David Lynch: The Art Life (15)  HAVE you been watching the confounding marvel that is the return of Twin Peaks to TV and wondered: “What sort of mind could come up with this stuff?” Then this must-see David Lynch documentary will provide a fascinating insight into the origins and artistic motivations of that most unique of auteur filmmakers.

The film takes us on an offbeat and beautifully constructed trip down the director’s memory lane in what feels like both a love letter to the man himself and a cinematic gift to those who have followed his career, from the brilliantly bewildering 1977 debut Eraserhead right up until the revival of his once-cancelled small town mystery show.

And yet the focus, as the title suggests, is not specifically on the film and TV work that he would go on to produce but the creative seeds planted many years prior and which continue to flourish in between projects. This comes mainly in the form of macabre paintings that are equal parts horrifying and hypnotising to behold, which he creates alongside drags of countless cigarettes and copious amounts of coffee.

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We’re given an inside track in the story of his early years via home footage and photographs, with a helpful narration by Lynch himself telling stories like how his father came to recognise his artistic ability after believing his son was just wasting his time at the gallery of his friend and future collaborative production designer Jack Fisk instead of getting a proper job.

Or the memorable moment in his hometown of Spokane, Washington, that an old woman was walking naked and bloodied down the street; an example of the kind of hallucinatory, nightmarish imagery that indubitably inspired a key moment in his controversial 1986 film Blue Velvet.

Now in his 71st year, he’s living an art life in peace in his rather secluded home in the Hollywood Hills to make the sort of project he wants to make, regardless of it possibly taking years to come to fruition and with purposeful avoidance of any sort of creative interference from anyone in the ideas he dreams up in his own mind.

Lynch comes across as an undoubtedly enigmatic but cheekily warm-hearted man who is fond of his trauma-free childhood, as one might expect, but completely without arrogance about being any sort of child prodigy and grateful for the career his talents have afforded him.

You come away feeling like you have genuine insight into what makes this strange mind tick.