I went to the bother of transcribing this Scene by Scene interview with Mark Cousins a long time ago, so I thought I might as well make it available. There is a beautiful Scene by Scene book which has about 50 interviews in it. The interviews by Chris Rodley in "Lynch on Lynch" are also very interesting. (Incidentally, it seems that I'm not the only person to have done this.)
Scene By Scene with David Lynch ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Interview by Mark Cousins. First broadcast on BBC2 on Sunday 28th November. [... I missed the very beginning ...] Mark Cousins: [...] `Blue Velvet', and the surreal TV event of the 90s, `Twin Peaks'. His idyllic childhood in Eisenhower era America has been the inspiration for most of his films, but his second feature, `The Elephant Man', was a rare trip abroad to Victorian London. The film gained 8 Oscar Nominations including Best Director. Its producer, Mel Brooks was one of the first to call Lynch, `Jimmy Stewart from Mars' and no phrase has better captured Lynch's other-worldly boy-scoutedness. The director's sci-fi picture, `Dune,' was an expensive flop, but the film after that, `Blue Velvet', gained another Best Director nomination, and reviews to die for. `Wild at Heart' in 1990 won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but for some was a retread of old ground - brilliant, but shallow. Then came `Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me' which was booed by some critics, but which now looks like classic Lynch... [ David Lynch: `Fire Walk With Me', I haven't seen that for a while. Mark Cousins: Well, you're going to see some of it tonight. David Lynch: Beautiful.. ] MC: ... and the extraordinary `Lost Highway,' another commercial disappointment, which had the strangest story in modern american cinema. David Lynch's new film, `The Straight Story', about an old man who drives drives 300 miles on a lawnmower to meet his brother, is, like `The Elephant Man,' a work of the tenderest humanism. The director is known for monstrous darkness, roars on the soundtrack, the evil of Bob in `Twin Peaks' and Frank in `Blue Velvet.' But there's always an angelic sweetness to the way he sees things, and, it has to be said, a real eccentricity. The man I'm about to interview has collected mouldy sandwiches, likes building mounds of earth on the kitchen table and planned a book about spark plugs. He says interviews are like facing a firing squad but you don't die. So that's what we're up against: a man dreamt up by the surrealist manifesto. His one time girlfriend, Isabella Rosselini, says that Lynch getting ideas is like fishing - you never know what you'll catch. Here he is, surrounded by sharks, in his most detailed television interview ever. MC: David Lynch, you don't like doing interviews, do you? DL: No I don't. MC: Why are you sitting on this sofa then? DL: To do you a great favour. (laughs) MC: (laughing) That's extremely nice of you... But you're prepared to talk about your new film, `Straight Story'? DL: You bet. MC: Have you been interviewed a lot about it? DL: I've done a few interviews concerning it, yes. MC: Your mother was a linguist, is that right? DL: She has taught people English. MC: That's interesting that she's therefore a verbal person, but you are less verbal. DL: Right, you know there's many different languages, and one of them is film, or painting, and a lot of it is done without words. MC: What harm does it do to talk about a film? DL: A film is its own thing. And in an ideal world, I think film should be discovered knowing nothing, and nothing should be added to it, and nothing should be subtracted from it. MC: OK, let's break that rule immediately. I've got here the opening of `Blue Velvet.' [clip - opening of blue velvet] MC: Why is he waving so slowly? Is that shot in slow motion? DL: I believe it is, yes. Not that slow, but probably 48 frames or something. DL: That's a little slower too. MC: Why slow things? DL: It's a mood - you slow things down for a feeling, and those things are abstract reasons. MC: But, it's not obviously a comic feeling you're after, is it, it's more of a dreamy feeling... DL: It's a dreamy feeling and it could slide, you know, either way. The next things that follow say more and more what it is. [clip ends after dog and man with hose] MC: Do you remember this book, `Good Times on our Street'? DL: I sure do! I haven't seen that for about, you know, 100 years... MC: Well, you've said several times in interview that some of the images in this book influenced that film, and sure enough, if you open this book, here you are, you've got picket fences. DL: There you go man.... MC: So, I guess what that means is these kind of intense images in your films are things that were logged in your brain, perhaps for a long time. DL: You don't know where things come from, they can come from memories, or they can be triggered, they can just come to you from the ether; and if they are in the memory, if they're stored away - one day, for some reason, they're released, and it seems like a brand new idea. Or, an idea comes in from the ether, and as it pops, it may