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
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.
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.