Classic Film Playlist | Films by David Lynch

Where to start. This isn't my typical "classic" film playlist - they aren't classics are far as age are concerned - they're classics because they were written / directed by David Lynch. And they are amazing. Like a lot of people right now, I am completely engrossed in the Twin Peaks re-boot, and since the finale is this weekend - let's rock!

Twin Peaks & Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

We clearly have to start here. The original 2 season series aired in the 90's and was followed by a prequel film. The show has been picked up by Showtime for a revival - airing now. It takes place in a sleepy, seemingly idealistic small town in Washington state. Things (and owls) are not what they seem when the homecoming queen is found dead and Agent Cooper from the FBI comes to investigate. It follows the secretive, mysterious and supernatural occurrences in Twin Peaks, and the unique cast of characters that live there. I can't even begin to skim the surface -  just please watch it, I beg you.
When: Show: 1990-91 & 2017-hopefully forever / Film: 1992
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, many more 
Why I'm unapologetically obsessed: My parents loved it when it first aired, and showed it to my brother and me later on recorded vhs's that they had taped. I fell in love with the characters and the uniqueness of it. It's like nothing anyone has ever made - I was in awe of Lynch's mind. Though it takes place in the 90's, he makes Twin Peaks seem like a 50's-era classic Americana town with a deep dark secret (actually a bunch of secrets). As for the new season, it's a pleasant collection of cameos from previous Lynch films.
Did ya know: Lynch himself plays FBI Director Gordon Cole - a character he named after a minor character in the film Sunset Boulevard. But more on that later.
Favorite Lines: So many. But here's a few:

  • "my log has a message for you"
  • In reference to coffee "Mr. Cooper, how do you take it?" "Black as midnight on a moonless night"
  • "How's Annie?"

Favorite Looks:

Where you can find it: The original series is currently streaming on hulu, netflix, amazon prime and showtime. So no excuses. The new season and 1992 film are currently on showtime


Blue Velvet

A discovery in a field leads a college student to investigate a crime - meeting a sultry lounge singer and a gang of bad guys along the way.
When: 1986
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern
Why it's a must: Believe it or not, my giant crush on Kyle MacLachlan is not the only reason I love this movie. The characters are wonderful, namely Dennis Hopper's character. He plays QUITE the memorable role. Fans of Twin Peaks will be excited to see the small town where the story takes place - Lumberton is a logging town with an old school 50's feel, much like the town of Twin Peaks that Lynch will create 4 years later.
Did ya know: Isabella Rossellini's character was originally written for Debbie Harry. She turned it down, as she felt she was being typecast as the "weirdo"
Favorite Line: 

  • "It's a strange world."

Favorite Looks:


Mulholland Dr.

After a car accident in the Hollywood Hills, a women loses her memory. With the help of a bright-eyed wannabe actress, she slowly begins to uncover the truth of who she is and the mysteries that surround her
Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Why it's legendary: 
Aside from it's amazing thriller plot? Like most of his films, this one will make you say, "wait, what? what?!" a million times. That's what makes it fun. David Lynch is always king of the cameo - my faves in this film are classic film star Ann Miller and a ridiculous Billy Ray Cyrus. Add his love for dreamy music and here we are.
Did ya know: 
In the early 90s, Lynch wrote the central concept as a proposed "spin-off" for Twin Peak's character Audrey Horne.
Favorite Lines: 

  • "No Hay Banda!"
  • "I got the pool, she got the pool-man."

Favorite Looks:


Extra Credit: Sunset Blvd.

Wait, what? I know, I know - David Lynch did not make this movie. But he loved it and many of his films borrow from this movie and other film noir works in some way - I just had to connect these amazing dots. I've already mentioned Sunset Boulevard in last month's playlist - maybe I'll find a way to work it into each one :)
It definitely deserves it's own write-up, so for now I'll just outline how it plays into the Lynch movies.

Twin Peaks:

  • As mentioned above, David Lynch's character Gordon Cole is named after a minor character in the film. In the new Return series shows a clip of Sunset Boulevard and it definitely helps to further the plot - that's all I'll say.
  • Twin Peaks (and basically all Lynch films) have a nostalgic, somewhat retro feel - the clothing, the hair and makeup, the small-town 1950's feel - even though it was set in modern day.​

Mulholland Dr.:

  • The abbreviations in the titles
  • When Diane stumbles down the road after her accident, she glances up to see this sign:

There is a very comprehensive outline of the similarities right here.
​Happy viewing!