A.V. Club: What can cinema do to an idea?
David Lynch: Cinema is a medium that can translate ideas. But wood can translate ideas, too. You have wood and then you get a chair. Some ideas are for different things.
AVC: Does that translation draw out parallels between different ideas that you weren’t aware of when you started?
DL: For sure. I wasn’t aware of anything. Then, suddenly, you’re aware. It’s like somebody giving you a puzzle piece without any kind of frame—you get a puzzle piece and then a few more. It doesn’t help you much, but you love the little pieces. You don’t know if they relate. In this process, hopefully, a feature film script will emerge. And then, one day, you’re surprised by how it all comes together.
"I believe in creative control. No matter what anyone makes, they should have control over it."
“Cinema is a language. It can say things – big, abstract things. And I love that about it. I’m not always good with words. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language. And with …it you can say so many things, because you’ve got time and sequences. You’ve got dialogue. You’ve got music. You’ve got sound effects. You have so many tools. And you can express a feeling and a thought that can’t be conveyed any other way. It’s a magical medium. For me, it’s so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence, making something that can be done only through cinema. It’s not just words or music – it’s a whole range of elements coming together and making something that didn’t exist before. It’s telling stories. It’s devising a world, an experience, that people cannot have unless they see that film. When I catch an idea for a film, I fall in love with the way cinema can express it. I like a story that holds abstractions, and that’s what cinema can do.”
David Lynch, Catching The Big Fish
You once said that where a person lives tends to affect them. Los Angeles is a very particular, peculiar environment. What is it about this city that appeals to you?
Number one, the intense light. Also the different feelings in the air. But like every place it’s always changing. And it takes longer to appreciate L.A. than a lot of cities, because it’s so spread out, and every area has its own mood. What I really like about it is, from time to time, if you drive around – especially at night – you can get a little gust of wind of the great days of the silver screen. All there in, like, living memory. It just makes you wish that you’d lived in those times. I think that if you could go back, that’s the one place that you want to go back to. Maybe they didn’t appreciate it at the time, but it was an incredible place to be at the beginning of cinema. – David Lynch
Mysteries of Love is a documentary on David Lynch’s modern classic Blue Velvet. Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, we find clips from the film immersed with intriguing footage and photographs from the production and exciting interviews with David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, and others. Certainly, Mysteries of Love leaves one wanting more documentaries of its kind.
It is often surprising to learn that many of our most loved films today were almost not made. David Lynch had been coming out of a failed experience with his work Dune, when Dino De Laurentiis approached him about Blue Velvet, a script that Lynch had been working on for years. Thankfully and surprisingly, De Laurentiis gave Lynch full artistic control, and despite not being in the contract, he promised the filmmaker final cut. All of this provided as long as the director agreed to cut his salary and the film’s budget in half. The sacrifices that are made in the name of art!
Enjoy this personal window into a masterful film with some of cinema’s most fascinating figures.