David Lynch: Philadelphia is percolating in me

Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly

David Lynch is an internationally known, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker who got into film accidentally while a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His film ERASERHEAD (1977) is inspired directly by his time in Philadelphia in the 1960’s and 70’s but he tells us, “I only wanted to be a painter”. DAVID LYNCH: THE UNIFIED FIELD is the first and largest survey of his 2D work from his time at PAFA in 1967 to 2013. Robert Cozzolino, senior curator at PAFA, tells us about how the show all came together. He details why SIX MEN GETTING SICK (1967), the award-winning piece by then student Lynch on view for the first time since 1967, was a transformative piece, merging painting, sculpture, sound and moving images. This piece was inspired by an experience Lynch had in his studio where (and he insists he was not on drugs) he began to see the plants he was painting begin to move. He thought “oh a moving painting”, and in that small studio at PAFA, sounds and images revolving around the dark and absurd, with Philadelphia center stage as muse, began to flow in an unceasing stream.

Unedited David Lynch Interview, 10 September 2014

By Michael O’Reilly

Hi, this is Michael O’Reilly, producer of the ART segment for FRIDAY ARTS. The video below is the unedited interview myself and Peter Crimmins, the arts reporter for WHYY 90.9 FM, did with David Lynch on 10 September 2014, when he was in town for the opening of his show. This interview has to be one of the weirdest I have done. Not because he is weird, I don’t find him all that odd, however, for my part of the interview, it felt like he was answering things I wasn’t asking him, almost like he was reading it off the wall behind my head and only he could see it.

I thought I would be able to engage him by talking about music – I myself am a filmmaker and composer (I played and composed most of the music you hear in the “Philadelphia is Percolating in Me” ART segment as part of the fuller show. I used some of my music since I thought it complemented the darkness and grittiness of some of his images better than the music that David Lynch did himself. Asking about music seemed to drive a wedge between us and, sensing that, I gave up on the interview and gave it over to Peter, who asked a number of great questions.

I am still not sure what happened – maybe I came across as too much of an eager fan boy ? I couldn’t tell if he initially said ” a sore can be very beautiful” or a “sewer”, but asking for clarification yielded the one answer I could use. I feel bad about that, because the folks at PAFA were very helpful and supportive of me getting that interview, and I probably bugged them to no end to make sure I was there. (thanks Bob, Heike, Silvana and Joanne !). There was a lot of great stuff in the press conference.

I found it interesting, however, when I saw the piece with part of an interview that 6ABC did. In it, Lynch is relaxed, affable and engaged – a distinct difference from the interview you see below. I’m not sure what the difference is – maybe he got to have a donut and some coffee in between.

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