David Lynch, the self-proclaimed Eagle Scout from Missoula, Montana, burst onto the American film scene in 1977 with his unclassifiable and instant cult classic Eraserhead, and hasn’t stopped making his brand of sui generis work since. Although his work is often grounded in stereotypical trappings of genre, Lynch’s films are wholly created worlds unto themselves, filled with the iconography of popular genre films while using mood, pace, and offbeat acting to carve out space to simply be themselves. “Lynchian” has become synonymous with all that is weird and macabre while maintaining an ironic distance and a wink of knowing playfulness. With a career marked by many loyal long-term collaborations, including with the composer Angelo Badalamenti; actors Laura Dern, Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Nance, and Harry Dean Stanton; editor Mary Sweeney; production designer Patricia Norris; and sound designer Alan Splet, among many others, Lynch has become one of the best-known American film and television directors of the past 40 years, hugely popular both at home and abroad. In addition to highlighting many of the films that have either overtly or subtly influenced Lynch through the course of his career, DAVID LYNCH: A RETROSPECTIVE offers the opportunity to fully slip into in his uniquely cinematic worlds as he means us to: “It’s beautiful when it’s a shared experience. It’s best on a big screen. That’s the way to go into a world.”—David Lynch.