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LynchLetter #2 May 31, 1999


  1. The Straight Story at the Cannes Film Festival
  2. The Straight Story film info
  3. Mulholland Drive
  4. Purchasing Lynch Art
  5. Mr. Eddy's Car in Lost Highway
  6. The City of Absurdity Updates
  7. What's really important


I. The Straight Story at the Cannes Film Festival


As you probably all know by now premiered David Lynch's new film "The Straight Story" at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21st. David Lynch came to Cannes because the Cannes film festival is "beautifully organized" and it

is the best film festival in the world and the added suspense of being in competition lends a lot of excitement to it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Just as it happens in life.


Although the film did not win the Palm D'Or award the reception was as the film very warm and beautiful - the viewers at the screening gave it a standing ovation and the reviews were for the most part very positive. Some even expected that Richard Farnsworth who was "born to play" Alvin Straight would receive the best actor award.

II. The Straight Story film info


What Lynch attracted to this "very slow road movie" was "the emotion of the script that Mary Sweeney and John Roach wrote, and I think it's the phenomenon of forgiveness. Lynch added that:

this is maybe my most experimental movie because it was so much of a challenge to try to get the emotion and get, you know, cinema, the timing and silences and the word and then a sound and a music. And it was a process of action and reaction. But, you know, a beautiful thing to try to discover the emotion.


David Lynch: "It's a great cast and I think Harry Dean Stanton is the only one from Lost Angeles. Everybody else lives somewhere else and most of the actors came from Minneapolis or Chicago. People that are, you know, more familiar with the neck of the woods where we were filming, in Iowa and Wisconsin. So some great people are working in Minneapolis and Chicago and came and did a great job."

The film is starring veteran actor Richard Farnsworth as Alvin Straight. Lynch:

such a beautiful soul and spirit comes through with Richard with every word and every look and just a great presence and natural way of being. I was so lucky that Richard Farnsworth is in this picture.

Sissy Spacek as Alvin's daughter Rose (Lynch: "I always wanted to work with Sissy and she's like a chameleon, she can play everything and do a beautiful job of it") and Harry Dean Stanton who has only one yet important scene as Alvin's brother Lyle.

For the soundtrack Lynch worked again with Angelo Badalamenti, the Director of Photography was Freddie Francis with whom Lynch worked on "The Elephant Man" and "Dune" and Mary Sweeney who co-wrote the script with her friend and ex Edgewood High classmate John Roach was once again responsible for the editing.


The film will be released in the USA, Scandinavia and Australia under the Walt Disney Pictures banner - no release date has been set yet. The French distribution rights owns Le Studio Canal + that co-financed and produced the film. Senator Film will release The Straight Story on October 21 in Germany.
David Lynch will attend an advance screening of the film in DesMoines, iowa, in October.

III. Mulholland Drive

ABC released this years fall schedule and Lynch's new TV show "Mulholland Drive" is not included due to the clean-the-screen from violence pressure after the Littleton shooting. Even though some still speculate it may become a mid-season filler things look as if that is not very likely. Mulholland Drive may be released on video at some undetermined point in the future.
If you guys in the US would like to request ABC to air the pilot you can e-mail them at ABC.Audience.Relations@abc.com, call them at the Audience Information Department at 212- 456- 7477 or ABC General at 212-456-7777 or write a nice and polite – and please remember in all your endeavors that it is always favorable to be very polite – letter to:

ABC, Inc.
Audience Information
77 West 66th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10023

IV. Purchasing Lynch Art

In case you're interested in purchasing a piece of Lynch art: paintings and photographs by David Lynch are available at the KOHN/TURNER GALLERY in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. The address is:

Kohn/Turner Gallery
454 N. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90048, CA
Phone: (310) 271-4453
A roadmap is available at my web-site in the paintings and photographs sections.

V. Mr. Eddy's Car in Lost Highway

Stan Linders reminded me lately that although it says Mr. Eddy drives a Mercedes 600 Pullman in the script, it is actually a Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 of the w116 body range (to insiders a 6.9 is enough). You can learn more about the mechanical excellence of the 450SEL 6.9 at Shannon Smith site at "http://members.xoom.com/Infiltrator".

VI. The City of Absurdity Updates


re-arranged the pictures section: Film Stills, Set Pictures, On Location


Layton and Deb, a wonderful couple from Iowa, were in two scenes of "The Straight Story" shoot - one at the campground and one in which a bunch of cyclists is passing Alvin. Their set pics taken at the filming location in Iowa are now available in The City of Absurdity.


Press Conference (Transcript, Pictures), Red Carpet Call and Reviews.


Babes in the Woods, 1990 Rolling Stone article on Twin Peaks, Lost Highway Story Board, 26 pages w/ over 200 pictures along w/ scripts excerpts

VII. What's really important

It's a very good thing if you keep your eye
on the donut and not on the hole.
(David Lynch)

LynchLetter - The City of Absurdity Newsletter
#2, May 31, 1999, Mike Hartmann

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