David Lynch: The Art Life

Shaking myself awake, I thought I’d check I wasn’t alone – five other critics had nodded off too in the screening of this singularly unilluminating documentary about the early life of David Lynch.

It sounds far more interesting than it actually is to watch – an idyllic childhood, art school, struggling to paint in Philadelphia, a grant to the AFI film school in LA – and the film makers really try to force a Lynchian reading onto the material.

We do see lots of Lynch at work, scratching and rubbing at his current art works while his new toddler daughter plays with brushes and materials, and we get a lot of recollected detail from his past, not always particularly well-told – he’s not a raconteur, although he’s a very good talker and smoker. It’s unnecessarily heavy-going and reveals very little about Lynch’s films or his mysterious thought processes.

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