The City of Absurdity The City of Absurdity
The David Lynch Quote Collection

David Lynch


"I like making films because I like to go into another world. I like to get lost into another world."

"My movies are film-paintings - moving portraits captured on celluloid. I'll layer that with sound to create a unique mood -- like if the Mona Lisa opened her mouth, and there would be a wind, and she'd turn back and smile. It would be strange and beautiful."

"Directors who have inspired me include Billy Wilder, Federico Fellini, lngmar Bergman, John Ford, Orson Welles, Werner Herzog, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. In art school, I studied painters like Edward Hopper, who used urban motifs, Franz Kafka is my favorite novelist. My approach to film stems from my art background, as I go beyond the story to the sub-conscious mood created by sound and images."

"In a sense all film is entering into someone else's dreams. Maybe we can even share the same dreams, exchange the same experiences."

"Film is the thing that brings many media together. So, it made me become interested in each separate thing. Sometimes still photography will give you ideas for a film. Or a painting. Each thing is a world that you can fall into, and each medium is unique. You can go very far in each one, it's just a question of time and experiencing it and entering into this dialogue with it. But it's a great life, y'know?"

"It's the most magical medium yet devised, because you can create another reality and enter into it. It's possible to conjure up with sound and pictures profound emotions and fantastic ideas - that's something only this medium can do. It has to do with story, and it has to do with human nature, and it has to do with pacing. In other words, it takes time, which film gives us. It's organized sequences in time. It's like music-when it builds from starting slowly, like melodies intertwined and you feel things building and changing, and you are sucked in. Then the music can take you because of what you have been through, and it can hit you with a theme coming back in a more powerful way. Film can do this in a really powerful way, even more so than music. But with just a regular story film, it really never happens. It has to be abstract. There's something about a good story which has structure and timing and some abstractions, as well, which allow you to reach something really, really fantastic."

"For me a film exists somewhere before you do it. It's sitting in some abstract world, complete, and you're just listening to it talk to you, telling you the way it's supposed to be. But not until all the sound and music and editing has been done do you truly know what it is. Then it's finished. It feels right, the way it's supposed to be, or as right as it can. And when it's finished, you're back in a world where you don't control anything. You just do the best you can, then say farewell."

"I see films more and more as separate from whatever kind of reality there is anywhere else. They are more like fairy tales or dreams...they should obey certain rules. And one of them is contrast...I like murder mysteries. They get me completely because they are mysteries and deal with life and death."

"I'm not a real film buff. Unfortunately, I don't have time. I just don't go. And I become very nervous when I go to a film because I worry so much about the director and it is hard for me to digest my popcorn."

"In my mind it's so much fun to have something that has clues and is mysterious - something that is understood intuitively rather than just being spoonfed to you. That's the beauty of cinema, and it's hardly ever even tried. These days, most films are pretty easily understood, and so people's minds stop working."

"Film exists because we can go and have experiences that would be pretty dangerous or strange for us in real life. We can go into a room and walk into a dream. If we didn't want to upset anyone, we would make films about sewing, but even that could be dangerous. But I think finally, in a film, it is how the balance is and the feelings are. But I think there has to be those contrasts and strong things within a film for the total experience."

Quote Collection index A-Z

back to David Lynch page
© 1996-99 Mike Hartmann