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David Lynch

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Author Topic: David Lynch  (Read 590 times)
Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2008, 11:56:27 pm »

Influences

Lynch has expressed his admiration for filmmakers Jacques Tati, Stanley Kubrick and Federico Fellini, writer Franz Kafka (stating "the only artist I felt could be my brother was Kafka"), and artist Francis Bacon. He states that the majority of Kubrick films are in his top ten, that he really loves Kafka, and that Bacon paints images that are both visually stunning, and emotionally touching. He has also cited the Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka as an inspiration for his works. Lynch has a love for the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz and frequently makes reference to it in his films, the most obvious being Wild at Heart.

An early influence on Lynch was the book The Art Spirit by American turn-of-the-century artist and teacher Robert Henri. When he was in high school, Bushnell Keeler, an artist who was the stepfather of one of his friends, introduced Lynch to Henri's book, which became his bible. As Lynch said in Chris Rodley's book Lynch on Lynch, "it helped me decide my course for painting — 100 percent right there." Lynch, like Henri, moved from rural America to an urban environment to pursue an artistic career. Henri was an urban realist painter, legitimizing every day city life as the subject of his work, much in the same way that Lynch first drew street scenes. Henri's work also bridged changing centuries, from America's agricultural 19th century into the industrial 20th century, much in the same fashion as Lynch's films blend the nostalgic happiness of the fifties to the twisted weirdness of the eighties and nineties.

His influences have also included Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Roman Polanski, Billy Wilder, Ingmar Bergman, John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. Some of them have cited Lynch as an influence themselves, most notably Kubrick, who stated that he modeled his vision of The Shining (1980) upon that of Eraserhead and who, according to Lynch's book Catching the Big Fish, once commented while screening Eraserhead for a small group that it was his favorite film. Mario Bava, the prolific Italian horror filmmaker, has frequently been cited as an influence on Lynch.
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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2008, 11:57:11 pm »

Criticism

Film critic Roger Ebert has been notoriously unfavorable towards Lynch, even accusing him of misogyny in his reviews of Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. In early days, Ebert was one of few major critics to dislike Blue Velvet. He seems to have a change of heart in recent years, as he has written enthusiastic reviews of recent Lynch films such as The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire
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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2008, 11:58:14 pm »



Lynch speaking in Washington D.C., January 23, 2007
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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2008, 12:00:05 am »

Lynch usually keeps his personal life out of the media or limelight and rarely comments on his films. However, he does attend public events and film festivals when he or his films are nominated/awarded. He is known to be notoriously evasive and cagey in interviews, and refuses to discuss the plot details and "true meanings" of his films, preferring viewers to come away with their own interpretations. None of his films released on DVD have director commentary tracks, and some (as per his request) do not even have chapter selections. This is due, at least in part, to his belief that a film should be viewed from beginning to end without interruption or distraction. Despite this belief, the DVD release of INLAND EMPIRE is divided into chapters, with Lynch explaining why in the "Stories" feature.

In the 1980s, Lynch expressed that he liked Ronald Reagan and at one point he had dinner with the Reagans at the White House, though he sees himself as a Libertarian or Democrat.

In the "Stories" feature on the Eraserhead DVD, Lynch mentions that he ate French fries and grilled cheese almost every day while on the set. Despite his professional accomplishments, Lynch once characterized himself simply as "Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana".

Appearing on Dutch television station VPRO on December 3, 2006, Lynch made a rare appearance where he played clips from Loose Change and discussed his doubts about the official explanation of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In 1967, Lynch married Peggy Lentz in Chicago, Illinois. The two had one child, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, born in 1968, who currently works as a film director. The two filed for divorce in 1974. On June 21, 1977, Lynch married Mary Fisk, and the two had one child, Austin Jack Lynch, born in 1982. The two divorced in 1987, and Lynch began dating Isabella Rossellini after filming Blue Velvet.

Lynch and Rossellini separated in 1991, and Lynch developed a relationship with Mary Sweeney, with whom he had one son, Riley Lynch, in 1992. Sweeney also worked as long-time film editor/producer to Lynch and co-wrote and produced The Straight Story. The two married in May 2006, but divorced later in July.
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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2008, 12:01:09 am »

Transcendental Meditation

In December 2, 2005, Lynch told the Washington Post that he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, for 20 minutes each time, for 32 years. He was initiated into TM on July 1, 1973, at 11:00 a.m., in a TM Center at Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles by a teacher "he thought looked like Doris Day". Since then he never missed a program. He advocates its use in bringing peace to the world. In July 2005, he launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace to fund research about TM's positive effects, and he promotes the technique and his vision by an ongoing tour of college campuses that began in September 2005. A streaming video of one of Lynch's public performances is available at his foundation's website.

