The City of Absurdity David Lynch
Interviews & Articles
On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 1992

Introduction by Jay Leno: My first guest is one of the most creative and provocative directors around. His latest film is called Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. It's very strange. I saw it last night, it's very strange, but if you're a big fan you'll go crazy with this movie which shows you what happened to Laura Palmer before we saw her wrapped up in plastic on the TV show there. It opens in theaters on August 28. Please welcome: David Lynch.

(the band is playing the Twin Peaks Theme)

Beautiful theme.

That's a beautiful theme, yes.

It's a terrific theme.

Thank you Branfort and happy birthday to you.

Oh, yeah. Yes, yes.
Nice to see you again. You haven't been there a few month and during the summer, what have you been doing?

I went to Madison, Wisconsin and did some boating.

Did some boating?


Now, sailing, power boating?

Power boat.

Oh, okay. Uh, you don't seem like

I like motors. I like oil and water when they mix together.

I wasn't aware that they could mix, and how ducks float.

You know, that little film on the...on the water and the smell of..uh...lake water and gasoline is a beautiful thing.

I think Al Gore might disagree with you here, but yeah...

There's...there are some bad side effects to it...


I agree.

Actually I saw this, you know, I'm looking around this antic shop. I bought one of these myself and I said: Oh, you that. I got this for you. You would appreciate it. I don't...uh.. not buying gift...I said this is...kind of a Lynch kind of gift. You'll understand what it is. (hands him a small brown paper bag)

Thank you very much, Jay.

It's a little...

(unwraps a little speaker) The drive-in movies!

Oh yeah, yes.


See, I knew you'd like that.


No, no see, you know, this is...Is that your kind of thing?

That's a beautiful thing.

Oh, yeah, yeah.
Didn't you ever drive off with...and pull one of these off...

Yeah, and that's a it when you drive off with them in the window.

Oh, yeah. Put it down here.

It's a great design and...ahm.... beautiful memories of the past.

Oh yeah, you...

Thank you very much, Jay.

...and you can adjust the sound here on this...

Yes, you can.

Have you ever parked in the middle and put stereo?

I did this trick, yes.

You'd park in the middle and have two of them.

Yeah...but you have to...not two on either side. It's only when a car, you know, is not there, at the other spot.

Oh yeah. You can't have the other guy there.


Oh yeah, yeah.

It's good to get a place away from some cars sometimes.

Right. These are all old tricks. We'll going do that in the book.


Those are all of our tricks, okay.
Last time you were here we got to talking about Philadelphia and it sounded sort of interesting and then were...

Philadelphia...I haven't been there for quite some time and I don't want to say anything bad about the city...uh...these days. I don't know. I've heard very good things about Philadelphia these days.

Fine, fine metropolitan area...

But when I was was a very sick, twisted, decaying, decadent...(audience laughs)

You see, that's all changed. Oh, that's all gone now. But, perhaps you were not in one of the better areas.

I was in a bad area going to school and I was like living in a small cloud of fear...

But you'd like that thing... was when I've had my first original thought, I think.

Yeah,...when I used to go to New York, and I used to driving there every night, and I would never, uh, I couldn't effort a hotel. So I would sleep in this little alley that was behind the church. You know I would park and I would kinda go, kinda...kinda catch a few wings behind the garbage can, ... in this alley, and there was something...

...something very great about that.

Oh, there is. When you come from a rural area, like Cleveland...

yeah, right, right...

It's the city, it's like all of garbage and big buildings.

I'm very impressed with that, Jay.

Yeah, yeah. Now you doing a book of photographs?

Yes. Ahm, I'm trying to do this book and quietly delivering it. And I wanna make it primarily on photos I've taken and dental hygiene and spark plugs.

Dental hygiene and spark plugs?


I don't, I'm not, again...

A chapter on dental hygiene and then a chapter on spark plugs.

Now, see, in my way of thinking it seems like there's a chapter missing.

That's probably why I haven't finished the book.

Yeah, what kind of...just all kinds of spark plugs?

Well, no, I wanna know exactly how a spark plug works and photograph it in every, you know, possible way.

Oh, I have some. I have...a friend of mine was a spark plug...

You got a...

No, he does. See the old what you could take apart and rebuild and fix.


Screw this ceramic thing...

That's what I wanna photograph.

And combine them with dental equipment, you said?

No. Dental hygiene...

Dental hygiene! Oh, of course, I'm so...I'm foolish... important that is.

So what, do you mean like the happy tooth and all that.

Yes. Well, just teeth in general. Things that can go wrong with teeth and how to keep them clean and healthy.

Oh, I see. Of course up and down is the most important, right?

I will be talking about it in the book.

Oh, you don't wanna give anything away. Okay, we have a photo here. What was this...this is a photo from the book?

This is a photo that may turn up in the book. I had...

Is this a spark plug or hygiene?

No. This is maybe the missing chapter, the missing thing.


But I had ants in my kitchen.


Ants. And they're little small what they call, I think, sugar ants. But they were coming in, I think, for water.

Hmm. made a small head of cheese and turkey, with the...

You carved a head out of...

No. I put a ball of cheese and turkey together and then cased it with clay.


And mounted it on a small coat hanger. And, er, I made an opening in the mouth. I exposed some turkey. And I exposed some turkey in the eye and in the ears.

So the ants would...

Now the ants found the coat hanger, began climbing in for four days and nights non-stop. They emptied the entire head of turkey and cheese.

Wouldn't it be easier just to spray? (the audience is very happy with this comment)
So this photo...

I was photographing and they were working for themselves but unbeknownst to them they were also, you know, working for me...

...were employed.

And I have the photo.

photoLet's take a look.

It's on a slide.

We got the slide? Oh there it is.

That's the wider shot of the ants and there's the ants on the mouth there.

Oh, I see.

And then there's another shot there...what busy workers they are.

That could be actually the...that could be the last chapter on tooth decay. This is what could happen if you don't...
Let me ask you about the Twin Peaks movie now.

Yes. you have to see it...I don't think....Well, it helps when you know the TV show.

If you have never seen the TV show you'll still, you know, get into the film. People who know the show worry that others who don't know the show will not know where they are.


But most films are like a waltz, four four time kind of simple, in my mind; I'm not putting them down. This is like a jazz version of the story. And it's, uh, Laura Palmer's last week of life and it's got some abstract areas in it.

It has many, many. Let's take a look here. Okay, this is a scene from Fire Walk With Me. Let's take a look.
(we see the Palmer House "Laura did not wash her hands before dinner" scene)

So I guess this whole family values thing is carried over.
Now the movie was very loud what I noticed. It seemed louder than normal.

It's important that a film is loud and I hope many people agree. You should be inside of a film when you go into a theater. It shouldn't be way up the front of you. It should surround you, envelope you, so you can live inside a dream. And that's the way it should be, in my opinion.

And when the spark plug, dental book comes out you come back?

I would be very happy.

Okay, David Lynch. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Thank you very much.

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