In his memoir Catching The Big Fish, David Lynch reflects on himself as a director. Additionally, he discusses various arts outside of cinema. Though he provides insight into his other arts, an analysis on how these arts overlap and influence each other is unfortunately absent.
Lynch doesn’t provide description of his work but only describes it. This will make it difficult to follow for a reader who is unfamiliar with his work. It is, however, interesting to read about how he conceptualizes ideas, but, in the story about the man’s reflection in the mirror for example, he does not even explain the visual aspects of the man in the mirror, much less it’s importance in the larger story.
He uses a poignant metaphor that describes artistic creation as “catching a fish.” Many artists tend to feel that they discover ideas and try to fully uncover them, rather than create them themselves. It’s good that he helps the reader understand how to best set themselves up for “catching the fish.” In addition, it’s a good note that one needs to work on their ideas while they have them or they will be gone. This can prove difficult for many artist, however, because many writing styles make it hard to actively develop ideas. Lynch also makes a great point about meditation. Many find mediation to be relaxing, invigorating, and helpful in the creation process..
Unfortunately, Lynch’s book hits a snag when he discusses depression. It seems as though he believes that depression is something that one can will yourself out of through meditation, and he does not treat it as a legitimate mental illness.
David Lynch is a decorated filmmaker with many accomplishments. His book Catching The Big Fish provides insight into his artistic process, and he shares many pearls of wisdom. However, not all of his ideas are applicable to every artist, and some of his ideas may be self destructive.