As if the title personal assistant to David Lynch weren't striking enough, the director of the documentary Lynch (One) went and renamed himself blackANDwhite. For a couple years, Mr. ANDwhite lived at the Lynch compound in the hills above L.A., fetching his employer coffee and cigarettes among other duties necessary for the production of Inland Empire. He parlayed this insider access into a flattering, completely authorized home movie, a collection of fly-on-the-wall interviews and vignettes that feels more like a product of the man centered in the frame than the vision of the gopher wielding the digital camera.
Over the years, Lynch's public persona has solidified into a series of trustworthy riffs. He's a small-town kid of the '50s who never shook the slang of his childhood, prone to phrases like "super!" and "thanks a million!" He's a genius who directs his crew and actors with cryptic instructions. He's a multimedia artist as content hammering away in a wood shop as he is on a movie set. And he's a fervent proponent of transcendental meditation.
Lynch (One) doesn't stray far from these generally accepted personas. Lynch records his daily weather report for Davidlynch.com and prepares for Bastille Day. He requests that an assistant bring to the set a 16-year-old girl with one leg, a beautiful Eurasian woman, and a pet monkey. He puts the finishing touches on a sculpture that looks like a hooker waiting at a bus stop. There's no mention of Lynch's family and scant talk about his life before Eraserhead. What's on display here is Lynch's work life, not his private life, and so be it. It's still pretty nifty to watch a fellow carefully dip a suit jacket in lime-green paint. Hot dog!
Lynch (One) is being shown at Northwest Film Forum alongside a restored print of Eraserhead and a program of Lynch's rarely screened short films. See Film Shorts, page 84, for details.