There are tons of reasons why David Lynch inspires me. One of the biggest reasons is that not only is he an iconic filmmaker and television director, but he is also very respected as a visual artist, comic book artist, musician and occasional actor.
Lynch is known for his surrealist films, and if you have ever seen one of his films you would agree that he has his own unique cinematic style. Some critics even dub it “Lynchian”. Lynch is involved in every aspect of production when he is making a film and you can see it best by his films dream imagery, and meticulous sound design. Surreal, and in almost every film, violent. These simple but effective qualities have earned Lynch the reputation of disturbing, offending and/or mystifying his audiences.
The film that hooked me on Lynch was Eraserhead. A film that Lynch would say ‘finally finished in 1976′, after five years of production. Filmed in black and white, Eraserhead tells the story of a quiet young man living in a dystopian industrial wasteland, whose girlfriend gives birth to a deformed baby whom she leaves in his care. The baby constantly cries, eventually leading to its accidental death, at which the world itself begins to fall apart. Filled with intense and disturbing imagery, Lynch has consistently refused to either confirm or deny any interpretation of Eraserhead, or to “confess his own thinking behind the many abstractions in the film.”
Lynch tried to get the film entered into the Cannes Film Festival, but while some reviewers liked it, others felt that it was awful, and so it was not selected for screening. At the same time, reviewers from the New York Film Festival also rejected it, though it was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where Ben Barenholtz, the distributor of the Elgin Theater, heard about it. It was Barenholtz that turned Eraserhead into a cult classic, helping to distribute it around the United States in 1977, and Eraserhead subsequently became popular on the midnight movie underground circuit, and was later described as one of the most important midnight movies of the seventies. Even the late, great, Stanley Kubrick said that it was one of his all-time favorite films
To see how passionate Lynch is about filmmaking, have a listen about his thoughts on people watching movies on their cell phones.