With each of his movie he creates his own universe, where bizarre creatures come to life and mystical-detective stories make the spectators feel dizzy and got them really confused. It is hard not to get lost in the grotesque world , created in the brain of a genius which is transferred to the cinema .Each movie feels like a trip to David Lynch’s brain and you want to get back there again and again, explore it even deeper. When in “Lynchian Dimension” emotion is changed by emotion, you follow the director’s thoughts and sink into a world that is sometimes called “Mulholland Drive” or “Blue Velvet” or “Twin Peaks”. Welcome to the world of the cinema’s most prolific surrealist director, David Lynch.
The craziest ideas are brought into motion in the name of cinema, watching his movies feels like having a journey into David Lynch’s stream of consciousness. “Daydreaming is the most important, sometimes I just sit on a chair, close my eyes and let my mind wander. You can’t control yourself while daydreaming. I love sinking into the world created or explored by my mind. This is the world I choose and this is exactly where the strength of cinema is. Daydreaming is the time where all the ideas are born”-says David Lynch. This is how the iconic “Red Room” and the character of Goliath in the Agent Cooper’s room were created in the 90-s cult show “Twin Peaks” . Lynch’s dreamlike logic creates new and asymmetric storytelling in the cinema. “Lynchian” narrative structure can be found in his iconic movies like „Eraserhead”, „Mulholland Drive“ and „Inland Empire“. In the language of magical realism David Lynch tells the stories of love, revenge and criminal-“The idea comes suddenly in a second and if you’ll stop and seek deeper, you’ll discover that it comes with a voice, image and character. It even dictates the character’s wardrobe, it will even make you understand what the characters looks like, how they speak or what vocabulary they use. Many things can come to mind just in a second”-says the director.
It’s hard to name the ambiance or the atmosphere , which is created in the movies of David Lynch. Thanks to its specific humor, grotesque characters and their unpredictable behavior, story told in the movie doesn’t always fill into the logical chain., but that is no difficulty to get and enjoy the mood and the narrative created with magical realism with its fullest .
David Lynch has been painting since childhood. He remembers how his father used to bring sheets of paper from work and he used to paint airplanes and machine guns of the sheet’s clean side . He says the years spent studying painting in Philadelphia is the greatest inspiration. The desire to bring his painting into motion led him to the idea of making his first short movie. This is how one of the earliest works of Lynch’s filmography “Alphabet” was created, where the titular character was played by his then wife Peggy. To film the movie , he painted the walls of his house in black, the same happened while working on “The Grandmother”.
He moved to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills from Philadelphia and continued studying at the Film School. After a year spent in California, he started working on his first full-length movie called „Eraserhead”. „Eraserhead” is a cult movie, taking place in a dystopian world. A quiet young man becomes a parent of the strange child. The first full-length work of David Lynch is recognized as a classic of surrealism and Stanley Kubrick has used to call it his all time favorite movie.
„The Elephant Man” has brought an international recognition to David Lynch. This is a story of severely deformed man, John Maverick who lived in London in late 19th century. The success of “The elephant Man” was followed by science fiction “Dune” and „Blue Velvet”.
It was 1990 when David Lynch with Mark Frost have gotten whole world chained to the TV screens. Decades ago, ABC’s executive producers were fascinated by the script of David Lynch and Mark Frost, and thus a completely new world called “Twin Peaks” was born, which was everything all together- a classic soap opera, a murder mystery, a small town saga and a love story.
“Who killed Laura Palmer”-The question was heard everywhere and everyone demanded to know the answer. The story of Agent Cooper , taking place in a small town, transcended American borders and spoke to the world. The whole world was obsessed with “Twin Peaks”. The mystery of “Red Room”, criminal gangs and dangerous liaisons was filmed in 2 seasons and it soon became a cult TV show. “Twin Peaks” is considered by many to be the beginning of the Golden Age of television. Even years later the viewer is still fascinated and captivated by the story line, the depth of the characters, the editing and the ambiance that Lynch created with Mark Frost in the show.
In the finale of the second season one of the characters says “We’ll meet after twenty-five years” and although the sequel was not scheduled to continue , about twenty-five years later “Twin Peaks “returned to the TV. David Lynch calls the third season of the show an 18-hour film that you have to watch in parts and which was already been recognized as the major event of the 2017 television season.
While watching “Twin Peaks” you are constantly thinking about its effects and the fact that David Lynch filmed the show years ago that can be considered first source of modern television industry. From one episode to another I was amazed and amazed by the world of Lynch, and when I saw the creator of this world in the streets of my native city Tbilisi, for a moment I thought I was in a surreal movie.
Like Agent Cooper in “Twin Peaks” David Lynch also loves coffee, but not “dark and strong like moonless night” but coffee with milk a.k.a Café Latte. What Gordon and David really share, are the gestures. While talking about his favorite topics his blue eyes light up and the excitement gets mutual. I couldn’t stop staring at the movement of his fingers and I wanted to talk to David Lynch endlessly about cinema, music, art and transcendental meditation.
TM is an ancient form of meditation that Lynch discovered in the 70-s. “I thought meditation would be the way to true happiness. I tried many types of meditation, but none of them were perfect. Once my sister called me and told me about TM, her voice was different and she seemed really happy. I decided to give it a try. By that time I have been creative, but I had a low self-esteem, I felt angry all the time, which has affected my relationship with my wife. After two weeks of TM she approached to me and asked what has changed, where has my anger gone? I was seemingly happier, felt energized and enthusiastic.”-says Lynch. The director established his own fund in 2005 and it helped more than 600000 teenagers to overcome their anger and stress. Our interview with David Lynch starts with the question about Transcendental meditation.
