I have a growing fondness for the twisted insides of David Lynch’s nervous system, at least the bits he shares with us on the small and big screen.
Blake typed Lynch as INTJ, and I see no reason to differ. It’s crystal clear, if you’ve seen any of the scenes he writes for himself in Twin Peaks.
Lynch specialises in diamond-sharp explorations that portray or suggest cosmic order while resolutely refusing to make sense. David Foster Wallace wrote a fun essay on this theme: a superficial look at any Lynch offering might give the impression that he indulges in empty symbolist wankery, daring you to admit you just don’t see the lofty (non-existent) point. This was kind of my suspicion as I trudged through the flabby backstretch of second-season Twin Peaks. But it’s more that, in honing visuals and stories that carry genuine life as symbols, he trades precision for power. It’s the murk of the unmanifest, you can’t avoid it.
Also, second-season Twin Peaks is a mess (Lynch, 2016 ).
I’m focusing on Twin Peaks for the moment, because it’s Lynch near his most accessible and it’s what most are likeliest to have encountered. It’s one part crime procedural, one part proto-X-Files, and one part vertiginous retro-Americana where every single small-town schmuck is on the wrong side of a love dilemma. And there’s a ton of stuff about pocket dimensions and UFOs and crypto-masonic symbolism, which can be fun or tiresome depending on your point of view.
A princess, Laura Palmer, has been murdered, and the series explores how and why without ever getting there. There’s a demon named Bob, who many years ago came from… somewhere. He possesses people and makes them do bad things. As the spinoff film, Fire Walk With Me, makes clear, and as the recent third season transfigures on an epic plane, the whole mythos actually centres on Laura’s heroic, vulnerable resistance to Bob and the cosmic evil he represents.
While the wider world of the show can be whimsy-fluffy, and there’s a case to be made that Kyle MacLachlan and his G-man are both INFP, Fire Walk with Me is hard-edged and zeroes in on what I imagine the INTP Ni id must be like. Centre stage, as it were, is Laura’s bedroom at night, where Bob appears: creepy, laughing, implacable, and there to invade the moaning princess’s spirit, again and again.
And his conquest, some time later
Anyway that’s all I want to say for now. What I’ll want to take a closer look at is Lynch’s portrayal of INFP’s dissociative Ni id, Mulholland Drive. I just hope I’ll be able to find enough suitable stills on Google, because otherwise ye gods, the wall of text!
To be clear, I think Ni id is just one thing that’s going on in the movie, a motif or theme. The film is complex and potentially confusing. But Lynch has said that Mulholland Drive is exceptional among his works, in that it is wholly coherent. Or in other words, it can be made sense of. So to the lab! There’s a good five or six layers to it, plus Ni id resonance doing things like fucking with the time sequence. I’ll have to watch it again and give myself a chance to brood before mustering a clear account. I hope I have the patience to reduce it all, the film’s like nothing so much as a classical symphony of correspondences. But ultimately simple and unified. It’s worth poring over.
Also, I’d like to pause in case there are any Lynch enthusiasts or people who actually know something about film here, because then I’ll have to be less glib. Or at least pretend to feel shame about it.
Here’s Joni, this is kinda related if you’ve seen the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N7gPcCgkZU