That we experience the world through the mediation of fantasy, and that fantasy teaches us how to desire is the bread and butter of cinema. But Lynch asks in Wild at Heart the question, what it would be like to be immersed only and totally in the world of fantasy – and I wonder whether this is a question that we are engaged in our own hyper-real world today?
Fantasy isn’t accessed in a remote part of the mind but illuminates our everyday life. It’s not something that is exclusively experienced by the super elite who light up the flat screens of our living rooms. In fact we can’t experience the Real in it’s stark reality – it has to be mediated through the lens of our fantasy.
Certain institutions such as the BBC, broadsheet newspapers, government, the monarchy and the crown court system gave us a sense of stability and consistency and completeness even if it was seen as something to be opposed. However now it has been revealed as the layer of fantasy that in the Wizard of Oz (one of the inspirations for David Lynch’s film) is made real when the curtain is drawn back to reveal the clunky machinery and the pathetic figure of a man speaking through a PA microphone. Wild at Heart is unrelentingly excessive; explicit sex and violence and Lynch takes away all coordinates to a sense of a known world of desire. It is jouissance unleashed and dangerous.
The cloak of fantasy has been lifted on our known world but we know that it must and can only be draped over another Real, a Real that we can’t experience without the fantasy. America has always led the way in the invention of new fantasies and it would seem that a new fantasy has now been mapped onto the Real in the form of the excessive vulgarity of Donald Trump. We watch with an obsessive jouissance (jouissance in the psychoanalytic form of pleasure combined with excessive anxiety) the laying bare of this new fantasy layer.