When did you discover Transcendental meditation?
This was time of my life when I moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. I lived in a huge mansion on Beverly Hills. Philadelphia was a huge inspiration for me. It’s a dark, crazy, dirty, criminal and depraved city, but the ambiance and the atmosphere created fantastic mood for me to work. It was night when I arrived in Los Angeles. I remember first thing to notice was lights. Los Angeles is a widely set city and with that lights it evokes a sense of freedom. I started working on my first film , I was given a working space, equipment, a studio. I had everything I thought I needed, however when I looked deeper I discovered that there was a void. I had everything I wanted, but still I was unhappy. That’s when I started looking for meditation. Happiness is inside of you and you have to discover it and I was wondering what does “in you” really mean, this is how I have discovered TM, which helped me in my work and has improved my life. Transcendental meditation is neither a cult nor a religion.
Did you see the immediate results?
It has helped me immediately and I really liked it. Transcendental meditation is taught by a professional trainer. Learning TM will take four days and half an hour in a day. A trainer will give you a mantra, which is a voice or a vibration and you have to learn how to use it. After practicing it all your questions will be answered. You have to meditate for twenty minutes in the mornings and afternoons and you will notice everything improving around you. Negativity will leave your body and you will find happiness and balance.
You started painting as a child and you used to paint military planes…
The World War II was newly over , but the mood of war was still in the air. I loved drawing knives, guns, planes, but most of them I loved painting machine guns.
Your parent’s had not been giving you the coloring sheets, why?
My mother for some reason refused to give me a coloring notebook. My siblings used to have it. I remember my father bringing me papers from work , there were documents on one side and was blank on the other, and I was drawing on the empty side. I now thank my mother for this freedom.
Sometimes you even used meat when painting…
Yes, I used meat. Nature gives us so many important things, like ideas, textures…and I really like it. I attached the meat to the painting , after a while it smelled awful, so I started pouring salty water and soon I got a wonderful texture.
When did the moving pictures appear?
My friend and I had a space where we used to draw. By that time we lived in Philadelphia. Once at night I was painting alone, it was a garden I was drawing. Most of the painting was in black and green. I went out to smoke and started looking at this painting from a distance, I suddenly heard the sound of the wind coming from the picture and the greenery started moving. I was not under the influence of drugs, I was completely sober. That’s when I discovered a moving painting.
Have you ever had the desire to live in the Universe created in your movies?
I really want to be in the universe of my movies, for example „Eraserhead“ is the movie that I would be in, but I don’t know if I want to stay there forever.
Before you became successful in the film industry, was it a dilemma to work for income or to devote yourself entirely to painting?
My parents were from middle class. They used to help me financially. I also worked. I feel pity for the artists who have to work for money five days a week to buy materials. They only have weekends to paint, and the artists want to paint five days a week and work only two days for money.
When you submitted the script, did you find it difficult to get the finances from the studios?
It was hard, but I say that fate plays a essential role in a person’s life. I don’t know why they were financing me, I used to get green light from the studios. There are a lot of talented people who, unfortunately, get rejected I consider myself very lucky.
What does „Twin Peaks” mean for you?
„Twin Peaks” is the universe, as are the other movies, but it’s still different. I love the characters, locations, idea and everything about „Twin Peaks”
In the finale of the season 2, one of the characters says “ We’ll meet in twenty-five years”, by that time did you know you would continue filming the show?
No, I didn’t. This is again a fate. I came up with the idea of Red Room, where Cooper was stuck. In the finale of the second season Laura tells Cooper-“I’ll see you in 25 years” then we didn’t know it would happen. This scene was more like a dream than reality, but it happened so that after almost 25 years later, we came back to shoot Twin Peaks.
It’s been a long time since Twin Peaks was aired, and while watching it you can always feel its great impact on modern television. Have you even noticed that kind of “Twin Peaks” effect?
No, but people always say that to me. I have not noticed. I think it all exists. May be you will catch something first, but this means nothing. For example let’s take Marconi and Tesla, they lived in different places, but they both created the radio. It is true that this invention was attributed to Tesla because he found it earlier, but for a long time this discovery was attributed to Marconi. The ideas are in the air and people catch them, this is how evolution goes, new ideas float and people catch it to make things go forward.
What’s your inspiration for those ideas?
Life is the biggest inspiration and the dreams also. I love “Dreamlike Logic”. The ideas can come any time. I love daydreaming and sometimes I just want the ideas to come, then this desire is like fishing. You throw your “fishing rod” and catch an idea. The strong desire leads you to do that.
How important is it on set to be everything as you have written in script, or do you make some changes while attending the set?
This is highly important and sometimes the movie is exactly like the idea born in my mind, but if I am looking for a specific location and can’t find it, I am starting to look for the places as close as possible. To create the environment you can use different furniture or items, in this case the idea still remains the same, but the visual part is not the same as you have envisioned before.
You always say that „Breaking Bad“ is your favorite show…
I love „Breaking Bad“ because of its characters, who are extraordinary and really strong.
The article was published in the magazine “Beaumonde” in 2017, December.