Master director David Lynch is not one for explaining himself. He doesn’t do things like director’s commentary on DVD/Blu-ray releases, and he never offers very much by way of interpretation of his frequently (and to fans, exhilaratingly) confounding body of work. In an age of over-sharing, it is refreshing that there’s someone out there who’s keen to let his art speak for itself (if only everyone would do so, the world would be less annoying and cluttered with stupid celebrity opinions). But then again, Lynch’s tendencies might also be frustrating to a culture that always demands more of its public figures.
We have arrived at the intersection of curiosity and terseness now that Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival is premiering Sunday and Lynch has agreed to help promote it. For an example of the potential awkwardness that is bound to ensue, look no further than Indiewire’s interview with the director, in which reporter Hanh Nguyen (whom, full disclosure, I worked with briefly at TVGuide.com), asks Lynch very good questions and receives... very brief answers. Here’s how it starts:
The passage of time is important to the new series. How have you changed from making the original “Twin Peaks” to this one?
David Lynch: I’ve gotten 25 years older.
Has that experience or time passing expressed itself in the revival?
Lynch: Well, you know, I’m not supposed to talk about the new series, but, obviously if you’d look at the world we live in, things are different now today then they were 25 years ago. But many things are kind of the same.
How do you feel like you have changed?
Lynch: I’m still the same.
Riiiiight. So how about that passage of time then?
Do you feel like the TV medium has changed from when you first worked on “Twin Peaks” to now?
Lynch: Yeah. The great coming to age of cable is really a beautiful thing. No commercials. It’s like a small theater. It’s a cinema on a TV screen.
Why do you feel like it’s like cinema on a TV screen?
Lynch: I always thought of even the original series as, when they’re shooting the pilot, it’s a film, and that’s the way I see it now. It’s just a film. It’s shown not in a big theater, but it’s shown as cinema on television.
What do you think the difference is then between cinema and television? Is it just the lack of commercials or is it something else?
Lynch: I don’t really follow television so much, but in the old days there was a certain way TV was, and it wasn’t really like cinema. I don’t know how many ways it was different or the same, but it was not quite like cinema. Now, cinema can happen on television.
Great. And what about that fervently interpreting fanbase?
There are so many theories online about the meaning of “Twin Peaks,”and your work in general. Do you pay any attention to those theories, and do they have any significance for you?
Lynch: No, but the thing is I love is the fact that people are thinking, and I say everybody’s conclusion they come up with is valid. We’re all like detectives. We want to figure things out. Life, you know, we want to figure out life, and we want to figure out what’s going on, so it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful that people are thinking.
Something else that’s beautiful is animals:
Speaking of animals, something that I really enjoy is the use of animals in your work. Do you feel like they have a significance in how you tell stories?
Lynch: You go by the ideas, and if the idea comes with an animal, by golly you’re going to use an animal.
Do you identify with a certain animal the most?
Lynch: I like deer. I like pigs. I like little pigs, and I like some dogs.
[Cat meows in background.]
Lynch: You have a cat there?
Yes, she’s speaking to you.
Lynch: Okay, you know I’m sure your cat’s real great, too.
I’ve done interviews like this before with beloved auteurs giving crumbs of answers—it’s not easy! This is a showcase of Nguyen’s impressive stamina, and it’s an entertaining interview, not just regardless but because of Lynch’s quirks... which makes sense, given his entire public profile.