cinema 9 / 1990
Mel Brooks once called David Lynch the "James Stewart from Mars". With movies like "The Elephant Man" or "Blue Velvet" he wrote film history. Cinema-author Karl-Heinz Schäfer interviewed the winner of the Palm d`Or


"Movies are like ducks"

Cinema: Do you mind being called a 'cult-director' ?

David Lynch: Actually, yes. Precisely speaking, the word means, that only a small group of people likes you and your movies. I want to make films for broader audiences instead.

Cinema: If "Wild at Heart" gets an X-rating in the USA, this will be quite unlikely . What were the reasons for offense ?

David Lynch: Amazingly, they were offended more by the violence than by the sex scenes. Usually, it`s the other way around. They complained about the brutal murder immediately at the beginning and the bloodbath at the end. They didn`t like a particular sex-scene with Lula and Sailor neither, which they called "penetration from behind". (laughs)

Cinema: Which are the best situations for getting ideas for your movies?

Lynch: When Isabella (Rossellini)  isn`t home, I sit alone in the living room being lost in dark thoughts. No, honestly: "Wild at Heart" is based on a novel by Barry Gifford. I was enthuasistic at once about it - it`s a baroque, crazy and brutal story, full of characters haunting our nights like ghosts, on the edge of dreams and dawn.

Cinema: Where does this your favour for morbid things come from?

David Lynch: I grew up in a rural environment with lots of green nature. Then one day, I came to a big city, and that must have shocked me. Possibly, I`m a voyeur, for I love to see blood, corpses, all this terrible stuff. But it`s difficult to answer this question. I don`t know which message I want to transport with my movies. I have ideas and want to put them on screen, because they interest me. People always look for explanations for something. But what about life? You`re in the middle of it and rarely wonder what it`s all about. I don`t understand why movies have to have a deeper meaning, when life doesn`t.

Cinema: You once said, a perfect movie is like a duck. What kind of duck is "Wild at Heart"?

David Lynch: I used the comparison, because I noticed that movies - just like ducks - - have a certain structure, a head, a body, legs. Every movie has certain proportions and a certain shape. For example: The eye of a duck is like a jewel, and you could wonder, where to place it in the complete structure. But to reach perfection, it belongs in the head. A perfect movie obeys the same rules as a duck. I think "Wild at Heart" is a [Stockente].

[Not in my dictionary... a 'Stockente' is a rather common bird, elegant and small in shape]