David Lynch: The Artist's Director


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Some Hollywood directors pander to their audiences and the Academy Awards. A few, like David Lynch, follow their imaginations. His freaky and often incomprehensible films meander from reality to surreality, seemingly without any logical sense. How much do you know about Lynch's movies?

What was the name of the first feature that David Lynch directed?

Lynch had already directed several shorts, but "Eraserhead" was his first feature film. This black-and-white movie starred Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart.


In "Blue Velvet," actress Isabella Rossellini plays a character who has what name?

Rossellini was a well-known model before her role as Dorothy in "Blue Velvet." In this Lynch film, she proved that she was much more than just a pretty face.


As of 2016, how many feature length films has Lynch directed?

Considering his fame and the longevity of his career, it may surprise some people that Lynch only has 10 features to his credit. His films are rare (and weird) treats.


In which film does the plot revolve a drug called "the spice"?

"The spice," is an incredible, mind-expanding substance that can also help people live longer. It's a major plot point in "Dune."


Patricia Arquette stars in which Lynch film?

Arquette plays a woman named Renee, who is apparently murdered by her husband. Then, her husband oddly morphs into an entirely different person.


In what year did "Mulholland Drive" open in movie theaters?

"Mulholland Drive" was released in 2001. It starred Justin Theroux and Naomi Watts.


In "Mulholland Drive," actress Laura Harring plays a character who is suffering from what problem?

Harring is a woman who survived a car accident but suffers from amnesia. After seeing a movie poster, she assumes the name "Rita," after actress Rita Hayworth.


In "Blue Velvet," which severed body part turns into a major part of the storyline?

A man named Jefferey finds a severed ear and takes it to the police and then sets in motion a chain of strange and disturbing events.


Which Lynch movie features a character named "The Lady in the Radiator"?

Actress Laurel Near played The Lady in the Radiator in "Eraserhead." The main character, named Henry Spencer, sees the Lady in his weird dreams.


Which actor plays the role of Jeffrey Beaumont in "Blue Velvet"?

Kyle MacLachlan was already very familiar with Lynch by the time he landed the lead role in "Blue Velvet." He'd previously acted in Lynch's "Dune."


The band Toto contributed heavily to the music in which film?

The music for "Dune" was mostly produced by Toto and Brian Eno. Toto is known for hits such as "Africa" and "Hold The Line."


Actress Laura Dern starred in which film?

In "Wild At Heart," Dern is Lulu Pace Fortune, a young woman whose mother hates her boyfriend and hires a hitman to kill him. The boyfriend is played by Nicolas Cage.


"Eraserhead" was released in 1977. When did casting begin for this film?

Casting started six years earlier, in 1971. Funding problems -- along with Lynch's perfectionism -- meant it would be six years before the film finally made it to screens.


Which machine is an important part of the plot in "The Straight Story"?

In "The Straight Story," an elderly man decides to pay a visit to his estranged brother. He can't see well enough to drive a car -- so instead, he takes a riding lawn mower.


Which music artist does not appear on the soundtrack for "Inland Empire"?

Reznor had a huge presence on "Lost Highway" but wasn't part of "Inland Empire." The soundtrack featured Nina Simone, Little Eva and multiple orchestras.


Which musician makes an acting appearance in "Lost Highway"?

Marilyn Manson was a 90s shock rocker riding high on fame when he landed his first acting role in "Lost Highway." He's since appeared in TV shows such as "Celebrity Deathmatch" and "Sons of Anarchy."


What sort of reviews did "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" receive from critics?

"Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me" was a critical failure, which then led to a poor box office showing, too. In recent years, some critics have found much more positive things to say about the movie.


What role did Lynch NOT have in the making of "Eraserhead"?

For "Eraserhead," Lynch wasn't the cinematographer. He did almost everything else, though, from directing, to editing, to writing and producing.


Which of the following Lynch films is based on a novel?

"Wild at Heart" is based on a 1989 novel written by Barry Gifford. The story follows a young couple running away from the woman's homicidal mother.


Who plays the role of the compassionate Dr. Treves in "The Elephant Man"?

Anthony Hopkins plays Dr. Treves, who tries to help The Elephant Man in his many struggles. Treves is one of the only people who finds a way to treat the outcast with kindness.


About how much did "Dune" gross at the box office?

"Dune" grossed about $30 million at the box office, a fact that seems really great until you see the budget -- $40 million. It was a financial disaster.


"Dune" was nominated for an Academy Award in which category?

"Dune" received a lot of negative reviews from critics but still landed an Oscar nomination for Best Sound. It didn't win.


Which of Lynch's films is based on a real-life story?

In 1994, an Iowa man really did gas up his riding lawn mower and set off to see his estranged brother, who lived in Wisconsin. Unlike most Lynch films, this one actually got rave reviews from all quarters.


Which of Lynch's films received the most Academy Award nominations?

Lynch's movies rarely see much interest from the Academy Awards, but "The Elephant Man" was the exception. It was nominated for eight Oscars.


"The Elephant Man" was NOT nominated for which of the following Academy Awards?

"The Elephant Man" wasn't nominated for Best Actress. However, John Hurt was nominated for Best Actor for his part as John Merrick, the severely disfigured man who struggles with a society that's frightened by his appearance.


"The Elephant Man" was a box office success.

"The Elephant Man" had a budget of around $5 million. It made more than $26 million at the box office, making it a financial hit.


Rock star Henry Rollins appears in which Lynch film?

Perhaps it's no surprise that Henry Rollins would appear in "Lost Highway," a movie driven by its rock soundtrack. Gary Busey and Richard Pryor also have small roles in the film.


How many Academy Awards has David Lynch won?

Lynch's films have garnered more than a dozen Oscar nominations. But none of his films have ever snagged a little golden trophy.


"The Elephant Man" prompted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to introduce a new category for its awards ceremony. What category was it?

"The Elephant Man" involved heavy cosmetics and work that transformed actor John Hurt into his severely deformed character, but there was no category to honor the labor that went into his makeup. Public outrage prompted the Academy to introduce a category for makeup and hairstyling the following year.


How long did it take for Lynch to complete "Inland Empire"?

Lynch is not known for his speedy filmmaking. It took him two and a half years to complete "Inland Empire." That's still half the time it took him to finish "Eraserhead."


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