By Gregory Crofton
What’s best about this documentary are the dozens of David Lynch’s paintings displayed on the big screen, but that’s if you’re lucky enough to see this film in the theatre as we did last weekend at the Chattanooga Film Festival.
And as you learn intimate details about Lynch’s childhood in Idaho and later Virginia, the beautifully displayed art — generally very dark paintings/sculptures — become easier to understand. This glimpse of how great art is created is fascinating, especially when the work being considered is important to a generation and has become in essence its own genre.
The film has a languid pace that works well. It starts with his family life, covers his relationships with both parents and ends as he’s completed his first film “ERASERHEAD,” one that the great Stanley Kubrick has said is his favorite. There’s plenty of footage of Lynch making art in his California-sunlit home studio with his young daughter nearby, an enjoyable thing to watch. Lynch looks as puzzled and labored as any one of us would as he does his work.
There are some really funny stories included, like the first time he smoked pot, and when he saw Bob Dylan in concert with his roommate, musician Peter Wolfe. Lynch apparently doesn’t really leave his house much, which makes you wonder how he just completed an 18-hour cable television series, the sequel to “Twin Peaks,” for Showtime.
Learn more about “DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE,” and where it’s showing, here.