July 21, 2012
Adam Bordow | AT HIS PEAK | David Lynch
THOUGH HE’S OFTEN assumed to be as peculiar as the creepy characters his movies feature, in person director David Lynch seems to have less in common with the Pabst-swilling sadist Frank Booth in “Blue Velvet,” and more with do-gooder Special Agent Dale Cooper, portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in “Twin Peaks.”
For starters, despite his proclivity for the outer limits, there’s no place like home for the Missoula, Mont.-born maker of such profane films as “Mulholland Drive” and “Lost Highway” and humane ones as “The Straight Story” and “The Elephant Man.”
“What I really like is to be at home, working,” he said one recent sundown from the penthouse suite of the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles, near the residence he shares with his
The homebody element had been evident the evening before at Hollywood’s labyrinthine Milk Studios. Guests were feting the 66-year-old filmmaker and painter for the debut of his collaboration with Dom Pérignon—he designed a signature look for a limited-edition run of vintage bottles. Mr. Lynch looked like a deer in the headlights, his grayish-blue eyes wary below his camera-friendly pompadour.
Even though 2001’s “Mulholland Drive” stuck a star on then-newbie Naomi Watts’s forehead, and earned Mr. Lynch his third Oscar nomination for best director, he has made only one feature-length movie since: 2006’s “Inland Empire.” In the meantime, he has focused on other passions—of which there are many.
Mr. Lynch embraced transcendental meditation around the time he made the 1977 curiosity “Eraserhead,” and since 2005 has headed the David Lynch Foundation, a charity he created to fund the teaching of T.M. in schools. It’s become a consuming mission.
He also has written a self-help memoir, “Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity”; conceptualized and designed furnishings for a Paris nightclub-arts space called Silencio (named after the fright-house theater in “Mulholland Drive”); and released a solo CD, entitled “Crazy Clown Time.” He and his wife are expecting a baby, who will be his fourth
Colleague Mel Brooks once called him “Jimmy Stewart from Mars.” But despite his dark reputation, the former Eagle Scout is sincere, folksy and ha-ha funny. He uses the word “beautiful” to describe nearly everything.
The greatest thing my father left me was a love for cutting wood, my love for sawing, especially
The most delicious food is far and away super-crisp, almost snapping-crisp bacon with two scrambled eggs, toasted hash browns, white toast with butter and jam, and coffee.
I have a coffee brand. But I’m not a businessman and I think my line of coffee will die the death this year. It’s very hard to make a profit.
I have deep love for my Swatch watch.
I can’t live without coffee, transcendental meditation, American Spirit cigarettes, a freedom to create ideas that flow and my sweet wife, Emily. And this business of just being able to work and think: It’s really, really beautiful.
You don’t need a special place to meditate. You can transcend anywhere in the world. The unified field is here, and there, and everywhere. Maybe if you sat on a bed of nails to do it…no, not so much comfort. Find a comfy chair, though, close your eyes and away you go!
I don’t paint the town red. But when I do go out, people always want to touch my hair. It happens
I first started buttoning my shirt [all the way to the top] because, for some reason, my collarbone is very sensitive. And I don’t like to feel wind on my
The best cities of all are Los Angeles and Paris. They’re where I feel most comfortable.
Martino/Vintage Los Angeles The Fish Shanty
I used to deliver The Wall Street Journal in Los Angeles. I did it to support myself while making “Eraserhead.” I’d pick up my papers at 11:30 at night. I had throws that were particularly fantastic. There was one where I’d release the paper, which would soar with the speed of the car and slam into the front door of this building, triggering its lobby lights—a fantastic experience. Another one I called “The Big Whale.” There was a place, the Fish Shanty, on La Cienega. A big whale’s mouth was the front door you entered through. I’d throw a block before it, and hit the paper directly into the mouth.
Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal (wine) From left: a Swatch watch, Mr. Lynch’s book and one of his designs for Dom Pérignon
One designer I love is [the late] Raymond Loewy. He redesigned the Coca-Cola bottle that stuck, designed the 1963 Avanti Studebaker…and his locomotives were incredibly beautiful.
I am currently working on some paintings and music. I am also trying to catch ideas for my next feature film. But I haven’t caught the right ones
My advice to finger-painters would be to go with your intuition: it’s action and reaction. I paint with my fingers quite a bit. A brush will do a certain thing…but your finger will do a different thing.
Collection An ‘Eraserhead’ poster
I recently collected a toy telephone. It’s from the 1940s and made of metal.
People say my films are dark. But like lightness, darkness stems from a reflection of the world. The thing is, I get these ideas that I truly fall in love with. And a good movie idea is often like a girl you’re in love with, but you know she’s not the kind of girl you bring home to your parents, because they sometimes hold some dark and troubling things.
Edited from an interview by Steve Garbarino
via The Wall Street Journal
Thank ya, Mark Parker + Roger Ebert @ebertchicago