David Lynch is using his time in quarantine to get closer to fans, with his David Lynch Theater YouTube channel offering peeks into his daily routine, his thoughts on the weather, and even his dreams, as well as access to rare shorts, such as the eerie “Pozar” and the first episode of his Rabbits sitcom.
Over the weekend, the notoriously tight-lipped Lynch took this whole getting-to-know-you thing a bit further by spending 37 minutes answering questions from fans in front of a red curtain. The result is an odd, charming, funny, and revealing look into the vast mind of one of modern cinema’s great innovators. It’s also just the beginning, as the video is apparently “part 1" of a larger series.
Lynch courteously repeats each question after it’s posed, always while making sure to get the screen name of the person asking correct (yes, hearing Lynch address someone as “The Batman” is as funny as you’d expect). He also, like the characters he writes, tends to finish sentences and stories abruptly, resulting in frequent bouts of uncanny silence in between questions. Fans of the director’s oddball rhythm will no doubt be enthralled.
The far-ranging chat finds him touching on a number of topics, from what drove him to make films in the first place to his father’s love for carpentry to his “favorite string” to what changed during the filming of Blue Velvet’s “In Dreams” sequence.
We’ve pulled some of our favorite quotes below:
I’ve always said that if you get a good idea, you have to write it down immediately with words so that when you read those words again later the idea will come back in full. If a person forgets an idea that they love, it’s a horror. And it could lead to a real yearning to commit suicide.
I’m sorta proud of everything, except Dune.
I got fired from most every day job. I was not a very good employee.
We’re a project family. Just the word “project” makes us happy. The word project—if we had a billboard [with] “project” [written on it], it would make us so happy.
Sound in general brings us all the possibility of huge joy. Sound is so magical. It’s one of the five senses, hearing, and what we hear, how it works, is really magical. How does this vibration in the air go into the ear and travel deep in the brain and conjure a thing that we say is sound? It’s just amazing. It’s just amazing.
I think I’ve gotten this question asked before, in some way, and I always say that I do love the sound of a moaning wind.
I believe that we, as a whole world, are going through a transition and these so-called bleak times are necessary to go through in order to get to a much, much, much better place. The old way is giving way to a new way. It started a long time ago, the transition, and more and more things, horror stories, have come to light, and people have been dealing with these things over the last decades, and more things will come out. These wrongs will start getting righted. On the other side of this transition, we’ll find really great times. An end to suffering and negativity. This is what I believe and hope for.
On Jack Cruz, the singing monkey at the center of “What Did Jack Do?”
Well, I found Jack to be a very interesting fellow, and I feel bad for Jack. I know that he was extradited down to Guatemala and he’s in a prison there waiting for a court date.
I think that as a lounge singer he’s kind of incredible. He’s not technically in the big league, really, but he sings with such a feeling. He’s a troubled fellow. And I think the troubles he’s seen and felt come through in his singing. And I know that he has a loyal following. Not a large following, but loyal. There’s a lot of people that would like to see him get a fair shake and find out what really happened that sent him to prison. We’ll find out maybe one day.
One invention I had was...One night in the house it was raining and some cable guy had drilled a hole through a waterproof membrane and hadn’t patched up the hole once the cable was put in, so water was dripping through the ceiling and the drops fell to the floor and made such a loud noise that it woke me up.
So I started thinking, and I went in and I got a toilet paper roll and some wire, some nails, a hammer, and some tape. And a long length of my favorite string. And I cut the toilet paper roll and turned it into a funnel. Then I put the string into the toilet paper roll and out the hole at the bottom and I hooked the wires to the top of the toilet paper roll and nailed the little cardboard funnel into the ceiling and the tape was to hold the funnel shape and the wad of string inside the funnel. [The string that] came out went all the way out to the floor into a bucket, and I wet the string first so the drop would come through the hole in the ceiling, go into the wet string, and the string would guide the water down silently into the bucket. And I was able to sleep peacefully.
I’ll tell you about the electric rat trap another time.
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