The masterful and wildly eccentric director of Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead, and creator of Twin Peaks, turns 68 today. David Lynch – what can one say? He is one of the most influential filmmakers to ever work in the industry, with countless non-Lynch films and TV shows being described as “Lynchian”, almost always as a compliment. His surrealistic work stands alone, however, as one of the most unique creative outputs in Hollywood.
Lynch has been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars three times, and it is criminal that he has not won. He has dabbled in essentially any medium you can think of, and always leaves his mark. He has directed several memorable music videos, including last year for Nine Inch Nails’ “Came Back Haunted”. He voiced the bartender on The Cleveland Show and appeared in two episodes of Louie. Lately, he has been more focused on his music career, releasing Crazy Clown Time in 2011 and The Big Dream last year. He has designed furniture, and a nightclub in Paris called Silencio, based on the club in Mulholland Drive. Before everything else, though, he was trained as a painter and has continued to paint throughout his career.
Regretfully, Lynch has not made a film since 2006’s Inland Empire. His filmography so far, though, would be more than enough to leave an extremely powerful legacy, as he has provided the spark for many creatives to get busy. His work is always deep in thematic consideration, symbolism and imagery, usually all in attempt to show the dark underbelly of seemingly innocent environments. This is the basis especially of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, but it is a theme he has been obsessed with exploring again and again in his far-reaching career.
Lynch accomplishes what I think many of us go to the movies for, and he does it with confidence and gravitas. He creates worlds, much like our own, but inhabits them with strange characters and shows them to us as if the world is a dream. We go to the movies to escape into another world, yes, and Lynch is unparalleled in crafting these worlds and immersing us in them. But we also want these worlds to reflect something of our own and to allow us to see a new reality, to discover a new meaning behind what we normally see, and this may be Lynch’s primary concern. At any rate, Lynch is responsible for probably both my favourite film (Mulholland Drive) and my favourite TV series (Twin Peaks), and he has inspired myself along with so many others, and so I welcome you to join in celebrating such a singular talent.
Other birthdays today:
- Federico Fellini (1920-1993)
- Skeet Ulrich (44)
- Bill Maher (58)