David Lynch: A List of Over Twenty Interviews on Creativity and The Creative Process

David Lynch: A List of Over Twenty Interviews on Creativity and The Creative Process

David Lynch is a perpetual inspiration. I’m watching INLAND EMPIRE as I write this brief introduction, a surreal horror film I can return to countless times, year after year, and never tire of exploring, of being frightened and intrigued by its nightmarish profundity and creative power. His film TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME clawed into my subconscious at crucial time in my young life. I had a small wood-paneled television in my bedroom as a teenager, a VCR below, and curtains to shut out the dark. But Lynch invited me into that darker chamber of Douglas Firs, a darkness that light and time and fear crawl out from and flourish behind dressers.

What follows is a collection of links to the best David Lynch “creativity” and/or “creative process” interviews I could find on this rainy morning. If you find others that you have prospered from, please post them as a comment. I would like to grow this list to act as a resource for those who might be flirting with the idea of further understanding Lynch’s work, or for those among us who wish to review his words and the depths of his creative spirit.

So, read on and dig in. May these links, these videos, and the audio interviews serve you well.

The Collected Interviews: David Lynch

  1. The Fragmentary Nature of Creativity (brainpickings)
  2. How to “Catch” Creativity (Good)
  3. On Meditation, Creativity, and Twin Peaks (TimeOut)
  4. On Meditation, Success, and Happiness (David Lynch Foundation)
  5. What To Do When You Catch a Good Idea (No Film School)
  6. Secrets for Tapping into your Deepest Creativity (Huffington Post)
  7. “It’s ignorance that keeps up in that boat of suffering” (Salon)
  8. On the Creative Process Behind “The Big Dream” (Spin)
  9. “Everybody Holds the Key to Unlock the Mystery” (The European)
  10. “Sometimes the Fish Talks Back to You” (The Guardian)
  11. Interview with Hikari Takano (on Creativity)
  12. David Lynch: Life Coach (Harpers Bazaar)
  13. “Idea is Everything” (Creative Screenwriting)
  14. Patti Smith and David Lynch Discuss Creativity (Electric Literature)
  15. An Ocean of Solutions (Origin)
  16. David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation (All Good Found)
  17. Find Your Own Voice, Be True To That Voice (A Bittersweet Life)
  18. Wild at Art (Talking Art)
  19. David Lynch’s Elusive Language (The New Yorker)
  20. On the Meaning of Eraserhead (Vulture)

Selected Video Interviews: Creativity, Process, Meditation

Selected Audio Interviews: The Creative Life

  1. David Lynch Collected Audio Interviews (davidlynch.de)
  2. The Unified Field 
  3. David Lynch: The Wire Interview (Wire)
  4. David Lynch & Frank Herbert: The Dune Audiocassettes
  5. The Soundboard Collection

Thank you for reading. I’ll be growing this list, so please, if there are other better interviews out there, get in touch and I’ll add to this list accordingly.


Thoughts on Michael Hemmingson

Thoughts on Michael Hemmingson

I’ve been reading Michael Hemmingon’s work lately. I corresponded with Hemmingson while I was living in Beijing, a correspondence that stretched into my return to Michigan this last year. He curated a blog about pulp/sleaze paperbacks that was (and is) a real goldmine if you’re into that sort of culture. Our correspondence was minimal (a lengthy message about writing, another about Barry Malzberg, yet another about the sleaze genre). And then, due to his passing two weeks after my last message was sent, nothing.

I did send him a copy of The Mondo Vixen Massacre. I don’t know if he ever read it. I think I initially came across his work through Zack Wentz’s The Garbageman and the Prostitute. Hemmingson wrote a blurb for that book and I really dug his blurb. That blurb set me off down a Hemmingson rabbit hole that I’ve yet to fully traverse. Sadly, as I mentioned above, Hemmingson is no longer with us. He passed away early 2014 at a young age (Rest in Peace). And unexpectedly. But he left those among us with a wealth of incredible work to savor and enjoy. And study.

Hemmingson, in my eyes, was a masterful storyteller. From sleaze to pulp to crime to science-fiction, he knew the terrain and knew how to tell it. He wrote quick and you can feel it. His stories and novellas seem like they were written in haste like he had to get them out before they would disappear into his complex mind. They have urgency, strength. Beyond his literary output, he also wrote a wealth of auto/ethnographic essays, wrote a film (THE WATERMELON), and even hosted a radio show or two (THE ART OF DREAMING). Furthermore, It seemed like he was always on the move–from San Diego to Los Angeles to Tijuana, probably Arcturus, too. But the man had the habit to sit down and write. I imagine that if he had six hours to spare, he’d be able to crank out a novella or a feature-length script or a television pilot. And it’d be damn good. When I asked him about his method, he wrote, “No set method. Whatever is ready to come out of my head to my fingers and screen and paper is whatever comes out. I am usually working on five projects at the same time, be they novels, screenplays, essays…”

Second, like Barry Malzberg (one of his literary heroes), he utilized a variety of pseudonyms to great effect. I’ve counted at least five Hemmingson pseudonyms (mainly of literary erotica), but there’s probably more that I’ll never uncover. If you have a good list of his pseudonyms, please privately drop me an email or a public comment. I like the fact that he penned under fake names. It leaves readers like myself always on the look-out, always thinking that maybe, just maybe I’ll stumble onto more. It’s like a game, a mystery. I should have asked him while I had the time.

