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David Lynch: The Art Life is a compelling portrait of the filmmaker Add to ...

  • Directed by Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes and Olivia Neergaard-Holm
  • Starring David Lynch
  • Classification PG
  • Genre documentary
  • Year 2016
  • Country Denmark/USA
  • Language English

Confession time: I am not the world’s biggest David Lynch fan.

I think Twin Peaks is brilliant only in how it conned itself onto network airwaves. Mulholland Drive is a gorgeous, though hollow, dreamscape that has gained a puzzling reputation since it was rejected from the small screen. And Lost Highway is baffling in the worst possible way. (If you don’t hear from me for a while after this review runs, it’s because the film-critic elite have kidnapped me for my above transgressions.)

But despite my reservations, I found the new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life as compelling a portrait of an artist as in recent memory – a shrewd and carefully considered exploration of what makes a filmmaker tick. Like the recent doc De Palma, directors of The Art Life (Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes and Olivia Neergaard-Holm) make their subject their own narrator and sole source.

Unlike Brian De Palma, Lynch is not a natural conversationalist, so the result is a stiched-together narrative that is as curious and occasionally frustrating as the man himself. Still, I learned more about the director’s process and creative drive in a tidy 90 minutes than I ever could in the three hours it would take to slog through Inland Empire.

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Follow on Twitter: @hertzbarry

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