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July 7, 2017 – September 2, 2017

David Lynch, the self-proclaimed Eagle Scout from Missoula, Montana, burst onto the American film scene in 1977 with his unclassifiable and instant cult classic Eraserhead, and hasn’t stopped making his brand of sui generis work since. Although his work is often grounded in stereotypical trappings of genre, Lynch’s films are wholly created worlds unto themselves, filled with the iconography of popular genre films while using mood, pace, and offbeat acting to carve out space to simply be themselves. “Lynchian” has become synonymous with all that is weird and macabre while maintaining an ironic distance and a wink of knowing playfulness. With a career marked by many loyal long-term collaborations, including with the composer Angelo Badalamenti; actors Laura Dern, Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Nance, and Harry Dean Stanton; editor Mary Sweeney; production designer Patricia Norris; and sound designer Alan Splet, among many others, Lynch has become one of the best-known American film and television directors of the past 40 years, hugely popular both at home and abroad. In addition to highlighting many of the films that have either overtly or subtly influenced Lynch through the course of his career, DAVID LYNCH: A RETROSPECTIVE offers the opportunity to fully slip into in his uniquely cinematic worlds as he means us to: “It’s beautiful when it’s a shared experience. It’s best on a big screen. That’s the way to go into a world.”—David Lynch.


2001: A Space Odyssey

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

The most legendary and widely discussed film of the 1960s, and Kubrick’s most famous work in a string of masterpieces,

Blue Velvet

Directed by David Lynch

Lynch’s fascination with small-town America perhaps reaches its artistic heights with Blue Velvet, his coming-of-age tale of Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle


Directed by David Lynch

Famed producers Dino and Rafaella De Laurentiis took a chance on Lynch directing Dune, after the beloved novel by Frank


Directed by David Lynch

Is the twisted child of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) a metaphor for the paternal anxiety this new father is experiencing?

Industrial Symphony No. 1

Directed by David Lynch

A short avant-garde musical play directed by David Lynch.

Inland Empire

Directed by David Lynch

“A woman in trouble,” says Inland Empire’s poster tagline. Lynch took several years, following the success of Mulholland Drive, to

It’s a Gift

Directed by Norman McLeod

By 1934, W.C. Fields was at the top of his game, enormously popular in the US after a long string

La Strada

Directed by Federico Fellini

Perhaps Fellini’s greatest film, La Strada straddles his early neorealist period and his later magical and fantastical work, combining elements


Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Lolita began the string of masterpieces that form the second half of Kubrick’s career, through which he became one of

Lost Highway

Directed by David Lynch

While many of Lynch’s films work with the tropes and atmospheres of film noir, few are so directly in the

M. Hulot’s Holiday

Directed by Jacques Tati

Tati’s second feature introduces the beloved character Monsieur Hulot, the bumbling, charming, near-silent uncle figure at the heart of his

Mulholland Drive

Directed by David Lynch

Mulholland Drive, conceived as a television series in the Twin Peaks lineage and shot as a feature-length pilot episode, was

Premonitions Following an Evil Deed

Directed by David Lynch

Experimental short film by David Lynch.

Rear Window

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

One of the most famous procedural thrillers in film history and routinely voted amongst the greatest films ever produced, Rear

Six Men Getting Sick

Directed by David Lynch

Short film by David Lynch.

Sunset Boulevard

Directed by Billy Wilder

Down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) seeks refuge at the home of former silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson,

The Alphabet

Directed by David Lynch

Short film by David Lynch.

The Amputee Vols. 1 & 2

Directed by David Lynch

Short film by David Lynch.

The Elephant Man

Directed by David Lynch

Surreptitiously produced by none other than Mel Brooks, Lynch’s haunting, macabre, and beautiful vision of Victorian London was—following the cult

The Grandmother

Directed by David Lynch

In this early short film by David Lynch, a young boy grows a grandmother in his bedroom.

The Straight Story

Directed by David Lynch

“Walt Disney presents...a film by David Lynch.” Stranger words have perhaps never opened an American film, but the belief in

The Wizard of Oz

Directed by Victor Fleming

In 1939, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was at the height of its powers as a studio producing the most lavish films in Hollywood.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Directed by David Lynch

After Lynch’s Wild at Heart Palme d’Or triumph at Cannes, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was met there with


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Topping Sight & Sound’s most recent critics’ poll of the 50 greatest films of all time, this 1958 psychological thriller

Wild at Heart

Directed by David Lynch

The promise of love in a violent world ripples under the surface of the unhinged Wild at Heart, in which

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.