David Lynch isn’t giving up on cinema

The Blue Velvet director backtracks on previous statement suggesting he had made his last film with Inland Empire

Article by The Skinny | 26 May 2017
  • David Lynch

David Lynch sent a shockwave through the cinephile community earlier this month when he said that he was done with filmmaking. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, he expressed his disillusion with cinema. “Things changed a lot,” he said. “So many films were not doing well at the box office even though they might have been great films, and the things that were doing well at the box office weren't the things that I would want to do.”

The journalist then asked the director if Inland Empire, Lynch’s wildly experimental LA odyssey from 2006, was his last film. Lynch’s answer, according to the interview: “Yes it is.”

While in Cannes for a gala screening of a few episodes of the newly-returned Twin Peaks, Lynch seemed to renege on the statement. Speaking to French publication Le Soir, Lynch was ask the same question. Is he quitting cinema? To the delight of cinephiles around the world, he gave a firm “No.”

“My remarks have been misrepresented,” he said, referring to the Sydney Morning Herald interview. “I did not say I had stopped with cinema. Simply that nobody knows what the future holds.”

Maybe the change of heart came from the warm reception he had just received at the Cannes Film Festival. Lynch has had a rocky relationship with the festival in the past. His first feature, Eraserhead, was rejected by Cannes programmers when Lynch put it forward in 1977. Thirteen years later, however, he would go on to win the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, with Wild at Heart. Two after that, in 1992, he had a far rougher time when Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk with Me was derided and booed at its premiere. But he was back in the good books with a Cannes best director prize for Mulholland Drive in 2001.

Unlike the last Twin Peaks content he screened at Cannes, the episodes from season three received a rousing applause and a standing ovation, which clearly moved the director (see video below).

As we explained in our May edition, American Cinema Needs David Lynch More Than Ever, so we hope we don’t have to wait too long to see a new Lynch film in the works. We might have to wait till he gets Twin Peaks out of his system, though, as when he was asked about the show he hinted at more to come beyond season three.

“In my mind, I had put an end to the series,” he told Le Soir. “However, I have always said that I would never stop thinking about Twin Peaks, asking myself questions about its plot and imagining what might happen to the characters.”

Twin Peaks season three is now showing on Sky Atlantic

The Skinny are presenting a screening of Inland Empire at HOME, Manchester on 13 Jun. Buy tickets here