David Lynch doesn’t do commentary tracks for his movies, which is actually a good thing: One wouldn’t want the seemingly instinctive imagery actually explained. But he’s happy to talk generally about film, and about art, about his music (he has a second blues album forthcoming), and especially about Transcendental Meditation, which has been, for the last many years, his new thing. He will discuss all of these, and surely more (including, maybe his line of coffee), when he swings by BAM later this month.
Film is technically one of his subjects, even though, nowadays, he isn’t really a filmmaker. His last feature was in 2006, namely the epic avant-garde whatzit “Inland Empire,” which he shot on consumer-grade video. He did make the eight-minute documentary “Idem Paris,” on the titular art printing studio, last year, but that’s it.
In an interview last year with The Independent, Lynch was deeply pessimistic about his return to cinema. “It’s a very depressing picture,” he said, not talking about his own motion pictures, but about the movie scene, which has become as disturbing, in its way, as “Blue Velvet.” “With alternative cinema — any sort of cinema that isn’t mainstream — you’re fresh out of luck in terms of getting theater space and having people come to see it.”
That said, the three hour “Inland Empire” was able to secure an alternative form of distribution, touring rather than being dropped in theaters. It ran at the IFC Center in New York City for months; the venue, sensing that people were returning to figure out just what on earth happened in it, even had a deal where if you saw it nine times, your tenth viewing was free.
But if he’s not sure whether he’ll return to the medium at any point, he’s pretty up on television. “I like the idea of a continuing story […] Television is way more interesting than cinema now. It seems like the art house has gone to cable,” he said, repeating what many have also said. He also outed himself as a fan of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.” David Lynch: He’s just like us!
Of course, Lynch is one of the architects of modern television. “Twin Peaks” not only melted minds, but helped create the idea of television as long-form storytelling. In fact, word is he’s returning to it — sort of. He’s been working on some “Twin Peaks”-related project, which may have something to do with that dream where Laura Palmer said she’d be back in 25 years. Whether what Lynch is making is a special feature for the show’s surely coming Blu-ray release or something bigger remains to be seen.
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge