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David Lynch

John Malkovich becomes David Lynch (and other characters)

Enchant, Inspire

In a new project, the actor relives iconic scenes from Lynch's filmography.

John Malkovich and David Lynch are, respectively, the actor and film director who’ve implicitly or explicitly addressed the issues of identity and its porous barriers through numerous projects. Now they’ve joined forces in Playing Lynch, a series of cartoons that revive iconic characters from Lynch’s filmography.

The project was produced by the David Lynch Foundation which is dedicated to investigating transcendental meditation procedures. The project will keep fans’ attention as they await the revival of Twin Peaks, the cult TV series slated to return to screens next year.

A scene is to be released daily on the website. In each, we can see the transformations of Malkovich into characters such as Agent Dale Cooper (originally played by Kyle Maclachlan in Twin Peaks) and the mysterious Log Lady (of the late Catherine Coulson), as well as scenes from the Elephant Man, Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, and the legendary Eraserhead.

Probably no characterization within the project is more impressive than Malkovich’s rendering of Lynch’s own character – the director consumed by his wild-dream imagery, himself a creation arising from his imagination. As is often the case with great directors and creators, they become a kind of incarnation of their own work.

In addition to these scenes, the soundtrack has been prepared specifically for this project with musicians like Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips (The Elephant Man), Sky Ferreira (Blue Velvet), Zola Jesus (Eraserhead) and Lykke Li (Lost Highway).

The scenes, however, were not directed by Lynch – an interesting change for a project of this type – but by Sandro Miller. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Miller stated that to prepare Malkovich, “we would put the scenes over and over again on a television and he would watch them. He said his lines moving his mouth and nose – it’s like watching this clay mass becoming something real.”

For his own part, Malkovich once again demonstrated his dramatic and chameleonic genius by putting his full faculties at the service of the more than ambitious project, for the film and the representation. We’re sure that true fans of Lynchian eccentricity will have at least a couple of criticisms upon closely observing the project, which can be watched or downloaded from Playing

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