Hallways, Alleyways, and Corridors: The Passages of David Lynch

Something’s always coming for you…and sometimes that something is you.
By  · Published on June 2nd, 2017

Something’s always coming for you…and sometimes that something is you.

The films of David Lynch are portals, not just into the mind of one of cinema’s foremost artists, but into worlds where the expected flies out the window so that the unexpected might have run of the place. Like the visual embodiment of a chrysalis phase, characters – and audiences – walk into a David Lynch picture as one thing and emerge from it as another: fugue states, stolen identities, mistaken identities, switched identities, faked identities, evolutions, devolutions, transformations physical, intellectual and emotional – all these and more are used by Lynch to create an atmosphere of utter uncertainty where guessing what happens next is as possible as fully understanding what just happened.

Of the many ways Lynch has depicted this murky territory between truth and falsity, one of the more dominant and prominent devices the director employs are hallways, alleyways, corridors, or really any narrow and confined space that leads characters in only one direction, towards chaos. Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire in particular utilize this trope, and in the following short supercut I’ve collected some of the more meaningful instances from these works to illustrate how Lynch uses a physical route to represent psychological journeys.


Music: Mulholland Drive Main Theme by Angelo Badalamenti

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