be coloured from something that you know. The picture that forms, sometimes reading a book the pictures that you put together, from the past or your imagination kicks in, you can't really tell what forms those pictures, it's the words on the page, and probably many internal things. MC: I've got here, the opening of your new film, `Straight Story.' A similar opening in some ways. And this is based on a true story? DL: Yes it is. Mary Sweeney first read about Alvin Straight in the New York Times, and the trip he took. And she developed a fixation, for four years, until she got the rights to the story. And then, she and her childhood friend, John Roach wrote the script and handed it over to me. MC: Surely it's restricting to tell the story of a real person. DL: Not really, the words `based on a true story' give you, you know, room to move. And when you make a film, you're making a different kind of reality anyway. MC: Why, for example, is the camera high here? DL: It feels correct. MC: In what way? DL: Well, you want to get the lay of the land, and you're observing. And now you're floating. MC: Why float? Why not move faster in? DL: You want to enter in, you know, seeing things and float, slowly into the story. MC: What sort of community is this? DL: It's a small neighbourhood in the town of Laurens, Iowa. It's a very small town. There's just one main street. And there's several smaller streets off of it, but it's very small. MC: Is this the sort of place you feel comfortable in? DL: I would prefer a little bigger town. Or no town. MC: What was that thump? DL: You'd have to wait and find out. MC: I can say.. DL: OK. MC: The main character of your film, Alvin Straight, has just collapsed, DL: Yeah, he's slipped and fallen... [more of clip - `what's the number for 911?'] MC: And soon after this he gets a phone call to say that his brother has taken ill... [more of clip - `are you stricken Alvin?'] MC: Is your father like Alvin Straight? DL: There's only one Alvin Straight. But, there's similar qualities, yeah. MC: I read in an interview you said your father was an innocent in some way. And it's the thing that makes him similar to Alvin Straight? DL: That's one of the things, yeah. MC: What else? DL: Well it's a cowboy, the old west, there's an inner strength coupled with innocence and a tender side, that Alvin has - Alvin is a lot like a cowboy. MC: Do you remember the way that you portrayed the birth of the Elephant Man, in `the Elephant Man,' with a puff of smoke? How did that seem right to you, to portray the birth of someone with a puff of smoke? DL: Well, the smoke is not a solid thing, but on film, it almost appears to be solid, and I think the smoke, ties in, you know, with organic growth, and the elephant man, the neurofibromatosis growths, always reminded me of Mount St. Helena, a smoke, frozen, the flesh became like a smoke, and it erupted, you know from inside the bones, and protruded out, and became, you know, the smoke frozen. MC: And do you remember the births in `Grandmother,' where it's like little white things under the ground, the like little shoots that grow up, it's similar, the same kind of abstract way of portraying birth, isn't it? [clip] MC: When you were, I think, about 17 or something, you took this trip to Europe that I've read about, and you had planned to go for 3 years and you stayed... DL: 15 days. MC: Now, that's a rather eccentric thing to do - why? DL: Well, it wasn't for me. I was going to go to school in Salzburg, Austria, and study with a painter called Kukashka (sp?) and, he wasn't there when I arrived, and I very quickly realised that Salzburg was too clean. MC: Look how clean `Blue Velvet' is, there, it's incredibly clean. DL: But I was studying painting, and I felt it was too clean to paint. So, I went searching, still in Europe, and each place didn't feel correct, and back I went. MC: Alvin Straight went to Europe - he fought in World War Two. And he's quite a wise man - if he hadn't had that experience, and he had basically stayed in a little town like Laurens, do you think he would have been a wise man also? DL: Oh, sure. Life is made up of many experiences, and if you allow them to, they'll teach you things. MC: But if he hadn't left this town, how would he learn about things like other cultures, for example. DL: Well, you see, there's a unity among people, and there's something about in `It's a Wonderful Life,' you know, he stayed in town, he wanted to go, but he stayed in town. [clip] DL: He still had a full life, the human experience is true one place, it's true another place, you don't have to travel around to get a lot of experience. [clip] DL: There's something about the way the world is, you can almost kind of tap into feelings outside your environment. MC: Here's a scene in `The Straight Story,' where Alvin Straight and his daughter, Rose, are sitting at night, it's almost this thing that we were talking about, trying to discern the nature of the universe. [clip `the sky is sure full of stars tonight'] MC: Without giving too much away, there's another part of this film where it ends up with the camera going up into