Lynch (One)

The Landscape of Alan Moore, which we discussed yesterday, awoke in me the interest to see another documentary on one of our scarce mad geniuses alive, the ever original David Lynch.

Lynch (One) covers a period of about two years (2005-2006) and witnesses the recording of some videos for affiliates, the creation of some of his pictorial works and the shooting of scenes for his most recent feature film Inland Empire. Unfortunately, the selection of rather unsignificant moments tells us very little about the character or his creative force.

Forget being the best of anything. That’s the fruit of the action, and you do the work -they say- for the doing, not the fruit. You can never really know how it’s gonna turn out in the world but you know if you enjoy doing it. And ideas start flowing and you start, you know, getting excited about stuff. Then you’re having a great time in the doing and that’s what it’s all about. If you don’t enjoy the doing, then do something else.

Lynch praises the virtues of meditation, as he did in Catching the Big Fish -which we can discuss some other day-, and invites all artists to medidate in order to -according to his words- reach a state of pure creativity. He then refutes the theory that the artist must suffer in order to create, and claims that artists will be more creative the happier they are. Beyond these claims, the apprentice genius -or even the Lynch fan- will get very little out of this boring documentary.

The Mindscape of Alan Moore

I finally watched “The Mindscape of Alan Moore” last night. In a few words, this documentary offers an exclusive interview with the author over a background of phychedelic images.

I didn’t know what to expect of this piece, and even after watching it I’m not very sure what to think of it. The images are mostly irrelevant and merely decorate -rather than illustrate- the words of the author. The same content could have been translated -perhaps more faithfully- as a podcast or a radio interview, but I guess the potential audience -Alan Moore fans and consequently comic readers- will appreciate the audiovisual component.

Contents dwell briefly upon a variety of subjects. Moore introduces himself with some brief autobiographical stories, goes on to review the evolution of some of his works and finally focuses on the main topic: his thoughts on our society and culture, touching upon themes such as art, sexuality or religion. Perhaps the greatest fault of this documentary is that it covers so many important topics in such a short time that each of them lacks depth. Though I can say that at least I finally came to understand what Moore means when he refers to himself as a “magician” -though I’ll leave the explanation to those who take the time to see the video.

Viewers searching “The Mindscape…” for analysis of his works or writing methods will be disappointed, as these topics are only superficially mentioned. Still, I found myself taking notes and copying quotes for future use in the workshop.

On the other hand, admirers of the issues explored in Moore’s comics will find many ideas on which to dwell. Personally, in spite of my usual despise for modern prophets, I found Moore has a very clear, unique view of the world we live in that deserves being explored. “The Mindscape…” has awakened my hunger not for writing, but for learning, and this is always good for any writer.

It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience want. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience – they would be the artist. It is the job of the artists to give the audience what they need.