Rodley, a fine and attentive interviewer, has compiled two of
my favorite film books. The first was Cronenberg on Cronenberg,
a fascinating study of the Canadian director's outré career.
Now Rodley has reunited with London publisher Faber & Faber
to spotlight another genius named David in Lynch on Lynch.
The generously illustrated book (with rare b&w behind-the-scenes
pix and repros of many of Lynch's bizarre paintings) takes Lynch
from his innocent Eagle Scout childhood to his latest cinematic
Highway. As in Cronenberg on Cronenberg, the spine
of the book is its in-depth, exhaustive Q&A with the director.
The notoriously interview-shy Lynch is unusually forthcoming
about the genesis of his most indelible film moments (why does
Dean Stockwell lip-synch "In Dreams" into a hand-held
work-light in Blue Velvet? Find out here).
One nifty revelation is that Stanley Kubrick once referred to
Eraserhead as his favorite film and wanted to know how
the infamous baby was made. Rodley delicately brings up this
question, a somewhat sore spot with Lynch, who's still stonewalling
us after all these years. I agree with him, though -- I'd just
as soon not know exactly how the thing was done. (Intriguing
The interviews in print invariably lose some of the charm of
hearing Dave speak in his lovably goofy voice; for that, I refer
you to the video documentary Pretty as a Picture: The Art
of David Lynch. And I would've liked to read more of Lynch's
thoughts on such obscure projects as On the Air, Hotel
Room, and American Chronicles. Also, a whole chapter
could have been devoted to famous unrealized Lynch projects like
Ronnie Rocket, One Saliva Bubble, and the hilarious-sounding
Dream of the Bovine, about three guys who used to be cows.
Still, rabid Lynch fans (such as myself) will welcome a book
that lets the man speak for himself instead of chewing up his
work and digesting it for us (i.e., Martha P. Nochimson's well-written
but overly academic The Passion of David Lynch). As Lynch
says: "The film is the thing. I don't need to talk about
it. I don't need to do anything. That is phony stuff. The fine
art of Phony Baloney."