I have just seen both Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive for the first time. Both films contain elements that would be traditionally classified as "science fiction" or "fantasy", but these elements are generally unexplained in the script and could also be considered more hallucinogenic or dream-like.

I know Lynch famously hates being pressured to confirm a specific interpretation of his films, and I suspect he'd be generally uninterested in the question of whether particular scenes "really happened" or not within the context of the world depicted.

But has he ever spoken about what genre he considers these films to be in? Specifically, has he ever addressed whether he considers his harder-to-classify films (i.e. not Elephant Man or Dune) to be science fiction or fantasy?

1 Answer 1


David Lynch himself, as I see it, takes great pride in the fact that his films are not of a specific genre. In many interviews[1], he implies that not only the meaning of his films is up to the interpretation of the viewers, but probably the genre as well. It depends on the meaning that you, as a viewer, give to the scenes you see in his pictures, to interpret whether this is science fiction, drama, or just a visual representation of one of David Lynch's dreams or hallucinations.

[1] For example:

  • Interesting. I'm not sure I understand the connection between what he said in that interview and the idea of classifications by genre, though. Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 23:07
  • Maybe that one is just not the best example; it's just that, unfortunately, there are not many early full-length Lynch interviews on YouTube.
    – golosovsky
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 23:10

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