Movie Review: David Lynch: The Art Life is as close a look as the director has ever allowed

Lots and little of David Lynch are on view in The Art Life, as is so often the case. For the filmmaker behind enigmatic masterworks like Eraserhead, Mulholland Dr., and the cult series Twin Peaks—whose upcoming revival makes this new documentary from Janus Films especially timely—ambiguity tantalizes in a way linear storytelling never could. That vagueness typically extends to Lynch himself, whose reserve in interviews matches the elusiveness of his movies, which so often proves frustrating to anyone digging for some tidy, armchair psychologist’s interpretation of the Freudian nightmares in his work. Lynch usually demurs that he’s just a vessel for his many unsettling creations, comparing their genesis to catching fish or putting together puzzles whose pieces have been flipped over one by one for him—presenting himself as merely the interpreter of notions received from some mystical source, and all but removing himself from the …

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