Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised early in small town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a 3 year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977, he released his first film Eraserhead (1977), which, although not critically acclaimed, was noticed by many people, includingFrancis Ford Coppola, who was rumored to have screenings of it for his cast and crew on the Apocalypse Now (1979) set. After a stream of visually stunning films such as Blue Velvet (1986), Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Dr. (2001). All these films, and a few more, beginning with Blue Velvet (1986), and including his "Twin Peaks" (1990) TV series, feature what has now been added to signature Lynch features, such as vibrant colors, the use of dreams and amazing montage to connect character thought and multiple emotions into one sequence. In addition to that, since Blue Velvet (1986), Lynch has gained the reputation of one of the foremost auteurs in the filmmaking industry, and one of the few living auteur's who continually defies both cinematic convention and the Hollywood curse. His films continually represent his ideal that films; representing life, should be complicated, and, in some cases and sequences, be inexplainable. I'm sure he knows why he puts the scenes and shots and props and cuts and effects and filters and lights and colors and actors and costumes and music in the scenes, but he'll never tell anyone else. For this reason, and due to the beautiful confusion of his films, he will always be recognized as if not one of the greatest filmmakers, one of the most original. Lynch is a creative master, and even if his films aren't necessarily realistic, they are real in their representation of what life is: a confusing, irrational series of random events that truly have little purpose, and one makes their own interpretation of every event, giving their life purpose personally. Lynch wants his films to resonate emotionally and instinctively, and for every person to relate and make their own understanding. As he said "Life is very, very confusing, and so films should be allowed to be, too". David Lynch is original. He has done things in filmmaking that D.W. Griffith did in his day. David Lynch will never stop making beauty on the screen.IMDb Mini Biography By: TADAMS
Emily Stofle (26 February 2009 - present)
Mary Sweeney (10 May 2006 - 12 February 2007) (divorced) 1 child
Mary Fisk (21 June 1977 - 29 August 1987) (divorced) 1 child
Peggy Lynch (1967 - 1974) (divorced) (1 child)
Has frequently cast Jack Nance, Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Sherilyn Fenn, Harry Dean Stanton, Michael J. Anderson, Everett McGill, Frances Bay, Dean Stockwell, David Patrick Kelly, Brad Dourif, Catherine E. Coulson, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Buchanan, Alicia Witt, Justin Theroux, Bellina Logan, Laura Harring, and Naomi Watts.
Finds small-town USA fascinating
Has a taste for low/middle frequency noise, dark and rotting environments, distorted characters, a polarized world (angels vs demons, Madonnas vs whores), and debilitating damage to the skull or brain.
Use of slow-motion during key scenes of violence
Almost always casts a musician for a supporting role: Sting in Dune (1984); Chris Isaak, David Bowie, Julee Cruise, and 'Miguel Ferrer' (son and former drummer of Rosemary Clooney in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992); Marilyn Manson and Henry Rollins in Lost Highway (1997);Billy Ray Cyrus, Rebekah Del Rio and Angelo Badalamenti in Mulholland Dr. (2001). Regular collaborator Kyle MacLachlan is also descended from composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
Uses many references to France, the French language, culture, people, and names.
Constant references to dreams as a way of connecting the plot and twists in his films.
Uses Roy Orbison songs in his films
Close up shots of eyes
His regular casting director is Johanna Ray
Quirky, nasally voice
Films are often sexually charged & graphically violent
Many of his films examine the dark side of American suburbia.
Ate lunch at Bob's Big Boy in Los Angeles, California, nearly every day for almost eight years in a row.
Is an Eagle Scout.
His grandfather was Finnish.
Currently (2002) runs his own personally authorized Web site, www.davidlynch.com and has been rumored to appear in the chat area of the site under a more than obvious name.
Personally approved DVD releases of his movies do not have any chapter stops. This is done because he believes that films are meant to be viewed from beginning to end.
He is also an artist working in paint and such dynamic elements as live ants and rotting flesh. He also frequently designs and builds the furniture in his films. These can be seen in the documentary about him, Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1997) (TV).
