It’s hard to believe I’m looking at David Lynch’s members-only site right now. (Specifically, I’m looking at Lynch’s house blend of organic coffee on sale for $11.95.) This is the director who brought us “Twin Peaks” and movies like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive.
It’s amazing to have Darryl Hannah publish an environmentalist vlog, but it’s a watershed moment to have David Lynch create exclusive material for his own uncensored, online network. The site is wholly independent and viewer-supported, so there is a steep, $9.97 monthly fee to access the bulk of its content.
Lynch also has a foundation for “consciousness-based education and world peace” and a scholarship in conjunction with the American Film Institute to support promising filmmakers (which is funded in part by sales of the aforementioned Lynch coffee).
Not only is there a bounty of exclusive Lynch material here, but it’s displayed in a beautifully designed interface. In terms of video content, there’s a mix of original and pre-released content. The videos that don’t require a subscription include an on-again, off-again daily weather report and promotional material for new films like trailers and video blogs. The vlog that was associated with the release of his Inland Empire, for example, covered events, clips, interviews, and even viewer reviews.
Member-only videos include serials like Lynch’s 2006 Cannes video diary, which is sort of spectacular in its weirdness, Dumbland, his animated comedy series about life’s stranger unhappy moments in five-minute episodes, and an archive of trailers for most of Lynch’s iconic films. There’s also an exclusive experimental section with bizarre videos like “Coyote #1,” which finds a coyote sniffing around an empty living room at night with the caption; “The coyote is hungry and wants to kill and eat the small creature. The coyote doesn’t yet know the creature’s powers nor what surprises this environment may hold.”
Beyond the videos, there’s a radio show, original music, his ‘90s comic strip “The Angriest Dog in the World,” and several galleries of Lynch’s old photographs. Normally, “features” like e-cards and screensavers wouldn’t be mentioned on this site, but these are e-cards and screensavers by David Lynch and they’re definitely cool enough to mention.
While I’m sure I should be talking about the exclusive experimental films here, I was much more fascinated by his 2006 Cannes diary. Each installment is crafted with all the oddness of his fictional work, but in a episodic, documentary style. One episode, “Café Au Lait,” finds the auteur drinking “the best coffee [he’s] had in years” and talking to a musician about why the impulse to misdirect audiences is so gleeful.
But what’s so entertaining about the episode is that it doesn’t seem like the musician has any idea what Lynch is talking about. And rather than try to correct his conversational partner, he seems to enjoy it all the more. All the episodes are like this. The diary might as well have the subtitle: “Strange Moments with David Lynch.”
This is a pay site, and a relatively expensive one as far as non-pornographic internet content goes. Although it’s entertaining, only the most obsessed Lynch fans will find the site worthwhile for the cost.