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The article presents the analysis of the origins of the cinematic aesthetics of American film director David Lynch, which dates back to the classics of avant-garde cinema (Jean Cocteau, Maya Deren, and Kenneth Anger). The article provides an overview of the aesthetic of Lynch's borrowings from the works of the classics of avant-garde cinema, particularly examines the work of Kenneth Anger. The transformation of the ideas of Crowley in Anger’s films gave rise to the use of esoteric motifs in contemporary cinema. The article demonstrates how strongly Anger affected Lynch’s aesthetics. Through Anger’s films, Lynch met esotericism of Crowley, whose teachings he has laid as the foundation for mythology of his films, especially Twin Peaks. There are themes that common to both Lynch and Crowley: sadism, sexual perversion, drugs. These themes demonstrate how much Lynch relied on Crowley’s magic. Crowley’s idea of the spiritual double (Higher Self) was the basis for theme of dissociative disorders common to most of Lynch's movies. The article concludes that Lynch deliberately appeals to esoteric teachings, which are the most difficult and inaccessible to the masses, using them as a building material to create his own original aesthetics.

Key words: western esotericism, culture studies, religious studies, cinema studies, film aesthetics, D. Lynch, J. Cocteau, M. Deren, K. Anger, A. Crowley

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2017.3.145-154

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About the author


Pavel G. Nosachev – PhD (Philosophy), Assistant Professor at School of Cultural Studies, Higher School of Economics;

20 Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, Russia, 101000; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.