Projects he has written but to date has not produced include "Ronnie Rocket," "Up at the Lake," and "One Saliva Bubble."
Producer Dino De Laurentiis offered him the chance to direct "Hand-Carved Coffins" based on a Truman Capote work, but Lynch turned it down; to date the project has not been produced.
His favorite band is Rammstein.
Wrote the Gordon Cole character (from "Twin Peaks" (1990)) with himself in mind.
After the financial disaster that was Dune (1984), Lynch and Dino De Laurentiis were almost ready to part company but Lynch showed Dino the script for Blue Velvet (1986), which he had been working on for some time, and the two combined talents to make the seminal 1986 classic.
After George Lucas saw Eraserhead (1977), he offered Lynch the chance to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) but Lynch turned him down. Lynch felt the film would be more Lucas's vision than his own.
Daughter, Director Jennifer Chambers Lynch (b. 1968), with first wife actress Peggy Lynch. Son, Austin Jack Lynch (b. 1982), with second wifeMary Fisk. Son, Riley Lynch (b. 1992), with film editor Mary Sweeney (she later became his third wife).
While in college, roomed with Peter Wolf, former lead singer with the J. Geils Band. Lynch kicked him out, however, because he thought Wolf was "too weird."
His son, Austin Jack Lynch, appeared in an episode of "Twin Peaks" (1990) as Pierre Tremond, or the Creamed-Corn Kid. His nephew,Jonathan J. Leppell, played Pierre Tremond/Chalfont in the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). Julee Cruise, who appears in "Twin Peaks" (1990), is his musical protégée. Lynch wrote the lyrics on her first album, some of the lyrics of her second album, and occasionally plays an instrument on her recordings.
He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985," pp. 621-626 (as David K. Lynch). New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Insisted his name be struck from the 190-minute Extended Cut of Dune (1984), which was prepared specially for television. That version credits the pseudonymous "Judas Booth" as writer/director. Yet in 2009 - the movie's 25th anniversary - Lynch (by a fan's request) actually signed Booth's name to a vintage "Making of Dune (1984) paperback at West Hollywood's famous Book Soup.
Has cited Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski as some of his influences.
In addition to excluding chapter breaks in his approved DVD releases of his movies, he hasn't recorded an audio commentary in any of his films. This is because he believes that films speak for themselves.
Announced at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival that he has been shooting a feature length project on digital video called "Inland Empire" for over a year. He also announced that he was so impressed with digital that he was giving up directing on projects on film.
He drew and wrote the comic strip, "The Angriest Dog in the World" that ran in the Los Angeles Reader newspaper throughout the 1980s.
President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.
Is famous (or infamous) for not saying anything on Eraserhead (1977). He lets the viewers decide what it means.
He was offered the chance to direct Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), but he turned it down, saying that the script was funny, but it wasn't his thing.
Was very good friends with Jack Nance.
Is friends with Kyle MacLachlan.
He was introduced to Isabella Rossellini at a restaurant by a mutual friend when he was in the process of casting Blue Velvet (1986). Struck by her serene European beauty, he told her, "You could be Ingrid Bergman's daughter." 'You idiot,' my friend said to me," Lynch recalled, "'she is Ingrid Bergman's daughter!'"
His grandmother was German.
Though on the surface his alliance with Mel Brooks on The Elephant Man (1980) would seem unlikely to many, a number of Lynch's films are interpreted as being satirical of traditional Hollywood clichés (Mulholland Dr. (2001), Wild at Heart (1990), _Blue Velvet (1986)_ albeit in a much darker and artistic way than in the films that made Brooks a success (Young Frankenstein (1974), Blazing Saddles (1974), etc.).
Was engaged to Italian actress Isabella Rossellini from 1986 to 1990.
Claims one of his favorite films to be The Wizard of Oz (1939), and has many references to the classic in his films, the most obvious are in Wild at Heart (1990). He has also cited Vertigo (1958) and Glen or Glenda (1953) as his other favorites.
Is friends with Mädchen Amick.
Fan of Elvis Presley.
Is mentioned in German author Patrick Roth's short story "Lynch for Lunch" (2008).
