Tag Archives: David Lynch

David Lynch on Meditation

4 Oct

catching

And now for something completely different: a book review of Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

I don’t think I was ready for the combination that was David Lynch + transcendental meditation until very recently, and so that is why I think that Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity only came into my life nine years after its 2006 publication. This is the first book that I can ever remember turning back to page one and starting again immediately after finishing it. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I hope that even one of you finds it to be the same as a result of reading this review.

CloXhKAAn important reason this book is so near and dear to me is that David Lynch is also so near and dear to me. His voice is so distinct- I was thinking FBI Agent Gordon Cole from Twin Peaks- that it was easy to imagine him reading it . And although his voice is NOT transcendentally-meditative, it lulled me into a peaceful calm. Let’s just call it premature enlightenment.

Part of the appeal of this book is obviously learning a little bit about how David Lynch ticks. Some of its allure comes from the behind-the-scenes looks at a few of his enrapturing films. Yet another draw is Lynch’s description of transcendental meditation. I’m not quite there yet, but I am very, very interested.

At parts of the book, I found myself sitting in awe of his lessons, as if at the foot of a master teacher; at other moments, his sense of humor and his almost-childlike, brutal honesty broke the spell and snapped me out of the seriousness of it all. Those deep laughs of realization thrust me into the happiness of actual zen acceptance of the present moment, that true Buddha smile.

bloglogoAnd despite all of this praise, the true clincher for me was learning that yet another intersection of my life’s love and passion came into play: the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. This is an initiative that Lynch started when he realized how intense the stress and pressure is on kids these days. The Foundation teaches meditation techniques and with excellent results. According to Lynch (about students who have benefited from the Foundation, “Stress just doesn’t catch them; it’s like water off a duck’s back.” As an teacher and tutor, this hit so close to home. It still makes me tear up just ever-so-slightly. If I could ever get employed by this foundation I feel like I could really find my true life’s purpose. Well, probably.

I would like to share a selection from my favorite chapter, “Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit.”

“When I started meditating, I was filled with anxieties and fears. I felt a sense of depression and anger.

I often took out this anger on my first wife. After I had been meditating for about two weeks, she came to me and said, ‘What’s going on?’ I was quiet for a moment. But finally I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And she said, ‘This anger, where did it go?’ And I hadn’t even realized that it had lifted.

I call that depression and anger the Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit of Negativity. It’s suffocating, and that rubber stinks.”

Its chapters are short little snippets about his life experiences, and the book takes no time to zoom through from cover to cover.

Thank you to my friend, Lindsey, who told me about this little gem.

Shows to Watch Online While You Slowly Freeze to Death

13 Feb

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by my second snowpocalypse edition of Media to Put in your Eye Holes While You’re Snowed In. If you’re like me, you have fashioned a sort of nest of blankets, pillows, scarfs and hoodies; you have invited your canine companion onto your couch; and you are taking full advantage of the way the South does winter, y’all. Though in all reality, I have been slaving away at a Spanish paper on contemporary poetry and its imagery, and I could really use the catharsis of writing in English about some garbage. So let’s hop to it!

I have recently gained access to Amazon Prime Instant Video via super secret spy methods involving hidden cameras in Sochi showers. And boy have I been taking advantage of this quality programming:

1. The Layover w/ Anthony Bourdain (Amazon Prime)

tony with a bone

Used to be the background on my computer

I love every single thing about Anthony Bourdain and I will follow him to the end of the earth in whatever pursuit he may choose. So how did I fail to notice that he had a new show? For all I know, it has been cancelled by now. But if it’s as new to you as it is to me, you can catch the entire first season (series?) on Amazon Prime. The premise here is not much unlike his No Reservations series, only this time he is in each city for a very limited time (like 24 hours). He schleps around with some fellow-cook friends, and tries out local foods and activities. So enjoy another series where you watch the episodes of the places that you have been to first so you can revel in the fact that Tony has been there, too.

2. Alpha House (Amazon Prime)

I love John Goodman and I already feel bad enough for betting on him to be the next  to die in my high school celebrity death poll. In Alpha House, he acts as the ex-NC-basketball-coach-turned-politician that you could learn to love. Also must be taking some of his character acting tips from his part in Todd Solondz’s Storytelling.

Workaholics-blake-anderson-adam-devine-anders-holm-600x4603. Workaholics (Amazon Prime)

The fine folks at Netflix took it away, but you can still get your share of Ders, Blake, and Adam (and don’t forget Jillian!) on Amazon Prime. Fantastic mindless comedic viewing to zone out and burn to (IF you live in Colorado or Washington ONLY!)

4. Inside Amy Schumer (Amazon Prime) inside-amy-schumer2

I am always happy to see a righteous chick catch a little spotlight in the world of standup and sketch comedy. She is just as crass as I often feel, so this show makes me happy to feel that I am not alone. Even you dudes will like it, seriously.

5. Key and Peele (Amazon Prime)

If the online stylings of such videos as “Substitute Teacher” tickled your fancy, how do you feel about a full show of Key and Peele antics? Sketch comedy at it’s finest, and I love any show that can tackle race, (albeit no one has come forward with the fire that is Dave Chapelle, but I’m holding out).

