- Series: Icons
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: New Harvest (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544343751
- ISBN-13: 978-0544343757
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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David Lynch: The Man from Another Place (Icons) Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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“Reading Lim’s book feels like a visit to the Lynchian world—full of dreamy grey space. It’s transportive. It’s thorough. It’s work—but it’s worth it.” —Refinery29
“The Man from Another Place is a very well written ‘cinema-therapy’ session on the career of David Lynch, one of the few real auteurs left. His movies, obsessions, studio hassles, and personal life are all revealed in a smart, readable analysis by author Dennis Lim, who makes for the perfect film shrink.” —John Waters
“David Lynch’s brilliance as an artist is further illuminated by the laser intelligence of Dennis Lim’s commentary. Packed with new ideas regarding this most enigmatic of American filmmakers and refreshingly free of jargon, DL on DL is a dazzling performance. It is also a pleasure to read.” —J. Hoberman, co-author of Midnight Movies
“The Man from Another Place is an exemplary work of critical biography, in which one DL gives us an invaluable set of keys, or backwards-spoken passwords, for beginning to unlock and navigate the labyrinths of another.” —Tom McCarthy, author of Remainder and Satin Island
“To me, David Lynch is America. His light is brimmed with extreme beauty and violence. The Man from Another Place takes me to this unique terrain to discover one of America’s most intriguing minds. I realize how accessible Lynch’s universe is—it’s as simple as breathing. Seen through Mr. Lynch's eyes, blood is poetry, a murky night is crystal clear.” —Apichatpong Weerasethakul, director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
“Dennis Lim's crystalline book packs fascinating Lynchian biographical minutiae and revelatory production anecdotes into astonishingly lucid yet lyrical takes on the work of his subject. Lim is so thoroughly cine-literate his contextualization of Lynch's creative trajectory within the art form and its industry seems definitive—the last word on Lynch!” —Guy Maddin, filmmaker, My Winnipeg
“The book serves as an excellent primer for those unfamiliar with and curious about Lynch, as well as a pithy and insightful resource for confirmed fans wishing to deepen their appreciation and understanding of his work. A streamlined and breezily engaging—but impressively rigorous—evaluation of a unique film talent; essential reading for fans of Lynch and the immersive, elusive worlds he creates.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Eloquent, astute study.” —ArtForum
“Film critic and curator Lim interrogates the elusive ‘Lynchian’ aesthetic in this concise critical biography.” —Booklist
“With crisp prose—one small example: I love how he describes Eraserhead as ‘an exemplar of ingenuity born of poverty’—and a consistent brevity (the 179-page text is not-inaccurately described in its press release as ‘meditation-length’), this is an obvious must-read for Lynch’s admirers...Thorough research with perceptive, even-handed critical analysis.” —The Film Stage
“Lim offers a wealth of poignant anecdotes that elaborate on Lynch without attempting to reductively ‘explain’ him as a human or a creative...Lim allows you to honor Lynch's highest aspiration of entering another world.” —Slant Magazine
“There’s a lot of fun in dissecting the cerebral meaning of Lynch’s work, but there’s also no shortage of it. Refreshingly, Lim puts down the psychological magnifying glass, looking instead at the mechanics of Lynch’s work as a filmmaker, from inspiration to reception.” —Stet Magazine
“Dennis Lim investigates ‘Lynchian’ with a sophisticated earnestness, acknowledging that it’s a possibly futile but necessary thing to try to decipher.” —Biographile
“A thoughtful, energetic foray into the style, craftsmanship, and meaning of [David Lynch’s] films.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Excellent new book on Lynch.” —London Review of Books
“The Man from Another Place is a skeleton key to Lynch’s origins, obsessions, creative struggles, and transcendent works.” —Flavorwire
“Informative and brightly written biography...[A] gem of a book” —The Washington Post
“A sharp and concise work of criticism.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“Thorough, compact, and illuminating new book on Lynch.” —Bookforum
About the Author
Dennis Lim is a writer and film curator in New York City. He is currently the director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. A former film editor and critic at the Village Voice, he is also the editor of The Village Voice Film Guide: 50 Years of Movies from Classics to Cult Hits (2009).
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Top Customer Reviews
The book does set out to tell the story of David Lynch from a type of autobiographical point of view, but with a certain objective in mind: to explore the major turning points in Lynch's life, which Lim has defined 4 of them: the meeting of Toby Keeler; painting as a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the 5-year duration it took to make Eraserhead where through his struggle discovered Transcendental Meditation; and hazily around the time of making Dune, his first large scale production and his first flop as a filmmaker and the making of Twin Peaks some years after.
The exploration of her personal life through TM made this book more unique to other Lynch books which just wants to cover the grounds of his cinematic work. While he will undoubtedly be known primarily for this, Lynch is an ardent student of meditation, stating to have never missed a day since he began his meditation. It really starts to paint a three-dimensional portrait of Lynch the man/artist. It bridges the gap between his bizarreness and creativity and supports his visions to not be of pretentiousness, but rather of inner exploration.
I enjoyed this work as it was not overburdened with personal opinion or essays on a collection of films, as other authors have done. It is well balanced and well written making this a great homage to a director who has achieved fame through unconventional filmmaking.
The chapters progress chronologically, in the sense of Lynch’s influences, before becoming chronological in the sense of his films. I might not have thought to organize a biography this way, but Lim’s insight into Lynch’s thinking, his themes, and their origins led him to begin with the small-town middle-class idyll that inspired “Blue Velvet”. Rather than describing Lynch’s childhood in detail, Lim describes how it was later rendered in his films. In a short biography, this approach kills two birds with one stone –Lynch’s life and its relationship to his films- while laying the critical groundwork for more granular discussion of the films that will come later. By chapter four, Lynch is studying art in Philadelphia, living in a crime-ridden neighborhood that would inspire “Eraserhead”.
Once Lynch begins making movies, Lim goes through each one, discussing how Lynch became involved in the project, offering critical analysis of each film, and noting the critical and box office response. “Twin Peaks” and “Blue Velvet” get the lengthiest treatment. Lim also discusses Lynch’s work as a painter, his advocacy of Transcendental Meditation, and major events in his personal life, though these receive less attention than his films. I don’t agree with Lim’s praise of Lynch’s later films, but his understanding of Lynch as “the primitive artist of our most modern art” will make Lynch’s oeuvre comprehensible to even the most confounded viewer. Lim offers an insightful picture of the artist and his art in a small package. Be aware that the film criticism contains spoilers.
What's here is fine, but there are other books about Lynch that go into far more depth, are a better value for the money and are a better choice if you really want to read about the man.