Pieces of Meat - David Lynch

After numerous failed attempts at competently writing my love of Lynch's cinema, and getting across what he means to me and how his work has affected my life,  I did what I should have done from the start and interviewed myself...

How and where did you first become familiar with David Lynch's work?

I first discovered David Lynch through falling asleep to a screening of his debut  film 'Eraserhead' at London's Riverside Studios. I remember the opening scene, then some kind of furry-faced woman dancing on falling worm-like foetuses, and then the closing credits. He was just another in a long line of great directors who had sung me to sleep.

Over the following years I caught bits and pieces of his  films, but it was not until I came to France and had a junk free period that I really became familiar with him. In that period I fell in love with film. It acted as my escape and there was no better escape than David Lynch.

I think I saw Wild at heart, Lost Highway, Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, Twin peaks (series), Twin peaks (film), Blue Velvet, Dune, The Straight Story, Inland Empire – in that order.

Then of course I separated what I considered his great films and watched them multiple times over. At 2pm I'd pull the curtains down on the day, close out the world, and sink off into Lynch's universe -  a universe that became mine just as much as his.

Explain to us a little of what Lynch's art does, the process of understanding his films, and why they mean so much to you?

Firstly, I don't think you can understand a David Lynch film, at least not past it's very simple pretext: a man doesn't love his wife (Lost Highway); A woman loves another woman (Mulholland Drive). I think anyone who tries to make complete sense out of, or intellectualize Lynch's films are wasting their time. David Lynch is an artist that goes past intellect. His is an intuitive art; you feel it – often reciprocating the actors emotions, before they have even acted them out. It's an experience.

Lynch does that to me, he sucks me into his chamber.

In Wild at Heart there is a scene where Sailor finds Lulu in a hotel room and there is a lumpy yellow vomit on the floor... Just sitting there. You can smell it. A beautiful young girl, clean, and vomit on the floor – it kind of doesn't make sense. But in that moment something really strange takes place and all of a sudden you are in Lynch's world.

And it works like that. There are always entry points to Lynch's show. He brings you in intentionally. It is not by chance.

A camera crawls along a lawn, or zooms into an ear canal. The screen goes completely black. When the picture resumes someone is saying something normal in a really strange way, like they are acting badly or speaking words that do not quite fit their lips. And we're there. Music drifting in, and the world suddenly seems dreamlike and melancholic and terrifying and dangerous. It is not wonderland where Lynch takes us, but somewhere else. A place where we meet our own fears and complexes, a place where strong men break down and cry for absolutely no reason. And we never know why. All we know is we did. There really are no answers to great art.

Ok, you've kind of badly answered your own question, so here's one you can completely revel in: What is your favourite David Lynch scene, movie and episode of Twin Peaks? That's actually not one but three questions, please answer them all.

My favourite scene is Club Silencio/Llorando from Mulholland Drive. This scene is not only my favourite Lynch Scene, but my favourite scene of all time. It brings me to tears and leaves me bereft and paining for some reason I cannot explain. It feels like my past, present and tomorrow all merged into one. The hopelessness of the future sung out and echoed through time. But it's beautiful.

(Silencio/Llorando works much better in the context of the movie. Nevertheless, as a three minute clip on Youtube, it's still an hypnotic piece of film.)

My favourite David Lynch film is maybe Wild at Heart or Mulholland Drive. Or maybe it's Blue Velvet... I can't quite decide. One day it's one and the next it's another.

My favourite Twin Peaks episode: No.14: Lonely Souls. For me it is one of Lynch's great pieces. There are scenes in there that will break you in two.

Finally, and just to force you to end on a negative note (maybe), are there any David Lynch films which are not Masterpieces?

Oh, there are – three of them. And I'll go even further: of the three there is one that is absolute shit.
The shit film is Dune, which is not really worth watching. The other two are: Elephant Man and The Straight Story. Those two are both well worth watching, but would never have built him a legacy. i see them as his money films, commercial endeavours he took to fund his real projects.

Ok, well that's it I suppose. Unless you've anything else to add I'm afraid you're going to end on a minus sign. Can you change that?

Sure, I think so:


The End.

