Five strange things you might not know about David Lynch
- Murray Robertson
- 25 January 2017
This year sees the cult director return to the limelight with the revival of Twin Peaks and a new documentary
It's been more than a decade since legendary cult filmmaker David Lynch released Inland Empire, arguably the most Lynchian film from his eclectic oeuvre. And while he's yet to announce a new cinematic venture, it looks like he'll make quite an impact this year. With the return of Twin Peaks in May and a brand new documentary screening at the Glasgow Film Festival next month, we take a look at some of some of Lynch's odder moments.
He campaigned for Laura Dern to receive an Oscar nomination in the most Lynchian way imaginable
Although Lynch seems disinterested in receiving awards himself, he was so impressed by muse Laura Dern's performance in Inland Empire that in 2006 he sat outside on a Hollywood corner with a poster of Dern (headed 'FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION') beside a live cow. The unlikely scene was completed by a banner with the slogan, 'WITHOUT CHEESE THERE WOULDN'T BE AN INLAND EMPIRE'. Dern never received the Oscar nomination (although she has been nominated twice for other work).
He toured with Donovan to espouse the benefits of transcendental meditation
In 2007, Lynch toured the US and UK with Scottish folk singer Donovan to publicise his book on transcendental meditation, Catching the Big Fish (they're both practitioners). It was a remarkable opportunity for members of the public to meet Lynch and quiz him on TM, his filmography or anything else they wished to know. And to then listen to a concert by Donovan.
He turned down Return of the Jedi because he didn't want to make a sci-fi film. And then he made Dune, which is definitely a sci-fi film.
Unlikely though it seems, Lynch got his big break courtesy of Mel Brooks. A big fan of Lynch's debut film, Eraserhead, Brooks saw in him the perfect fit for black and white biopic The Elephant Man, an astute decision that earned Lynch his first of three Oscar nominations for Best Director. Lynch was unswayed, however, when George Lucas offered him the chance to direct the third Star Wars film, with Lynch explaining that he had no interest in making a science fiction film. His next project was Dune, a sprawling science fiction epic based on Frank Herbert's novel. It was the most critically derided film he ever made – if we accept that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me has been reappraised in recent years – although its stunning production design warrants merit.
You think he's a filmmaker but he's not.
Although he's not made a feature since 2006, Lynch has busied himself creating art using whatever medium he finds most attractive at any particular time, including painting, photography and lithography. He's collaborated musically with Twin Peaks singer Julee Cruise and composer Angelo Badalementi for a number of albums. And most recently he released solo albums Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream. He's also collaborated with singer Chrysta Bell, who will also appear in the upcoming Twin Peaks. Lynch envelopes himself in whatever artistic medium suits his fancy at any particular time.
He basically ignored the script for the (hitherto) final episode of Twin Peaks
After resolving Twin Peaks' central thread (who killed Laura Palmer?) Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost lost interest in their project and diverted their attentions elsewhere. They rejoined for the finale, however, with Frost writing the script alongside regular series writers Harley Peyton and Robert Engels. Lynch returned to the director's chair but effectively threw out the script, choosing to shoot much of the episode on the fly, most notably the 'red room' scenes, concoted during a tumultuous final night shoot. The result was a stark hour of television which left fans in a state of limbo. At least until the story continues in May.
David Lynch's Factory Photographs/La Jetee, The Glue Factory, Sun 19 Feb.
David Lynch: The Art Life, Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Feb.