We were fortunate enough to attend the screening of Lost Highway at The Prince Theater which was preceded by an interview and audience Q+A with David Lynch himself.
As a little background, I wasn’t really aware of David Lynch until I happened to rent Lost Highway (from Blockbuster of course) back in 1998 when I was just out of high school. In that same sense that some “Whovians” make mention of the first doctor they are exposed to is “their” doctor, even though I have since seen the majority of his films, Lost Highway has remained my favorite.
For me, Lost Highway is much like Arrested Development character George Michael’s obsession with magic; as he says “It’s like a mind puzzle, an awesome mind puzzle.” I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it at this point. A time-bending story of duality and love versus lust with a Noir-ish look and feel. And oh what an epic soundtrack! Produced by Trent Reznor, it features moody and frenetic jazz by Lynch’s longtime musical collaborator Angelo Badalamenti alongside neo-metal outfits Marilyn Manson and Rammstein.
So the day of the screening arrived and our entourage of 6 got to the theater right at 5pm to make sure we would get good seats and decided on the 4th row which gave us a great vantage point for both the talk and the screening. The interview was conducted by journalist Kristine McKenna, and lasted about 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute audience Q+A.
[Photo by Matt Spade]
Charming, funny and poignant, Lynch spoke a lot about his art vs. film (as this screening coincides with the opening of his art exhibit at PAFA) and expounded on the benefits of transcendental meditation. Here were some of the other things that stuck with me:
+ Lynch could be very trite at times, with simple one word answers, feeling no real need to elaborate. I was a bit surprised by this.
+ Despite the grittiness and darkness of his films, he is an extremely positive person as his path to enlightenment through meditation has made him experience extreme happiness
+ He is scared of acting (I believe he used the word “terrifying” in regards to being in front of the camera for his stint on Louis CK) while at the same time doesn’t think the audition scene in Mulholland Drive isn’t creepy, lascivious or sinister. In regards to his own films/auditions, he doesn’t have people read for him but rather just talks to them.
+ His advice for directors: don’t lose your vision, don’t stop until you’re satisfied, take ideas but don’t be led astray from your own path.
+ He doesn’t watch his own films. He said the last time he did was when his youngest son was 14 and they sat down and watched them all together. He jokingly said that his son is “75 now,” so you can only imagine how long ago that was. ;-) But he will revisit his art and finds he can gain inspiration from that.
+ His thoughts on Philly: he remembers a grime, a patina, on the city. Being in Center City this week, he remarked it’s cleaner and “ordinary.” :(
Directly after the talk, Lost Highway was shown on 35MM film. As someone who has only seen it on tape, the print felt bigger (obvs) and warmer. At the same time the characters are shot very tightly and that claustrophobic feel still permeates the expansive screen.
An all around perfect evening of film entertainment!