Finally, there was great debate that Hemmingson managed two blogs aimed at discrediting certain others and spreading dis-information (FORMER WHITEHAT and THE IDYLWILD GROUP). Both of these blogs have ceased to be updated since Hemmingson’s untimely death, though in a radio interview he denied his direct ties to both blogs. That said, I, too, have my doubts as to his honesty. I think one of his selves wrote them both. I don’t think he’d ever admit to writing them both. I believe his multiple selves were many and, while I’m not sure as to why he’d write blogs that spread dis-information, I suppose I’ll never truly know.

Michael Hemmingson holds a dear place in my creative heart. Was it his ability to crank out so many stories and books? Was it his love of the pseudonym and the traces of himself that he weaved through each? Was it his ability to never shy from the explicit, from what we normally keep hidden? Was it his ability to hone his mind to create so much in so little time? I don’t know, but there’s something truly magical for me in his work that keeps me turning those pages. There’s something in his energy that keeps me hunting for more traces. I’m going to let that energy fester and grow. Here’s to you, Hemmingson.

Writerly Thoughts on Birdemic: Shock and Terror

Writerly Thoughts on Birdemic: Shock and Terror

After sharing my Sharknado article, I received a brief message from my good friend, Joel Potrykus saying that I better watch Birdemic: Shock and Terror. That it’s the real deal. That it’s “better.” Well, dear Internet readers, I did just that. In fact, I’ve watched the film three times and, like those classic gems Troll 2 and The RoomBirdemic: Shock and Terror just keeps flapping grander and grander. Maybe if I watch it ten times, some kind of otherworldly revelation will be unleashed and a swarm of eagles will swoop down and peck off my lips. It’s worth a shot.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror is a “Romantic Thriller” directed by James Nguyen. The film is romantically charged as we follow our protagonist through his developing relationship with a beautiful young woman. However, that’s not where the fun ends. It’s where it begins. Just when it seems everything is on the up and up (a lucrative stock option, a successful start-up venture), the birds arrive. And they are hungry. They come in droves, in waves of furious violence. They are infected, of course. They are displaced and angry–viscous, bloodthirsty, savage. This is where the film turns blood-red and heats up. Suddenly, we are in the middle of a battlezone, armed with machine guns and fleeing for our lives.

I admire Nguyen’s vision and the way in which he pulled this film off. The special effects are cheaply executed, but all it takes is one’s imagination to make things so real, so fresh, so fantastic. In fact, I actually like the special effects and find them effective in that they make the actors perform harder, perform better. And they do. They really do.

By the end of the journey, we hit water. We become water and ocean air. It’s a beautiful moment that lingers for a long time. We made it to the edge of the world and, for a brief moment, though we don’t know for how long, the birds are gone. Order is restored. The birdemic is over.

If you crave a mixture of Hitchcock and bullets, eagles and romance, you’ll love Birdemic: Shock and Terror. There’s something to be said about a director who has a vision and sticks to it, who makes a film work against all odds. Who takes a small amount of money and invests it in the right way, who truly believes in what he is making. That believability is something that, I think, audiences can feel tug at their hearts. It makes us laugh with joy. We feel that we, too, could be there making that movie, acting that scene. The characters become us and we become an intimate part of the movie. We don’t need slick effects to make seductive cinema, we just need to believe. And birds. We need birds. Lots of them.

Writerly Thoughts on SHARKNADO

Writerly Thoughts on SHARKNADO

I bought the SHARKNADO DVD today. I couldn’t pass it up. Who can pass up rummaging through those mega-bins of DVDs and Blu-rays that haunt certain large retail stores? I certainly can’t, nor do I need a DVD with fifteen “Westerns” on it–I just don’t need it. However, this was the last copy of SHARKNADO in the bin. Or, perhaps, the only copy. Now, it’s my copy.

The premise is quite novel–a freak storm/tornado sucks up a horde of sharks and batters and floods parts of Los Angeles and it’s up to a group of risk-takers to stop this powerful force. But more than this, it’s the story of a father and his love for his family, and a young woman facing her fear of sharks–she has the lovely scar to prove it. Though, I’m assuming you’ve already seen the film, I have to comment on a the most beautiful ending–SPOILER ALERT–which is the clever use of a chainsaw to saw oneself out of a killer shark and then embrace in a pool of blood and blood-spattered lips.

While the Bizarro fiction world works a lot with strange premises (I can even imagine, as I write this, the novelization of SHARKNADO), I would not consider this a “Bizarro” film. This type of creature vs. human film has been around, in various incarnations, for years and years. Thank you, Roger Corman. The added element of the weather, coupled with the iconic metaphor of a sprawling city such as Los Angeles (a city just begging for cinematic destruction) both add to the film’s beauty.

I’ve expressed elsewhere that I’d like to write fiction that reads as fast and as fun as something like a “B-Movie.” I keep returning to this thought. I’m haunted by this thought. Perhaps, I should reword “B-movie,” though, to include other ways of thinking such as “grindhouse-arthouse,” “exploitation,” and/or simply, “the cinematic.” What is it about these over-the-top stories that draw me in? I’m not sure yet, but there is definitely a joy in these types of films and when I come across books that express that same kind of joy on the page, I’m apt to not want to put that book down. Rarely, dear reader, are these novelizations of films, though. I would like to read more novelizations of good films, adapt them, translate them, and make them one’s own (much like how Jodorowsky never read Herbert’s DUNE).

Overall, I thought SHARKNADO had a strong story that fit with its purpose. Its purpose, I’m assuming, was to entertain on a modest budget with a science-fiction story that would attract attention by virtue of its exploitative angle. I believe it worked. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have found the DVD while rummaging through the bin today. And, while I sadly won’t be filing it under my “favorite films,” I would like to return to it again, for any film that gets me writing and thinking and imagining possibilities is precious.

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts on SHARKNADO that you think you fit this discussion, please drop a comment below.