the sky, and `The Elephant Man' ends up with the camera going into the sky. Why does that feel right for you - is it just the pleasure of looking at the stars? DL: No, it's the small and the infinite, sort of hand in hand. And the stars are there for everybody, and they make you dream, and Alvin Straight shared the stars with someone, and it's a beautiful memory for him. MC: And it's a time not to talk again. DL: Yes. [clip elephant man: `stand up. turn around.' ] DL: I'm going to tell you a story about that. MC: Go on. DL: It was just one of those beautiful things, after which Freddie started calling me Lucky Lynch. MC: Freddie Francis? DL: Freddie Francis, right. The camera was just, you know, drifting in very slowly on Tony Hopkins' face and exactly as it stops, a tear comes out of Tony Hopkins' eye. And he told me later that he'd been saying the Lord's Prayer you konw during that scene, and it moved him, and out came the tear, and it was one take and we were, you konw done; MC: Now the street scenes in the Elephant Man were inspired by the fact that at the age of 19 you went and lived in Philapdelphia, which is one of the most important influences on your life, and which you described as being an `ocean of fear'. DL: Well, Philadelphia was a city filled with fear. Filled with twisted behaviour, it's called the city of brotherly love - the absence of brotherly love was alive and well. There was sort of a sickness in the air, a twisted, infectious, sickness in a decaying city, but it was very powerful, and a lot of Philadelphia seeped into me, and it was a time of life when the window was wide open, and things hit you particularly hard, and it was a beautiful experience for me. MC: It seems paradoxical to say that this terrifying place was a beautiful experience. DL: Well, it fed many things that came along later. MC: There seems to be more fear in your films than in many others of your generation, certainly more monsters.. DL: Well, I think there's a mixture of things always in life. And, in order to have one, you have to have the other. In order to appreciate ups, you have to have the downs. And so films are made up of contrasts that are felt more than seen, so there's the feelings of things in the air and sometimes those things can take on a persona. MC: Is it true that during the making of the `Twin Peaks' series Bob wasn't in the original idea. DL: Right, I was on the set in Laura Palmer's house, we were going to shoot a panning shot in Laura's room to start with, and Frank da Silva was a set decorator and he was in arranging some furniture, and at a certain point he moved a chest of drawers in front of the door. And someone behind me, as I was pointing in the other direction, said `Don't block yourself in there, Frank,' and my mind pictured Frank blocked in the room. And then, I rushed in to him and said, `Frank, are you an actor?' and he said, `Why, I happen to be an actor,' so I said, `You are going to be in this' and so we did a couple of pans without Frank, and then I had him kneel down behind the bed and freeze, and we panned around and there he was. Hard to kind of see right away, but if you held it for while, suddenly you sort of see him. And I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with that, and then later we were shooting the last setup in the house, and it was pretty late at night, and it was Mrs. Palmer, at the end of the day where she lost her daughter, smoking a cigarette, distraught on the couch, and playing some scenes in her mind. And she sees something mentally, and lurches up. And the operator has to crank, you know, very fast to catch it, nailed it perfect, she screams at the top of this thing in a big closeup and I said `Beautiful,' and I congratulated Grace on her job and Sean, the operator, said, `No, it's not good, not good, not good,' and I said, `What's wrong?' And he says, `Someone was reflected in the mirror,' and I said `Who was reflected in the mirror?' and he said, `Frank was.' And then I knew I was onto something. MC: That was a sign? DL: A very big sign. DL: And it led to many things, that those two events kept unravelling. MC: That seems to be a real lesson, a real reason for keeping your mind as open as possible... DL: Absolutely... A lot of things that happen are maybe food for thought, but it ends up being useless, but some of those things are such great gifts you can't imagine... MC: When you turned 40, by this stage you had had 2 children and 2 divorces; you made a film, `Blue Velvet', and the lead character was very like you, Geoffrey Beaumont - he dressed like you, as you're dressed now, with your shirt done up and you're probably wearing the same wristwatch or something like that. DL: Well I have, I don't like wind on my collarbone and that's how that all started. MC: And you used to wear 3 ties? DL: And that's a sign of a person who's very insecure and needs protection. I would have worn several coats, if I, you know, it wasn't so warm where I was. I just, I felt vulnerable. MC: Can I point out that ties aren't the best form of protection. DL: Well, they feel good. MC: And why were you vulnerable? DL: