” I LOVE MYSTERIES “ David Lynch reaches the end of his lost highway in Prague.
David Lynch is cult director. His films like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks the movie, and the television series Twin Peaks are enjoyed by audiences of all ages. This film maker is also a very cultured, well educated, open and pleasant man. We know this because we talked with him. In June he came to Prague, visited Ve Smeckach 22 street and agreed to an exclusive interview.
KINOREVUE: One of your teachers at AFI school was Czech Frantisek Daniel. What do you remember about him?
DAVID LYNCH: I am sorry to say he died not long ago, and I have to tell you that he was my only teacher. He gave much to other people, he helped many people. He was a nobleminded and nonegoistic man and no one understood the art of film making as he did. He understood it and truly loved it – his criticism was always constructive and never purposely offended anybody. He was open about saying what he didn`t like, but he did it in a way that would help you. And that cannot be said about most of the critics in USA. I am very sorry he is not here.
KINOREVUE: We know about your interest in painting. But a film`s story is more important than film`s look or appearance in todays cinematography. Do you think this is going to change?
DAVID LYNCH: A film consists of many parts which are all of the same importance, I believe. Sometimes the visual imagination leads to a change in part of the story. At other times the story leads to visual creation. It works by both ways, everything flows together. There are no rules, but in the end all the parts must fit together precisely. That is the only way to create something interesting.
An image drawn by Lynch himself. >> >>
KINOREVUE: You are regarded as a surrealist, similar to Salvator Dali or Louis Bunuel, but your movies are completely American. Some time ago you said that you feel like a European at heart. Do you consider this observation to be a contradiction?
DAVID LYNCH: I would say rather that I am identified with the European style of making films and I like it. But, as you say, on the other hand I am very American. Every human is different, and the same story, if it is made by different people, has a different tenor. I think this is what one needs to realize.
KINOREVUE: Do you use elements of science-fiction in your films because they offer interesting possibilities of film expression or because you like the sci-fi genre?
DAVID LYNCH: I have to confess that I do not like sci-fi too much. You know, the world is much deeper but also more transparent than we think. There are a lot of events but we cannot perceive. And the magic of film consists in the possibility to express any phenomenon you want. That`s why I like it so much. Sometimes you may think that I am out of touch with reality, but in fact I am a part of reality, that`s all.
KINOREVUE: Does it sometimes happen that you wake up one morning and some scene in a film suddenly has a different sense than you had originally intended?
DAVID LYNCH: Of course. It`s the same as if you read a book that was very interesting when you were fifteen, but the same book is not interesting at all if you read it again at twenty, or it is much more interesting than you thought when you were fifteen. It is similar with films. You do something you think is right but later the same scene acquires a different sense.
KINOREVUE: Is that why you can`t tell us about the end of the Twin Peaks TV series?
DAVID LYNCH: I could but I don`t want to…
KINOREVUE: Let`s ask you one concrete question. When Bobby in the film Wild at Heart shoots his head off, is it an accident or suicide?
DAVID LYNCH: It`s an accident.
KINOREVUE: But maybe you will wake up one day and say…
DAVID LYNCH: No, no. Did he have any reason to commit suicide? It really was an accident.
KINOREVUE: You love mysteries and secrets. Are there any you would not want to uncover?
DAVID LYNCH: Mysteries are everywhere and it is wonderful to feel that there are things we know absolutely nothing about. Anyone of us can became a scientist or investigator. The mysteries in film work like a magnet to attract people. But the answer can be disappointing because they are not complete, and sometimes you will learn something that turns into another mystery. You are right, mysteries are what I love.
KINOREVUE: It is said you do not belong to the classical Hollywood structure. Do you really find there are no film makers you feel associated with?
DAVID LYNCH: Hollywood is like any other place – it always changes and it depends on the people in charge. There`s no doubt that the main thing there is bussines. But like anywhere in the world there are a lot of directors in Hollywood who are truly interested in making movies and telling stories the best they can. It is not difficult to find the same language with such people.
KINOREVUE: Is it true that lately you don`t go to the movies at all, so as not to be influenced by your colleagues`films?
DAVID LYNCH: I`m not afraid of influence, but I don`t have very much free time now. Because of Lost Highway I didn`t go to the movies for a really long time. I know it is better for me not to be distracted during my work because everything could get derailed.
KINOREVUE: Does it make any difference if you make a film based on your own story or if you make a film based on someone else`s story?
DAVID LYNCH: No. What is most important are ideas. You are sitting in a chair or reading book and you get an idea. Your thoughts create pictures and feelings and your goal is to transfer them to the screen. More thoughts and ideas come during film making and it doesn`t matter where they originated. When you identify with someone else`s ideas, the process of film making is basicaly the same.
Interview from Kinorevue by Michaela Vankova and Marek Dobes, translated by Petr Ohnut with the aid of Mr. Jerome Kel) Photos: Martin Homola