“David Lynch relives his days in Thought Gang, the band whose music was even wilder than his movies” — The Guardian.
“Showtime [has] previewed its first Twin Peaks VR experience, which will be available for fans to buy on Steam for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift sometime in 2019. The demo, on display at the Festival of Disruption—a two-day event curated by Lynch where art, music and meditation intersect—immersed viewers into key scenes of the show. However, the full experience will eventually be a one-hour production created by Showtime and Collider, with guidance from Lynch himself.”
“[Jonathan] Demme’s dive into the deviant undercurrents of America at the end of the Reagan-Bush era gripped audiences who had been primed by another auteur’s breaking of the barriers between art and exploitation. Moody and visceral as no prime-time series had ever been before, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990–91) was a twisted tale founded on the naked corpse of a teenage girl—Laura Palmer. A quarter of a century later, viewers who had been bingeing on the original Twin Peaks as it was released on various digital platforms along with its prequel, the theatrical feature Fire Walk with Me (1992), avidly consumed Twin Peaks: The Return during its eighteen-episode run on Showtime, finding themselves trapped in a wormhole, also known as the Lynchian unconscious, where the homicidal law of the father is forever unchecked and unchanged. The return of Twin Peaks roughly coincided with the appearance of a new restoration of The Silence of the Lambs in theaters, and now in this release. This dialectician of gender in popular culture relishes the timing. […] One major thing that distinguishes Demme’s film from Twin Peaks—and from the vast majority of serial-killer investigative dramas, including those of another contemporary auteur, David Fincher—is the fact that his hero is a woman. “
“Last week we were saddened to learn that photographer Robin Holland had passed away at the age of sixty. In the work she did for a long list of collaborators and clients, including publications like the Village Voice and the New York Times, Holland shot everyone from politicians and celebrities to ordinary New Yorkers. But she had a particularly keen eye for artists, and her unfailingly perceptive portraits of some of the world’s greatest directors—David Lynch, Lucrecia Martel, Chantal Akerman, Werner Herzog, Spike Lee—demonstrated a deep passion for cinema and a sensitivity to its creators, making her a trusted figure in New York City’s film culture.”
David Lynch recently attended the Rome Film Festival 2017, where the artist and filmmaker received a lifetime achievement award. In a Q&A session addressing his return to the Twin Peaks franchise, Lynch also brought up a separate project that had long been close to him:
“Another project that the director has been cultivating for a long time is an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, which seems to have arrived at a halt. ‘Once I finished writing the script for a feature film adaptation I realised that Kafka’s beauty is in his words. That story is so full of words that when I was finished writing I realised it was better on paper than it could ever be on film,’ Lynch commented.”
— Gabriele Niola, ScreenDaily.com
“I often wonder if Lynch is the era’s most original artist, or at least the creator of its most haunting images—the severed ear in Blue Velvet, the Red Room in Twin Peaks, the Mystery Man in Lost Highway—but his works feel too schlocky, seedy, tearful, too male, too white for me to want to say this often in conversation. His cinema is disreputably baroque, brimming with meaning that it seems to disavow. He’s of the same generation as Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese, but where they now seem historical, Lynch still has the fragility of the contemporary. The greatness of his art seems directly linked to the kitsch of his materials, all the B-movie unheimlich maneuvers: doppelgängers, prosthetics, recurring numbers, dream sequences, animated corpses. And this, I think, is an enigma worth pursuing.”
— Adam Thirlwell, The New York Review of Books
“What matters is what you believe happened. […] Many things in life just happen and we have to come to our own conclusions. You can, for example, read a book that raises a series of questions, and you want to talk to the author, but he died a hundred years ago. That’s why everything is up to you.”
In October 2014, it was announced that David Lynch and Mark Frost would be returning to the world of Twin Peaks, the television drama series which followed the intuitions of FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) as he investigated the death of high school homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Twin Peaks is the name of the small northwestern town where the murder takes place, and is home to a community of eccentric personalities and troubled figures. First aired in 1990, Twin Peaks become a cultural phenomenon that spanned two series and a feature-length film (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, 1992). The show secured David Lynch lasting mainstream recognition, and the show has influenced countless television series since.
Lynch and Frost’s continuation of the story in Twin Peaks: The Return, aired by Showtime, has offered some of the most boldly audacious television of the twenty-first century. The series has been ingenious in its use of timing and dialogue to generate mystery, suspense, and humour, and the writing and performances have been superb throughout. I found the two-hour finale confusing for a number of reasons, but I also found it appropriate to the story Lynch and Frost were telling: for me, it was haunting and deeply moving. (more…)
When did you first decide to become a writer?