Lynch is working for the establishment of seven "peace palaces," each with 8000 salaried people practicing advanced techniques of TM, "pumping peace for the world." He estimates the cost at $7 billion. As of December 2005, he had spent $400,000 of his own money and raised $1 million in donations from a handful of wealthy individuals and organizations. In December 2006, the New York Times reported that he continued to have that goal.

Lynch has written a book, Catching the Big Fish (Tarcher/Penguin 2006), which discusses the impact of TM on his creative process. He is donating all author's royalties to the David Lynch Foundation.

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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2008, 12:07:04 am »

A parody of Lynch was portrayed by Martin Short in the film Jiminy Glick in Lalawood. There was even a "dark road" scene in the film shown to parody the opening and ending scenes from Lost Highway.


Unfinished and unrealized projects

Gardenback: After the success he had enjoyed with "The Grandmother", Lynch moved to Beverly Hills to participate in the AFI's Center for Advanced Film. Lynch began working on a script for a short film called "Gardenback" in 1970. Lynch spent the whole year working on a 45-page script. The film was to explore the physical materialization of what grows inside a man's head when he desires a woman that he sees. This manifestation metamorphoses into a monster.
Cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel, who was also at the AFI at the time and wanted to shoot the film, introduced Lynch to a producer at 20th Century Fox. The studio was interested in making a series of low-budget horror films and wanted to expand "Gardenback" into a feature film. The studio was willing to give Lynch $50,000 to make it but wanted the 45-page script to be expanded. This involved writing dialogue -- something Lynch had never tried before. Lynch said in Lynch on Lynch, "What I wrote was pretty much worthless, but something happened inside me about structure, about scenes. And I don't even know what it was, but it sort of percolated down and became part of me. But the script was pretty much worthless. I knew I'd just watered it down." Consequently, Lynch became disenchanted with the project. Some of the elements in "Gardenback" would later surface in Eraserhead, such as its main characters Henry and Mary X.

Dune Messiah: Lynch was in the process of writing the sequel to film Dune (which was partially adapted from the book), but the box office failure of the first film killed the project. From the Inner Views Lynch interview, "...I was really getting into Dune II. I wrote about half the script, maybe more, and I was really getting excited about it. It was much tighter, a better story." From a Prevue article from 1984: "Lynch has written two sequel screenplays to Dune – Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, based on Herbert's succeeding novels – which currently await the author's approval. Back-to-back lensing is expected if the first film is a success. Although Kyle MacLachlan will portray Paul Atreides in the three Dune spectacles, Lynch promises a different cast each time."
Untitled animated short, 1969 or 1970: Though David doesn't remember what the film itself was about, he distinctly recalls that he was paid to produce a short film and the negatives came back from the lab messed up.
Ronnie Rocket
Red Dragon: Before making Blue Velvet, the film's producer, Richard Roth, approached Lynch with another project -- an adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel, Red Dragon. Lynch was turned off by the content of the book and Roth subsequently took the project to Michael Mann who went on to direct the film as Manhunter (1986).
The Lemurians: This was a TV show that Lynch was going to do with Mark Frost based on the continent of Lemuria. Their premise for the show was that Lemurian essence was leaking from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and becomes a threat to the world. It was intended to be a comedy but when Lynch and Frost tried to pitch this show to NBC, the network rejected it.
Goddess: When Lynch and Frost first met, they began working on a project about Marilyn Monroe. Lynch had been fascinated by the actress' life and met with Anthony Summers who wrote a biography of the same name. The more they worked on it, the more they became embroiled in conspiracy theories involving Monroe and the Kennedys which turned Lynch off the project. Twin Peaks was created soon after, which has similarities with the story of Monroe.
One Saliva Bubble: This was a comedy that Lynch co-wrote with Mark Frost and intended to direct with Steve Martin and Martin Short starring. It was set in Kansas. Robert Engels describes the premise of the film in Lynch on Lynch: "It's about an electric bubble from a computer that bursts over this town and changes people's personalities – like these five cattlemen, who suddenly think they're Chinese gymnasts. It's insane!"
The White Hotel: Lynch was attached to Dennis Potter's adaptation of D.M. Thomas' novel during the late 1980s.
I'll Test My Log With Every Branch of Knowledge: Around the time that Lynch and Catherine Coulson made "The Amputee", he had an idea for a TV show. He told Chris Rodley in Lynch on Lynch, "It's a half-hour television show starring Catherine as the lady with the log. Her husband has been killed in a forest fire and his ashes are on the mantelpiece, with his pipes and his sock hat. He was a woodsman. But the fireplace is completely boarded up. Because she now is very afraid of fire." This project never got off the ground, but when it came time to film the pilot for Twin Peaks, Lynch remembered this idea and called Coulson up to appear as the Log Lady.
Metamorphosis: This was intended to be an adaptation of the story written by Franz Kafka. Lynch has expressed on several accounts his desire to film the story of Metamorphosis. He has even written a script. The main reason that Lynch has not filmed it is a matter of money and technology involving the transformation of a man into a beetle.
The Dream of the Bovine: Lynch and Robert Engels wrote the screenplay for this film after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. According to Engels in Lynch on Lynch, the film was about "three guys, who used to be cows, living in Van Nuys and trying to assimilate their lives."
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Jami Ferrina
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2008, 12:09:06 am »

