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David Lynch: The Art Life Criterion Blu-ray Review


“David Lynch: The Art Life” is an insightful documentary.

David Lynch may be best known as an acclaimed filmmaker, but this documentary is not about his film career. Yes, his early short film and film work is covered (I’ll get to that in a bit), but it’s primarily about David Lynch the person AND his passion for making art. More specifically, paintings.

“David Lynch: The Art Life” is entirely comprised of narration by David Lynch, modern footage of David Lynch working on art pieces at his Hollywood Hills home, and old home movies, photographs, as well as clips from his early film work. Lynch talks about his childhood, parents, family, weird life experiences, the importance of painting to him, different periods of life, his hatred of school, the homebody and art lifestyle, his life changing grant from the AFI, and more.

For those expecting an all encompassing documentary about David Lynch, “David Lynch: The Art Life” is not that. Lynch mostly chats about his youth leading up to his now iconic first feature film “Eraserhead.” Nothing after that time is touched upon unless you include the newly shot footage of him painting and interacting with his daughter. Much of the film deals with his past life and how much he values freedom and expression. It’s a strangely serious documentary on the whole, but there’s something refreshing about seeing an artist get real about his life and work. Yes, he’s rather vague on certain subjects, but he, of course, has the right to reveal what he wants. You still learn a ton about who he is.

Perhaps the most interesting aspects of the film is how he sort of stumbled into making movies and how his life experiences essentially influenced moments and scenes of his work (astute fans will be able to catch on to what I am talking about).


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? While not the most visual documentary out there, this hi-def transfer does a fine job with the documentary’s mixture of archival footage and photos and newly shot footage.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The minimalistic narration and music sounded clean to this reviewer.

Extras: * “David Lynch: The Art Life” trailer. * A booklet with credits and an essay by author Dennis Lim. * A 16 minute interview with co-director Jon Nguyen. He talks about his previous film about Lynch, “The Art Life,” David Lynch as a person and an artist, and more.

September 25, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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