David Lynch: The Art Life, a documentary about the acclaimed director’s childhood up through his early films, is among the movies debuting this weekend at the Venice Film Festival. Ahead of its premiere, the film has unfurled its first trailer, packed with striking archival footage, Lynch’s own paintings and the director’s trademark lilt serving as narrator.
“I think every time you do something, sometimes the past can conjure those ideas,” Lynch says in the trailer. “In those days, my world was no bigger than a couple of blocks. Huge worlds are in those two blocks.”
The documentary, directed by Jon Nguyen and dedicated to Lynch’s youngest daughter, follows Lynch’s nomadic upbringing in rural Montana and Idaho to his move to Philadelphia to pursue a career as a painter.
“Sickness, corruption, fear in the air: It was so good for me,” Lynch says of his time in Philadelphia in the trailer. “I could imagine a whole world that doesn’t exist. I had tremendous freedom. My own little place that really would be such a world.”
Lynch would later move to Los Angeles, where he would slowly construct his 1977 cult classic Eraserhead. The director furthers discusses his groundbreaking early films in The Art Life, which he and Nguyen bill as a “private memoir.” Lynch’s own quasi-memoir Life & Work is scheduled for publication in 2017.
Empire also shared a clip from David Lynch: The Art Life that focuses on the director’s childhood as well as his disturbing artwork.