Sunday, January 20, 2013


Whoa. David Lynch has come back into the mainstream's zeitgeist in a big way this year. So as we join together in wishing Mr. Lynch a wonderful birthday this year, let us take a moment to reflect on some of the extraordinary things he has been up to this past year.
The Elephant Man (1980) Collaborators Mel Brooks and David Lynch
Receive Honorary Doctorates in Film from the AFI Conservatory
It took David Lynch 42 years to graduate from the AFI Conservatory, but he sure did it in style. In my article suggesting some double feature presentations of David Cronenberg and David Lynch films, I pointed out their mutual connection in producer and benefactor Mel Brooks. Mr. Brooks was the greatest help each unique filmmaker had to find mainstream success in their careers. At the ceremony, David Lynch remarked, "If AFI put me on the map, which they certainly did, Mel Brooks put me on a beautiful mountain" (source).
David Lynch Receives the CamerImage Lifetime Achievement Award
The Polish Film Festival CamerImage celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and they chose to honor long-time attendee and supporter David Lynch for his lifetime of contributions to the art of cinema. And although I am thrilled for Mr. Lynch to receive some recognition out there, a part of me cannot help but wonder where the Academy and Foreign Press are with their awards for this master...
It is something of a running gag that if you are a game-changing director who creates some of the best films ever made, then you probably will not win an Academy Award. The list of such directors includes, but is not limited to, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, and David Lynch. Although, to be fair, Welles and Tarantino did win for co-screenwriting. But as Quentin Tarantino humorously remarked when asked if he ever felt resentment for being passed up in this department, "The only group of film directors more prestigious than those who won Academy Awards are those who didn't."
David Lynch created his own name brand of Dom Perignon champagne. David Lynch. Monks. Grapes. Carbonation. Enough said.
David Lynch was interviewed by Neo from The Matrix (1999) this year in the informative documentary Side by Side (2012). You also might know Neo by his real-yet-slightly-more-fictional-sounding name: Keanu Reeves. And we have to say, Keanu did a surprisingly good job as interlocutor to some of the best and brightest directors and cinematographers working in Hollywood, uncovering their opinions about the transition from film to digital cinematography.
Mr. Lynch also has the distinction of being one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of the potential for the more independent-minded digital medium, being one of the first big-name directors to jump the film ship for his new digital toolbox. About a decade ago, David even created an early prototype subscription website that helped lay the foundations of Netflix Instant streaming and modern crowdsource funding techniques now used by Kickstarter to help independent filmmakers connect directly to their audience for non-studio funding.
David Lynch gave what I feel is the best performance of his acting career this year as the abrasive-yet-strangely-sympathetic TV network executive Jack Dall in two superb episodes of the new award-winning FX comedy series Louie (2010-Present).
As you can see, David Lynch is clearly hilarious. I think for many decades people have overlooked David's comedic potential, but it is gratifying that Louie rectified that error. If we are lucky, more filmmakers and TV producers will start hopping on this bandwagon.
Two Film Directors in One Family: David and his Daughter Jennifer Lynch
David's firstborn child, Jennifer Lynch, was commissioned by her father and Mark Frost to write the Twin Peaks (1990-91) media tie-in novel The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer when she was just 22 years old. Since then she has encountered a lot of opposition on her path to become a film director in her own right, some of which is discussed in the excellent documentary released this past year: Despite the Gods (2012).
But this year, Jennifer Lynch seems to have finally come into her own as a recognized horror director with her latest movie Chained (2012), which stars Vincent D'Onofrio and has been better embraced by the horror genre. Although David always had reason to be proud of Jennifer's writing and directing talents, it must come as a relief to know that others are starting to come around and recognize Jennifer on her own merits. She has established a strong and distinct voice as a filmmaker over the years and is in a far better position now than ever before to carry on the family's unique cinematic tradition.
David Lynch and Wife of Four Years Emily Stofle
Welcome a Baby Girl: Lula Boginia Lynch!
And the joys of parenting do not stop there as we save the best for last: David Lynch received another bundle of joy this year, a baby girl. Although David Lynch has done a lot this year, we have a hard time imagining anything else ranks as high on his checklist this year. And although it is doubtful that he factored fan service into his decision when naming his baby girl, it is still kinda neat that he named her "Lula," like his main female protagonist played by Laura Dern in Wild at Heart (1990).
Film Director Extraordinaire and All-Around
Nice Guy David Lynch
In fact, last week Mr. Lynch mentioned a new project he was developing with Lula classic, the elegant Ms. Laura Dern. He did not specify whether it would be a new movie, painting, song, etc., but we certainly hope their collaboration is of the cinematic variety since nobody makes movies like David Lynch. Nobody.

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1 comment:


    Twin Peaks came out at a very important time in my life - perfect timing. When everybody else was complaining that the show was too "confusing" I had figured it all out. Laura's diary is still one of my all time favorite books.

    Without your "outside the box" creativity the world would be a VERY boring place.