Being an avid coffee drinker, he has own line of special organic blends.
Has practiced Transcendental Meditation for twenty minutes each day since 1973.
Although having planned to study three years with painter Oskar Kokoschka in Austria for three years, he returned to the US after only 15 days.
Served as an usher at the Presidential Inaugaration of John F. Kennedy (20 January 1961).
Is a Presbyterian.
Born to Donald Lynch, a research scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and his wife Sunny, an English language tutor.
Frequently works with Crispin Glover.
Some of his favorite films of all time are: 8 1/2 (1963), La Strada (1954), Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Apartment (1960), Lolita (1962), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953), My Uncle (1958), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), Stroszek (1977) and The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Sherilyn Fenn, who worked with him in "Twin Peaks" (1990) and Wild at Heart (1990), later starred in his daughter Jennifer Chambers Lynch's directorial debut Boxing Helena (1993).
He was so impressed by Sheryl Lee's performance as the dead Laura Palmer in "Twin Peaks" (1990)' pilot episode that he wrote the role of Maddy Ferguson for her, in order to bring her back in the series.
The car accident scene in Wild at Heart (1990) came from his impression of actress Sherilyn Fenn as a china doll, and from the idea of seeing a porcelain doll breaking. He told her, "I envisioned this broken China doll, all bloody, and ranting and raving, and it was you".
Has worked with real-life father-son pair José Ferrer and Miguel Ferrer in Dune (1984) and 'Twin Peaks (1990)(TV)'; and real-life mother-daughter pair Diane Ladd and Laura Dern in Wild at Heart (1990) and Blue Velvet (1986).
His ancestry is Finnish.
Directed 3 actors in Oscar nominated performances: John Hurt, Diane Ladd, and Richard Farnsworth.
I sort of go by a duck when I work on a film because if you study a duck, you'll see certain things. You'll see a bill, and the bill is a certain texture and a certain length. Then you'll see a head, and the features on the head are a certain texture and it's a certain shape and it goes into the neck. The texture of the bill for instance is very smooth and it has quite precise detail in it and it reminds you somewhat of the legs. The legs are a little bit bigger and a little more rubbery but it's enough so that your eye goes back and forth. Now, the body being so big, it can be softer and the texture is not so detailed, it's just kind of a cloud. And the key to the whole duck is the eye and where the eye is placed. And it has to be placed in the head and it's the most detailed, and it's like a little jewel. And if it was fixed, sitting on the bill, it would be two things that were too busy, battling, they would not do so well. And if it was sitting in the middle of the body, it would get lost. But it's so perfectly placed to show off a jewel right in the middle of the head like that, next to this S-curve with the bill sitting out in front, but with enough distance so that the eye is very very very well secluded and set out. So when you're working on a film, a lot of times you can get the bill and the legs and the body and everything, but this eye of the duck is a certain scene, this jewel, that if it's there, it's absolutely beautiful. It's just fantastic." "Film exists because we can go and have experiences that would be pretty dangerous or strange for us in real life. We can go into a room and walk into a dream. If we didn't want to upset anyone, we would make films about sewing, but even that could be dangerous. But I think finally, in a film, it is how the balance is and the feelings are. But I think there has to be those contrasts and strong things withing a film for the total experience.
I'm not a real film buff. Unfortunately, I don't have time. I just don't go. And I become very nervous when I go to a film because I worry so much about the director and it is hard for me to digest my popcorn.
It makes me uncomfortable to talk about meanings and things. It's better not to know so much about what things mean. Because the meaning, it's a very personal thing, and the meaning for me is different than the meaning for somebody else.
To give a sense of place, to me, is a thrilling thing. And a sense of place is made up of details. And so the details are incredibly important. If they're wrong, then it throws you out of the mood. And so the sound and music and color and shape and texture, if all those things are correct and a woman looks a certain way with a certain kind of light and says the right word, you're gone, you're in heaven. But it's all the little details.