I was - I don't know why I was. I had things that I wanted to do, but I didn't like being in the world so much. Out in the world. I liked being inside. MC: Is that agoraphobia? DL: I have a hair of that. MC: How does that come about? DL: It comes about - well, I'm not sure how it comes about. But, there's many things to deal with outside the house. Bad things can happen, and why bother with that, why not stay inside, and do your work? MC: Yes, indeed. Geoffrey Beaumont, he was quite a naive man, he hadn't experienced very much, is it odd that somebody who had, by that stage, had experienced quite a lot in his life would project so much of himself onto this, almost a teenager - he behaves almost like a teenager? DL: I don't see him as me - I see him as Geoffrey Beaumont. And, there's some similarities, but it's the idea of just a bit of innocence. MC: I've heard that you, as this you guy, had this fantasy of hiding in a girl's room and watching her. DL: Yes, that's a fantasy. That goes together with many other things and a story comes out, and it's the opening of another world for Geoffrey. [clip - Geoffrey discovered in the closet] MC: Is it true that you used a new type of lens that would show as much of the appartment as possible? DL: No. (pause, quiet laughs) MC: Your cinematographer said you did. DL: No... MC: He must have been telling lies... DL: There might have been a - that didn't even look too wide a lens, really. [more of clip `it's daddy, you shithead - where's my bourbon?'] MC: How, at the end of `Blue Velvet', is Geoffrey different; he's shot Frank, and he'll go back to college. DL: Well, we don't know - that's the thing about the film, it starts, and then it ends, and nothing should be added and nothing should be taken away. So it's wrong for me to say, but it's beautiful for, you know, anyone has the right to, you know, go where they wanna go. MC: See, in private, when you're not talking to an interviewer, like me, or when you're not on TV, do you explain, do you talk more about your films? DL: No. MC: Do your family here... DL: No, they'll back me up. MC: Is that true? [referring to Lynch's wife(?), on set...] Yes, nods. And do you find it frustrating that he doesn't, or are you happy with that situation? [off-screen] Just so long as he keeps making movies... MC: Yeah, as long as he's still making movies... MC: What's the best scene in `The Straight Story'? DL: There is no best scene. MC: There must be. DL: No, it's like music - every note is important , and, to the whole - every element that you do is important and so then the thing can hang together. If you take anything out and just look at it without the rest, it's not the same. Film is a sequence of events and the way they're ordered is critical. MC: I understand that point about structure, but there is such a thing as a bum note, isn't there? A scene where, surely if we sat and watched the film now you would have times when you think, `If I had to do that again, I would do it slightly differently.' DL: No. While you're working, you don't leave until it feels correct to you, because you're the spectator, and the one that's trying to stay true to the story, so if it feels correct, then you move on. MC: OK, well I'll say what I think is the best scene - it's near the end of the film, and Alvin goes a bar, and he has a beer for the first time, and he's very very near his brother's house, and he's gone on a long journey and it was something to do with the pace of that scene. DL: Well, that scene seems a little irrelevant, and yet, I don't know why, but always I felt that scene was critical. It has its own pace and it has a lot to do with the idea of drinking and why, you know, we drink and it has to do with being near an end, and wanting to prolong something. [clip - Alvin Straight buying beer.] DL: This guy is great, this bartender. MC: Why is he great? DL: Just his face, and the way he moves. MC: It's really calm. It's like Zen or something, this scene. DL: M-hm. Yeah, a Zen bartender. [more of clip ending 'from Iowa? My God, you must be thirsty.'] MC: It's from here that this scene becomes extraordinary, I think. [end of clip] MC: I don't know if you know the films of Ozu the Japanese, but this is the Ozu scene in this film. In some interviews I've read, you've used this phrase, the `eye of the duck' scene. DL: Well, you know, nature can teach us a lot of things, and there's something about, in painting, you're working within a certain shaped canvas and there's many things that you, you know, one does intuitively, to move the eye, you konw, there's repetition of shape, there's repetition of colour, but when you start looking at a duck, you see your eye is moving in a certain way, and you see textures and colours and shapes and you start wondering about a duck, what it can teach us about, you know, any kind of abstract, you know, painting, or proportions or even sequences, scenes, and it always is interesting that the eye is in the perfect place - if you move it to the body, it would get lost, if you move to the leg or the beak, it's two, kind of, fast areas competing, even though the eye is