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My Head is Disconnected – David Lynch at HOME, Manchester

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My Head is Disconnected – David Lynch at HOME, Manchester and Screening of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and introduction with HOME Curator, Bren O’Callaghan.

My Head is Disconnected is a personal collection of mixed media art from American auteur, David Lynch at Manchester’s HOME film and arts centre. 

Featuring over 60 pieces of work, My Head is Disconnected is a reflection into the mind of one of contemporary culture’s outlandish figures, the reflections of a lucid, nightmarish and dystopian hellscape. Works dating from the 60s to present day offers several stories of disassociation with the mundane, the industrialist life, the compelling disposition of man in every day America. 

Familiar names from the Lynch filmography appear etched in works, such as Bob, however, it’s not the ‘BOB’ we have come to know from Twin Peaks, more a portrayal of man, capable of good and evil. Using several forms of mixed media, the paintings almost burst off the walls, with effects glued on, broken pieces, charring, etched words and clays and oils reaching outwards. 

The exhibition doesn’t feature any work relating directly to any of Lynch’s films, but the relevance and symbology are evident. The industrial landscapes seen in Eraserhead and The Elephant Man, the contortions of the mind we’re given in Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet, which is evident in the Twin Peaks universe and even the structural sculptures have influences seen in Dune

The exhibition offers a more concise narrative of thought from Lynch, holding its own as works of great discomfort, the curation splits the works into their associated chapters:

‘The first chapter of the exhibition is titled City on Fire and explores extreme, dystopian landscapes and how they affect the people that inhabit them. Nothing Here looks at the human psyche and the fragility of the mind through a set of broad characters. Industrial Empire presents drawings on the themes of labour, industry and the environment. The final chapter of the exhibition, Bedtime Stories, features new works by Lynch that fold his dark narratives and characters together in their own universe.’ HOME

It’s a gloomy and telling exhibition, worth viewing for any major Lynch enthusiast, seeing into the mind of a true auteur and visionary. The exhibition is running from Sat 6 Jul 2019 – Sun 29 Sep 2019.

 

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me + Introduction with HOME Curator Bren O’Callaghan 

Bren O’Callaghan offers a brief introduction to the history and oddities we’re about to see during the film, informing the audience of changes in the cast from the original series run (in part, due to the scepticism cast had after season 2 of Twin Peaks mid-season downfall in ratings). 

Worth mentioning is the importance of experienced television writer, Mark Frost, who co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced the entire Twin Peaks world. Mark Frost is often not given credit he deserves for carrying the show while Lynch was filming Wild at Heart, plus the television studios put a lot of pressure on Lynch and Frost to reveal the killer of Laura Palmer much earlier than intended. 

Lynch states his true vision of Twin Peaks is the pilot episode, the final episode of season 2 and the film – albeit until season 3 changed television series forever. The film was negatively received upon its premiere in Cannes in 1992, but now, it’s studied by film scholars and often considered an arthouse horror masterpiece. 

The odd pacing and the strange dialogue is very much in the mould of the original series, but Fire Walk With Me differs in its lack of minor character arcs and soap opera run style. A 20-minute, bizarre, visceral opening follows Chris Isaak’s Agent Chet Desmond, Kyle MacLachlan returning in a minor role for Special Agent Dale Cooper, David Lynch himself as Gordon Cole, Kiefer Sutherland’s stuttering Agent Sam Stanley and David Bowie as the long lost Philip Jeffries. They’re investigating the initial murder of Teresa Banks, a young drifter in the town of Deer Meadow, a year before the fateful death of Laura Palmer. 

Fire Walk With Me lends us to the terror and suffering unlike suffering seen so powerfully in many other films, of the brilliant Sheryl Lee’s Laura Palmer, in the strange little town of Twin Peaks. Rarely does a film push boundaries so perverse and challenging so brilliantly, the film is as much an endurance contest as it is a prequel to the original run of the series. It offers a glimpse into the end of the original series too, both functioning as a prequel and sequel when Heather Graham’s Annie appears in Laura’s bed with a message…

 Dark and overt overtones of drug use, sexual violence and incest, the brooding representation of small-town America ever present in Lynch’s works, Fire Walk With Me is a continuation of the grotesque underbelly of America so often on display in his films. 

Reoccurring themes of electricity as a conduit for the supernatural and apparitions are prominent, seminal discourse surrounding the true meaning of ‘the red room’ and ‘the black lodge’ only strengthened in this striking smorgasbord of horror, sorrow and innocence. 

It’s a true experience to witness on the big screen, scored by Angelo Badalamenti, with blistering sounds and piercing screams of shrill madness make the experience even more powerful and lasting. 

Fire Walk With Me is an essential watch for any fans of Twin Peaks and David Lynch – 5/5 flicks.

 

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