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Described by Pauline Kael as "the first populist surrealist — a Frank Capra of dream logic," David Lynch has forged a singular path through American filmmaking. Although it took many years to complete, Lynch began his first feature film ERASERHEAD while attending the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. This groundbreaking film, which he directed, wrote and produced, became an instant cult classic. Lynch followed this success with THE ELEPHANT MAN and received his first Oscar® nomination for Best Director. Next, with BLUE VELVET, Lynch masterfully blended elements of a nostalgic American pastoral with film noir's urban anomie, plus an occasional touch of kinkiness more typically found in the grindhouse. This has since come to be regarded as the filmmaker's signature style, and the film earned Lynch his second Oscar® nomination for Best Director. WILD AT HEART, the network television sensation TWIN PEAKS and its tricky film prequel TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME as well as LOST HIGHWAY and MULHOLLAND DR. — recently recognized as the best film of the 2000s by Film Comment, and of the 21st century in a BBC poll — all capitalized on his favorite themes: memory, identity and duality.
Lynch's fearless, intensely personal quest has resulted in a body of work that audiences around the world are richer for having seen: strange and beautiful films that are thought-provoking and at times awe-inspiring. With the much-anticipated third season of TWIN PEAKS about to debut on Showtime, the time is ripe to revisit some of Lynch's greatest films on the big screen.
AFI Member passes accepted.