Surface attraction: hyphological encounters with the films of David Lynch.

Mactaggart, Allister (2006) Surface attraction: hyphological encounters with the films of David Lynch. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

How does one turn a cinematic passion into an academic thesis? This is the question that runs through my work, which is both a labour of love and a series of love letters. Does one, can one, tell the truth about one's love object? Written in solitude about the darkened passions of the cinema, and the commodified reenactment via DVD and video, it seeks to locate this body of work, organized under the signifier David Lynch, within a broader cultural history of film and art, rather than, as so many chronologically based studies have done, to assess the individual films and then collectively to remark upon the auteur's signature. Instead, it seeks to experience again, or anew, the ontological strangeness of film within the saturated market place, and observe how, in this body of work, the normative framework of the North American film industry is disturbed from inside by a practice which explores and critically examines the creative potential of the medium within the constraints of the capitalist mode of production and consumption. Taking Roland Barthes' neologism of the theory of the text as a hyphology as its means of organization, the thesis presents a series of chapters which consider separate concepts or ideas about these films which, although appearing freestanding, come together in the final chapter in this web of engagement with Lynch's cinema and critical theory. In the final analysis, the work reflects upon a range of approaches to its subject to conclude that the solitary, or seemingly isolated, experience of film is itself socially, culturally and politically important and tells us a great deal about contemporary subjectivity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

In partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:Theses
School of Media and Performing Arts > Media & Performing Arts
ID Code:6906
Deposited On:20 Jan 2011 12:17
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 13:19

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