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David Lynch: Beautiful Dark (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) Hardcover – September 28, 2008
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An essential resource in understanding Lynch’s work. (David Bushman, Curator, Television, The Paley Center for Media)
With unprecedented access to Lynch, his parents, family, and colleagues, Olson has captured and defined the raw, mysterious energy that flows through the works of this iconoclastic auteur. (Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie, February 2009)
Olson's comprehensive biography of this highly original filmmaker contains a wealth of information, much of it previously unpublished. (CHOICE, June 2009)
Simply put, the book, "Beautiful Dark" by Greg Olsen is a work of art...The one thing that hits you about this book is the amount of passion that Olsen has put into his work....Olsen covers nearly every imaginable work that Lynch has ever done to date and does so with great enthusiasm and passion. He insightfully moves between Lynch's works with a precision that is both refreshing and exhaustive at the same time. The result is a chance between two worlds...into a place where no one has gone before....So if you were hesitating picking this one up, as Coop would say, "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present..." And grab this book today! (Brian Kursar Dugpa.Com, 10/4/08)
A thorough-going critical study of Lynch's works in all media that is firmly embedded in a clear biographical narrative and backed by lengthy interviews with almost everyone in his life....The result is exactly the kind of complex, keen-eyed but sympathetic critical biography one wishes every great filmmaker could receive. (Dga Quarterly)
About the Author
Greg Olson is the Film Curator of the Seattle Art Museum. He has written on film for several publications including The Seattle Times, Moviemaker, Premiere and Film Comment. He has contributed to the books Vietnam War Films and Contemporary Literary Criticism. He is a board member of the Film Noir Foundation and a juror for the American Film Institute's annual 100 Years...100 Movies television programs.
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Okay, onto this book. Picked this up at my local library and first off was a little surprised at the heft of this. I mean David Lynch hasn't really made that many films. What I found out was the reason for the extreme length is the author's downright ridiculous detail of all the movie plots. I would enjoy hearing about how Lynch came up w/ his screenplays and the process of filming, but not a play by play of each scene. On the other hand, Greg Olson does shed some light (no!) on "Mulholland Drive," which was a very opaque movie. I saw the film after reading the raves, but damn if I didn't have a clue what was going on. And, as par for the course w/ Lynch, this film moves at what seems a snail's pace. It drove me crazy. Actor Naomi Watts contributes here about her experience on the film and what just might be the role of her career.
No discussion of Lynch would be complete w/o including Lynch's piece de resistance, "Blue Velvet." This biography gives some nice detail of the posturing by a variety of actors to secure the truly outrageous role of Frank Booth. But there was only one man born to play that role, and that man was Dennis Hopper. And knowing a golden opportunity, Hopper simply stated to David Lynch "I AM Frank Booth." No joke - Dennis Hopper was pretty much that same drug fueled psychotic while filming Apocalypse Now! in the Philippines circa 1976.
Other interesting tangents include "Twin Peaks" and Kyle McLagen. Also, singer Julie Cruise admits she was traumatized by her working relationship w/ David Lynch. Love the music they created together and have enjoyed the CD that resulted from their collaboration. That said, this book offers a straightforward portrait of one of the weirdest directors to have ever graced this planet. My only major criticism would be tighter editing because there's TMI (too much information) about the individual films.
I've always wanted someone to tell me what they think, of what I saw, and this guy does it with elan. He goes through and, though maybe he just says his point of view, but for me, it explains a lot about the films I've seen, which, until now; a lot of them have been opaque. And, if you like a little mystery revealed, it is not so good. It's quite painful in fact. There's pain of course here, in learning of the lives of Lynch and his family and family of friends and co-conspirators, but plenty of pleasure as well. By the end of this heavy and very long (Almost 700 pages! Which read fast.) you sure wish like anything you too could write; or paint, or dream on canvas; and produce so much work that people got into it as much as you do.
Check out the book. Learn about Olson, Lynch, his family, friends, co-workers, and YOU!
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