THE WORD postmodern is admittedly overused, but the incongruity between the peaceful health of his mien and the creepy ambition of his films is something about David Lynch that is resoundingly postmodern. Other postmodern things about him are 'his speaking voice – which can be described only as sounding like Jimmy Stewart on acid – and the fact that it's literally impossible to know how seriously to take what he says. This is a genius auteur whose vocabulary in person consists of things like okey-doke and marvy and terrif and gee. When a production assistant appears with the tuna-fish sandwich he's asked for, he stops in the middle of his huddle with the Steadicam operator and tells her "Thanks a million." David Letterman says this kind of stuff too, but Letterman always says it in a way that lets you know he's making fun of about 400 things at the same time. With Lynch it's not at all clear that this is what he's doing. Another example: After the last car-filming run and return to base, as people are dismantling cameras and bounces and Chesney is putting the unused film under a reflective NASA blanket, Lynch, three times in five minutes, says "Golly!" Not one of these times does he utter "Golly!" with any evident irony or disingenuousness or even the flattened affect of somebody who's parodying himself. (Let's also remember that this is a man with every button on his shirt buttoned and high-water pants.) During this same tri-"Golly!" interval, though, about 50 yards down the road, Mr. Bill Pullman, who's sitting in a big canvas director's chair getting interviewed for his E.P.K.,22 is leaning forward earnestly and saying of David Lynch: "He's so truthful – that's what you build your trust on, as an actor, with a director" and "He's got this kind of modality to him, the way he speaks, that lets him be very open and honest and at the same time very sly. There's an irony about the way he speaks."
David Foster Wallace writing on his experiences with David Lynch on the set of Lost Highway