By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Even as he dutifully shows me a bed he designed (the headboard was made, he says, by “Raoul, the upholsterer to the stars”), he‘s eager to get me over to the computer, a relatively new obsession. Lynch’s tastes may run to retro in cars and lamps, but he‘s not one of those Luddites who find Flash animation as incomprehensible as Sanskrit or hate digital video (he’s thought of making a silly DV comedy titled The Dream of the Bovine). Lynch happily embraces what he calls the “beautiful world” of the Internet, which he sees as a new frontier of staggering freedom. “The whole world is made of little bits,” he says, “and now we‘ve been given little bits that we can manipulate. The sky is the limit.”
Predictably, Lynch has no discernible interest in using computers the way most of us do. He rarely surfs the Net, doesn’t play video games. Instead, he has spent much of the last two years designing DavidLynch.com, which was optimistically scheduled to launch October 12 (it didn‘t make it) and should be open for business any day now. The site will showcase all manner of new Lynchiana, from still photographs and music to DV serials.
Once his computer’s booted up, he clicks his mouse. Up pops a set of surreal teeth that open and close. Very spooky.
Click! We‘re looking at a seedy apartment occupied by three characters, all of whom have human bodies topped with big-eared bunny heads.
Click! An extraordinary close-up of bees.
Click! A naked woman in a jar.
Click! A butcherd pig that’s been reassembled and now stands on its back legs (“I‘m going to make the pig walk”).
Click! To my shock, there’s a picture of Lynch bending over and pointing his finger at his backside (covered, thank heavens), which is aimed straight at the camera.
Lynch laughs. “I did this one for a guy who said I hadn‘t paid him some money.”
We spend a long time perusing a still photo of the elevator lobby from Eraserhead. Using PhotoShop, Lynch has been able to make the elevator doors slide open to reveal what’s inside -- light spills out onto the carpet in the foreground.
He stares at it intently. “There was a period when I could get lost in this world for weeks at a time.”
My allotted time has run out, and I keep preparing to leave. But looking at all this material, Lynch is getting excited. He keeps offering to show me one more thing. He shows me two nudes. He shows me another Polish factory. He shows me the lovely prototype image for his Web site‘s chat room, which looks like some unholy hybrid of a steam engine and a film projector.
As the images keep coming (even more bees!), I find myself getting caught up in his boyish enthusiasm. His stuff really is cool! And I’m reminded why, though some folks think him dark or nasty, I‘ve always found Lynch inspiring. A true romantic, he believes in the transcendent power of imagination, the possibility of creating wondrous new worlds.
Computers, I say, must be a real boon to obsessives like him.
He tells me that, for the upcoming DVD of Eraserhead, a man named Arash has spent four months digitally tweaking all the images.
“You know, like, when you’re watching a film on TV, you see little white specks? That‘s negative dirt. On Eraserhead, the dirt was built in. There was no way to get rid of it. Every print had the same dirt. And you know how when you’re on your computer and you‘ve got your magnifying glass, you can go to the next magnification and see large? And on the next magnification you’ll see billions of pieces of dirt and so on? Well, Arash has cleaned this thing.”
“Frame by frame.” He beams triumphantly. “It will be the cleanest film in cinema history.”