Did you ever tune in to follow Kyle MacLachlan’s adventures in Twin Peaks? Are you tired of blockbusters and looking for something different to spend your cinema budget on? Or are you just simply longing for a good night of popcorn-sponsored escapism ? The Lighthouse Dublin and Pálás Galway are both running a retrospective of enigmatic American director David Lynch’s work, starting this Friday. We take a look at everything there is to know.
From this Friday 13th of March up until the 25th of April, Element Pictures will bring the works of David Lynch to their cinema screens in Dublin and Galway. Although his Twin Peaks revival in 2017 saw him come back to the director’s chair for television, his last film to grace the cinema screens was now fourteen years ago. For fans of the director’s growing impatient and newcomers looking for an introduction into the director’s work, this series of screenings will be the perfect way to spend a couple of evenings and afternoons. Whether you’re looking to see every film on the program or trying to choose the perfect screening to attend, we’re here to help.
First Things First: The Practical Info
David Lynch Season will run parallel in two cities.
If you live in Dublin, you’ll need to head down to The Lighthouse Cinema on the Market Square in Smithfield, which is about a twenty minute walk starting at O’Connell Street. If either the weather or your motivation are getting in the way of getting there on foot, there are numerous options to get there by several bus routes or the Red Luas line. There are also parking options for cars and bikes. If you fancy a snack or a drink before the film, feel free to drop by the café on the ground floor or the bar downstairs!
For Galway residents, the place to go to is Pálás, about a ten minute walk from the train station. There are also two bike stations a couple of steps away from the cinema, and a few bus lines (specifically the 401 and 424) which serve the cinema. There are also facilities to buy drinks and snacks from before the screening.
Ticket prices are the same for both cinemas. Adults get in for 10€ before 5pm and 11.50€ afterwards, while students and seniors have to pay 7.50€ for morning screenings and 9€ for evenings. Don’t forget to bring a valid ID or student card if you want to take advantage of these special prices. You can book tickets online for a 50c fee, call in (at +353 018728006 for the Lighthouse and +353091 394 800 for Pálás) between 2pm and 6pm for a 2€ fee or simply drop by the box office. If you can see yourself attending either of these cinemas regularly in the future, be sure to enquire about their membership options for lower prices and exclusive advantages !
Now that we’ve been through the basics, it’s time to talk about what you can actually see during these two months of Lynchian screenings. We all have different expectations when stepping into a cinema room, and it may be difficult to pick exactly what’s right for us. But don’t worry: we’re here to help.
Want to see the main event ? Pick The Elephant Man.
The launch of David Lynch Season was prompted by the 4K restoration of the director’s biggest mainstream success, which will arrive on cinema screens all over the world this Friday. This story of a disfigured man trying to make a living as a circus freak officially put the director on the map and even earned him eight Oscar nominations. While the director’s previous and subsequent works will never quite aim for this level of accessibility again, it is both an appropriate introduction to his work and simply a great way to spend two hours if you’re just looking for a slightly out of the box experience for an evening.
A sucker for a good mystery ? Try Blue Velvet, Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive.
While Lynch has never been one to get stuck in one particular genre, he has been known to toy with the noir characteristics of the black and white films from the 1930s and 40s. If femme fatales, detectives and cold nights appeal to you, these may be a perfect match for you.
Always looking for a new place to travel ? Try The Straight Story or Wild At Heart.
There’s something timeless about the road movie. We are invited to take on both a physical and spiritual journey along characters discovering a new life far away from home. If the peaceful landscapes of Midwestern America are calling your name, or if you’d rather get lost in a story of lovers on the run, Lynch may have what you need.
Attracted by controversy ? Try Dune or Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Dune is perhaps Lynch’s least appreciated film, both at the time of its release and now. Adapted from the 1965 novel of the same name, it found very few fans when it reached theaters and still pains to find an audience to this day. On the other hand, Twin Peaks might be his most impactful work, completely rewriting the rules of 1990s television. However, the film that served as a conclusion to the first two seasons of Agent Cooper’s investigation of Laura Palmer’s murder was met with criticism rather than acclaim. If you’re the type to give second chances, these may be films for you.
Looking for something entirely different ? Try Eraserhead, Inland Empire or some short films.
If David Lynch remains a mysterious figure as far as film directors go, it is for good reason. Many of his works have baffled critics and audiences alike, and even his most straightforward narratives continue to prompt many different interpretations. Among his filmography, the most abstract remain his debut, Eraserhead, and his most recent film to date, Inland Empire. If two hour long enigmas aren’t your thing but you still feel intrigued by Lynch’s most obscure work, a series of one to five minutes long short films is also available to see.
Still not satisfied?
If you’re intrigued by David Lynch’s universe but are unable to make it to your favourite screening, don’t panic! Blue Velvet is now on Ireland’s Netflix catalogue, and the vast majority of his filmography is available on online streaming services. If you’d like a physical copy, be sure to check your local library and independent stores before taking to a supermarket or online store.
And finally, if you’d like to support Irish cinemas but aren’t inspired by this program, take a look at the rest of the films they are currently showing. Whether you do choose to spend an evening or too supporting David Lynch season or decide to look somewhere else, Babylon wishes you all a very happy watching!