The Awl pointed out this week the troubling fact that David Lynch hasn’t made a film in five years; as far as anyone knows, he doesn’t have one in the works. The writer included this upsetting—albeit dubious—quote from director Abel Ferrara:
“Lynch doesn’t even want to make films anymore…I’ve talked to him about it, Ok? I can tell when he talks about it. I’m a lunatic, and he’s pushing transcendental meditation.”
That hardly seems like the final word on the subject, but have you noticed lately that—in a kind of role reversal worthy of his 1996 film Lost Highway—David Lynch has replaced making films with becoming a walking David Lynch film? In other words, he’s more Lynchian than he is Lynch. David Foster Wallace, in his brilliant article for Premiere about the aforementioned film, “David Lynch Keeps His Head,” gave the concept Lynchian its most succinct definition:
“…Refers to a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter.”
So, for instance, that signed photograph of David Lynch hanging in The Observer‘s neighborhood deli in Greenpoint, a place where there are no other celebrity photographs, or photographs of really anything besides cold cuts? That’s Lynchian (the questionable authenticity of the photograph only adds to that). The story that musician Peter Wolf, Lynch’s old college roommate, recently recounted in the New York Times of Lynch realizing there was a cockroach on his toothbrush while he was brushing his teeth is Lynchian but not as Lynchian as the director asking Mr. Wolf for the $43.20 he owed in back rent at lunch 20 years later, right after the release of Blue Velvet.
It goes without saying that a critically acclaimed film director starting a foundation to support the widespread practice of Transcendental Meditation is Lynchian.
Lynch ostensibly abandoning filmmaking in favor of becoming a living commercial brand after Inland Empire, his deepest (and most flawed) exploration of the avant-garde, is definitively Lynchian. In Paris, he’s opened a nightclub called Silencio that is modeled after Club Silencio from Mulholland Dr. According to an article in the Guardian, Lynch didn’t attend the opening.
“No hay banda!” indeed. (Esoteric jokes about David Lynch films are also subtly Lynchian.)
Now you can enjoy David Lynch Signature Cup Organic Coffee, made from “only organically grown beans” with flavors culled from a “personalized testing method.” (Sample flavor: “David Lynch Signature Cup Organic House Blend: A light roast with crisp and bright notes of creamy cocoa and hazelnutes. Beans come from the rugged Sierra Madres of Oaxaca, Mexico. Small farmers with less than two acres a piece make up this cooperative, which has been growing coffee organically as long as anyone can remember.”)
In November, David Lynch will release an album of electronic music. In terms of style, it falls more on the side of the Lost Highway soundtrack than Twin Peaks, but the influence of Angelo Badalamenti, Lynch’s long-time composer, is undeniable. It is called Crazy Clown Time and its Lynchian connotations—in concept as well as delivery—do not require explaining.
Naturally, the Internet’s obsession with Lynch, even though he hasn’t made a film in half-a-decade, is most Lynchian.