Skip to content

David Lynch

David Lynch * Thierry Jousse (2010)

My girlfriend bought this little book for my birthday. It was first published in 2007 in the French series “Cahiers du Cinema” and is now available in English (and Spanish) and the series are called “Masters of Cinema”. The book is a biography of David Lynch putting his films in the perspective of his life and of course saying a few things about the films themselves. Instead of trying to explain the stories and themes of films such as “Lost Highway” or “Mullholland Drive” Jousse sees these stories as a Möbius strip. An interesting thought. Overall the book is a nice read with many images and a complete filmography including films that Lynch produced or played in.
2010 Phaidon, isbn 2866425731

David Lynch Decoded * Mark Allyn Stewart (2007)

I am not in the habbit of reading the many books explaining the work of David Lynch, but somehow the description (and price) of this one caught my attention. Fortunately the title of this little book is slightly pretentious. The writer not so much unravels the work of Lynch, but rather points towards themes, Leitmotiven and especially: symbolism. Throughout the entirity of the work I must add by the way. Stewart discusses all Lynch’s major films (including “Dune” and “The Straight Story”) and discusses different scenes to explain how Lynch uses certain themes all the time and how he shows the viewers what is going on. Stewart does not explain the stories of each film, but he has some interesting ideas about some of them. Contrarily, like I said, the writer investigates the films to show how Lynch’s works point towards things, returning themes so to say. Two things I must add here. First: Stewart takes it that the readers of his book are very familiar with the works of Lynch. Do not expect him to describe a scene to make you remember when “Henry in Eraserhead did this and that”. Another aspect of Stewarts assumption about his readers is that this book is one big “spoiler”. In the first lines of his text about “Twin Peaks”, Stewart reveals who killed Laura Palmer. Therefor This booklet is not an introduction to Lynch; do not read it when you have not seen all of Lynch’s work at least a dozen of times. For the seasoned Lynch-fans there is plenty here. Stewart makes connections between films, points to details I have missed and his theories are quite plausible. In the process he sometimes gives an interpretation of certain storylines which makes me have to think over the film and the cross-referring makes the films come to life while reading. To give you an idea what we are talking about: the colour blue points to a secret, electricity to the ‘other world’, a blown-out white screen to heaven; Stewart talks about duality/doubling and passways to ‘the other world’. These kind of elements can be seen in each film and Lynch uses them to give hints to his viewers. Stewart has found a lot of them and with his examples he shows how they work. The book makes a nice read and makes we want to start viewing the films again to see if it gives me clues about each individual work. Not badly done!

2007 AuthorHouse, ISBN 1434349853

Catching The Big Fish * David Lynch (2007 tarcher/penguin * isbn 1585425400)

Big FishDavid Lynch has been constantly smacked around my ears in the last weeks. Just before we took off for a week of New York City, I noticed that INLAND EMPIRE was to be released on DVD in that very week and up for preordering. Of course I did. Then in NYC we went to see the film “Klimt” and the previews before that not only announced Eraserhead back in the cinemas, but also a cinema documentary about the master of film. Two days later we are in some tiny bookshop and my girlfriend came to me with this book written by David Lynch himself. Naturally I got myself a copy! “Catching The Big Fish, meditation, consciousness, and creativity” is a real Lynch book. In his simple English he tries to express how transcendental meditation helps him in his live, in his painting and in his filming. In short and humerous chapters he writes about a great variety of subjects, including several of his films. Some information is old, sometimes what he writes is quite revealing. I may not always agree with the man or see things entirely the same, but Lynch definately does have an approach to film that I value way over most directors. This book may tell you a bit about why the films are as they are. You will learn some of the backgrounds and the way things come to be, but of course this book isn’t about Lynch’s films. In the end it actually turns out to be an ‘advertisement’ for transcendental meditation and the “David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace” to which a part of the price you pay for the book goes. Read his ideas, learn a bit (more) about his art. It’s an easy-to-read book, not thick, well-published and as always with Lynch, not easily tagged.