Lynch maintains an interest in other art forms. He described the twentieth century artist Francis Bacon as "to me, the main guy, the number one kinda hero painter". He continues to present art installations and stage designs. In his spare time, he also designs and builds furniture. He started building furniture from his own designs as far back as his art school days. He built sheds during the making of Eraserhead, and many of the sets and furniture used in that movie are made by Lynch. He also made some of the furniture for Fred Madison's house in Lost Highway.

Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from March 3-May 27, 2007. The show was entitled The Air is on Fire and included numerous paintings, photographs, drawings, alternative films and sound work. New site-specific art installations were created specially for the exhibition. A series of events accompanied the exhibition including live performances and concerts. Some of Lynch's art include photographs of dissected chickens and other animals as a "Build your own Chicken" toy ad.

Between 1983 and 1992, Lynch wrote and drew a weekly comic strip called The Angriest Dog in the World for the L.A. Reader. The drawings in the panels never change — just the captions. The comic strip originated from a time in Lynch's life when he was filled with anger.

Lynch has also been involved in a number of musical projects, many of them related to his films. Most notably he produced and wrote lyrics for Julee Cruise's first two albums, Floating Into the Night (1989) and The Voice of Love (1993), in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti who composed the music and also produced. Lynch has also worked on the 1998 Jocelyn Montgomery album Lux Vivens. He has also composed bits of music for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Mulholland Drive, and Rabbits. In 2001 he released BlueBob, a rock album performed by Lynch and John Neff. The album is notable for Lynch's unusual guitar playing style: he plays "upside down and backwards, like a lap guitar," and relies heavily on effects pedals. Most recently Lynch has composed several pieces for INLAND EMPIRE, including two songs, "Ghost of Love" and "Walkin' on the Sky" in which he makes his public debut as a singer.

Lynch is a big fan of Bob's Big Boy restaurants, an Americana restaurant chain whose chief icon is a chubby cartoon male with a tray of dinner plates. Lynch has said that early on in his career he got a chocolate milkshake at one restaurant near his house almost every day for seven years in a row, along with "four, five, six, seven cups of coffee – with lots of sugar". Although he no longer eats sugar, the director attributes the inspiration for many of his films and ideas to his daily sugar rushes in this period.

Lynch also designed davidlynch.com, a site exclusive to paying members, where he posts short videos and his absurdist series "Dumb Land", plus interviews and other items. The site also features a daily weather report, where Lynch gives a brief description of the weather in Los Angeles, where he resides. An absurd ringtone ("I like to kill deer") from the website was a common sound bite on The Howard Stern Show in early 2006.

Lynch is an avid coffee drinker and even has his own line of special organic blends available for purchase on his website. Called "David Lynch Signature Cup", the coffee has been advertised via flyers included with several recent Lynch-related DVD releases, including INLAND EMPIRE and the Gold Box edition of Twin Peaks. The self-mocking tag-line for the brand is "It's all in the beans ... and I'm just full of beans."
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