Leafing through this compendium of Lynchian thought
Edited by Richard A Barney
4/5 University Press of Mississippi Leafing through this compendium of Lynchian thought – covering everything from Eraserhead in 1977 to his latest, Inland Empire, three decades later – it’s remarkable to see how many fine, informed film writers are completely undone by the process of attempting to interview him. Time Out London’s own Geoff Andrew has described Lynch’s perceived ‘inarticulacy’ as ‘boring and dumb’, while questions taken at a press conference for his controversial masterpiece Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me utilise words like ‘sadistic’ and ‘perverse’.
But with hindsight, their futile attempts to give his work a specific meaning rather than just engaging with Lynch on his own terms reflects more poorly on the writers than on the director. Lynch’s infectious, wide-eyed enthusiasm for the processes of filmmaking – or photography, art, music, even furniture design – is bolstered by his considered self-awareness, and his eagerness to discuss, at great length, every aspect of his work, except what it may or may not ‘mean’.
His fondness for repetition and constant use of hokey turns of phrase is endearing, but it makes the book slightly repetitive. Nonetheless, for fans of the man and his work this is pretty indispensable. Tom Huddleston