A Gold Mine of Material: George Griffith on From the Head and Twin Peaks: The Return | Interviews

It meant so much to me as a student and a collaborator of David’s, as a lifelong fan of “Twin Peaks” and as somebody who had a huge affectionate connection for the mythology. To be in a night drive scene was part of my Lynch bucket list, and the episode was full of these great, eerie, sort of ominous silences. I did get to see it on the big screen when they screened the entirety of “The Return” over three days at MoMA. Seeing those six-hour chunks with people was really miraculous. The tired criticisms aimed at the show like, “Dougie takes too long,” just aren’t true, and this screening confirmed it. Seeing Part 8 with people was fantastic. You could hear audible gasps. I hadn’t really been reading too much about the show because I didn’t want to know what other people were thinking yet. I was digesting it myself, but my manager started sending me Part 8 articles almost right way, and I was like, “Maybe I’m not the only one who felt that way.” I can’t wait for my kids to see it.

It was so galvanizing to see Penderecki’s “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” finally fused with the sort of imagery it was originally intended to evoke.

It’s really breathtaking. I always think that David is part of film history and film’s future at the same time. It felt like Penderecki slide that music right over to Lynch and was like, “You are the only one who can put a visual to this.” I don’t think there’s anyone else who could’ve done that.

The characters Gordon Cole refers to as the “dirty, bearded men in a room” feel somehow related to The Man Behind Winkie’s in “Mulholland Dr.” Lynch’s portrayal of LA feels closer to life than any other in how he portrays the city’s homeless occupants, most movingly in “Inland Empire.”

I think it harkens back to what we had been discussing about seeing characters on film that you might normally judge. Maybe you walk quickly by them because you’ve put them in some archetype that is easy for you to dismiss. I watched the recent restoration of “Inland Empire” upon its release, and those scenes on Hollywood Blvd with Naido, who is in “The Return,” really struck me too.

What makes the inclusion of “From the Head” at this year’s Lynch retrospective particularly special?

Well, I’m trying to not be too hyperbolic, but I don’t think that either I or “From the Head” would exist in the same way without David Lynch. His influence on me has been so multi-tiered. It’s been personal, it’s been artistic, it’s been spiritual and it’s been professional, and all of those things are interwoven. I couldn’t be more humbled or grateful for that, and I feel really proud to be brought up in the same sentence as him, honestly. As an artist, I really desire purity and I think that I felt fortified in that endeavor by my connection with David. One of my favorite things is to talk about film. I don’t always get to talk about my film, and I don’t always talk about David or “Twin Peaks” because I don’t want to be like Neil Armstrong going around every day saying, “I went to the moon, baby!” But it’s had such a profound resonance for me and I’m really grateful for your thoughtfulness. It means a lot to me.

“From the Head” screens in 35mm at 9:30pm on Wednesday, May 31st, at The Texas Theater in Dallas with George Griffith in attendance as part of “David Lynch: A Complete Retrospective.” For tickets, click here, and you can find the full festival lineup here.