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David Lynch, Sparklehorse and Dangermouse: Dark Night of the Soul

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Post by Willy Blackmore/Special to LAist

Despite the fact that he is by far the most well-known and successful avant-garde film maker in the United States, David Lynch is rather notorious for sidestepping questions about any deeper meaning—or even the very basic logic—of his films. For example, Lynch described his last release, Inland Empire, as "a mystery about a woman in trouble,” which is far beyond an understatement, considering that the film arguably out-convoluted Mulholland Drive. This very pared-down synopsis, not to mention to the lack of director commentaries on his DVD releases, should tell you what kind of responses to expect from Lynch when faced with any common query—What’s in the box? What’s with the rabbits? What happened to Agent Cooper? Details should not be expected.

At a Q&A in Fairfield, Iowa a few years ago, an audience member asked the director if he could speak about the significance of the many shots in his oeuvre that show characters stepping out of shadows. Lynch replied: “I love to see people come out of the dark and into the light,” after which he paused briefly before asking for the next question.

So if we can’t depend on Lynch to provide us with any cues for interpreting his work, then maybe this interest of his—stepping out of dark into light—is a good point to begin a review of his collaboration with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, Dark Night of the Soul, the visual/aural pairing of photographs and an album of music featuring the likes of Iggy Pop, Julian Casablancas, Frank Black and David Lynch himself (the full album, currently in limbo at EMI, is available on npr.org).