Book/Movie Announcement: Dillard and Lynch

Here we go! First up, this month's movie is Mulholland Drive by David Lynch:

From wikipedia:

Mulholland Dr. is a 2001 Academy Award-nominated psychological thriller written and directed by David Lynch. It stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux.

The plot is structured around an aspiring actress named Betty Elms (Watts), who befriends an amnesiac (Harring) whom she finds hiding in her aunt's apartment when she arrives in Los Angeles, California. The film includes several other seemingly unrelated vignettes, which eventually connect in various ways, as well as other surreal scenes and images which are all involved in the cryptic narrative.

Strongly acclaimed by many critics, but only a moderate box-office success, the film has achieved the status of a cult classic.

David Lynch:

Lynch has received three Academy Award for Best Director nominations for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001). He has won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. Lynch is probably best known for Blue Velvet and for being the creative force behind the successful Twin Peaks television series. In 1992, Lynch was named "the Most Influential Filmmaker" by Time Magazine. Producer Stuart Cornfeld once called Lynch "Jimmy Stewart from Mars", due to his peculiar style and focus on the American psyche.
Over a lengthy career, Lynch has employed an unorthodox approach to narrative that has become instantly recognizable to audiences and critics worldwide. Lynch's films are known for surreal, nightmarish and dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design.


And for our book, we'll read both Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard (since they're both relatively short and build upon each other).  You can buy them separately, or you can buy the Annie Dillard Reader (pictured below).

Annie Dillard Reader, An

Annie Dillard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

A Pulitzer Prize winner!

From An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons — a personal
narrative highlighting one year's exploration on foot in the author's
own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia.

The book is a form of meditation, written with headlong urgency, about seeing.
A reader's heart must go out to a young writer with a sense of wonder
so fearless and unbridled…There is an ambition about her book that I
like…It is the ambition to feel.

Read excerpts from this book on google.

Holy the Firm:

Annie Dillard reread Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and found herself
unsatisfied. She'd missed a whole element of what it means to live in
wonder. That's why she wrote this book. As great as Pilgrim is, Holy
the Firm is even more profound.

A review on  I don't like using words like "perfect" but I think it is warranted
here. This is an incredibly literate piece of work, in which not one
single word has been wasted. Each time I read it I come away exhilarated & humbled by Dillard's mastery of language & the
enormous depth of scholarship that lies behind every line and every
metaphor. This is writing by someone drunk on language & learning,
try not to stuff it into any preconceived notions of literature -this
is music. Dillard has crafted a classical symphony for us in which
certain movements come back over and over in variations of harmony and
melody that will sweep you away.

Again, excerpts of this book are on google.

Annie Dillard:

Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that
remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event, the
business of eons and galaxies, however persistently we mistake its
local manifestations for mere dust, mere sea, mere self, mere thought.
The beauty and obsession of her work are always the integration of
being, at the grandest scales of our knowledge of it, with the intimate
and momentary sense of life lived. (The Washington Post)

It has been said that Annie Dillard is one of those people who seem more fully alive than the rest of us. I'd have to agree.

If you like metaphor, symbolism, beauty, philosophy, or theology, you'll love Annie Dillard. She's also still alive, unlike all our previous authors. 🙂

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  1. Mulholland Drive is great. Saw it at the cinema, and enjoyed it… but probably enjoyed it more the second time I watched it on DVD. Films like that often benefit from several viewings. I was all excited about seeing the "new" Lynch film Inland Empire too, but it didn't come anywhere near my corner of England. Sniffle.

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