Monday, 20 August 2007

EIFF: Lynch - Review by Robert Duffin

Director: blackANDwhite
Screenwriter: blackANDwhite
Running Time: 84 mins
EIFF Screenings:
Monday 20th 22:30
Friday 24th 17:15
Sunday 26th 10:30

Upon entering the Cameo cinema to watch the documentary Lynch, I was tickled by the staff’s sly nod to their audience. Humming gently over the speaker system was the soundtrack to Twin Peaks, and so vivid was my response to hearing it I half expected Bob to come crawling out of the darkest corner of the screening room, dripping with menace and prepared to pounce. Unfortunately this experience would probably have been more thrilling than watching the genius that created the character at work.

David Lynch has strictly adhered to his rule of never speaking about his films in depth for his entire thirty year film career and sadly this project brings him no closer to breaking that rule. Scenes of Lynch recording the scratchy sounds of needle on vinyl, or swirling a dinner jacket around a tub of paint are evidently supposed to give us insight into the creative process, but it doesn’t work. The film is more successful in proving Lynch to be an affable personality, but no one is buying a ticket to see him larking about.

Despite having full access to Lynch during the filming of INLAND EMPIRE, nothing particularly interesting is revealed about that film either. Lynch throws out a reference to it being linked to the bible story of the Gadarene demon Legion (Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30 for those whom this nugget will spawn a thousand forum posts), but never really elaborates. The director of the documentary being credited as blackANDwhite had led some to speculate this is in fact a grand piece of Lynchian self promotion but ultimately it makes no difference. Lynch isn’t even exciting enough for someone who gets wistful over Julee Cruise singing ‘Falling’, so who exactly it is for I’m not sure.

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