David Lynch: The Art Life is now in UK cinemas, it’s a very revealing and insightful documentary on David Lynch’s mindset and covers his life right up to making his debut feature length film Eraserhead. It’s also very funny, the story of him smoking weed and seeing Bob Dylan and storming out is worth the price of a ticket alone. I had the pleasure of interview the film’s director Jon Nguyen while he over during the London Film Festival.
What has surprised you the most about working with David Lynch?
I don’t know if surprised or impressed is the right word. I’m surprised and impressed by his attention to detail and if he is an aiming for a certain mood he keeps going and going, diving and diving into it and he captures that mood. He just very detail oriented.
You didn’t show him talk about his painting influences and was that deliberate?
David expressed the painters and artists he admired Witkin (Joel-Peter), Francis Bacon, Diane Arbus, Edward Hopper and Magritte.
What has he taught you the most?
Attention to detail, me as a filmmaker if I was ever to shoot a film. If I was in a rush I wouldn’t just do it in three takes if I didn’t get it I’d keep going and keep going. Don’t just let mediocre work pass by.
What was the biggest challenge of getting Lynch to open up? because it’s quite a revealing documentary
He isn’t the easiest guy to interview and you can’t ask him about meanings of his films. We knew going in about certain taboo topics not to touch upon but besides that, he told us so many incredible stories during the two and a half-year process and you just see the tip of the iceberg.
Are you going to have lots of deleted stuff on the disc?
Uh hopefully but we don’t know, he is so busy now working on Twin Peaks that we don’t really have time to get into that part of it yet. Whenever he has free time we will talk to him about what was filmed and what we can and cannot use.
You never saw the inside of his house and just his art space in the back, was this deliberate?
It’s just too private, we are not going to intrude and respect certain personal space.
Did you get any hair styling tips from him?
(Laughs) actually, David’s new haircut is very cool, I’m quite impressed he kind of went modern but no hair styling tips.
Finally, what’s your favourite David Lynch film?
Mulholland Drive because I still think about it and every couple of weeks and can fall into it mentally, like in my mind’s eye I can drift back to that film. I watch it all the time and every time I watch it gives me different impressions.
David Lynch: The Art Life is out now playing UK cinemas, check here for listings.