I honestly can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. It was less of a conscious decision and more of a realisation about my own nature. I think the only real question was what kind of writer I wanted to be. When I was young, I loved books, cinema and comic books equally and I dreamed of writing stories for each of those mediums. I used to draw and paint a lot as a child and the idea of writing and illustrating my own graphic novels always appealed to me. Similarly, the visual storytelling inherent to cinema, as well as using light and sound to bring different worlds and atmospheres to life and create an end to end sensory experience for people to get lost inside, seemed to map to the way my brain worked.
When I’m writing, I’m often visualising the story unfolding and simply describing what I see in words or hearing the characters inner thoughts and dialogue and transcribing it. This was certainly the case in my debut novel. It was almost as if the story already existed somewhere, out there in the darkness, and was being transmitted into my brain. It’s more than just words and images however. It could be an atmosphere that I sense, like a feeling from a waking dream, that I want to recreate and share in a story. (more…)
A few interesting pieces have caught my eye over the last few days. Not least among them is David Collard‘s piece, ‘Déjà lu: On the pleasures of rereading’ from one of the April issues of the TLS:
“Apart from books I’ve conscientiously read and re-read for review purposes, the novels I’ve read several times include Beckett’s Murphy, Isherwood‘s Prater Violet, Moby-Dick, Madame Bovary, Lolita and perhaps a dozen others.”
A more recent issue of the TLS has published an edited version of an article written by Virginia Woolf on Henry David Thoreau back in 1917 • New York’s Tyrant Books has published three (very) short stories by Lydia Davis • Electric Literature offers ’10 Great Novels of the Rural’, courtesy of Michelle Hoover • John Lé Carre discusses why we should learn German to help build bridges in today’s political climate • Open Culture shares 1977 footage of a young David Lynch discussing his iconic début feature length film, Eraserhead • The Wire reports that Robert Mugge’s 1986 film Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus is to be rereleased on BluRay and DVD
I recently had an opportunity to see David Lynch: The Art Life, a wonderful documentary about the American filmmaker David Lynch, directed by Jon Nguyen. The film offers unparalleled access to Lynch, and cobbles together a series of telling anecdotes about Lynch’s childhood in the suburbs, and his early days as a painter. ‘The Art Life’ refers to a lifestyle choice that Lynch adopted after reading Robert Henri’s book about painting, The Art Spirit: “The art spirit sort of became the art life, and I had this idea that you drink coffee, you smoke cigarettes, and you paint, and that’s it.” (more…)
Jason Bailey (Flavorwire) has alerted my attention to Amazon Prime’s recent acquisition of David Lynch: The Art Life, a feature-length documentary about the artist and filmmaker from Missoula, Montana. The film is now available to stream to all Prime customers residing in the United States, but for many in other regions the wait continues:
“‘You drink coffee, you smoke cigarettes, and you paint… and that’s it.’ That, in his youth, was David Lynch’s notion of “the art life,” right around the time he decided that was the life he wanted to lead – that nothing was more important to him than being an artist, no matter how long it took to make it as one. “I knew my stuff sucked,” he recalls, “but I need to burn through. I had to find what was mine. And the only way to do that is to keep painting.” This moody and informative documentary from directors Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm is solely interested in those early years, with particular interest in his Pacific Northwest upbringing (“My world was no bigger than a couple of blocks”), and how all that suburban normalcy gave birth to his darkness and peculiarity – the way flashes of dread and strangeness would invade this idyllic childhood, and alter him forever. Lynch is, as ever, a fascinating figure, full of great stories, odd turns of phrase, and disturbing images; this unconventional documentary does right by its subject, which is no mean feat, and serves as a valuable guide to the psyche of the man who’s currently blowing our minds every Sunday night.”
Saul Anton (Frieze) is watching David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks: The Return, and offers what he calls “a rudimentary sketch of the motley tableau of Americana that Lynch strings together into some of the most mesmerizing, bizarre, and funny television I can remember.” [Read More]
Spent some time yesterday afternoon touring the Universität Basel in Switzerland. Aside from walking the city streets and dipping my feet into the Rhine, I’ve been devoting some time to reading. As I mentioned in previous posts (1, 2), I am enjoying Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I am also slipping back into the world Twin Peaks, which has reignited my fascination with all things Lynchian. Here are a few of the articles that have caught my attention over the last day or so:
LA Weekly has posted a fantastic gallery of David Lynch shooting locations, with accompanying stills from Eraserhead, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire • “[A] heady whiff of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton” — Tom Huddleston recaps episodes 5-6 of Twin Peaks: The Return • German image-maker Michael Wolf‘s first retrospective exhibition shows urban living at its most extreme • Listen to the history of rock music before and after Radiohead‘s OK Computer • Ali Smith on meeting W.G. Sebald • The pros and cons of the digitized Walt Whitman and his “lost” novels • Miroslaw Balka and Joseph Rykwert discuss how art and architecture shape the politics of memory around conflict • Why American modernism is older than you think