I used to go to Bob’s Big Boy restaurant just about every day from the mid-seventies until the early eighties. I’d have a milk shake and sit and think.
There’s safety in thinking in a diner. You can have your coffee or your milk shake, and go off into strange dark areas, and always come back to the safety of the diner.
I just watched Eraserhead. You would need a lot of diner time to think up the weird shit in that movie, but I can see why film makers would love it. It is a direct translation from David Lynch’s mind into sound and images. It is the most true rendering of a dream world ever put on film. In its dark corners lurk all of the little horrors that come out when we sleep. Franz Kafka on opium could not find a darker more uncomfortable vision. David Lynch by all accounts is a happy, good-natured guy. He describes himself as optimistic and cheerful. So where does this stuff come from. Somewhere down inside his mind is a disturbing place that he goes to find it, maybe when he is at the diner drinking a milk shake and feeling safe.
David Lynch has the audacity to follow his visions into the darkest of places and then the courage to let his work stand without comment as a pure reflection of the medium he works in. He puts textures and sounds and images in his movies just for the effect and mood. The plot and character development are often left to the side. Imagery is the focus. Sound and light are what drives his imagination, and whatever he imagines is bound to end up in the movie at some point. There are very few artists who have the integrity to follow their visions as deeply and with such passion, capture them and bring them into the light. David Lynch does this, and what puzzling and mesmerizing creatures he drags out into open for us to experience. I am often left with more questions than resolutions after watching one of his movies, but my mind is engaged and moving when it is finished, as if the sequel, written by my mind is in production and ready for screening tonight when I close my eyes.