David Lynch is a singular presence in the history of cinema, known for his eccentric dives into the mysterious realm of surrealism through cult-classics like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. Labelled as the first popular surrealist, Lynch managed to introduce the esoteric art of cinematic surrealism to the mainstream consciousness which has resulted in many people viewing life differently after witnessing his mastery.
Lynch once said: “My childhood was elegant homes, tree-lined streets, the milkman, building backyard forts, droning aeroplanes, blue skies, picket fences, green grass, cherry trees. Middle America as it’s supposed to be. But on the cherry tree there’s this pitch oozing out – some black, some yellow, and millions of red ants crawling all over it. I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath. Because I grew up in a perfect world, other things were a contrast.”
One of Lynch’s finest achievements is his 2001 neo-noir gem Mulholland Drive. Starring Naomi Watts as a young actor in Los Angeles, Mulholland Drive constructs unforgettable, dream-like visions of a world that is strangely familiar and foreign at the same time. Underpinned by the alternate logic of nightmares, the film is now regarded as one the definitive masterpieces of the 21st century.
“One night, I sat down, the ideas came in, and it was a most beautiful experience,” Lynch once commented on the film’s creation. He claimed that the entire process was organic, insisting that such a method is essential for creating art because it leads to an unfiltered manifestation of one’s artistic vision: “Everything was seen from a different angle … Now, looking back, I see that [the film] always wanted to be this way. It just took this strange beginning to cause it to be what it is.”
Fans of David Lynch and Mulholland Drive can rejoice because StudioCanal and Criterion have conducted a 4K restoration of the film which was supervised by the filmmaker himself. Watch the trailer for the 4K restored version of Mulholland Drive below.