30. David Lynch
BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DR., THE ELEPHANT MAN, ERASERHEAD
If, in some twisted experiment, you raised a child from birth in an isolated environment where you constantly showed him films of every different genre, nationality and style, narrative and experimental, without any context or giving him any understanding of what was popular or “normal,” you might end up with something who thinks about cinema the way that David Lynch does. He makes genre films that don’t know they’re genre films. He makes experimental films that don’t know or care that they’re experimental. He has a vision of America that is deeply rooted in the idyllic 1950’s as they were presented on television but unironically includes severed ears and monsters that live behind the diner and all the things that happen in Inland Empire. Sometimes mistaken for a purely cerebral director because of the puzzling narratives of his more recent films, he’s actually one of the most purely somatic film artists working today or ever.
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