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David Lynch (1946 - )
Lifespan: 1946 -
Related: American cinema - surrealist cinema - director
Films: Eraserhead (1977) - Blue Velvet (1986) - Elephant Man (1980) - Twin Peaks (1990 ...)
David Lynch is easily the most idiosyncratic mainstream American filmmaker. My first Lynch-film was The Elephant Man -- I must have been around 13 or 14 -- too young to see it at the time, but my father sneaked my brother and me past the box office. Blue Velvet made a tremendous impression on me by introducing me to the kinkier side of David Lynch. All through the early nineties I watched every episode of Twin Peaks on BBC television. Of his more recent efforts, I liked Mulholland Drive and The Straight Story. Maybe I should see Lost Highway and Wild at Heart again, all I remember is that I didn't really appreciate them. Lynch's movies are best seen in a movie theatre, only then will you fully appreciate his scores that feature menacing drones. [Jan 2007]
Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
David Lynch (born January 20, 1946) is an American filmmaker and professor at the European Graduate School. His love of surrealism is particularly notable in the disturbing and strangely incomprehensible film Eraserhead, and the television series Twin Peaks. Recently he has made some more mainstream (yet still strangely incomprehensible) films with studios like Disney.
His films tend to feature small-town America (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet) or the sprawling vastness of Los Angeles (Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr.) and the dark underbelly that exists in each. Sound in his films is as important as the image, with each soundtrack being worked on with painstaking care. He has managed to establish himself as one of the few modern directors whose visual and verbal style is instantly recognisable.
Despite his almost exclusive focus on America, like Woody Allen, Lynch has found a large audience in France with the likes of Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway and Fire Walk With Me finding funding from French production companies. He has twice won France's CÚsar Award for Best Foreign Film and served as President of the jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where he had won the Palme d'Or in 1990. He was also honored in 2002 by the French government with the Legion of Honor.
In his spare time, he also designs and builds furniture. Lynch was also responsible for the comic strip The Angriest Dog in the World. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lynch [Oct 2004]
- Mulholland Drive () - David Lynch [Amazon US]
Pandora couldn't resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let's just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, "a love story in the city of dreams," Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film's first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before we've become enthralled by the film's two main characters: the dazed and sullen femme fatale, Rita (Laura Elena Harring), and the pert blonde just-arrived from Ontario (played exquisitely by Naomi Watts) who decides to help Rita regain her memory. Triggered by a rapturous Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison's "Crying," Lynch's best film since Blue Velvet splits glowingly into two equally compelling parts. --Fionn Meade
- Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1997) - Toby Keeler [Amazon.com]
Director Toby Keeler investigates all of David Lynch's artistic endeavors (which include photography, painting, music, and furniture building as well as filmmaking) in this fascinating documentary shot during the making of Lost Highway. Along with film clips and interviews with Lynch, composer Angelo Badalamenti, and producer Deepak Nayar are numerous behind-the-scenes glimpses at Lost Highway and Lynch at work in other media. The highlight is the Eraserhead reunion, where Jack Nance, Catherine Coulson (the "Log Lady" from Twin Peaks and Nance's first wife), and Lynch visit the site where Lynch's first successful feature was shot in the mid-1970s over a two-year period. Maybe not as revealing as one could hope, but an always intriguing portrait of an uncompromising artist driven to create in a wide range of media. --Sean Axmaker
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