David Lynch: The Art Life

March 201788 minutes

David Lynch: The Art Life looks at Lynch’s art, music, and early films, shining a light into the dark corners of his unique world and giving audiences a better understanding of the man and the artist. As he says, “I think every time you do something, like a painting or whatever, you go with ideas, and sometimes the past can conjure those ideas and color them. Even if they’re new ideas, the past colors them.” We’re invited in and given private views from Lynch’s compound and painting studio in the hills high above Hollywood, as he tells personal stories that unfold like scenes from his films. Strange characters come into focus only to fade again into the past, all leaving an indelible mark.
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88 minutes
Uncle Howard was buried on his thirty-fifth birthday. He was gay; an Ivy League graduate; a broke artist; a rising Hollywood star; a heroin user; a jetsetter; a seedy nightlife lover; a director of cult docs; a devoted friend. To director Aaron Brookner, he was a loving uncle who died of AIDS in 1989 when he was only seven and right when Howard was about to make it as a filmmaker. William Burroughs wrote: “Immortality is the only goal worth striving for". Howard’s relationship with the famed writer marked his gateway to artistic and personal freedom. Twenty-three years after his death, Howard’s work and memory are fading but Aaron wants to fight for his uncle's right to be immortal. He finds the clues to the many sides of his uncle’s story in a modern day tomb: Burroughs’ New York City bunker. More than 300 cans of film offer a glimpse at Howard’s life and career, including outtakes from his 1983 debut film Burroughs: The Movie (the first and most revealing film about the iconic writer), Howard’s video diaries documenting his illness and personal feelings, photographs, rehearsal videos from his Hollywood feature with Madonna and extensive documentation from the mid-80s. Through conversations with family and close friends – including Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, Sara Driver, Hisami Kuroiwa, Brad Gooch, Darryl Pinckney, James Grauerholz and Robert Wilson – comes an exploration into the cultural revolution of the late 70s and early 80s, a bankrupt and sordid New York City, the eruption of the AIDS plague, sex, drugs, politics, and the artistic determination of a filmmaker whose life was cut short. Featuring long-lost footage and archival photos of William Burroughs, Patti Smith, John Giorno, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Southern, Andy Warhol, Spike Lee, John Waters, Francis Bacon, Matt Dillon, Madonna, and more, Uncle Howard reveals a portrait of the tumultuous and mysterious life, struggles, and untimely death of Howard Brookner.
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