Lynch Imbd
Lynch Wikipedia
A lot of interesting Lynch stuff here. Collected interviews a treasure trove.


Drunk Obscene said...

You fucking idiot!

The Total Impostor said...

Top review. Lynch is a genius, a rare original story-teller. But you didn't mention his coolest concept: gormonbozia. Yum, its a tasty dish.

Big Mark 243 said...

I disagree with your assesment of 'The Straight Story'. I do find the irony in the title because it was a 'straight story' from David Lynch.

'Eraserhead' was my first encouter with his work. Saw it at the DIA film theater when I was in high school. It was unforgettable (though I have forgotten it... a problem of mine), as the feelings that I had surface at the viewing of the film, since have been embedded in my conscious.

Anywho... good stuff!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Mark,

Thanks for your words.

Yeah, it's just my opinion. Some people I know think Dune has its worth, so its really just how it affects us personally that we can judge these things.

I really enjoyed The Straight Story as a film, but if I hadn't have known it was Lynch who directed I would never have been able to tell. So for me he made that film for very specific purposes. I will watch it again, though, maybe I missed something... It's very possible.

All My Thoughts, Shane.

FemNOIR said...

I always feel so warm and comforted when I read your stories / thoughts & expressions. Your generous nature shows in the way you take your time to discribe things carefully and lovingly. You create a bond with your reader (with me, anyway). I'm not a big reader, but I get lost in your writings, imagining I'm there, witnessing your step-dad, posing, making muscles in the mirror, or watching him carefully, excitedly studying the streets for treasures and you, embarrassed inside, accompanying him, etc. I feel like you're familiar to me, like a sweet friend...alot of the times, the whole idea of being around someone who's quit makes me uncomfortable for some reason - but you - I trust you. I feel like you'll be the same person, only better - like the IDEAL! I hope good things are ahead for you, and you finish the books and projects that you wish to leave behind in this world! It will be actually inspiring. I'm excited to see what happens - what you make happen! All the best, shane.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I wouldn't fuck Hitchcock either. That dude was fat and fug. Laugh.

I like Blue Velvet best, though I haven't seen all the films. I still say lines from that film like: Heinekin? Fuck that shit. PABST BLUE RIBBON!

Love you.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

John, John, John...

Me replying to a comment left from you on an interview I had with myself is something only a few will realize the ridiculousness of...

Welcome to Memoires... x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


A story-teller, but even more.

I think great artists don't so much tell stories but create certain settings in which the world can be told, seen or imagined in a kind of alternative history. Where everything put in that setting takes on another significance - maybe one we can relate to, or even one we've never considered before and now enlightens us.

So Lynch's world (or any artist of any worths' world) sets up the backdrop and the atmosphere in which we can pass through any story we wish and re-evaluate it under their very unique eyes. It gives us a dfferent and consistent insight into our world and ourselves and allows us to constantly reassess things.

In that way, an infinite story teller. Someone whose work exists even when the book is closed, the painting is out of sight or the movie over.

Garmonbozia. That always reminds me of something a more wicked Lewis Carroll could have come up with. Or a type of cheese. Probably that, David Lynch's Head Cheese.

Until soon, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya FemNOIR,

Oh thank you... that's kind! x

I think that writing is not just telling a story... that's easy. It's taking the enviroment and the emotions and serving them up in a way that everyone can understand and feel and maybe relate to. Writing like that is exhausting... it involves reliving every minor detail of some vey hard events. And that spreads through to my ficton writing as well, because it's never really fiction. Some scenario's are, but the emotions, at least for me, come from very real places.

So it's not easy to write stuff that you enjoy so much - it's difficult and exhaustng and that's why when you tell me how much yu enjoy what I do, it really means a lot.

Me. Ideal. Ha ha - No way! I've too much history to ever be that. Maybe I could be a little bit better than bad, but no more... sorry. :(

But lets hope some nice things happen... for me and for You and for everyone who has lingered around here kicking back against nightmares and still believing in the dream. Good things WILL come FemNOIR... Mark those words.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Ya SB,

Yeah, waking up next to Hitchcock now that would have been a nightmare. Also, and I'd bet my favourite burnt shirt on this, I bet he had a really tiny willy... something that looked like an out-turned belly button. Urghhh..

