David Keith Lynch
Born: 20 January 1946, Missoula, Montana
Lynch was the son of a US Forest Service biologist, the family moved five times (Sand Point, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Durham, North Carolina, and Boise, Idaho) before Lynch attended high school at Alexandria, Virginia. He adjusted well to the frequent moves and was active in the Boy Scouts. As an Eagle Scout he was an usher at JFK’s inauguration, which was on his fifteenth birthday. He spent a year at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston, went to Europe in hopes of studying with an expressionist at Salzburg who turned out not to be available for teaching, then the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to study painting, but got sidetracked by filmmaking. He moved to Los Angeles and the AFI Conservatory where he first came to public attention with the cult horror film Eraserhead. This was soon followed by Elephant Man, Dune, (appreciated by Frank Herbert, author of the book, the Quotemaster, and maybe a dozen others) and the popular TV murder mystery Twin Peaks. In addition to his film and television work he has continued to paint, has been involved in a number of musical projects, and has been an advocate for Transcendental Meditation.
David Lynch quotes:
A film is its own thing and in an ideal world I think a film should be discovered knowing nothing and nothing should be added to it and nothing should be subtracted from it.
David Lynch – Scene by Scene interview BBC 2 (1999)
Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there’s humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd.
All my movies are about strange worlds that you can’t go into unless you build them and film them. That’s what’s so important about film to me. I just like going into strange worlds.
Anger, stress, tension, depression, sorrow, hate, fear — these things start to retreat. And for a filmmaker, having this negativity lift away is money in the bank. When you’re suffering you can’t create.
As a teenager, I was really trying to have fun 24 hours a day. I didn’t start thinking until I was 20 or 21. I was doing regular goof-ball stuff.
Being in darkness and confusion is interesting to me. But behind it you can rise out of that and see things the way the really are.
Dark things have always existed but they used to be in a proper balance with good when life was slower.
David Lynch – Interview with Kristine McKenna (3 August 1992)
Death in my mind isn’t a finality. There’s a continuum: It’s like at night, you go to sleep and in the daytime you wake up, or whenever you wake up, and it’s a new day.
Down deep the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.
David Lynch – Catching the Big Fish (2007)
I always say ideas are like fishing.
I didn’t watch much TV as a kid and I don’ t watch it now . I don’ t find anything beautiful or unique to the medium, and the only thing you can do on TV that you can’t do in film is make a continuing story — which is so cool!
I don’t like the word ironic. I like the word absurdity, and I don’t really understand the word ‘irony’ too much. The irony comes when you try to verbalize the absurd. When irony happens without words, it’s much more exalted.
I don’t think about technique. The ideas dictate everything. You have to be true to that or you’re dead.
David Lynch – “Dark Lens on America” in The New York Times Magazine (14 January 1990)
I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. It seems like religion and myth were invented against that, trying to make sense out of it.
I let the actors work out their ideas before shooting, then tell them what attitudes I want. If a scene isn’t honest, it stands out like a sore thumb.