Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Filmmaker Lynch meditates on peace in the City of David and how to erase War

David Lynch, the noir film director best known for Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and the weird tv series Twin Peaks, has arrived in the Holy Land to instruct cinema students and Israeli leaders alike on how to banish war through thought vibes. He funds his own consciousness-raising institute to spread these uncommon notions, and was met by Israel's celebrity-obsessed President, Shimon Peres (first cousin of actress Lauren Bacall). Other audiences here, hardened from years of intifada violence, appeared rather less than convinced.

Journalists who were packed into Lynch's press conference in Jerusalem's Sam Spiegel Institute collectively rolled their eyes when he pooh-poohed peace mediation; Lynch advocates peace meditation instead. (Sorry, Condi. Assume the lotus position and cease the shuttle diplomacy. Now.)

With a staight face, the cinema guru of the grotesque told these hardboiled hacks that war could be banished if only 240 individuals would simultaneously practice transcendental meditation for 40 minutes every day. Each would need "total brain coherence" instead of using a mere 5-10 per cent of their gray matter, as us less-evolved mortals typically do. With that amount of effort, humankind could "say goodbye to the horror of hate." Lynch pointed to unified field theory as the way to achieve
"real peace, which is the absence of all negativity, not simply the absence of war", as all "dark horrors dissolve." The analogies shifted to the organic, and the human condition was likened to a diseased tree which needs root treatment, but then they segued to the surreal. If you don't want to "cramp your happiness", Lynch said helpfully, just shed the "suffocating rubber clownsuit" of hatred. "If you can think it, you can do it." Uh-huh.

This was pure LA-speak, honed after decades of meditation sessions. With wings of silver hair framing his pink face, Lynch showed all of his 61 years and appeared afflicted with Jerusalem Syndrome, or else jet lag had him speaking in tongues. He resembled the leading man from his baffling cult classic, Eraserhead, As for cinema, Lynch confirmed that "Film is dead, digital is here, and the director's manipulation of the image is now almost infinite."
He will be mentoring master classes of film students and Israeli directors in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv until the end of the week.

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