Few American auteurs inspire quite the same level of excitement among devoted fans as renaissance man David Lynch—he of the many landmark films and Twin Peaks, certainly, but also a dazzling variety of paintings, music, and, yes, daily weather reports. So social media was understandably abuzz over rumors, and then some actual reporting, indicating that David Lynch might premier a new film at the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival, taking place May 17-28.
During a conversation Tuesday with The A.V. Club about the theatrical re-release of a remastered version of Inland Empire, Lynch discussed the possible debut of his next feature, which would be his first since 2006 (that is, if you don’t count Twin Peaks: The Return, which he has described as an 18-hour film).
“I have no film at Cannes, no,” said Lynch. “In fact, no one has ever even asked me that. You’re the first person that’s actually asked me, ‘David, do you have a film at Cannes?’ I say no, I don’t have a film at Cannes.”
Pressed as to whether he had something else—not a film, perhaps, but a TV pilot or other special project—that would make its bow at the festival, he sounded definitive. “I’m not trying to trick you, I have nothing at Cannes,” he said. “But there’ll be something new from somebody else. It wasn’t me, though. It isn’t me.”
Parsers of the English language—or perhaps straw-graspers searching for good news—might seize hopefully on a couple of those words: “Something new from somebody else?”
Might it be another Lynch, then—perhaps a project from one of his filmmaking children? Daughter Jennifer Lynch, who has recently worked quite extensively in television, is remembered for both her 1993 debut, Boxing Helena, as well as the features Surveillance and Chained. Meanwhile, Lynch’s son, Austin Jack Lynch, helmed the highly affecting nonfiction serial Interview Project and co-directed 2017’s experimental Gray House. Might one of them be carrying the Cannes banner for their father, who picked up the Palme d’Or in 1990 for Wild At Heart?
Most likely, Lynch is simply referring to other filmmakers not sharing his surname. But despite his aptitude for folksy aphorisms and catch-all language, in a world where “Lynchian” has become synonymous with a cockeyed definition of conventional reality, the filmmaker’s capacity to create nuance in even as simple and declarative a word as “no” may still (justifiably) give people hope.