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Down Town Los Angeles from the Crows Nest (c) D.R.

On a long-term basis, I wanted to write a thesis on Lynch and study all his films, songs, paintings, commercials, his unfinished projects and scripts... I called all over to get all the information I could. Regularly in contact with Ciby 2000, his production company at the time, I was also in touch with a woman in advertising that knew of all his future commercials projects.

One day, I was put in contact with the Monaco short film Festival where they were to show his first short films. Alas, they never showed the films. But I did get a hold of a friend of David Lynch, who then proceeded to give me his whereabouts. It was during our regular correspondence in the summer of '95 that I found out about the Lost Highway project.

My fantasy at the time was to meet Mr. Lynch, just for an hour, for an interview that would credit my essay. In my wildest dreams, I was ready to sacrifice all my savings to go and spend a day on the shoot in Los Angeles. I gave my two essays to Lynch's friend who sent them to him. On his return to France he called me up to tell me that Lynch's wife, who speaks a bit of French, had translated various parts of it to her husband. Apparently he was very fond of the title for my Elephant Man essay (The Eyes are the Mirror to the Soul).

Objectif Cinema : Ultimately, Lynch had been touched by the words...

Roland Kermarec : For once ! Maybe had he been sensitive to my naivete. His friend had talked to him about me going over to spend a day on the set. I was told it was not possible to do so, but that instead, I was invited for the whole production ! I stood there, numb ! Lynch was absolutely the one person in the world I wanted to meet, along with Clint Eastwood and Stanley Kubrick.

In spite of it all, I still asked if I could think about it. After all, it was a 3 month stay, how was I going to live out there, make ends meet ? His friend spoke to Lynch about it. I was offered a room on the property where he had his production company. It had no heating, cracks in the ceiling, but no rent. He even had second thoughts at first about letting me stay in a place where rain could get in. I accepted then and there, it didn't matter if I had to pile on the blankets at night !

It was only 15 days before departure that I ran left and right to try and get funding for the trip. The university and the town of Brest were good enough to help. And in late November 1995 I was off for Los Angeles.

Lynch's friend was waiting for me at the airport. When I arrived at the house, I realized I had seen it before in a documentary on Lynch, in the series "Cinema of Our Time." The house had been built by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. The property of his production company was actually his own house... "The Pink House", as he calls it himself ! I was put up in one of the buildings of his property called "the Crow's Nest" Because it was up high close to the Hollywood observatory, with a breath-taking view of the downtown and the Hollywood Bowl.

  Lost Highway (c) D.R.
Objectif Cinema : And your first meeting with Lynch ?

Roland Kermarec : It was the day after I arrived. I was writing in one of my numerous notebooks in the production office when in walked a shaggy-haired giant, accompanied by his son. He gave me a friendly tap on the shoulder and a warm welcome.

I had arrived about a week before shooting, which was to start in late November. Two or three days later, it was Thanksgiving and the Lynch family invited me over to share the festivities with some of their friends. It was at this occasion that he introduced me to one of his guests as "his secret son !" It's one of my fondest memories, there was no pressure from shooting yet, and the tension was at a minimum... We stayed up on the terrace and talked late into the evening, namely with Bob Engels, Twin Peaks' scriptwriter.