“You’re walking along,” he begins slowly, “and you look over and see some incredible violet and deep purple going to black. The light is hitting it a certain way. It’s very, very beautiful. And then you step a little closer.” He pauses, dangling the words in suspense. “And it’s a dead woman with her stomach ripped open. Now that beautiful thing has turned to absolute horror. It’s a whole ’nother ball game. But it still drew you in at first and you saw a beauty there. So as soon as something is named… as soon as a certain thing is known about a shape or a colour or whatever… it changes it.”
Normally, Lynch does not believe in explaining himself. In 34 years of being recognised as one of the most original and influential figures in film, he has revealed little. Actors are required to surrender to the obscurity of his vision without having their questions answered. His interviews are often as impenetrable as his work, clouded with riddle-like abstractions that teeter between insight and inanity. In an 11,646-word treatise on the director’s oeuvre by the late novelist David Foster Wallace, who spent time on the set of Lynch’s 1997 neo-noir film Lost Highway, the most we learned about the man behind the films was that he pees hard and often.