6. David Chang: Mind of a Chef (Netflix)mind-of-a-chef-pbs-anthony-bourdain

Did I mention I love Anthony Bourdain? He narrates this show, for some reason, which is what drew me to it in the first place. I must admit, I kind of hate the way the show is organized. In one episode, David Chang, famous chef of Momofuku, will be in various countries speaking with famous chefs about, say, the egg. In the next episode, he will be at several of the same international places, but this time discussing the merits of freeze-dried foods. But all-in-all, it’s a good show that will make you hungry. The icing on the cake was the day I watched an episode in which David Chang goes golfing with Dan the Automator. Go figure!

louis-ck7. Louie (Netflix)

Louis CK is, hands down, my favorite standup comedian. And I love him as much for his masturbation jokes as the bigol’ thinkin’ brain those jokes come out of. Those who only like him for his crass antics, however, beware. The show that he writes, produces, edits, and stars in, is a little bit more off the beaten path. He tackles some intense issues regarding mental health, fatherhood, community, work, life, everything. But it’s not as heartwarming as that sounds, either, it can get quite twisted.

8. Twin Peaks (Netflix)Twin-peaks

While the ending leaves much to be desired, it is still worth getting into this cult David Lynch classic. Pretty much a prerequisite to being my BFF, Twin Peaks has quirk and style and mystery and a certain man in a denim outfit who haunts my waking and sleeping nightmares. If you have been watching True Detective on HBO (see #9), I prescribe you this show to watch while you’re biting your nails between episodes. The owls are not what they seem, and you can always get an, excuse me, DAMN fine cup of coffee in Twin Peaks.

true detective9. True Detective (HBO, hbogo.com)

True Detective reminds me a bit of Twin Peaks, maybe mixed with Breaking Bad. That’s really enough for me. A mysterious cultish murder rocks a small Lousiana town, and who do we have around to solve it? An emaciated Matthew McConaughey and a machista Woody Harrelson (whose character I loathe more than any other of his). It’s just getting really juicy, and watching this on hbogo.com makes me remember what it’s like to have to wait for the next episode of a show again.

10. Girls (HBO, hbogo.com)Girls-HBO-image-girls-hbo-36197318-647-960

Duh. I love it, I love Lena Dunham and in my dreams we are best friends. Watching this show is how we catch up. As buds.

American Horror Story (2011)

4 Nov

I’m going to start writing on this again. Spoooooky! Scary!

For how much I write about horror and thriller movies, you would think that I love those genres even more than I actually do. It obviously seems to inspire me to write an awful lot. I am never the person at the movie theater nagging my neighbors for the answers to such questions as, “who is that?”, “what is he doing?”, “wait, so she has been sleeping with her fiance’s twin brother this whole time?!” But horror and thriller movies often push me to ask some questions, even long after the credits have rolled. In any case, hopefully this will kick-start me back into writing again, along with the long, cold winter months ahead.

American Horror Story is a new series on FX, meaning that I watch it on Hulu as I do not have cable. It is my belief that the internet should not be held to the stringent censorship laws of cable television, and I wish that it made this series even more grotesque, profane and horrifying. We still get TV-MA, though. Yeah, buddy.

The image at the top of this entry was what caught my interest in the show. Freaky BDSM shit and a half-naked redhead in some kind of tiny red room? I’m there! I’m already feeling a Lynchian vibe coming out of that. (Speaking of, please note that David Lynch has a new album out for your creepy soundscape pleasures- Crazy Clown Time). The opening credits reminisce of a Nine Inch Nails electro-industrial grinding of gears and pulsing of machinery, while a stockpile of unsettling old-timey photos and blurry camera shots of dusty mason jars full of body parts go in and out of focus on the screen. I am a sucker for opening and closing credit sequences (think Breaking Bad or The Sopranos), and this is one that gets me in the right head-space for the story that is about to unfold.

American Horror Story could not have come out at a better time, that is to say, Halloween. It follows the lives of the Harmon family who recently moved into a house with an unsavory past of homicides, suicides, arson and more. Each episode showcases a previous grotesque experience that has befallen its previous occupants (or trespassers), but mostly focuses on the lives of Vivien, Ben, and Violet Harmon; their maid, and a few unsavory and creepy neighbors (including Jessica Lange) who seem to know a little bit more about what is going on than the Harmons (but then again, perhaps not)?

I have to say that my expectations were low, and perhaps it is because of this that I have not been disappointed. I am not saying to get your hopes up if you are craving anything akin to the spectrum of Lynch classics, but I guarantee you that you will at least feel the touch of a Lynch fan-boy trying to reach out to a broader audience. American Horror Story  adds its own bizarre and unsettling events and characters we have come to know in Lynch’s work to a town that is similarly quaint and storybook on the surface, much like those in Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and so forth.

American Horror Story is a little easier to swallow than Lynch’s work for most people, but still offers an array of unsettling characters whose sanity and motives are constantly questioned. These twisted personas are the dark underbelly of a candy-coated society, but the deeper we go into the rabbit hole we discover that no one is as saccharine as we might think, including ourselves.

