David Lynch: The Art Life (2016)

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Released 7-Jun-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Madman Propaganda x 4
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 84:46 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jon Nguyen
Rick Barnes
Olivia Neergaard-Holm

Madman Entertainment
Starring David Lynch
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Jonatan Bengta

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, constantly
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     David Lynch: The Art Life is a film by Rick Barnes, Jon Nguyen and Olivia Neergaard-Holm. It is not a critique of Lynch’s films, indeed David Lynch: The Art Life concludes during the production of Eraserhead (1977); instead the film is a look at the man himself, his childhood, adolescence, his beginnings as an artist, to try to discover what makes him tick. The film was made with Lynch’s full cooperation but, like the man himself, it is not simple or straightforward.

     David Lynch: The Art Life is not a standard biography where other people talk about the subject’s life and work. Instead it is an art film; Lynch is not interviewed direct to camera but shown sitting at his home workshop / studio or working on various canvasses / projects, his voice providing the commentary over a succession of images - family home movies, black and white and colour snapshots, Lynch’s drawings and artwork. He talks about his happy family life in Idaho, his school days, his early experiences with painting and art, his life in Boston and Philadelphia, his friends and his first marriage. He is frank and honest about his failures and explains what he means when he refers to “The Art Life”. But perhaps it is not so much what he says as the sampling of some of his disturbing drawings that provides an insight into the vision of this very unique artist, and director.

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Transfer Quality


     David Lynch: The Art Life is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1; home movies and other archive materials are 1.33:1. David Lynch: The Art Life is PAL, Region free and 16x9 enhanced.

     The footage shot in Lynch’s house is sharp, except where the filmmakers deliberately shot out of focus, and has natural colours. The home movies and some snaps have a range of artefacts and grain, as might be expected. Blacks and shadow detail are fine.

     The layer change at 50:58 created a slight pause just after a scene change.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.

     This film’s audio is David Lynch talking about his life, which is easy to hear and understand. The surrounds did feature rain and thunder at one stage but were otherwise used only for the score. The subwoofer supported the music.

     The original music was by Jonatan Bengta, with contributions by Josef Maria Schafers, Stella Luncke, Olga Blinky Luncke, Clayton Thomas and Bernd Oszevim, while David Lynch together with Dean Hurley contributed three songs.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer (1:38)

Madman Propaganda

    Trailers for Francofonia (2:00), Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie (1:47), Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict (2:42) and The Wolfpack (2:11).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A US Blu-ray release of David Lynch: The Art Life includes an interview with co-director Jon Nguyen (16:24) and liner notes by critic Dennis Lim. This is a Criterion Collection release so I guess their DVD would have the same extra, although I cannot confirm this. While I hardly think it is worth importing for that, I suppose it is still the better release.


     David Lynch: The Art Life is a look at the life that made this unique talent. Fascinating for fans of David Lynch, but anyone interested in the process of creation – the art life – should give the film a look.

     The video and audio are fine. A trailer is the only relevant extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 19, 2018
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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