“I don’t go by nighttime dreams because it’s daydreaming that I like.”
The moment I saw the title and cover of David Lynch’s memoir, I fell in love with it. Room to Dream. It’s all in that title. The possibilities that title holds. The mysteries it eventually further deepens. I didn’t expect anything less from David Lynch. Room to Dream does not demystify. What movie lover would want that? A deconstruction of David Lynch’s films? Art does not need explanation, but to be felt and experienced and interpreted by each individual differently. The Lynchian universe remains an enigma.
It’s the personal journey of the artist that you look for instead in this sort of book. Here is one truth I already knew, but which is worth repeating again and again and again: David Lynch is a creator who does not compromise, does not sell out, a filmmaker who does not make movies for critics “but answers to the higher authority of his imagination”. And there are many random things I took away from the book, the kind of things I’m looking forward to in an autobiography the most, the little details and contours and the personal stuff teasing that take you a little closer to the artist and the man, without intruding. You’ve been invited in and you take this chance, a brief splash of insight, because the door will not remain open for long.
His childhood shaped him. He’s got a sense of humour. He was a happy child and has a happy personality, but has always been drawn to dark things. In high school he already had a well defined style and he still dresses the same way as he did back then. Appearantly, every woman he has met finds him attractive. He discovered meditation in 1973 and it changed his life. His films don’t really make money, but he does what he believes in. He values his privacy and his favourite thing to do is to be home working. He loves Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment. He thinks Grace Kelly and James Stewart’s kiss in Rear Window is one of the best in the history of cinema (the other one is Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift’s in A Place in the Sun). For Laura Dern’s character in Twin Peaks: The Return, he created his own lipstick palette and mixed colours until he found the pink shade that he wanted. He loves Los Angeles light. He works with actors, not stars. Work always comes first. He gives himself room to dream.
The book is different from traditional memoirs and the approach is extremely engaging. Each chapter is divided in two parts. The first part is written by co-author Kristine McKenna, consisting of biographical accounts of Lynch’s life, including interviews with people who know him well, from family and friends to colleagues and his loyal group of collaborators. The second part is David Lynch’s autobiographical first-person account. “What you’re reading here is basically a person having a conversation with his own biography,” writes McKenna in the introduction. It’s a conversation you want to take part in. I’m currently revisiting his films. I’m not looking to understanding them, but to look deeper into my own imagination. Mr. Lynch, thank you.
“Not carrying what other people think is a good thing.”
“Kids then had a lot of freedom to run around. We went everywhere and we weren’t inside in the day, ever. We were out doing stuff and it was fantastic. It’s horrible that kids today don’t get to grow up that way anymore. How did we let that happen? We didn’t have a tv until I was in the third grade, and I watched some tv as a child, but not very much. The only show I really watched was Perry Mason. Television did what the internet is doing more of now: it homogenized everything.”
“I learned about failure, and in a way
failure is a beautiful thing because when the dust settles
there’s nowhere to go but up, and it’s freedom.”
photos: 1-Classiq / 2-Donald Lynch | David Lynch and his younger brother, John, in Spokane, Washington, c.1953 (from the book) / 3-Dean Hurley