Where Is David Lynch?

By Erik Waldman

Where is David Lynch?

Four-time Oscar nominee David Lynch is one of the best directors of the past thirty years. His most recent feature film was Inland Empire in 2006, but it wasn’t as popular as his hit 2001 film Mulholland Drive. He's since disappeared from the spotlight.

How do you start your career with a film as twisted and genius as Eraserhead in 1977 and then disappear after your over-long Inland Empire?

I miss you David. I miss your surreal style in your small-town USA settings and stylistic close-ups. Yes, your films are far away from reality, but I don’t care! I want to know what happened to you.

Stop guest starring on the Cleveland Show and get back to doing what you do best: meditate and write dialogue for your next film. Did you stop meditating?

Lynch usually meditates for twenty minutes, then writes dialogue. Here are a few films (I’m not including all of them) in Lynch’s career to explain why he needs to return to feature length filmmaking or another TV series similar to Twin Peaks.


Someone who writes, produces and directs a film and is a triple threat. For this film, Lynch was a triple threat plus.

He was also the production designer, special effects editor, composer and more. He worked on this film obsessively for at least four years and created a masterpiece.

Eraserhead is the most original and personal film ever created by any filmmaker. Eraserhead reaches deep into the human psyche.

To this day, Lynch is most famous for not explaining to anybody what this film is actually about. This film was nightmare to make, but it turned into a film that glorifies Lynch as man who is not afraid to take risks.


Even though it was hard to look at John Hurt as John Merrick, Lynch stepped to the lighter side with this poignant statement on the human condition.

The Elephant Man was Lynch’s second feature film and his first Best Director Oscar nomination. Lynch tells the story so well, in black and white, that we follow the characters with our psyche.
Remember, this is a David Lynch film.

The abuse Merrick encounters throughout his life is unsettling. Lynch puts this in for good reason; we need to feel happy when he finally stands up for himself.

Lynch asks us to respect Merrick, not cry for him, but sometimes you have no choice. Elephant Man is one of his perfect 1980s films - it’s classy.


After his disaster - 1984's Dune - Lynch discredited himself from ever being part of the film's production. At the same time he was working on a screenplay for his next original work, Blue Velvet.

In Blue Velvet, Lynch uses eerie colors, strange camera angles and a different soundtrack. Every sound is heard, every sound is important. Also, Lynch deserves credit for creating one of the most menacing villains to ever touch the big screen: Frank Booth (brilliantly played by the late Dennis Hopper).

Yes, this is a sick film - it starts with a severed human ear, and the violence only escalates.

TWIN PEAKS (TV Series 1990-1991)

A David Lynch TV series? You could not ask for more! Twin Peaks won a few Emmys and three Golden Globes its first season, including Best TV Drama Series.

The series is about the murder of a young girl in a small, idiosyncratic town called Twin Peaks. Since Lynch is directing, the show is beyond weird, but also very enjoyable and one of the most rewarding in the history of American television.

Lynch must have had a blast adding any strange idea that entered his mind's universe to this TV series. Watch this two season TV series to find out what Lych's weird ideas were - ideas that make viewers squirm.


Lost Highway is another film coveying Lynch’s bizarre reality. Lost Highway is so inspring you want to watch the film again.

The film is not about mental illness, but the presentation and narrative are mentally ill. As a surreal filmmaker, Lynch takes his films in unpredictable directions.

In Lost Highway all of the sudden Bill Pullman is living someone else’s life. For this type of film, similar to Mullholland Drive and Eraserhead, you do not question; you just watch.


Lynch steps away from his twisted world and creates a family film, a soul-touching film. Instead of looking at the world's darkness and distortion, Lynch explores America's goodness and beauty.

Mr. Lynch spends just under two hours taking us through the process of aging and finding what’s important in life.

Lynch, director and screenwriter, also reminds us total silence can say a great deal. He gave the role of a lifetime to Richard Farnsworth the year before he died. More than a performance, with The Straight Story, Lynch creates a love poem and sends it to the world. Is there anything Lynch can’t do?


Considered one of the best films of 2001, Mulholland Drive returns to Lynch's dream world in conflict with reality. Lynch wanted to turn this into a TV series, similar to Twin Peaks, because he believed a feature film would be too long.

Lynch once again used his rich colors and wonderful visuals to flesh out his characters. Again, the camera work is fantastic and the music is eerie. Mulholland Drive is one last ride before Lynch makes his drawn-out Inland Empire and then disappears from the feature film world.

Lynch knows how to direct actors. Naomi Watts and Laura Eleana Harring gave Oscar-caliber performances, but received nothing (even for their lesbian sex scene).

The film was pieced together in a way only Lynch himself can explain. He will not. He wants the audience to draw conclusions. What a genius! 


David Lynch has been making short films in the last few years, but has anyone seen them? Now he prefers short dream sequences instead of adding a story to the sequences to create a feature.

Why is did he stop making feature films? Lynch, are you out of ideas? Lynch, you created movies. You created experiences no one will forget.

A film's purpose is to create a memorable experience for the viewer. In that sense, Lynch’s films never fail.

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About The Author

Erik Waldman My name is Erik Waldman. I am a Film/Media Arts major at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Currently, I am a junior studying abroad at Foundation International Education (FIE) in Kensington.

On June 6th, 1991 I was born to Howard and Lisa Waldman in Abington, Pennsylvania. The first film I saw was The Lion King in 1994, and I have loved going to the movies ever since. Even though I was three years old, I remember having a great time watching the movie.

I attended Holland Elementary, Holland Middle School and graduated from Council Rock High School South in 2009. During my senior year at high school I took a filmmaking class and immediately fell in love with making movies. I wrote and directed two short films and I created three short commercials for an assignment. Also during my senior year I participated with the school’s choir in a tour across England and I loved every minute.

When it was time to apply for college, I wanted to go to a college that was close to home, because I love being close to my family. I wanted to major in filmmaking because I wanted to learn more about the process than I learned in one semester in high school. Temple University was my top choice because I am the fourth generation in my family to attend, the school is well known for its film program and it has a study abroad program.

After two and half years attending Temple, I love the school and its film program, because the professors know exactly what they’re talking about and making the movies has been a blast. I’ve loved writing and directing five short films since my freshman year at Temple.

I applied for study abroad in London after my sophomore year ended because I wanted a new experience to cherish for the rest of my life and to return to England. I was happy to learn I was able to apply for an internship during my stay in England.

I applied to Raindance Film Festival, because Raindance has an amazing history of screening famous directors’ films, such as those of my favourite filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, and they have film classes I would love to attend to learn something I have not yet learned at Temple. A film festival is a great place to start meeting people who in the film business and it’s an amazing experience to write about on a resume.

Since January 5th, England has been fantastic. I’ve been exploring London a lot since my arrival and I’m picking up the culture a lot faster than I thought I would. I’ve walked around Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster, Bath, Stonehenge and more. I know there’s a lot more to look forward to, including a football match I’m attending on St. Patrick’s Day, Greenwich, the London Eye, my trip to Dublin, and possibly attending some concerts while I’m here. I feel very happy being in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to see what else it has to offer. 

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Where is David Lynch?