The Directors: Season 2, Episode 33

The Films of David Lynch (4 Sep. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography
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How Does One Explain David Lynch And His Films?
23 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

David Lynch makes very, very strange movies. Those who know his work know what I mean. Those that don't will be fooled by his appearance and demeanor. He looks like a normal, straight-laced, middle-aged guy. The actors all say he's a wonderful guy, quick to listen to them and easy to work for, etc., etc.

But the longer you watch this program and listen to him, you more you are apt to see he is far from "normal." Lynch is a deep thinker, as actress Laura Harring points out in this episode of "Biography." When you ask Lynch questions about his films, he answers in generalities about some facet about the human personality - how people look and react to things. Lynch is NOT normal, believe me, and his quirkiness and way of looking at life is what makes his films so different. For most of his body of work, audiences will either love or hate it. All of them either are put together oddly or the story is about something unique.

Many of Lynch's movies feature the same actors, and some of them speak here in on this TV show. Laura Dern certainly is one; so is Kyle MacLachlan. Both of them starred in one of Lynch's most famous works: "Blue Velvet." Those two, along with Dennis Hopper - who plays the infamous "Frank Booth" in the movie, discuss this controversial film.

Lynch gets a lot of air time on this show, which surprised me. Normally, he is not open to interviews. When you look at the bonus features on DVDs of his film, you usually see everyone but him.

"My 'Philadelphia Story,'" is how Lynch describes his first feature film, the wacky "Eraserhead." The director tells a funny story about how that movie was perceived by Mel Brooks, who then went on to fund the famous "The Elephant Man." Lynch was up for an Academy Award for his directorial work in that movie, but that didn't impress him. "For me, it's all about the work (that excites him), not about fame or adulation." It is the process of doing a good film that turns Lynch on and makes him happy....nothing else.

He didn't get much happiness with his next film, "Dune," which took three years and bombed at the box office. "It was one, big failure," he admits, although he said he learned a lot in the process.

The program then looks at and discusses Blue Velbet, "Wild At Heart," "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," "Lost Highway," "The Straight Story" and "Mulholland Drive." Dern commented she never had so much fun in her life making a film as she did in "Wild At Heart." If you see the movie, it's easy to understand.

Watching David Lynch's movies is a lot more entertaining than listening to him speak. He talks in a monotone, with a lot of "ums" and "uhhs." However, what he puts on screen, and the crazy actors he gets to star in them, are anything but dull.


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