David Lynch is one very mysterious guy and now the subject of a newly released documentary that’s making its way to the Roxie Theater. And while many, including myself, often feel shorted when the credits roll up at the end of one of his films and still, you have no idea what’s going, it’s impossible to deny that Lynch deserves some shine. Lynch’s signature ability to creating an element of intrigue and eeriness, even in the most mundane settings is a skill. And the ability to make you get that same feeling as when you wake up and aren’t exactly sure if just you had a dream or nightmare? That’s hard to replicate.

Feelings about the films asides, the doc has received a warm welcome as the renowned director, screenwriter, producer, painter, musician—who was so boldly described by the Guardian as “the most important director of this era”—reveals more about himself than really ever before in David Lynch: The Art Life.

The film looks intimately at Lynch’s art, music, and early films, personal photo albums and other never-before-seen material. Much like in Lynch’s movies, he entertains viewers with stories of strange characters. The film also gives a glimpse into his home life and painting studio in the hills of Hollywood.

Fans be warned: The Art Life still offers little discussion about the actual Lynch movies’ character or plot explanations. Lynch has purposely opted to leave his films under a cloak of mystery for all these years, so why would he stop now? As mentioned by the film’s director Jon Nguyen, in an interview with International Film Festival Rotterdam, his team had “collected some 25 hours of interview material over an almost two and a half-year period” from Lynch. Nguyen adds that Lynch was reluctant at first to the attention, but began revealing a large amount of himself in the film, in the hopes that his daughter (who is four years old now, while Lynch is in his seventies) would eventually learn his story.

Lynchian: Referring to a certain quality of the works of film director David Lynch. [Where] you have no fucking clue what’s going on, but you know it’s genius. – Urban Dictionary

The documentary will be shown at the Roxie Theater, April 28-May 4 and will be accompanied by the short film Scissors (2007), courtesy of David Lynch.

In the spirit of all things David Lynch, they will also be showing the following movies…


Eraserhead – Friday, April 28, 9pm

Mulholland Dr. (35mm) – Saturday, April 29, 9pm

David Lynch: Short Films – Sunday, April 30, 8:30pm & Tuesday, May 2, 9pm

Lynch’s Rabbits + Industrial Symphony no.1 – Thursday, May 4, 9pm