Filmmaker, visual artist, interior designer, transcendental meditation guru, and implacable interviewee David Lynch was in Paris recently — possibly to check in on Club Silencio, his real-life bar based on the same-named venue in his movie “Mulholland Drive” — and was taken by the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art’s director Hervé Chandès to visit the Idem Paris lithography studio, which inspired him to make a short documentary about the historical printer (embedded below).
“This thing of lithography, this channel of lithography opened up and a bunch of ideas came flowing out and it led to about a hundred lithographs,” Lynch writes of the experience on the Idem website. “I will say that Idem printing studio has a unique, very special mood, and it is so conducive to creating.”
The short doc Lynch created, which follows Idem printmaster Patrice Forest directing the process of making a series of lithographs on the studio’s well-worn machinery — it was founded in 1880 by printer Emile Dufrenoy — revels in the hand-operated machinery, its whirring gears and clicking parts, like the spinning wheel that continually evokes a spinning reel of film. Though Lynch famously abandoned film for digital video, he shot this short in black and white, perhaps in homage to the analog machinery on whose functioning it is focused.
Watch “Idem Paris” by David Lynch:
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo Courtesy Père Ubu via Flickr.)