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Appellate Judge Mac McEntire • Location: Shrewsbury, MA
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Lynch (One)
December 16th, 2007 1:53AM

Director David Lynch loves mysteries. He has often argued that a mystery loses its power over an audience when it is solved, and that sometimes, there are mysteries that should never be solved, but should instead remain unknowns for the audience. This has understandably frustrated many viewers of his films, but if you ask me, he’s got a point there. One of the biggest mysteries, then, is “who is this David Lynch guy who makes these ‘out there’ movies?” For an answer, or at least a partial answer, turn to the new documentary Lynch (One), now playing in select cities.

Here we see Lynch in the early days of work on INLAND EMPIRE. He has a not-unsurprisingly odd phone conversation with Jeremy Irons, and he makes the first announcement about the movie to the pay-only viewers on his web site. We see him fuss over the small details on a set, so everything can be just right – just as he imagined it. Then there’s the much-talked-about moment in which Lynch loses his cool and snaps at his crew. Honestly, I didn’t think this was that shocking. It’s nothing compared to the footage of an enraged James Cameron going off on his crew on the Aliens two-disc set.

Lynch does get to talk some about his creative process. In the past, he used to never about this, but in recent years, he’s opened up a lot more. Maybe it’s because of the Web site and the daily interaction with his fans. Who knows? Either way, it’s fascinating stuff. He of course mentions transcendental meditation, and he credits that for a source of a lot of his creativity. He also debunks the concept of the suffering artist, saying instead that the greatest art is created when the artist feels joy in his or her life.

Of course, this is still David Lynch we’re talking about, and there are plenty of quirks to be seen or heard, most notably Lynch’s preoccupation with Bastille Day (Your guess is as good as mine). Also, why is Idaho mentioned a few times in the movie? Isn’t Lynch from Montana?

One big mystery surrounds this movie: Who is the director, credited here by the pseudonym “blackANDwhite?” A lot of people online think that the director is Lynch himself. All I can do is shrug and say, “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.” Still, the documentary does show some Lynchian touches, such as when Lynch wanders through an abandoned factory, marveling at all the pipes and machinery. As he does so, we’re treated to all kinds of cool cinematic shots of said machinery. There are a lot of visual tricks like this throughout the movie that keep it moving along at a nice pace.

OK, bottom line. If you’re a David Lynch fan, find out when this is coming to your city and go see it. If you know nothing about the man or his movies, this really isn’t the place to start. Instead of answering “Who is David Lynch?” the movie instead answers the question, “What’s it like to hang out with David Lynch?” The answer is a lot like the director’s films: Baffling at times, but still incredibly entertaining.


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