British Film
David Lynch
Authorship and the Films of David Lynch
David Lynch
David Lynch: Fire Walk With Me

The Films of David Lynch

Authorship and the
Films of David Lynch
Chapter 1: Eraserhead
Chapter 2: Elephant Man/Dune
Chapter 3: Blue Velvet
Chapter 4: Wild At Heart
Matt Pearson 1997

50 Percent Sound
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Philip Halsall 2002


David Lynch


So far I have shown how the auteur theory has survived 50 years of conceptual opposition through to the present day, although emerging in a different form at start of the 21st century than it was as defined in the 1950s. David Lynch's career has done nothing to undermine this theory and until he produces a radically atypical film he serves only to reinforce the fifty year old theory.

Lynch has sufficient strength of identity within his work and idiosyncracity of world view to warrant his position as auteur, and he is likely to be accepted as such by the current film making establishment due to the marketing potential of his name. But, for a director that has produced only eight full length features, it may be premature assigning this tag to a director so early in his career. David Foster Wallace, in his 'Premiere' article, said :

"Whether you believe he's a good auteur or a bad one, his career makes it clear that he is indeed, in the literal Cahiers du Cinema sense, an auteur, willing to make the sorts of sacrifices for creative control that real auteurs have to make - choices that indicate either raging egotism or passionate dedication or a childlike desire to run the sandbox, or all three."
As Orson Welles said (quoted by Pam Cook), "Cinema is the work of a single man, the director". Lynch's films, good or bad, successful or not, have been the work of a film-maker in control of his medium, aware of his position as auteur and willing to assert it within his texts.