Review: David Lynch – The Art Life
Cinema & on demand: David Lynch – The Art Life (2016)
David Lynch – The Art Life is not a film retrospective, but a rather surprising documentary about David Lynch, the artist. Describing a time when he was sat in a water filled mud puddle as a child with his little friend, he thickly daubs what looks like acrylic medium paste onto a board.
He talks in depth and in a very revealing way about his mother and father and their influence on him, family life, his childhood, and tells long tales in his sort of stilting languid, American Lynchy style, and while he spins his yarns, we see his art work, which obviously reflects these experiences.
His descriptions of his early home life are incredibly insightful, his descriptions of what drove him on, his likes and hates, the way he ‘let down’ his seemingly good mother. Considering he’s 71 his recollection of past events is amazing, he can even remember times of occurrences. The inclusion of photographs and home movies of his childhood are quite wonderful.
His description of going to his friend Toby’s father Bushnall Keeler’s art studio is thrilling even for me. As an ‘artist’ myself I can readily admit to being a Lynch film fan and although I was aware Lynch painted I had no idea that he really did live an ‘art life’. From an early age he rented a studio and ‘kept painting’ (I know how he feels) and watching him onscreen, sitting back and having a fag while looking at what he’s painting is something I do (without the fag), seeing him paint, watching him gloop stuff on canvas, looking at his face, intent but passive – I just ..’got it’. The childhood, the influences, and I admit I was envious of his space and being able to afford massive canvas to work on (he also has an angle grinder).
So this is a film which works on so many levels even If you have NO interest in Lynch has a film maker this is still an essential watch. For not only does the man himself tell the stories of a very interesting, rebellious younger self who was compelled to be an artist, but you also get to see him produce that art, so the fact that he’s a famous film director is actually unimportant in the scheme of things.
I absolutely loved this documentary. His Peter Wolf is a classic. Magic.