“Ballerina” might be viewed as a preparatory sketch for the vast canvas of Inland Empire, the trace of an artist refining his technique. A painter before he was a filmmaker, Lynch devotes as much attention to the production design and set decoration of his movies as he does to the performances or cinematography, as can be seen in the montage of behind-the-scenes footage on disc two called “Lynch 2.” “That seems to me the joy of it,” he says of this artisanal care for details. “I mean, the super fun of it!”
As for “Quinoa,” which begins with the filmmaker preparing a recipe based on the hearty grain, then morphs into a beguiling lesson on how to cook up a story, Lynch merely notes: “Well, you know, there's all these cooking shows. But I don't cook. I know how to make tapioca from when I was little, and rigatoni because I learned how to make rigatoni. But now I know how to make quinoa. So I did kind of a cooking thing.
“The chef does not make the fish,” Lynch continues. “The chef can prepare that fish and really make it a great meal—a beautiful, you know, thing—but the chef doesn't make the fish. It's like you are going along down the street and you get an idea, and it's a thrilling thing, it's the whole thing, and it might be a fragment, but that fragment is complete. So you go into this process where more ideas hook onto it, and the more ideas you have, the quicker the rest come to join it. They become like bait, and you just stay true to those ideas. And where intuition comes in is, you're translating this idea to film and it's not quite right. Like on a violin note—if you lean a little bit harder on that note, it feels correct, and if you back off a little bit, it doesn't feel correct. And if you follow this thing, staying true to idea, intuition is your friend. You walk away when it feels correct.”