Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, Olivia Neegaard-Holm (director)
14 July 2017 (released)
09 July 2017
David Lynch is one of the most enigmatic and creative film directors working in the world today and has been pretty much since his first film Eraserhead. The enigma is maintained by few interviews and a low profile, even when his films are released. So, a film that promises interviews and more of an insight into his work and motives is going to attract some interest.
However, despite directors Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes and Olivia Neegaard-Holm being granted good access, this isn’t warts and all and only goes up to his first film, but there’s more than a glimpse into his inspirations and thinking. Such as his tale of a visit to a mortuary that inspired him to think of the cadaver’s stories.
Sticking pretty much to a chronological order, and with home movies and stills to illustrate Lynch (the interview acts as a narration) take us through his early life. Due to his father’s job as scientist the family were regularly moving between states and cities in the US. Boston, Philadelphia and his first taste of the Californian sun, all served as inspiration, whether he actually liked them very much or not.
Of his family, his relationship with his parents is honest, seemingly closer to his mother, though a good anecdote is when his father, visiting him at university, sees one of his more grotesque paintings and tells him to never have children!
Painting is his first love, illustrated by some early rather disturbing images of his and how these eventually led to animation, via a dream. This is interspersed with film of him at home, smoking copiously, getting his hands dirty on a canvas, with his toddler daughter Lula taking a close interest. These scenes with Lynch creating, relaxed and content are telling as they help to dispel – slightly – that sense of irascibility that has built up around him.
All in all, the film does give more than a glimpse into what drives David Lynch, it’s just the nagging feeling that the directors as fans, have a made a film about David Lynch, that homages a David Lynch film.