at times. It's pretty nice not to be bitching at each other about trivial debates. :lol:
Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:52 am

It works both ways...

Blockbuster fans generally don't like their mall movie weighed down by big ideas. Nolan is now divisive.

The big idea art movie fans don't like the mall/popular movie.

Maybe it just seems unfair .. Nolan sure is having his cake and eating it too. INTERSTELLAR got somewhat mixed reviews but easily made enough $$$ to earn him another 200 mill budget on his next movie.

Didnt want to start a different thread on this, seems at home here as anywhere else. Watching EDGE OF TOMORROW / LIVE DIE REPEAT (another mainstream movie) a third time I not only noticed his angel of verdun is named Rita, there's a pink robe, and a character named .... Nance.

Coincidences arguably. Are Liman and McQuarrie Lynch fans, who in the business wouldn't be?

Is it sick that I watch other movies looking out for that kind of crap? Could be. I know it doesn't rub everyone quite the right way. And yet? Why not? It doesn't hurt anyone as far as I can tell.

Why do you think Nolan did choose Bowie for the Tesla role by the way?


For the same reason Scorsese chose Bowie to play Pilate? Firstly I think Nolan figures Bowie's detached demeanor was perfect for the role, whenever he is in a movie, he seems to be alien in some respect, literally in man who fell to earth. It would be too easy to simply say cause FWWM but I do think that's part of it. Yes.
MasterMastermind
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:17 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby MasterMastermind » Fri May 08, 2015 8:32 am

I feel Nolan's primary influences are probably Stanley Kubrick and Michael Mann, but I do see Lynchian influence.
Kmkmiller
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Re: INTERSTELLAR -- Lynch as Nolan's Primary Influence

Postby Kmkmiller » Fri May 08, 2015 12:38 pm

And stylistically more Mann than Kubrick....

Its a question of, if you think it's educational in any way to do so, separating style from substance. Cause i would 100% concede Nolan and Lynch have much different styles!! Stylistically Nolan is influenced by Mann and even some of the schlokier James Bond movies.

But it's funny about Michael Mann... COLLATERAL .... I keep hoping Max will just blurt out "HOW'S ANNIE HOW'S ANNIE" halfway through the movie and all that digital photography is so INLAND EMPIRE... So when you say Nolan was more influenced by Mann I don't really see that as a direct contradiction of my main point because Mann himself might be influenced by Lynch.

When Tubbs in Manns MIAMI VICE goes undercover to investigate the death of an aspiring model turned coke addicted prostitute, what name does he use?

I think that's funny.

Return to “DAVID LYNCH”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests