I would say that ambitious directors, when they succeed, it's not "pop" success by conventional means because they've asked us (the audience) to reach for something beyond the usual. But it's more than having stretched our imaginations a little, or 'successfully' shared their vision; that vision has to resonate with something within us. Numerous directors have achieved that success while at the same time alienating other viewers; Kubrick among them.mtwentz wrote:I keep hearing this term 'artistic failure' thrown around, so I tried to look up the definition, and I found this interesting tidbit: T.S. Eliot considers one of the most famous and revered plays of all time, Hamlet, to be an 'artistic failure'. So I guess it's just so totally subjective. Maybe 2001 and Citizen Kane were 'artistic failures' as well, from at least someone's perspective.
I didn't have any affinity for Coen Bros' "Millers Crossing" or "O Brother Where Art Thou" upon first viewing; today I love both films. Re-watching several times brought forward some aspects I couldn't digest at first. The musical aspect of the latter, while I was also trying to take some messages seriously yet appreciate the comic value of other scenes -- let alone the violence. Call it an acquired taste... And so as I've re-watched the Parts of TP:TR usually they bring forth additional qualities that were obscured previously while I was focusing on some other aspect.
And unlike Kubrick to the same extent (because I find his individual works standalone, linked with some in-common trademarks and tropes), I find I'm rewarded taking time to discover and rediscover Lynch's other works as a means of appreciating what he's doing here. Full appreciation will be an ongoing process, through the finale and beyond for some time. I'm watching Lost Highway all the way through for the first time (as of last night; I nodded off w/ about 10 minutes remaining)... The familiar themes of dreams and mixed identity are there, but also the detachment and apart from a couple of 'wow' moments infused with flattened momentum and suggestions of resolution that don't stick the landing.
For me it comes down to Lynch's singular effect of not just pushing buttons, but prompting this viewer to wonder "what button is he going to push next?"
Critics' opinions won't inform the frequent curiosity or frustration I encounter when watching DKL's presentations. Each of us arrives at them with a capacity for individual opinion of what's perceived; but each of us also is armed with *some* critical faculty even if we don't make a living at it. So I don't validate my opinion when I find identical voices in the critics' column since I'm ALSO reading the critic's words with some critical filter that shapes my opinion, you see? It's nice to see when a work of craftsmanship resonates with both, and is both a popular and critical success.
But Lynch's stuff is too complex for me to assume anything conclusive in the immediate aftermath, I've decided. Measuring full appreciation is complicated by the absence of those who turned off their voices upon feeling alienated by what they saw; some continue to process what they've been shown and others are simply turned off. I don't think they're as vocal as the fans adoring it so I may be wrong but whatever you'd call that 'absence' of viable, measurable UNappreciative quotient will make a difference in how one would size up viewer acceptance. In any case -- although I believe personally that alienated segment is substantial, I have a notion that quite a few of them eventually would develop some curiosity to come back and revisit the series. As someone elsewhere posted: over time a newer more refined (or defined?) understanding of the Parts and the whole could produce altogether fresh perspectives and yes, appreciation!