Five poetic life lessons from David Lynch

Enter the surrealist auteur’s mind in this new short film, featuring Ashton Sanders and Sasha Lane

“Cinema is a language.” This is the first line of Nowness’s latest short film, Curtain’s Up, a Stella McCartney profile of David Lynch in which he plays the role of God, as filmed by his son Austin Lynch and fine artist Case Simmons. Submerged in darkness, Lynch appears as a figure only traceable by the glow of neon blue and pink backlighting, and a swirl of his signature smoke. It’s the kind of image that you would conjure when contemplating life late at night, and Curtain’s Up does exactly that – it’s Lynch’s poetic take on human existence.

Laid over visuals of actors Ashton Sanders and Sasha Lane, Lynch’s ominous voice walks us through his mind as he mediates upon what film, creativity, ideas and overall reality mean to the man behind surrealist cult masterpieces Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet. Here are five life lessons the experimental auteur gives us in Curtain’s Up.


David Lynch: Cinema is a language, it can say things, big abstract things and I love that about it. Some people are poets and have a beautiful way of saying things with words. But cinema is its own language, so you can express a feeling and a thought that can't be conveyed any other way. It's a magical medium. For me, it's so beautiful to think about these pictures and sounds flowing together in time and in sequence making something that can be done only through cinema.


David Lynch: An idea is a thought. It's a thought that holds more than you think it does when you receive it. But in that first moment, there is a spark. Desire for an idea is like bait. You bait your hook and then you wait. The desire is the bait that pulls those fish in, those ideas. Little fish swim on the surface, but the big ones swim down below. If you can expand the container, you're fishing in your consciousness. You can catch bigger fish.

“Life is filled with abstractions and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition” – David Lynch


David Lynch: When I started meditating, I was filled with anxieties and fears. I felt a sense of depression and anger. Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story, but they're like poison to the filmmaker or artist. You must have clarity to create. You have to be able to catch ideas.


David Lynch: Life is filled with abstractions and the only way we make heads or tails of it is through intuition. Intuition is seeing the solution. It's emotion and intellect going together. Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened and expanded through meditation diving into the self. There's an ocean of consciousness inside each of us and it's an ocean of solutions. When you dive into that ocean, that consciousness you enliven it, it grows. And the final outcome of this growth of consciousness is called enlightenment which is the full potential for us all.


David Lynch: Negativity is like darkness You turn on the light, and darkness goes. We're like light bulbs. If bliss starts growing inside you, it's like a light. You enjoy that light inside and if you ramp it up brighter and brighter you enjoy more and more of it and that light will extend out farther and farther. Maybe enlightenment is far away. But it's said that when you walk toward the light with every step, things get brighter. Every day, for me, gets better and better and I believe that enlivening unity in the world will bring peace on Earth. So I say, peace to all of you.