David Lynch Has Some Strong Thoughts About Criticizing Movies

David Lynch in Twin Peaks on Showtime

David Lynch has recently been busy over at Showtime making new episodes of Twin Peaks (with hopefully more to come!), however, he is still well-known as a filmmaker and talks out about the movies and other media from time to time. The director, writer and producer recently spoke out at the Festival of Disruption in New York to talk about not needing to justify himself to anyone, even a new generation who takes to social media and writes about their thoughts instantaneously---and often, not so kindly. He said:

You finish a film these days and right away you have this pressure to write about it in words... My films have to mean something to me, but I don't need to tell anyone else what that meaning is. I always say it's like an author who's passed away. You can't dig him up and ask him what he meant by the book. You just have the book. And the film or the book is the thing. So, as I always say, you finish a film and right away they want you to start talking about it in words. And unless you're a poet, words are going to fail you.

David Lynch feels so strongly about social media that he didn't allow video recordings of his talk at the Festival of Disruption (via Rolling Stone), but he did talk about his feelings regarding instant responses to works of art, especially films. He doesn't seem to feel the need to justify himself or his decision-making process when creating a new movie project.

However, he also mentioned that the reason he feels that way about not taking in a movie and just throwing your thoughts out there right after you've seen it is because every screening of a movie is different. Still, while he has some strong thoughts about criticizing movies, he also said he isn't trying to invalidate those feelings.

So nothing should be added to the film, nothing should be subtracted. It is the thing. The film is the same at every screening, but the audience is different, so it's a completely different feeling every screening. People make up their own minds with their own feelings, and I always say every one of them is valid.

David Lynch hasn't been putting together many big screen endeavors of late, but he is still active in Hollywood, and he's not the only director to have strong feelings about how film criticism has been exacerbated by the ability users and critics alike have to transmit their thoughts out into the universe without much thought or effort. Director Eli Roth even made a movie about people overreacting on social media, so it's definitely a germane topic in Tinseltown. James Cameron previously has also said that he's not a fan of Twitter, and doesn't even have a Facebook account. He joins actors like Nic Cage, who aren't big fans of the social media experience. Movies often live or die by their opening weekend box office, and word of mouth on social media arguably plays a role in that; so, the stakes are definitely high for everyone.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.