Today is the birthday of American filmmaker, David Lynch. Take a look back on his finest works and stylistic influence with us!
On his 76th birthday, we thought it would be nice to reflect on some of the great works from lord of surreal symbolism and non-linear narratives, David Lynch. Not only a filmmaker, Lynch is a painter, writer, as well as a musician. He has worked on films from twisted thrillers, to historical dramas, to sci-fi adaptations.
David Lynch symbolises integrity and progressive ideas to many film fanatics and filmmakers. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking to make your own movie, Lynch is someone to take notes from. He is responsible for delivering unique and seminal experiences to his audience, and boasts an interesting character to match his movies.
A self-confessed old-fashioned soul and man of routine, Lynch once said he visited Bob’s Big Boy every day, eating the same thing and smoking cigarettes. Much of Gen Z would know of Lynch from Twin Peaks, though this is just one of many popular creations. Today seems appropriate to have a look at some of these notable works.
The original run of Twin Peaks kicked off in 1990 and ran for two series, until it was cancelled in 1991. The American mystery-horror serial drama was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. The original series was followed by a feature length film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which serves as a prequel and sequel to the original series. Twin Peaks enjoyed a revival in 2017 with a third series, also written by Frost and Lynch and, again, directed by Lynch.
Fun fact: Antagonist in the series, Bob came about completely by mistake. The actor, Frank Silva was originally working as a set dresser, but was caught in the mirror during the shooting of a scene. Lynch dubbed it a “happy accident”, and changed the story arc to incorporate Silva as a demonic killer.
Twin Peaks enjoyed massive mainstream success, and is arguably one of Lynch’s most well known works. However, there are plenty of niche projects worth getting to know.
Lynch’s debut feature-length film, Eraserhead saw the filmmaker and director also take on the sound design and scoring single-handedly. Released in 1977, the surrealist film follows a father who is left to look after his severely deformed young child in a desolate industrial landscape.
Said to be one of Lynch’s most personal works, the film has been deemed by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”
The Elephant Man is a 1980 British-American historical drama film, starring John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, and Anne Bancroft. It follows the true story of Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man living in the UK in the late 19th century.
Lynch’s screenplay was adapted from Frederick Treves’s The Elephant Man and Other Reminiscences (1923) and Ashley Montagu’s The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity (1971). Many people would mark this film as one of Lynch’s more accessible works, in comparison to some of his nightmare-scape based creations.
A sci-fi franchise that has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity lately thanks to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 adaptation, Dune was originally turned into a film by David Lynch. This came after George Lucas approached Lynch to work Star Wars film, which he declined to do.
Released in 1984, Dune is an epic science fiction film written and directed by Lynch, and was adapted from the Frank Herbert novel of the same name. This landmark adaptation threatened to define Lynch’s career, however an impressive body of revered work afterwards ensured this wasn’t the case.
Okay, a bit of a silly one, but Lynch began his own weather reports back in 2022 as some lockdown amusement. The first one was published on his YouTube channel in May, and has been going ever since. These reports accumulated over 10 million views after a year. Comedically similar in content and delivery, these light-hearted videos give insight into the slightly bizarre but likeable nature of the man.