In Hollywood, more often than not, they're making more kind of traditional films, stories that are understood by people. And the entire story is understood. And they become worried if even for one small moment something happens that is not understood by everyone. But what's so fantastic is to get down into areas where things are abstract and where things are felt, or understood in an intuitive way that, you can't, you know, put a microphone to somebody at the theatre and say 'Did you understand that?' but they come out with a strange, fantastic feeling and they can carry that, and it opens some little door or something that's magical and that's the power that film has.
I think that ideas exist outside of ourselves. I think somewhere, we're all connected off in some very abstract land. But somewhere between there and here ideas exist. And I think the mind isn't conscious enough to go all the way to where we're connected, but it's conscious of a certain amount of that territory. And when these ideas fly into the conscious part, then you can capture them. But if they're outside of the conscious part, you don't even know about them. So you just hope that you can make the conscious part of your mind bigger or that these ideas will fly into your airspace, so you can shoot them down and grab them and take them home. So that's all you try to do. Sometimes an idea will strike you when you're sitting in a quiet chair. But sometimes an idea will strike you when you're standing. Sometimes music will also help you. If I thought I could just sit still in a quiet place and get ideas, I would do that all the time, but sometimes nothing happens. There's no rhyme or reason to it. But you've got to write them down right away. I forget so many things. Then if I forget it and try to remember it, my whole day is ruined because I can't remember and I feel horrible. And I imagine that it was one of the all time great ideas. And it probably isn't.
I've said many, many, many unkind things about Philadelphia, and I meant every one.
[His films] mean different things to different people. Some mean more or less the same things to a large number of people. It's okay. Just as long as there's not one message, spoon-fed. That's what films by committee end up being, and it's a real bummer to me . . . Life is very, very complicated, and so films should be allowed to be, too.
I don't think that people accept the fact that life doesn't make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable. It seems like religion and myth were invented against that, trying to make sense out of it.
[on plans to build 100 transcendental meditation centers to bring an end to crime and war]: "Peace could be on this Earth this year. It would be a whole new world."
I like to make films because I like to go into another world. I like to get lost in another world. And film to me is a magical medium that makes you dream...allows you to dream in the dark. It's just a fantastic thing, to get lost inside the world of film.
I would rather not make a film than make one where I don't have final cut.
All my movies are about strange worlds that you can't go into unless you build them and film them. That's what's so important about film to me. I just like going into strange worlds.
I'm not sure what these people are saying. Is it that if you depicted no graphic violence, the world would calm down and there would be less violence? Or is it that if you sense certain things about violence and then portray those things in a film, does that make the violence go to another level? Or is the violence in films a way to experience something without having to do it in real life?
Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way. Being explicit doesn't tap into the mystical aspect of it either in fact, that usually kills it because people don't want to see sex so much as they want to experience the emotions that go along with it. These things are hard to convey in film because sex is such a mystery.
I'm convinced we all are voyeurs. It's part of the detective thing. We want to know secrets and we want to know what goes on behind those windows. And not in a way that we would use to hurt anyone. There's an entertainment value to it, but at the same time we want to know: What do humans do? Do they do the same things as I do? It's a gaining of some sort of knowledge, I think.
My mother refused to give me coloring books as a child. She probably saved me, Because when you think about it, what a coloring book does is completely kill creativity.
There's something deeply satisfying about directing the flow of water.
Cigarettes are pretty much my worst vice, and I even stopped smoking for 20 years. I spend most of my free time with my family and working on art.
Sex was like a world so mysterious to me, I really couldn't believe there was this fantastic texture to life that I was getting to do...it has all these different levels, from lust and fearful, violent sex to the real spiritual thing at the other end. It's the key to some fantastic mystery of life.
I like things to be orderly. For seven years I ate at Bob's Big Boy. I would go at 2:30, after the lunch rush. I ate a chocolate shake and four, five, six, seven cups of coffee--with lots of sugar. And there's lots of sugar in that chocolate shake. It's a thick shake. In a silver goblet. I would get a rush from all this sugar, and I would get so many ideas! I would write them on these napkins. It was like I had a desk with paper. All I had to do was remember to bring my pen, but a waitress would give me one if I remembered to return it at the end of my stay. I got a lot of ideas at Bob's.
