Why is it that ‘Fire Walk With Me’ was so poorly received contrasted with Mulholland Drive
The common criticism was that Lynch had ‘gone too far up his ass’ and that FWWM was 'weird for weirdness sake. First of all, I can’t recall any sequence in the Twin Peaks movie that I didn’t get, or didn’t recognize as establishing a mood. Has Lynch gone on record as ever saying that he just threw together random shit with no motive other than to be kooky?
To me, FWWM has much more linear narrative, telling a more logical story than Mulholland Drive does. IMHO, Mulholland Drive is general indictment of Los Angeles and the entire mythos behind the ‘City of the Angels’. And as a general indictment, it’s not compelled to tell a logical narrative. And yet Muholland Drive was more well received than Fire Walk With Me.
Is it just that people didn’t understand the Twin Peaks movie, so they’re blaming Lynch?
Possibly. But to my mind the two movies are of two different genres, despite the common Lynchian elements. And Mulholland Drive attempted the more difficult task: to convincingly dramatize one person’s mental state. Fire Walk With Me was closer to being a standard murder mystery.
I like both movies, but in my view MD is the greater work of art. And that’s nothing to do with a failure to understand FWWM (which I don’t find to be confusing in any respect).
By the way, you might want to ask a moderator to correct your thread title (you accidentally referenced the 1996 Nick Nolte movie instead of the 2001 Lynch film).
I think you have to consider FWWM in the post-Twin Peaks context. TP was widely reviled for having gone off the rails during its second season, and there was a Lynch backlash in the air. I think many fans and critics hoped that FWWM would provide a clear conclusion to the Twin Peaks story, and thus Lynch would atone for letting the series go astray. Instead, he did a prequel that added more layers of weirdness. FWWM was perceived as adding insult to injury.
I personally think that FWWM is a more interesting film than Mulholland Drive. It’s certainly clearer and more accessible (MD seems almost completely opaque to me).