Happy Birthday, David Lynch!

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David Lynch, born on January 20th, 1946 is an American filmmaker and director, best known for his surrealist style and highly visual, psychological stories. Lynch's first feature Eraserhead (1977) became a cult classic. He went on to direct: The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Mulholland Drive (2001) and his television series Twin Peaks (1990-1991). Lynch's career inspired and influenced a generation of filmmakers including Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, and the Cohen Brothers. Lynch's era-defining films have won him over 42 awards.

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David Lynch was born in Montana, but his family moved around a lot, eventually settling in Virginia. Lynch focused heavily on art, finding himself unenthusiastic about any other subjects in school. His love for artwork and paintings brought him to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but still unsatisfied, he left to go travel over Europe. Lynch eventually settled in Los Angeles, where he could devote his full attention to working on films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trailer for Eraserhead

Lynch attributes much of his influences to the city of Philadelphia, where he lived in a dangerous neighborhood as a young adult. His first experimentation with filmmaking was a short called Six Men Getting Sick (1966), which he described as "fifty-seven seconds of growth and fire, and three seconds of vomit." He continued to experiment with disturbing and graphic images, distorted sound effects and other ways of evoking psychological reactions. His breakthrough Eraserhead took five years to produce but it wasn't until the 1980s that he became a mainstream success.

Twin Peaks Opening Sequence

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Lynch's film Blue Velvet became a critically-acclaimed hit and a Film Studies staple worldwide. Set in a Suburban dystopia, it screams of the world in which Lynch grew up. He stated:

"My childhood was elegant homes, tree-lined streets, the milkman, building backyard forts, droning airplanes, blue skies, picket fences, green grass, cherry trees. Middle America as it's supposed to be. But on the cherry tree there's this pitch oozing out – some black, some yellow, and millions of red ants crawling all over it. I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath. Because I grew up in a perfect world, other things were a contrast."

 

 

 

Opening Scene from Blue Velvet

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Lynch collaborated with television producer Mark Frost, which led to the creation of Twin Peaks, a supernatural thriller drama on ABC. The series ended on a cliffhanger after only two seasons but led to film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. It acted as both a prequel and a sequel to the story from the show. In more recent years, Lynch has directed the non-linear Lost Highway (1997) and neo-noir Mulholland Drive (2001). Shortly afterwards, the internet video boom inspired Lynch to create a dark and surreal sitcom for his website, called Rabbits. Lynch lists European directors such as Fellini and Herzog among the artists he most admires, and has himself inspired countless directors.

Rabbits

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David Lynch on iPhones. A classic moment.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Monday, 20 January 2014
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