[on actor Kyle MacLachlan]: "What do we do together? I have a pretty good cappuccino machine, and anytime he gets the urge, he comes on over. We talk about the problems associated with getting a good cup of coffee."
In a large city I realized there was a large amount of fear. Coming from the Northwest, it kind of hits you like a train.
There was nothing much going on upstairs until the age of nineteen.
As a teenager, I was really trying to have fun 24 hours a day. I didn't start thinking until I was 20 or 21. I was doing regular goof-ball stuff.
My father was a scientist for the Forest Service. He would drive me through the woods in his green Forest Service truck, over dirt roads, through the most beautiful forests where the trees are very tall and shafts of sunlight come down and in the mountain streams the rainbow trout leap out and their little trout sides catch glimpses of light. Then my father would drop me in the woods and go off. It was a weird, comforting feeling being in the woods. There were odd, mysterious things. That's the kind of world I grew up in.
[on his 1965 sojourn to Europe to study art] I didn't take to Europe. I was all the time thinking, "This is where I'm going to be painting". And there was no inspiration there at all for the kind of work I wanted to do.
[on his 1965 sojourn to Europe to study art] I intended to stay three years. Instead, I stayed 15 days! I remember lying in an Athens basement with lizards crawling along the walls and contemplating that I was 7,000 miles from McDonalds!
[on why his officially sanctioned DVDs contain no chapter stops] It is my opinion that a film is not like a book--it should not be broken up. It is a continuum and should be seen as such.
Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there's humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd.
I let the actors work out their ideas before shooting, then tell them what attitudes I want. If a scene isn't honest, it stands out like a sore thumb.
[on Sheryl Lee and her performance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)] It turns out, at least in my opinion, she's an unbelievable actress and there are things that she's done in this movie that are truly incredible. I haven't seen too many people get into a role and give it as much. So, the big news for me was this person was hired to be a dead girl and turns out to be a great actress and a perfect Laura Palmer.
[on Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)] I love that film. I say now that The Straight Story (1999) is my most experimental movie, but up until then, "Fire Walk With Me" was my most experimental film, and some of the things, the combos, you know, like, sequences . . . It was a dark film, but like Peggy Lipton said in an interview, it was just too much in people's faces, and it didn't have the humor of "Twin Peaks" (1990). So it was what it was supposed to be, but it wasn't what people wanted. It was supposed to be stand-alone, but it was also supposed to be the last week of Laura Palmer's life. And all those things that had been established, they could be pleasant on one level to experience, but unpleasant on another level.
[remarking about Elvis Presley's reported comment to one of his backup singers that he thought no one would remember him] That's incredible. Elvis swims in our minds, and in the emotions all through time.
[on Eyes Wide Shut (1999)] I really love Eyes Wide Shut. I just wonder if Stanley Kubrick really did finish it the way he wanted to before he died.
[on actress Joan Chen] She's the best thing from China since pasta - and much more beautiful. (People, May 04, 1992)
[on actress Sherilyn Fenn] She's a mysterious girl and I think that actresses like her who have a mystery - where there's something hiding beneath the surface - are the really interesting ones. (Premiere UK, July 1993)
I was driving through Central Park with Kyle MacLachlan and on the radio came Crying by Roy Orbison. I started listening to this song and I'm thinking only of Blue Velvet (1986) and I'm thinking this song could appear in the film. Once we were filming in Virginia, I ask for Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits and I hear In Dreams and boom! An explosion goes off in my head. And I think, "This is it." Dennis [Hopper] was supposed to sing that and Dean Stockwell was supposed to listen but Dennis couldn't remember the lines. And I thought, "Wait a minute, Dean will sing and Dennis will listen." It was a magical thing.
People say my films are dark. But like lightness, darkness stems from a reflection of the world. The thing is, I get these ideas that I truly fall in love with. And a good movie idea is often like a girl you're in love with, but you know she's not the kind of girl you bring home to your parents, because they sometimes hold some dark and troubling things.
The Alphabet (1968) $1,000
Where Are They Now
(May 2004) Lodz, Poland. Discussing his plans for building post production film studio in an old factory on Targowa street.