the fastest, it's the little jewel. MC: Fast meaning what? DL: Well, there's slow and fast. An empty room is a certain speed, and a person standing there is another speed, and that proportion is, you know, can be beautiful, if the room is a 2 and the person is a 7. I think a person is around a 7; fire and electricity can go up to a 9, for instance, or really intricately designed, you know, decorative room is pretty disturbing, sometimes - it's too fast. But then if you put something slow in it, it could work beautifully. A busy room and a person, they fight each other. So... MC: Is this to do with how fast our eye moves to scan it, to see what's happening? DL: It's a relationship thing, I think. Fast and slow areas. MC: OK. What is the eye of the duck scene in Straight Story? DL: I haven't thought about it. I have to think about it. I can't just jump in and think, but I believe every film has the eye of the duck scene. But, it can fool you. You know, which one it is - it could be the scene we were talking about, I don't know. MC: What's the eye of the duck scene in `Blue Velvet'? DL: I used to know. MC: Is it the `In Dreams' song. DL: It's the eye of the duck, that's the eye of the duck, yes, yes. [clip `in dreams'] MC: And what's the eye of the duck scene in Elephant Man? DL: (laughs) I used to know. MC: Is it the scene where he goes to the theatre? Near the end? DL: No, I think, strangely, the eye of the duck scene is the ending. MC: Okay. Today, lots and lots of filmmakers are using computer generated imagery and everything that, and you haven't used that so much, there's still a kind of magic lantern quality to your films. Even in `Lost Highway', in that transformation from one guy to the other guy, you didn't use computers to do that, it was all in-camera stuff. And it reminds you of, you know, things that Jean Cocteau was doing, with reverse motion, and all that kind of thing. Why does that appeal to you? DL: It's organic, I'm not against the computer, or digital, and I love manipulating images, but film still has, the beautiful organic quality. And a lot of times, with light and the emulsion and the way it's developed you get some happy accidents, you get something that's thrilling to the soul. DL: I think, right now, digital's coming up every year, but it hasn't matched, you know, the beauty of film. MC: Even when you're making a much more complex story, for example, in the end of `Fire Walk With Me', after Laura is killed and we go into the red room, there's a lot of sort of complicated things going on, and still you're using very simple techniques like the surrealists would use, the reverse... DL: It's the same thing, plus, there might have been way to work by, you know, pouring over to digital, and then coming back to film, but it would have been way too expensive for us. MC: Except for the screen ratio, that kind of filmmaking could have been done in the 1920s. Why do you smile when I say that? DL: Because, you know, it's so beautiful to discover ways, you know, of doing things, and it's a beautiful medium, because it allows so many things to happen. MC: I remember when I first saw `Fire Walk With Me', at the Cannes film festival, there were loud boos - how does the apparent failure of a film like this affect you? DL: `Dune' was a failure to me, because I didn't feel I did, you know, the `Dune' I should have done. This was not a failure to me, because I felt it was a film that I did the way I should have done it. And so we learn that we can't control anything that happens after a film is finished, and sometimes things go well in the world, and sometimes they don't. But if you believe in the film, and you've done your best, they can't take that away from you. There's this thing - there's the doughnut, and there's the hole, and we should keep our eye on the doughnut and not on the hole. Everything that happens after a film is finished is maybe interesting and it can be, you know, very hurtful, or exhilerating in certain ways, but it has not much to do with the work. And so I would like to go back to work as quickly as I can or do, you know, painting or work on music. And be separate, you know, from those things I can't control. MC: What about criticism about some of the themes of your films, like I remember I read a piece recently that Angela Carter wrote about the way you portray women in your films, she said, you know, your films have a got a sort of mysoginistic view of women, that the characters are not understood, that they have no inner life. How do you react to that, does that just bounce off you also? DL: Well, the problem is that somebody sees a woman in a film, and then mistakenly assumes that that is the way the person sees all women, when in actuality it's just that particular woman within this particular story. It means nothing more than that, although it could have, you know, repurcussions, a small story can open up, you know, a bigger feeling, but it doesn't mean Alvin Straight represents all 73 year olds and more than Dorothy Valens represents all women, or whatever she was talking about. [clip - Fire Walk With Me `do you think that if you