interlude: a quote and my reflection

Do you worry that you lessen the power of things if you talk about them?

The more you say what something really is, the more things it isn’t. Here’s something I really feel strongly about: Something can be true and be nailed down and still be done in a way that has bigger meanings, that echoes and reverberates and does something bigger. If you say certain things [about] it, you weaken something else. It hurts things to talk about them too much.

Does that make it hard to get your movies made?

Absolutely. They’ve set up the system in Hollywood so that it’s almost impossible to do something abstract. You have to write it so that everybody gets it — and in the same way. But when everybody gets something in the same way, you haven’t got anything anymore.

an old interview with David Lynch in LA Weekly

My comment: …and it’s not just a Hollywood phenomenon, not at all. Unfortunately.

People – critics, editors and producers included – tend to think of stories told through any medium way too much as pure constructs, artificial creations that can be planned out in almost every detail conforming strictly to certain (unsaid) rules, and then built like machines that, when turned on, are expected to produce the same responses all the time, no matter what kind of audience (what kind of readers, what kind of viewers etc) is fed into them.

Which is not to say rules and plans are bad… only when overused. They should be used, but as guidelines only, from which greater, deeper, more abstract concepts may and should be able to deviate anytime. There should be no rules restricting creativity. And indeed, there are no such rules, unless you invite them in and accept their authority.

Problem is: mass markets don’t like risking producing stuff that vast numbers of people may fail to appreciate. You want to make a living out of producing stuff for the mass market? Obey and abide by the rules. Will you?

But surely there’s artistic censoring and ordering.

Yes, the things have to stick together. There has to be a line. Things have to pyramid and come to an end. It’s a complicated process, but it all happens underneath the surface. I don’t know how…

(Nota bene: there’s no specific reason for me writing this. I’ve just found that interview and it provoked me to come up with this…)


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