DAVID LYNCH – THE ART LIFE | The auteur opens his studio doors…
Starring in a new art-doc.
Returning to our screens last month with Twin Peaks, David Lynch is back – and it’s about time. It’s been 11 years since he last directed, with Inland Empire, but if you’ve wondered what he’s been up to, director Jon Nguyen has the answer. “After Inland Empire, he was in the painting studio. He does the same thing every day – he wakes up, he goes into the painting studio, he paints all day, every day.”
It’s the director’s painterly side that forms the basis for Nguyen’s new documentary, David Lynch – The Art Life. “Painting was important to David since he was two years old,” he explains. Shot at his home over the course of two-and-a-half-years, it’s a deeply personal portrait of the artist that sees the famously reticent Lynch open up about his childhood, his extensive artwork and his days making his debut feature Eraserhead.
For Nguyen, it marks his second collaboration with the
director after Lynch One, culled from 700 hours of footage shot during the making of Inland Empire. “At that time, David wasn’t very open to being asked questions and talking to us. He’d just sit back and didn’t really answer them. Finally, he was like, ‘Turn on the camera and follow me. You’ll know what the film’s going to be about at the end.’”
This gave Nguyen the chance to deep-dive into Lynch’s psyche, emerging with some frank admissions. “I was surprised he gave us some of the stories, [ such as] how his dad misunderstood him. When he took him into the basement to show him all the experiments he was working on, his dad said, ‘David, you should never have children.’ That’s very personal! But he never pulled any stories back, ever.”
Now Nguyen has had to take a backseat while Lynch completes Twin Peaks. “He’s so busy. It’s hard to get any access to him. The other day he said, ‘I don’t want to see any emails.’ He doesn’t want any outside influence.” But was he surprised that Lynch returned to his influential TV show after so long? “I was surprised but I was so happy; that someone was returning to a project 25 years later.”
ETA | 9 JUNE / DAVID LYNCH – THE ART LIFE OPENS this MONTH.
THE BIG PICTURE David Lynch opens up about his life and his art for a new doc.