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Lynch (2007)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  26 October 2007 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 639 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 10 user | 14 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Compiled from over two years of footage, the film is an intimate portrait of David Lynch's creative process as he completes his latest film, Inland Empire (2006). We follow Lynch as he ... See full summary »

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Compiled from over two years of footage, the film is an intimate portrait of David Lynch's creative process as he completes his latest film, Inland Empire (2006). We follow Lynch as he discovers beauty in ideas, leading us on a journey through the abstract which ultimately unveils his cinematic vision. The director of the documentary immersed himself in David Lynch's world; living and working at Lynch's home. His unobtrusive style has captured a personal side of David Lynch not seen before. The film reveals Lynch not only as one of the most original and compelling directors of contemporary film but also as an artist who continues to explore and experiment in countless mediums. We witness his "hands on" approach to painting, sculpting, music and screenwriting. His enthusiasm is infectious; inspiring us to tap into the well of creativity that Lynch believes we all have. Written by Anonymous

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LYNCH Behind the curtain A film that gives us a rare glimpse into the fascinating mind of the man who created classic films such as Eraserhead, Mulholland Dr., Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, Wild At Heart, The Elephant Man and more...

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Documentary

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Not Rated
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26 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lynch (One)  »

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Annoying at times, but provides more keys to Lynch's films indirectly than any Q&A ever did. Recommended.
13 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the book 'Lynch on Lynch', director David Lynch explains: "Your mind focuses on a certain thing and it pulls in ideas that will marry to that thing." The results, as we see from Lynch's films, can be surreal. It links in to his use of Transcendental Meditation (TM) - a form of concentration developed by repetition of a mantra and used by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (to pull in vast amounts of money, among other things).

Lynch has used the technique for 32 years, as he explains in this offbeat documentary. We see the camera turned on the director at work - and in moments where he waxes philosophical. He uses TM, "to dive into pure creativity." There have been many critical reports of the Maharishi's methods. Ex- TM teacher, Joseph Kellet says, "As a teacher I frequently lied to people 'for their own good' because 'they weren't ready yet' to receive the full truth. But the misuse of a technique for financial gain or fame does not, in itself, negate the value of it. Our documentary provides a fascinating insight into the creative processes of someone who is one of the most enigmatic of contemporary experimental directors. His use of TM - as a creative tool - is more accessible than some of the more extravagant claims commonly made for it (by others or by Lynch himself).

"Curiouser and curiouser!" were the famous words of Alice as she delved deeper down the Rabbit Hole into Wonderland. Investigating anything to do with David Lynch tends to produce a similar sensation. Instead of questions being answered, fascinating new questions are posited. Occasionally, an underlying 'truth' will appear to convey some sort of narrative sense. It's what Lynch has called the 'Surrealist's Trick'. You have a bunch of interesting, open-ended fragments that pull in other fragments, but you need a certain type of idea to come in and tie them all together. Reality becomes the excuse for dreams. But how does the artist dream? We watch Lynch in his musings. He comes out with a story about popping a dead cow. A rabbit disappearing out of the brush. Or someone he knows getting his head bashed by police. He is fascinated by what crawls just beneath the surface of beauty. We wait (as he does) while other 'fragments' are drawn in. He is fascinated with taking still photographs of factory interiors. No agenda - just enjoying them for their own sake. It's a bit like lateral thinking - take some unconnected ideas and find a new connection.

Just as ideas are pulled in, just as Lynch's feature films intrigue and pull us in, so does this film use cinematic story-telling techniques to inveigle the viewer. We watch a close up: his hand turns a handle. Emphatic directions to the crew bring an intensity of concentration to bear. There is a strange repetitive noise, a ghostly sound, we cannot identify. Only after the viewer has been entranced does the camera pan back to reveal an old-fashioned gramophone. Lynch is winding the handle that powers the turntable. The stylus is on the endless repeat of the last groove. Sound crew record the noise amplified by the acoustic speaker.

As the film gets on to the early stages of filming Inland Empire, he talks about a new technique - about being 'excited' but 'tormented' by 'not knowing'. Usually, by the time cameras are rolling, the ideas have come together and the director knows exactly what is going to happen. But we are given to understand that Inland Empire was deliberately made as a 'work in progress.' This is, in a way, to replicate the situation that happened accidentally with Mulholland Drive. With the earlier picture, existing footage from a scrapped TV pilot was pulled together into a coherent film (admittedly you have to work at it, but a meaningful storyline and/or overall unity is now generally accepted by most serious viewers). In faithfulness to his own surrealist dictum, Lynch is making the 'fragments' before he has found the 'solution'.

The photography in the documentary is - appropriately - as whacky as any Lynch film. Multiple screens, masking, slow wipes, different formats. Locked-down shots contrast with relaxed, hand-held filming. An unconnected shot of Lynch (apparently) at his desk in a bunny-rabbit suit. The inventiveness makes us feel like explorers, rather than passive recipients of a dry documentary.

"Lynch" is a fascinating portrait of an intelligent, celebrated and charismatic director. No doubt it will eventually find its way into the 'extras' of a DVD boxed set. The heavy-handed references to Transcendental Meditation may annoy some viewers - when he gets on to his 'David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness Based Education and World Peace' it easy to sense excess fragments of hippy beads, flowing robes and happy-mantra vibes. But the personal relevance of TM to his own creative work is more believable.

"Lynch" is a must for all fans of his work and a great add-on to his movie, Inland Empire. However crazy he might be, it's 'creative crazy' rather than 'penniless and certifiable crazy.' As a self-confessed fan of his movies, I hope he goes on making great ones and doesn't fall permanently down any bunny-hole.


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