The City of Absurdity Papers & Essayes
David Lynch Keeps His Head  by David Foster Wallace


Eraserhead (1978), The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), two televised seasons of Twin Peaks (1990-92), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), and the mercifully ablated TV show On the Air (1992).


HAS DIRECTED music videos for Chris Isaak; has directed the theater teaser for Michael Jackson's lavish Dangerous video; has directed commercials for Obsession, Saint-Laurent's Opium, Alka-Seltzer, a national breast-cancer awareness campaign,3 and New York City's Garbage-Collection Program. Has produced Into the Night, an album by Julee Cruise of songs cowritten by Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, including the Twin Peaks theme and Blue Velvet's "Mysteries of Love."4 Had for a few years a comic strip, The Angriest Dog in the World, that appeared in a handful of weekly papers, and of which Matt Greening and Bill Griffith were reportedly big fans. Has cowritten with Badalamenti (who's also cowriting the original music for Lost Highway, be apprised) Industrial Symphony #1, the 1990 video of which features Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern and Julee Cruise and the hieratic dwarf from Twin Peaks and topless cheerleaders and a flayed deer, and which sounds pretty much like the title suggests it will.5 Has had a bunch of gallery shows of his abstract expressionist paintings. Has codirected, with James Signorelli, 1992's6 Hotel Room, a feature-length collection of vignettes all set in one certain room of an NYC railroad hotel, a hoary mainstream conceit ripped off from Neil Simon and sufficiently Lynchianized in Hotel Room to be then subsequently ripoffablc from Lynch by Tarantino et posse in 1995's Four Rooms.7 Has published Images (Hyperion, 1993), a sort of coffee-table book of movie stills, prints of Lynch's paintings, and some of Lynch's art photos (some of which are creepy and moody and sexy and cool, and some of which are just photos of spark plugs and dental equipment and seem kind of dumb).8

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3 Haven't yet been able to track down clips of these spots, but the mind reels at the possibilities implicit in the conjunction of D. Lynch and radical mastectomy....

4 "M.o.L.," only snippets of which are on BV's soundtrack, has acquired an underground reputation as one of the great make-out tunes of all time – well worth checking out.

5 I.e., like a blend of Brian Eno, Philip Glass, and the climactic showdown in-an-automated-factory scene from The Terminator.

6 '92 having been a year of simply manic creative activity for Lynch, apparently.

7 Tarantino has made as much of a career out of ripping off Lynch as he has out of converting French New Wave film into commercially palatable U.S. paste – q.v. section (7).

8 Dentistry seems to be a new passion for Lynch, by the way–the photo on the title page of Lost Highway's script, which is of a guy with half his face normal and half unbelievably distended and ventricose and gross, was apparently plucked from a textbook on extreme dental emergencies. There's great enthusiasm for this photo around Asymmetrical Productions. and they're looking into the legalities of using it in Lost Highway's ads and posters, which if I was the guy in the photo I'd want a truly astronomical permission fee for.

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