Side Note

David Lynch has directed some INSANE commercials over the years

David Lynch, the revered and eccentric film auteur, recently found himself inserted himself into America’s political conversation with the force of a rock flung from the overcaffeinated hand of Special Agent Dale Cooper. If you have been blessed enough to not check the internet all week, here’s what happened: On June 23, Lynch gave an interview to The Guardian meant to promote his new book Room to Dream in which, perhaps because a guaranteed way to get clicks these days is to get a celebrity to say something about Donald Trump, the conversation turned to Donald Trump. The relevant passage from the article is below:

He is undecided about Donald Trump. “He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way.” While Trump may not be doing a good job himself, Lynch thinks, he is opening up a space where other outsiders might. “Our so-called leaders can’t take the country forward, can’t get anything done. Like children, they are. Trump has shown all this.”

In a stroke of the same horrific dream-logic that populates Lynch’s film and television work, this quote was taken out of context by Breitbart in an article that made it seem as if Lynch thought Trump was extremely good (I will not link to said Breitbart piece, because fuck that), and THAT Breitbart link was then tweeted out by Donald Trump (whose tweet I will also not be linking to, because again, fuck that). Lynch then was forced to take to Facebook to clarify his comments, and the world had to endure yet another pointless news cycle (news cyclet?) that, if it didn’t make us all dumber, definitely in no way made us all smarter.

Anyways, the result of all of this is I started looking at a bunch of David Lynch stuff on the internet, which led me to discover that Lynch has made a LOT of crazy-ass commercials over the years, including a Dior ad that plays like a horror film about a purse, a French commercial for Barilla pasta starring Gerard Depardieu that kind of comes off as an homage to Jean-Luc Godard, and a spot for Georgia Coffee featuring a bunch of Twin Peaks characters jawing about how great Georgia Coffee is. Some of them feel like miniature David Lynch films, while others present characters in untenably dire situations where the only solution is purchasing one specific product or service. If these spots have one uniting theme, it’s that it’s hard to tell whether they’re over-the-top parodies of traditional advertising or if David Lynch thinks that advertising is a quintessentially all-American artform and earnestly gave these commercials everything he’s got. That mystery, in its own way, also explains why there might have been a genuine question about whether or not he liked Donald Trump: it can be hard to tell whether Lynch finds abject horror in the things people see as harmless kitsch, or if he finds harmless kitsch where other people see abject horror.

For the absolute best commercial ever directed by Lynch, please refer to the below, an ominous PSA for the city of New York in which he tells the world that litter on the streets will lead to decadence, decay, and rat-infested rot.

Not the rats! Not the rats!!!!