“Life is very, very confusing, and so films should be allowed to be, too.” – David Lynch
Director David Lynch created one of television’s biggest cult classics in his surreal series Twin Peaks, which only ran a paltry two seasons but spawned a theatrical feature and defined an entire generation of experimental filmmakers.
Lynch was born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana and although he would produce several short films in high school and college it wasn’t until his feature length debut Eraserhead (1977) that he made his mark in the film world. Although not a monetary success the film became an underground hit with audiences who loved the surreal visuals and style of the young director. This film would catch the unlikely eye of both Francis Ford Coppola and Mel Brooks, whom would produce his next film The Elephant Man (1980), which was a commercial success and lead to his being assigned to the big screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, which was not well received but for which Lynch would first meet actor Kyle MacLachlan who can be seen in many of his subsequent films.
Although Dune was a commercial failure it became part of his signature cinematic style of the use of dreams as a significant story telling element, vibrant colors, and frequent montages that connect character thought and multiple emotions within the same sequence. This can be seen in his later films Blue Velvet (1986), Wild At Heart (1990), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), Lost Highway (1997), and Mulholland Dr. (2001), among others.
“It makes me uncomfortable to talk about meanings and things. It’s better not to know so much about what things mean. Because the meaning, it’s a very personal thing, and the meaning for me is different than the meaning for somebody else.” – David Lynch
Having cited Luis Bunuel, Wener Herzog, and Stanley Kubrick as some of his cinematic influences its no wonder his films are lush and vibrant with ambiguous tones and meanings as he wants audiences to derive their own interpretations of his films. He even refuses to have chapter breaks or director commentaries on his approved DVD releases citing that his films speak for themselves.
Lynch is truly a maverick in the film industry that strives to tell stories about people whom you may have not met before but will leave an everlasting effect on your psyche which is probably why he has become so successful.