POSTED September 14 2014

When David Lynch met Esther Williams

th 10.50.29 AMSo, last night I did a public interview with David Lynch at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on the occasion of his fine painting exhibition, “The Unified Field,” at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

He was in fine fettle, charmingly cagy about things he didn’t want to disclose, but very forthcoming for the most part. He was eloquent on the importance of sound in film (“50 percent of the film’s meaning”) and other matters painterly and cinematic.
In closing, I asked him the Ingmar Bergman question, prompted by Friday’s reports out of London that two documentarians found Bergman’s cache of DVDs. Among the discs were the usual suspects, like Sunset Boulevard. But there were many unusual suspects — you might call them guilty pleasures — such as “GhostbustersThe Blues Brothers, and the Goldie Hawn film Foul Play” Asked Lynch what surprises we might find in his DVD collection.

45 seconds of silence, followed by “That might take all night.”

In a panic, I reached for the most preposterous possibility: “Any Esther Williams films?” And Lynch smiled.
He told an anecdote about the day he spied Williams in a restaurant. He strolled up to her table and said, “I’ve had a crush on you since third grade.” She thanked him, and then asked, “Why did you make Isabella Rossellini show her beaver?”

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