Film Review: David Lynch: The Art Life

There are very few cultural icons in modern society quite as distinctive and universally revered as David Lynch. Renowned for his cult films such as Eraserhead, Mulholland Driver and Blue Velvet, and obviously Twin Peaks, he’s not restricted to working behind the camera. He’s also a very highly thought of composer and artist. David Lynch: The Art Life focusses on the latter. However, it’s all interconnected.

Director Jon Nguyen let’s Lynch do all the talking. The film follows him whilst he goes about his daily life. He reflects on his childhood, his early love of art and how he came to be in the position he finds himself in today. Much of the documentary takes place in his studio in Hollywood Hills, where we observe him painting and playing with his young daughter. Whilst it never really touches on his major film work, it’s a rare glimpse into his worldview and raison d’être.

David Lynch: The Art Life paints the picture of a sensitive, anxious and art-obsessed youth who, despite coming from a stable affluent background, found it difficult to settle. Whilst the format itself isn’t inspiring, it works due to the eccentricity and openness of its subject. When Lynch talks it’s almost hypnotic. By allowing him the freedom to outline his formative years, David Lynch: The Art Life builds up a compelling portrait of what makes a unique individual tick.

David Lynch: The Art Life is in cinemas from Friday.

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