Some painfully bad questions (and hair) from the 23-old me but good answers (and, as always, hair) from the 33-year-old David Lynch. Shot for my television-production class at UCLA in 1979, the interview features archival footage of the oil fields that served as a location for Lynch’s AFI film Eraserhead and now lie beneath the Beverly Center. Also seen but alas not heard much from (mea culpa, bad interviewing) is cinematographer Frederick Elmes. I was working at the time for Parallax, now Landmark, Theaters, owners of the Nuart, where Eraserhead was the midnight movie. (The video also includes some funny responses from audience members.) Lynch had been with John Waters earlier on the day of the interview and almost got him to join us. David later provided me with a copy of his short film The Amputee, also shot by Elmes, which we screened following the interview on one TV set outside on the UCLA campus — a world premier. The interview ends on one of the great lines from David Lynch, who said he wasn’t interested in Hollywood stars at the time: “If you’re going into the netherworld, you don’t want to go in with Chuck Heston.”
Notes: The sound doesn’t kick in until about 30 seconds in. My classmate Bob Pool was on camera. A text version of the interview appeared in the Los Angeles Reader. Thanks to Lioba von den Driesch and Medienwerkstatt Berlin for assistance in digitizing the tape.
The essential documentaries on David Lynch, including Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1997), David Lynch: Don’t Look at Me (1989), Lynch (2007), Mysteries of Love (2002), Eraserhead Stories (2001), Jonathan Ross Presents for One Week Only: David Lynch (1990), David Lynch presents: Ruth, Roses and Revolver (BBC Arena 1987), Scene by Scene: David Lynch (BBC, 1999), and David Lynch Interview (The GUARDIAN Lectures 1985).