Eve Kendall: Roger 0. Thornhill. What does the O stand for?
Roger Thornhill: Nothing.
North by Northwest. Alfred Hitchcock.
& there you have a very clever script.
been watching more & more david lynch (as well as hitchcock).
the emptiness in north by northwest is its leading man, who’s absence is ‘null’ – he is mistaken for a man who does not exist – and lives in a world of non-sequitors, fabrications and red herrings. the world of advertising and then the world of espionage; even as the film’s events contrive to make his life more eventful, more exciting. this ‘nothing’ – the absence of stable, reliable identity is implicit to all of hitchcock’s films – and i see – explicit in all of david lynch’s films.
perhaps in lynch’s early films the import of this ‘truth’ (i see it as a mystical truth) loses itself in the very beautiful synchronicity of fiction (fictional identity is simply fiction, a set of traditions and conventions formulated by clever writing). i think inland empire is the film that rises above that – lynch sheds meanings and drags characters through metamorphosis after metamorphosis until ‘null’.
[and the viewer is left with a (lip – synched) song and dance number (which i like to think is a tribute to zatoichi)]
[the film shows a world of illusions.]