HomeOur ObsessionsDavid Lynch quotes to inspire any aspirational filmmaker

David Lynch quotes to inspire any aspirational filmmaker

To celebrate the wit and wisdom from the acclaimed indie auteur, here are David Lynch’s ten most inspiring pearls of wisdom.

David Lynch quotes to inspire any aspirational filmmaker

Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, the iconic auteur David Lynch revealed some home truths in a recent interview with the The Guardian where he discussed his four marriages, Donald Trump, and predictably remained tight-lipped about the meaning behind his movies.

As the last man to provide answers, it appears the Eraserhead director is ready to speak out somewhat with his door-stopper sorta-memoir Room to Dream, which “declares itself at the outset to be a chronicle of events, not an explanation of their meaning.”

A reclusive who seldom leaves his studio and home in the Hollywood Hills, Lynch revealed he found work / life balance a tricky thing to do. “You gotta be selfish. And it’s a terrible thing. I never really wanted to get married, never really wanted to have children. One thing leads to another and there it is.”

Perhaps even more controversial are his statements on the current POTUS; despite claiming he’s “not really a political person,” he did reveal he has some strong opinions and although endorsing Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, the filmmaker remains on the fence with regards to Trump.

“He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way.”

Of course, it wasn’t all politics and home life – Lynch went deep into his career, discussing how he’s more open to TV projects over film. When discussing how he gets ideas, Lynch mused, “They’re like fish. If you get an idea that’s thrilling to you, put your attention on it and these other fish will swim into it. It’s like a bait. They’ll hook on to it and you’ll get more ideas. And you just pull them in.”

Whatever your take on Lynch’s statements, the auteur has never once wavered from his true self – an innovator, a creator, and someone who does anything but think inside of the box. In particular, if you’re a filmmaker or a visionary, there’s inspiration to be found in his work which he expresses with language, music, and imagery.

To celebrate the wit and wisdom from the genius brains behind Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and Wild at Heart, here are David Lynch’s ten most inspiring pearls of wisdom.

You need contrast and conflict in order to tell a story. Stories need to have dark and light, turmoil, all those things. But that does not mean the filmmaker has to suffer in order to show the suffering. Stories should have the suffering, not the people.

There’s no need to suffer for your art.

I started Transcendental Meditation in 1973 and have not missed a single meditation ever since. Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within.

Transcendental Meditation is a practice Lynch swears by – perhaps it’s time you gave it a go.

Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.

Even instant!

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There’s a safety in thinking in a diner. You can have your coffee or your milkshake, and you can go off into strange dark areas, and always come back to the safety of the diner.

Never underestimate the power of the American diner.

It’s so freeing, it’s beautiful in a way, to have a great failure, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Learn from your failures.

Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way.

Movie sex is a tricky code to crack.

Intuition is the key to everything, in painting, filmmaking, business – everything. I think you could have an intellectual ability, but if you can sharpen your intuition, which they say is emotion and intellect joining together, then a knowingness occurs.

When making movies, go with your instinct.

Surface cures are not going to get rid of the torment that’s inside.

Peace and serenity come from within.

Catherine E. Coulson plays iconic 'Twin Peaks' character the Log Lady. Here’s a ranking of eleven of the Log Lady’s most essential words of wisdom.

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.”

Sometimes you’ve got to disrupt to excite.

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I don’t know where it came from, but I love curtains. There is something so incredibly cosmically magical about curtains.

The ultimate liminal symbol!

Oh Mr. Lynch – never change!

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Daisy Webb is an outspoken, opinionated writer with a passion for all things horror and cult comedy. When she's not watching films, she likes listening to music, cooking too much food, and writing short stories with unhappy endings.

daisyp@filmdaily.co