HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 13: AFI Honorary degree recipient, director David… (Frazer Harrison )
David Lynch fans have been waiting years for the director to announce he’s making another movie. It’s been six years since his last one, the challenging but appreciated “Inland Empire,” which makes the Surrealist auteur long overdue.
But those hoping the streak will be broken soon are in for a disappointment: Lynch said he’s lacking the inspiration that drives him to make movies.
“I haven’t gotten the big idea,” he told 24 Frames this week. “I’ve got some fragments that are coming, but not the big idea.” The director added, "If I got an idea that I fell in love with, I’d go to work tomorrow. I just haven’t.”
Incidentally, it’s the longest dry spell in the career of the “Blue Velvet” director, who previously hadn’t gone more than five years without a feature or major TV series (his recent voice work on “The Cleveland Show” doesn’t count).
When this was pointed out, he sort of gave a verbal shrug and said, “It’s what you fall in love with that drives the boat.” Then he added, “I don’t really think about time.”
Lynch has been sitting for a documentary that's being made about him. Filmmakers have been working on it for well over a year, having raised money on Kickstarter. “They’re working every day,” Lynch said, adding that he found it a little awkward to be the subject of attention. “Anybody that’s had a camera on them, it takes a while to get used to that.”
But mostly he’s been painting, practicing and promoting Transcendental Meditation (he is a vocal proponent), and working on his David Lynch Foundation.
Lynch was chatting with us to promote his foundation — specifically, a benefit the organization is throwing June 30 in Los Angeles that will be hosted by Russell Brand and honor the comedy veteran George Shapiro with a lifetime achievement award. Money raised by the event will help abused children, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and others, Lynch said, and Shapiro was a prime candidate to promote the cause. The comedy manager won Emmys and Golden Globes for executive-producing “Seinfeld” and also has counted Jerry Seinfeld and Andy Kaufman as clients.
Though not known for the yuk yuks himself, Lynch was enthusiastic about how comedy can bring inner peace. Or, as he put it:
"All the comedians know that laughter is good for your health, and people need to know there’s an unbounded treasury of happiness within every human being. It’s known in quantum physics as the unified field. The deepest level of life is filled with intelligence, creativity happiness — known as bliss — happiness love and peace. That ties in really beautifully to comedy. Comedy makes people feel good.”
His foundation had decided to bestow the lifetime achievement award on Shapiro, he said, because “he’s a very blissful fellow inside, and he’s been promoting helpful causes all his life.”
Asked what some of his favorite movies were recently, Lynch said he doesn’t see many films these days. Then, after a pause, he came up with the Greek-language arthouse torture movie “Dogtooth” (“a fantastic comedy,” he said).
But he hasn’t been a big fan of the latest work from a lauded American auteur. “Some people go nuts for ‘Tree of Life,’ ” he said. “I love Terry Malick. But ‘Tree of Life’ wasn’t my cup of tea.” Asked what he didn’t like, he repeated. “It wasn’t my cup of tea.”
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