David Lynch Creates Daily Weather Reports for Los Angeles: How the Filmmaker Passes Time in Quarantine

David Lynch has­n’t direct­ed a fea­ture film in thir­teen years, but that does­n’t mean he’s been idle. Quite the oppo­site, in fact: in addi­tion to the acclaimed Show­time series Twin Peaks: The Return, he’s record­ed an album, writ­ten a mem­oir, taught a Mas­ter­class, over­seen the devel­op­ment of a Twin Peaks vir­tu­al real­i­ty game, and made a short film about ants devour­ing a piece of cheese. In his home stu­dio, he’s also con­tin­ued the visu­al art prac­tice he start­ed before turn­ing to film­mak­er in the 1970s. We may know Lynch best as the man behind Eraser­headBlue Vel­vet, and Mul­hol­land Dri­ve, but he seems equal­ly com­fort­able work­ing in whichev­er form or medi­um is at hand. In this time of COVID-19 quar­an­tine, which has sus­pend­ed film­mak­ing, film­go­ing, and oth­er kinds of human activ­i­ty, one such medi­um is the weath­er report.

“Here in L.A.… kind of cloudy… some fog this morn­ing,” says the respect­ed film­mak­er in his weath­er-report video for May 11, 2020. “64 degrees Fahren­heit; around sev­en­teen Cel­sius. This all should burn off pret­ty soon, and we’ll have sun­shine and 70 degrees.” All just what one would expect from the cli­mate of Los Ange­les, the south­ern Cal­i­forn­ian metrop­o­lis where Lynch lives and which he often prais­es — and which, it’s recent­ly been report­ed, will like­ly extend its stay-at-home order for at least three more months.

The sud­den lack of move­ment in this famous­ly mobile city has done won­ders for the air qual­i­ty, but so far that ele­ment has­n’t fig­ured explic­it­ly into Lynch’s reports. “We’ve got clouds and kind of fog­gy weath­er, with some blue shin­ing through,” he says on the morn­ing of May 12th. But just as the day before, that fog “should burn off lat­er, and we’ll have sun­shine.” Long­time fol­low­ers of Lynch’s inter­net projects will rec­og­nize these as a sequel to the dai­ly video weath­er reports he post­ed in 2008:

They’ll also rec­og­nize most of the objects that sur­round Lynch in his office, from his set of draw­ers to his wall-mount­ed phone to his angu­lar-han­dled black cof­fee cup. But the dra­mat­ic increase in the res­o­lu­tion of inter­net video over the past dozen years has made every­thing vis­i­ble in a new­ly crisp detail, right down to the steam ris­ing from Lynch’s hot bev­er­age of choice. More dai­ly weath­er reports will pre­sum­ably appear on the David Lynch The­ater Youtube chan­nel, each one col­ored by his sig­na­ture (and, giv­en the unre­lent­ing­ly dis­turb­ing qual­i­ties of his best-known work, seem­ing­ly incon­gru­ous) opti­mism. “It’s going to be a dif­fer­ent world on the oth­er side,” he told Vice last month. “It’s going to be a much more intel­li­gent world. Solu­tions to these prob­lems are going to come and life’s going to be very good. The movies will come back. Every­thing will spring back and in a much bet­ter way, prob­a­bly.”

Find a playlist of Lynch’s weath­er reports here.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­cov­er David Lynch’s Bizarre & Min­i­mal­ist Com­ic Strip, The Angri­est Dog in the World (1983–1992)

David Lynch Made a Dis­turb­ing Web Sit­com Called Rab­bits: It’s Now Used by Psy­chol­o­gists to Induce a Sense of Exis­ten­tial Cri­sis in Research Sub­jects

David Lynch’s New ‘Crazy Clown Time’ Video: Intense Psy­chot­ic Back­yard Crazi­ness (NSFW)

How David Lynch Got Cre­ative Inspi­ra­tion? By Drink­ing a Milk­shake at Bob’s Big Boy, Every Sin­gle Day, for Sev­en Straight Years

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

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