In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, being classic pieces of work, or just by a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re going to get Lynchian.
David Lynch: he’s there but not there. He’s great press, since his films are such out-there dreamscapes, endlessly open to interpretation, while Lynch remains stubbornly Midwestern, chipper, and mysterious, refusing to ever explain his art, to the frustration and delight of his ardent fans. With the announcement that Twin Peaks, his television masterpiece made with Mark Frost, will be coming back to Showtime in 2016, it’s time to explore some of what makes David Lynch tick.
“David Lynch Keeps His Head,” by David Foster Wallace, Premiere Magazine, September 1996
When this article originally ran in Premiere, it was by “anonymous,” although it was painfully obvious that it was written by the late then-wunderkind author of Infinite Jest. Despite Wallace’s protestations that he is not a journalist (which feels like the smartest man in the world trying to endear himself to you, the reader), he does a fine write-around: “HOWEVER OBSESSED with fluxes in identity his movies are, Lynch has remained remarkably himself throughout his filmmaking career.”
“Sharing Pie and Secrets With the Mystery Girls of Twin Peaks,” by Bill Zehme, Rolling Stone, October 1990
Twin Peaks mania when it was happening IRL: “They are women whom we think we know but really don’t know at all. They are mystery babes. They are mixed up in murder. They look good in sweaters. They are the women of Twin Peaks – or, at least, three of the women of Twin Peaks. They are six peaks.”
“The Straight Story Movie Review,” by Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times, October 1999
Roger Ebert on Lynch’s outlier film — such an outlier that it’s rated G. If you’ve seen it, you’ll remember it as an old man drives a tractor across the country to see his brother: “Farnsworth himself has a face like an old wrinkled billfold that he paid good money for and expects to see him out,” Ebert writes.
It’s a Beautiful World, a film by Richard Beymer about David Lynch
Beymer played Ben Horne on Twin Peaks (he took marvelous shots from the last day of shooting, as you can see here) and when he heard that Lynch was going to travel to India to start work on a film about the founder of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he asked his former director whether he could tag along and film the process. The resulting documentary, now available on Vimeo, is an intimate look at Lynch in the real world, as he talks about his films, his childhood, and goes nearly mad looking for a cigarette.
“David Lynch Is Back… As a Guru of Transcendental Meditation,” The New York Times Magazine, February 2013
During Lynch’s hiatus from serious filmmaking, he’s focused on other projects, especially the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. An avid proponent of transcendental meditation, this profile balances Lynch’s artistic darkness with his proponent of T.M.’s “pure bliss.”