Room to Dream by David Lynch and Christine McKenna

As a big fan of David Lynch’s films, a huge biography chronicling the life of one of the most intriguing film makers of the last 40 years was always going to be a no brainer. The insight of seeing how someone who has put some of the most mind bending and creepy films to screen ticks, is one too good to pass up. The results were hardly going to be conventional, right down to the format. It’s written in a sort of split way, that gets different peoples turn of events, and at the end of each chapter, Lynch writes a response on his version of events from each period in his life (sometimes perhaps too much information, in particular his recollections of teenage self discovery). There is much more to David Lynch than bizarre feature films and damn fine coffee, although the latter is a vital part of his day to day life, and it’s clear from the first few pages what influences him and his work. And his work is something quite incredible. Although to some he is a master film maker, with a filmography many would be proud to achieve just one of, movies just seem to be one strand of many different things Lynch’s life revolves around.

It’s a weighty tome, and although suggested otherwise by Lynch in the foreword, seems extremely thorough in both personal and professional aspects of his life. There’s many times throughout the book where his friends and colleagues are quoted, saying that the moment you meet him, you are drawn into his world and he makes you feel like the most important person in it. This comes across in his writing, as he has a certain way with words, that almost have an innocence, as well as experience, and you can’t help but fall for him. It’s almost cult-like in the way that he’s revered, with testimonials ranging from old friends who he grew up with, to the big stars he’s worked with. It’s interesting to read about how he met certain people in his life, and how he ends up working with them as well. For someone whose body of work is associated with existential horror, and the darkness in humanity, his life seems quite the opposite. He even talks about transcendental meditation quite often, saying how much it helps him with his day to day life, and he’s even met some of his iconic cast members as a result.

As well as the awe-inspiring back catalogue of films, Lynch is always busy with something it seems, from TV commercials, making music or art installations. He’s got most of the creative arts covered and he even tried his hand at the dotcom boom back in the day. It’s great to read about how all of these came about, and the love and affection he’s got for everyone he’s worked with, and vice versa. It’s a huge book, and if you’re only in it for the film making side of things, then you’ll be surprised just how much content there is on his other ventures, too. It’s essential reading for any fan of David Lynch, and there’s a lot to get out of it, and a lot to discover.
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