The influential director, screenwriter, producer and actor David Lynch was born on this day in 1946

Director David Lynch turns 77 today

The influential director, screenwriter, producer and actor David Lynch was born on this day in 1946

David Keith Lynch was born in Missoula, Montana on January 20, 1946. Lynch moved frequently as a child due to his father’s work as a research scientist. While still a student at a high school in Virginia, he began taking art classes at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. After high school, Lynch made his way through Boston, Europe, and Philadelphia to study art further. In the 1960s, Lynch began making short films, beginning with the animated “Six Men Getting Sick” (1966) and “The Alphabet” (1967), a combination of animation and live action. “The Grandmother” (1970) was Lynch’s first completely live-action short film. In the 1970s, Lynch begun work on his first feature film, “Eraserhead”, which premiered in 1977. The bizarre movie had a dark worldview, disturbing subject matter, and a surreal tone, but it garnered enough attention to land Lynch the job of directing “The Elephant Man” (1980), starring John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, and Anne Bancroft. That film received eight Academy Award nominations, including two for Lynch in the categories of directing and adapted screenplay. Lynch’s film, “Blue Velvet” (1986) would take a chilling look at small-town life and it starred MacLachlan, Laura Dern, and Isabella Rossellini. Though its darker moments led to some outraged reactions, Lynch received critical accolades and a second Academy Award nomination for directing. Lynch would continue in a similar vein with “Wild at Heart” (1990) the controversial film would go on to win the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Lynch took his distinctive vision to television with the series “Twin Peaks”, which began airing in 1990 and featured MacLachlan as FBI agent Dale Cooper. Like in “Blue Velvet”, “Twin Peaks” took a look into small-town America and found hidden horrors that had previously been unexplored. Lynch would revisit the show with the feature film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” (1992), but the movie failed with critics and with audiences. Making back less than half of this overall budget. Lynch’s next big screen outing came in the form of “Lost Highway” (1997), a polarizing picture that put a new twist on his surreal themes. In 1999, he directed The Straight Story, a quiet, simple film based on a true story about a man traveling several hundred miles on a riding lawnmower. With “Mulholland Drive” (2001) and “Inland Empire” (2006), Lynch revisited the dreamlike qualities of his more stylized creations. “Mulholland Drive” earned Lynch another Academy Award nomination for directing. Lynch would return to both television and “Twin Peaks” on May 21, 2017, with a two-episode premiere. Since the last episode aired, there has been speculation on whether there will be the fourth season of “Twin Peaks” or not. Though Lynch has not denied the possibility of another season, he said it would be unlikely to air before 2021.

By Ken Warren, 2018

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