DAVID LYNCH – THE ART LIFE | The au­teur opens his stu­dio doors…

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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.”


THE BIG PIC­TURE David Lynch opens up about his life and his art for a new doc.

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