Not since Shakespeare called for “a muse of fire” in Henry V and Olivier provided the light of an arc-rod projector has there been such an interesting opportunity to examine the relations between film and theater as David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.
The Elephant Man is a very pleasurable surprise. Though I had seen Eraserhead, which is the only other feature directed by David Lynch, and had thought him a true original, I wasn't prepared for the strength he would bring out of understatement.
Some people want to call this art in the postmodern age, but no matter how inflated with esteem Lynch becomes, his art isn’t so great that it transcends political reading or vicious, regressive, conservative meaning.
Imagine The Wizard of Oz with an oversexed witch, gun-toting Munchkins. and love ballads from Elvis Presley, and you’ll get some idea of this erotic hellzapoppin from writer-director David Lynch.
Much of the humor in David Lynch’s reworked fifties crime thriller/horror/gothic film Blue Velvet comes from mundane statements which, when filtered by his personal vision, appear weird, but still oddly familiar.
When you come out of the theatre after seeing David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, you certainly know that you've seen something. You wouldn’t mistake frames from Blue Velvet for frames from any other movie. It’s an anomaly—the work of a genius naif.