The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

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yvanehtnioj1214
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The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:50 pm

I was looking at the "How would you rank David Lynch's films?" thread and it looks like most people consistently ranked these two films in the bottom half, including myself, and I was wondering why this is. Could it be that where mainstream audiences seem to discriminate against adventurous films, we discriminate against more conventional ones? Since I posted in that thread, I've watched both films (and other Lynch films too) again and have found lots of new things to love about them, to the point where I don't think I can really rank my favorite Lynch films anymore. Does anyone have an idea as to why TEM and TSS seem to be among many Lynch fans' least favorite of his films or just want to do some well-deserved gushing?
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The giant
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby The giant » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:24 pm

My guess is that TEM was based on a real story and it wasn't David Lynch's idea. I mean none of the themes from DL's other movies were in TEM. Like no electricity, curtains, or strange dreams were in TEM. But thats just my guess.
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Mb3
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby Mb3 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:19 pm

As I said in my post concerning the ranking of Lynchs movies, personally I nearly like all of them equally and the only one that I thought that is only a mediocre movie in my opinion is Dune but all of the other nine films are really hard to rank for me too. And please excuse my grammer I know it sucks big time. Generally I'd post more often and maybe sometimes join a couple more of the other discussions on the forum but then I really feel a little bit ashamed because of my lack of knowledge of the english language. I know it often sounds awkward the way I form my sentences. Anyway I still hope my posts make sense in some way. And sorry for being off topic.
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yvanehtnioj1214
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:01 pm

Mb3 wrote:As I said in my post concerning the ranking of Lynchs movies, personally I nearly like all of them equally and the only one that I thought that is only a mediocre movie in my opinion is Dune but all of the other nine films are really hard to rank for me too. And please excuse my grammer I know it sucks big time. Generally I'd post more often and maybe sometimes join a couple more of the other discussions on the forum but then I really feel a little bit ashamed because of my lack of knowledge of the english language. I know it often sounds awkward the way I form my sentences. Anyway I still hope my posts make sense in some way. And sorry for being off topic.


Actually, if you hadn't said anything, I would've thought you were a native English speaker. Plus, even if your English wasn't that great, your posts would still probably be more eloquent than about 90% of what people say on the internet.

Anyway, I totally agree with you except for the fact that I hold both IE and Dune in lower regard than Lynch's other films. I think IE is good but not great and, as you said, I think Dune is mediocre. I ranked both TEM and TSS in the bottom half for the same reason although now, as I said, I don't think I could rank them.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby Mb3 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:37 pm

Thanks for your compliment yvanehtnioj1214 at the first part of your last post. But the thing that actually surprised me the most is the fact that only one person on this forum called Inland empire his or her favorite Lynch film, I don't know why but I expected that a lot more people would like it. It also isn't my favorite movie from Lynch but I definetly have it in my Top 5. By the way for me Wild At Heart, Eraserhead and The Elephant Man are nearly on the same level when it comes to the quality of each of these films but like we already agreed upon it's really hard to judge it.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:55 pm

Mb3 wrote:Thanks for your compliment yvanehtnioj1214 at the first part of your last post. But the thing that actually surprised me the most is the fact that only one person on this forum called Inland empire his or her favorite Lynch film, I don't know why but I expected that a lot more people would like it. It also isn't my favorite movie from Lynch but I definetly have it in my Top 5. By the way for me Wild At Heart, Eraserhead and The Elephant Man are nearly on the same level when it comes to the quality of each of these films but like we already agreed upon it's really hard to judge it.


Oh yeah, I forgot that I don't like Wild At Heart as much as Lynch's other films. Sounds like we are on similar terms when it comes to Lynch, except for the fact that I would definitely put Eraserhead up there in the top 5.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby qbin2001 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:59 pm

yvanehtnioj1214 wrote:Oh yeah, I forgot that I don't like Wild At Heart as much as Lynch's other films.


First time (and few next times) I saw Wild at heart was on a video, 4:3 on VHS tape. And I didn't like it at all. Few years later I was in a cinema on a Night with David Lynch. They were screening Lost Highway (pre-premiere) , Wild at Heart and The Elephant Man. And that was the night when I fall in love with Wild at Heart. And that's my opinion: If you didn't see it on a big screen, you didn't saw it at all.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby yvanehtnioj1214 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:04 pm

qbin2001 wrote:
yvanehtnioj1214 wrote:Oh yeah, I forgot that I don't like Wild At Heart as much as Lynch's other films.


First time (and few next times) I saw Wild at heart was on a video, 4:3 on VHS tape. And I didn't like it at all. Few years later I was in a cinema on a Night with David Lynch. They were screening Lost Highway (pre-premiere) , Wild at Heart and The Elephant Man. And that was the night when I fall in love with Wild at Heart. And that's my opinion: If you didn't see it on a big screen, you didn't saw it at all.


Cool, was this a metaphorical night with David Lynch or was he actually there and where was it? The only Lynch films I've seen in a theater are Blue Velvet and Eraserhead but eventually I'll see all of them in a theater somehow. Luckily, there are some great reparatory theaters near me so hopefully one of them will do a Lynch retrospective at some point.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby qbin2001 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:59 am

yvanehtnioj1214 wrote:Cool, was this a metaphorical night with David Lynch or was he actually there and where was it?


The occasion was premiere of Lost Highway (the movie came to Polish cinemas the next day, and it was first screening of this movie). The night started at 10PM and ended at 5AM. Lynch (unfortunately) wasn't present there.

I saw all Lynch movies in a cinema (Eraserhead three times), except Dune (it was never screened in a cinema in Poland).

I wish I could see all of them on a big screen again (especially BV, EM and WaH)...
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby brokentiny » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:25 am

The giant wrote:My guess is that TEM was based on a real story and it wasn't David Lynch's idea. I mean none of the themes from DL's other movies were in TEM. Like no electricity, curtains, or strange dreams were in TEM. But thats just my guess.


Interesting point about 'The Elephant Man' being based on a true story, as was 'The Straight Story' which might well explain why they are the most conventional. However I would disagree that TEM contains none of Lynch's themes. It is full of industrial imagery and sound. In fact this was the first Lynch film I saw and it wasn't til much later that I saw 'Eraserhead' and when I did I realised that Elephant Man wasn't the first time he'd used such a texture. This is a theme and style that continued to a lesser degree throughout his films, particularly in the sound design.
Also it should be stated there are a number of unusual dream sequences in TEM.

I would probably put The Elephant Man towards the top of my list.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby DirkG » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:21 am

I think The Straight Story is unnecessarily underrated. I don't know how people fail to notice how cool it is, how good it looks and IMO it's also quite funny. It also has it's good share of Lynch trademarks (not only the comedy). The fire (the burning barn) and the small "mysteries" (the weird woman and the deers) and exactly in the vein of Twin Peaks it's strongly focusing on the beauty of nature and different surroundings.
TEM on the other hand is not too big of a favorite of mine. It's too much of something that some middle aged left wing female schoolteacher (or such) would be guaranteed to like, and try to force upon others in thinking the same. It's a bit too generic, too humane (oh, look how humanitarian I am) and too much of a "safe card" for me.
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby BobbyPeru » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:35 pm

qbin2001 wrote:
yvanehtnioj1214 wrote:Oh yeah, I forgot that I don't like Wild At Heart as much as Lynch's other films.


First time (and few next times) I saw Wild at heart was on a video, 4:3 on VHS tape. And I didn't like it at all. Few years later I was in a cinema on a Night with David Lynch. They were screening Lost Highway (pre-premiere) , Wild at Heart and The Elephant Man. And that was the night when I fall in love with Wild at Heart. And that's my opinion: If you didn't see it on a big screen, you didn't saw it at all.


I totally agree with you on Wild at Heart. I was working at a movie theatre when it came out. I was already a big Lynch fan, so I musta seen it on the big screen like 20 times. The sounds and visuals of WAH were meant for the big screen. It's quite the experience.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: The Elephant Man and The Straight Story

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:49 pm

Random question, but has there ever been an explanation for why two different actresses play Merrick’s mother in the opening and closing scenes? It seems like the closing “talking head” shot could have been shot literally anywhere at any time. Why weren’t they able to have one actress do both scenes?

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