At this point I would give the show an A-, and I hope that things do not go downhill as the show progresses. With Lynch meets Rosemary’s Baby meets Nip/Tuck, only time will tell.

The Elephant Man

3 May

A recent trip allowed me to spend some quality time with a caring community that restored my faith in humanity. I had just experienced a week full of love, sharing and kindness that left me with the feeling that people aren’t just not-all-that-bad, but that we are all connected through love and all of our actions affect one another and we are capable of making great things happen, of changing the world, through this love. Why am I sharing this with you? Because then I saw David Lynch’s The Elephant Man for the first time, and it led me to think, “man…people are shit.”

Luckily, I have since shaken off the feeling of disappointment in humanity. However, the feelings of sadness associated with this movie will be with me for a while. This film is based upon the story of Joseph Merrick (John in the film), known as the Elephant Man, whose deformed appearance led him to be a freakshow attraction in England in the mid- to late-1800’s.

In the film, Merrick begins as the main attraction in a little sideshow with an abusive alcoholic “owner.” Due to repeated abuse, he is hospitalized, and Dr. Frederick Treves takes a particular interest not only in Merrick’s physical deformities, but his mental capabilities as well. While at first Merrick appears to be mute, it turns out that he is actually eloquent and intelligent. He becomes more of a revered celebrity than a sideshow attraction as high society takes an interest in this brilliant man who is at the same time so physically abnormal.

The true sadness in this film lies in the fact that Merrick comes to feel truly accepted and loved, only to be cast back down again into a pit of misery. Although a sad film, it is beautiful in a way that only David Lynch could have been responsible for. The themes are both timeless, yet modern, and the fact that it takes place in the 1800s and is shot in a way to make it look older really adds to the bizarre feeling that the movie gives you.

I believe that I am behind the times in getting to this movie, but better late than never. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s your turn now.

Silencio. (Ponderings on David Lynch)

13 Apr

That is the final word of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. No hay banda. No hay orquesta. Silencio.

I sure love Agent Dale Cooper. Watch out for Mr. Lynch in this clip as well (at 00:36).

I will conclude with a list of some of my favorite films from my collection. A second installment will follow in a later entry. They are not listed in any particular order because their preference is so fluid in my mind. Please do check them out some day. Most of them are available at (insert university/academic institution here)’s library video collection. Expect a review of Antichrist by Lars von Trier in the near future. And if you have seen it, explain that shit to me! Is it intentionally misogynistic? Does the changed ending cheapen the meaning behind the original concept? So many questions! And if you have not seen it, you probably shouldn’t, haha.

1. Adaptationdir. Spike Jonze– The only Nicholas Cage portrayal I enjoy. Meryl Streep does drugs with a toothless Chris Cooper. All around lovely and witty. Favorite line: Chris Cooper (to Meryl Streep) You’re shinier than any ant, darlin’.

2. Amores Perrosdir. Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu. I love the whole multiple stories coming together thing. Soundtrack is awesome.

3. Blue Velvetdir. David Lynch. Kyle McLaughlin is clownin’, but Laura Dern still loves him anyway. Isabella Rossalini is nuts, unlike her current Green Porno project with the Sundance Channel, which is totally sane.

4. Buffalo 66dir. Vincent Gallo. I don’t know what to think of Vincent Gallo, or his gigolo ways. But I love this film so much. Angelica Huston is an awesomely selfish Buffalo Bills fan, and Christina Ricci is appropriately plump. If made to pick a favorite NFL team, it would be the Buffalo Bills strictly because of this film.

5. Clockwork Orangedir. Stanley Kubrick. It is disturbing, yet funny. It has a message and its own language, my little droogies.

6. Dancer in the Darkdir. Lars von Trier. It is heart-wrenching. Maybe moreso becaus the main character is Bjork. I was her character, Selma, from this film last year for Halloween. I can’t say much more about it. There are musical numbers, but that’s ok. 🙂

7. Gummodir./writ. Harmony Korrine. Because I openly love this movie, people seem to want to suggest horrific, disturbing movies to me. Many can’t stomach this film. It has been, and may always be, one of my favorite films of all time. Key words: Xenia, OH; culture of poverty, black gay Jewish little person; downs syndrome prostitution.

8. The Royal Tenenbaums dir. Wes Anderson. I still haven’t seen Mr. Anderson’s new film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, but as a general rule all of his films are winners. This one is my favorite because it was my first one of his. I love Royal Tenebaum’s “adopted daughter Margot,” another Halloween costume inspiration. I love dry humor. All around fantastic.

9. Happiness- dir. Todd Solondz. Another film that is hard to stomach. It deals with pedophilia and obsession. Phillip Seymour Hoffman at his mouth-breathingest. Last line of the movie (from the mouth of a child) “I came.”

10. Me and You and Everyone We Knowdir./writ. Miranda July. I want to meet Miranda July. Judging from her writing I think she is probably like her character in this movie. The characters are all lovable, even the guy who writes and posts sex notes to high school girls in his apartment window. I love that Cody Chestnutt is referenced. This is a great movie. You want to see it. Back and Forth, forever.