If you're having a bad day or even a rough week, the video below is here to brighten your glum outlook. Curtains Up, a nine-minute, relatively hypnotic overview of David Lynch's creative process (and really, his daily outlook on life), is a beautifully realized piece put together by Tête-à-Tête (Case Simmons and Lynch's son, Austin Lynch) and produced by Stella McCartney.
Opening with the camera surveying slowly down to reveal Mr. Lynch sitting alone in a darkened movie theater, the abundant smoke from his cigarette hovering in the air above, the short, presented by NOWNESS, delves into a series of enticing images—rolls of celluloid, a sweeping ocean, men and women staring directly at the camera while bathed in neon light (one such man, Ashton Sanders, was bathed in a similar lighting scheme for Barry Jenkins's Oscar-winningMoonlight)—while the Blue Velvet director narrates passages from his beloved coffee table book, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.
"When I started meditating," Lynch admits in the short, "I was filled with anxieties and fears. I felt a sense of depression and anger. Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story but they're like poison to the filmmaker or artist. You must have clarity to create. You have to be able to catch ideas."
Lynch goes on to note that one must not be depressed in order to create a feeling of depression in art, which is helpful advice for filmmakers who feel (as a result of the glorification of the struggling artist who ultimately overcomes the insurmountable odds) that they must be in emotional pain in order to direct and depict it on-screen. Curtains Up seeks to demystify that notion. The film also notes that despite the internal insecurities and struggles a filmmaker may face, given a clear, peaceful mind, the ability to make a great film can come from the expansion of ideas you allow in.
What did you think of the short film? Did it inspire you as well to continue creating your own stories? Let us know in the comments below.