Lynch on the other hand... he's looks like one of those people that it's just a priviledge to touch.

Blue Velvet. It's one of his great films.

All My Love Returned... XXX

JoeM said...

Eraserhead had scenes straight out of my nightmares - and daymares:

The meat coming alive on the plate.

The 'unwrapping' of the baby.

The 'bearded' lady singing.

The visual/aural disquiet/paranoia throughout (daymare)

Also of course loved Twin Peaks.

Sound is so important in Lynch. Even in that clip on a laptop the sound was...displaced. Inland Empire on headphones is trippy.

And he had such great soundtracks -the 'Laura Palmer theme' is so evocative.It takes you right there, to her blue white corpse.

John: don't make me bring Abby over here...

Wildernesschic said...

I loved Wild at Heart , I used to love Twin peaks but eventually gave up on it ... xx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi Joe,

Yes, the musics very important. In fact, it does't really work without it.

Music is nearly always the entry to Lynch's world. I'm trying to think of a time when it's not but can't at the moment. When Sarah palmer drops the phone on her husband (in the pilot)is there music? I can't quite recall.

Eraserhead, yeah.I don't think there's any other film like that. maybe some very abstract industrial films could have the same feeling, but even then it's different. It's one of the rare films I can't have on at night as I sleep (I always sleep to films). I can have zombie movies running, gore, extremely violent films, but Eraserhead, no.

It's one of those films I love, but hate watching. I would have loved to have seen it on its original release. The baby, even now, seems real... so back then, god, it must have been incredible seeing that on screen and wondering how the hell he made it.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ruth,

Twin Peaks I loved up until halfway through the second series. For me it should have ended when Laura palmers murderer was discovered. But no, it went on, and I'm not a fan of that last third of the show. Also, David Lynch, after episode 14 didn't direct anymore until the very final episode.

Blue Velvet seems to be the ladies favourite.

Love and wishes, Shane. X

JoeM said...

I saw Eraserhead when it came out and it still seemed as disturbing when I saw it not long ago.

I couldn't sleep while The Exorcist is on. I saw it when it came out at the cinema in the afternoon when I was 15, came out into blazing sunshine, a clown in the street. And two priests who were at the film seemed to be following me. (Now we know they probably were!)

It's especially affecting if you were brought up Catholic. The voice of 'the demon' is especially scary - the bellowing etc. And the theme tune. Sound again. Ultra important in all films I think.

Stacy said...

i would fuck hitchcock...

Anonymous said...

Shane, You do know talking to yourself is one of the first signs of madness?
Speaking of which, I'm going for an overnight visit to my Dad in an hour. Fun!

I've not yet seen Mulholland Drive. I'll catch the clip when I get back from visiting my Dad on Monday.
Re what you say about 'The Straight Story' not being identifiably Lynch, Hitchcock had a similar problem, he always longed to direct a musical but couldn't because people would expect one of the chorus girls to drop dead in the opening scene (or anticipate any kind of murder throughout the film. It's the idea that you go to a film with pre-conceptions. The problem with fame is that people (especially the studios to whom you're a commodity) expect the same or similar things after. I think it's probably good for most creatives to step out of their usual mode and do something that is 'not them'.

I've always liked his re-juxtaposition of the familiar. Neurologists say that our brain takes a picture of our surroundings so rather than go to the effort of processing a new picture of our surrounding and familiar things it refers to the saved version.
That's meant to be the reason why we don't notice our own mess unless we've been away for a while (tho the real reason is probably laziness). One of my favourite graphic designers, Saul Bass (famous for graphics on Hitchcock and Otto Preminger films; Vertigo, Man with the Golden Arm, Bunny Lake is Missing, Anatomy of a Murder etc) talks about it in his sequence of a cat walking 'A Walk on the Wild Side'. He said you take something familiar and de-familiarise it, look at the same thing differently. Lynch is less subtle than that of course but disorientating people is always fun.
(his pic on top left, looks like Mario from Super Mario Bros)


I'm writing to tell you about a Parisian painter I came across whilst reading an Art mag. His name is Lou Ros. His work is mainly figurative but I like it. I like the more odd crops and close-ups


Gotta go. Got ripped off yesterday, £10 for a pea-size bag of ovaltine powder! That's never happened to me. Anyway, there's no recourse, I can't exactly report it to the police or trading standards! I must admit, as I get older, the novelty wears off and the effort and cost doesn't justify what you get (quality seems to have gone down since the recession. or maybe it's me getting jaded). I just know that it's not so hard to resist now and I find myself thinking of other things I'd rather spend my money (and time) on. It's just not doing it for me anymore.

Take care

Anonymous said...


It's good you're busy (I prefer being busy, it's when I'm on my own and bored that I get maudlin and do daft things that will cause more trouble than its worth.

I've got to run now to my best pal Al's leaving do. The headlining drug of the evening will be pure white charlie. To be honest, I'd rather stay in and watch the special 'Big Bang Theory' evening. Don't know if you get that over there. It's an American comedy (which I don't usually find funny) but this is the exception and the star of the show is the super nerd Sheldon Cooper. And I (and many other women) have a crush on him (the fact he'd run a mile from a woman coming on to him and refers to sex as coitus, all just adds to his allure. My friend Al told me he'd get girls to sleep with him by saying he was celibate like his hero Morrissey).

Anyway, better run


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm back from Al's leaving do. Only had one spiders leg of a line (out of £200 worth of coke), the wallet got passed round people neither of us know. That's something I'm starting to hate now. Good time pals and hangers on. I used to have a more generous spirit when I was younger but now I just think people like that are pathetic and should be ashamed of themselves.

Actually I think the subject of etiquette/morals as regards drugs is interesting. Even junkie's have rules. People don't expect that. I admit that addiction is a selfish pursuit but sometimes I'd rather bear withdrawal symptoms than a burdened conscience..

I remember once when I went out for my ex's birthday party (the domestic violence guy). We went to Brixton to see Underworld. After the gig he tried to score some green (his main weakness, he was a nasty, paranoid, suspicious person when off it). He got ripped off by a Moroccan whom I spoke Arabic to. Anyway, at about 4am we ended up in some club under some arches and he tried to get ecstasy, again, fake. By this time I really wanted to go home. I thought we could have our own fun there and get some sleep and at least be cosy and warm too (I'm getting old! Comfort is more important to me than ever). But he said we have to wait til the morning to catch the train so we ended up in some dj's flat. He had proper weed and my ex sat around smoking an rapping. Towards the end as we were leaving a guy tapped me and said 'I got a line for you, but not for him (pointing to my ex)'. At the time I felt quite offended that he'd think I'd go along with that. I said 'no thanks, if you not got any for him, I don't want any'. I didn't really see any point in doing it. So we left. On the way back my ex started cross examining me about every time I went to the loo and who I spoke to and decided that I'd scored b that night (how and when God knows! Not only had I not done that but I was reducing my dose unaided and was on 2mg subutex down from 8mg), so I got the 'junky whore' abuse when in fact I'd put him above any drug.
If it was b I still would've said no. It's just too easy to pick on addicts. I find the term 'junky' quite offensive cos it's much like any racist term. 'Nigger' doesn't just mean black, it means good for nothing, work shy, dirty. Junky doesn't just mean addicted to opiates, it means thief, liar, someone who'll put their drug above all else even their children. Sorry, I don't fall into that category, as much as I like my b, when it's crunch time I can see it as just a bit of beige powder that will give me a fake feeling of wellbeing. Those I care about are much much more important.

(he also accused me of having a fling with the dj. I'd didn't even know the guy's name. He tried to get my number when we were leaving so I slipped away by saying goodbyes to other people there)


The Pseudo-Impostor said...

Shane, Lynch has always been one of my favourite directors - like you, I got hooked seeing Eraserhead at the cinema back in the 80s, even though my 2 companions battered my physically and told me I was sick for enjoying it. But his best movie? Has to Mullholland Drive - that movie haunts my dreams. Club Silencio is now a dark corner of my mind

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