Japanese Movie Posters of 10 David Lynch Films


If a Japan­ese cinephile likes Amer­i­can movies, they prob­a­bly love David Lynch. I don’t mean to present this as an iron­clad rule, but it cer­tain­ly holds true among my friends. Just as many Amer­i­cans find some­thing inter­est­ing­ly askew in the fruits of mod­ern Japan­ese cul­ture, pre­sum­ably Lynch’s Japan­ese fans expe­ri­ence his brand of off-kil­ter Amer­i­cana — some­times far off-kil­ter Amer­i­cana — just as rich­ly. Observers not par­tic­u­lar­ly famil­iar with David Lynch have dis­missed him as “weird,” just as those not par­tic­u­lar­ly famil­iar with Japan have dis­missed it as “weird.” But those of us famil­iar with both the film­mak­er and the coun­try know that they sim­ply oper­ate on dif­fer­ent, and fas­ci­nat­ing, sets of sen­si­bil­i­ties.


You can see these worlds col­lide in Bib­liok­lep­t’s post on Japan­ese posters adver­tis­ing David Lynch films. At the top of the post, we have the omi­nous­ly intrigu­ing one-sheet for Mul­hol­land Dri­ve (or, ren­dered here in katakana script, “Maruho­ran­do Doraibu”), Lynch’s crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed 2001 pic­ture that, con­cep­tu­al­ly, began as a tele­vi­sion series to fol­low up Twin Peaks. “Watashi no ata­ma wa dou­ka shiteiru,” reads the text between the faces of stars Lau­ra Har­ring and Nao­mi Watts, which I trans­late to “Some­thing is the mat­ter with my head” — a viable tagline, come to think of it, for most of Lynch’s works. Just above you’ll find the poster for a per­son­al Lynch favorite, Lost High­way (“Rosu­to Haiuei”), clear­ly also pitched across the Pacif­ic as the direc­tor’s mid-nineties come­back. And the chill­ing near­ly abstract image below rep­re­sents the chill­ing, abstract movie that start­ed it all, 1977’s Eraser­head — or, Ireiza­a­hed­do:


Relat­ed Con­tent:

Eraser­head Sto­ries: David Lynch on the Mak­ing of His Famous­ly Night­mar­ish Movie

David Lynch’s Sur­re­al Com­mer­cials

David Lynch in Four Move­ments: A Video Trib­ute

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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