were falling in space...'] MC: She's very anguished there, because she's saying that the angels have all gone away, and yet, at the end of this film, the angel comes, so is she wrong? DL: No - things can go away, and then they can come back again too. MC: And there are angels in lots of your films. DL: There are? I don't remember them all. MC: In `The Elephant Man', and several more, there are angels, and you don't literally believe in angels? DL: Oh yeah. MC: No you don't. Do you? DL: Yeah. MC: Is that because you were taught to believe in angels as a kid? DL: Have I seen them? No. MC: You don't literally mean `top of the christmas tree' type thing though. (laughs) I really don't believe that you do... DL: There are many things I think that are out there that we don't know about, but sometimes, you know, you get certain feelings about. MC: Do you feel much in common with other American film makers roughly your same age... DL: No. MC: ... or anything like that. Do you feel part of a generation of painter or artists who come from an arts school background like you? DL: No. I feel strangely, and I think probably other directors feel, somewhat alone, and you make friends, but, so much of the thing is internal. MC: When you look at a lot of American actors and directors today, they're quite involved with politics, and in the past, of course, famous Holywood supported Adelay Stephenson (sp?) and supported JFK, and things like this - do you feel... You're smiling, why are you smiling at that? DL: Well, I'm not a political person. MC: So, when you look at the way that Holywood and of course its normally the democrat side, when you look at those relationships do you feel cynical about that.. DL: Oh no, I'm not cynical at all. I'm just saying that I don't understand politics, I don't understand the concept of two sides, and I think that probably there's good on both sides, bad on both sides, and there's a middle ground, but it nevers seems to come to the middle ground. And, it's very frustrating watching it, and seemingly we're not going forward. Some change of simple, simple, really relatively speaking, and we're going forward somewhere, you know, it could be a beautiful place. There's many little obstacles and there's many people that are just opposed, and we're not moving forward. MC: When you were talking before there about Straight Story and about the possibility of understanding the whole world from your own small place, it was almost the sort of thing that Ronald Reagan would say. Is that true, do you think? DL: I have no idea what Ronald Reagan would say. MC: Well I know you had dinner at Reagan's Whitehouse, but what I had in mind was that provincial idea, where you root your whole view of life just in the small everyday understanding you have of... DL: I think there's a time in you to go out and gather things and they say that when you're little, the window is open, and then the window closes, not all the way, but closes for safety reasons, so stuff stops coming in and you can work with, you know, things that are there. And new things can pop in and join with them, but now it's a time, you know, to start doing some things with the things you've gathered... MC: You're, I think, about 53 now - what age do you feel? DL: Inside, we're ageless. And when we talk to ourselves, it's the same person we were talking to, the same age, when we were little, and it's the body that's changing around that ageless centre. MC: Surely that's not true. I used to be scared of things as a kid, and I'm not scared of them now. DL: That's not the self that you're talking to, that's the amount of information that you have. And information and experience, knowledge and experience, is part of the, /is/ the process, and so the more knowledge you have, coupled with experience, you konw, the more you go, but the self you talk to, that I was talking about, that's the one that's sort of ageless. It doesn't mean ignorant it just means it doesn't have an age. MC: OK. The ending of `The Elephant Man', he decides to sleep like a normal person, and in doing so, he kills himself, and then your camera goes up into the stars again, as we've seen it doing here in the Straight Story. Now, what is that saying - is that saying that even though someone dies, something remains afterwards. DL: Um. Yes. MC: What remains? DL: Well, they say many things remain, it's just the body that's dropped. [clip end of The Elephant Man] DL: Good place to end. MC: I think so. A critic once said of your work, `David Lynch is very interested in getting inside our heads, but he has nothing to do once he gets in there.' Do you understand that? DL: Um. Not one bit. MC: It's been a pleasure talking to you DL: Good to talk to you. MC: Thank you very much. [credits] MC: Great, everybody. DL: What critic said that? MC: I think it might have been Serge Donee (sp?) - do you know that guy? DL: No. MC: I think he meant that your films make people dream but there's no surface message there. DL: Oh, that's OK then. MC: Yeah. [...] DL: I want to see this book [Good Times on our Street] This book even smells - yeah, it's a beautiful smell.