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Sharon Stone Factor

Sep
14
2006

Hundreds of Italians crammed into a museum in Milan the other night to hear David Lynch talk about transcendental meditation.

Guards braced the big glass doors to keep people outside. For the lucky who had sardined into the Triennale but wouldn’t fit into the gaping conference room (never, never try to stand in line with Italians), organizers had to set up a separate screen outside to broadcast proceedings to the overflow.

The Zen Crowd

Seriously. Not the kind of reception you’d expect for a guy whose last decent project was rehashing scraps for an aborted TV project into “Mulholland Drive” in 2001.

And just about the last person anyone needs to hear speak about meditation. I mean, Newsweek called him “America’s best-known avant-garde filmmaker.” We all know what that means: beyond college students and inhabitants of either coast, no one has seen any of his movies.

But this is Europe, folks: give us your tired (stars), your poor (in talent), your huddled masses (of starlets) yearning to break free.

It’s the Sharon Stone Factor: she had one hit film of dubious taste 14 years ago, but hey, she’s worshipped in France.

Lynch rode into Milan, high from his lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival. You read right, that’s lifetime, a career of excellence in film. The 60-year-old who brought us “Twin Peaks” is the only person that far away from death ever to get one.

Anyway, Lynch has practiced meditation for over 30 years and since 2005 has been touting its benefits. He’s raising money to create “peace factories” to further the practice, especially in schools.

The crowd ate it up, breaking into applause frequently. Lynch, frequently nodding a giant bobble head, spoke with the grating intonation of his native Montana, which, if you’re not used to hearing English all day long, is pretty surreal.

So, what was I doing there? Well, it was 6:30 p.m., late enough to turn off the computer but too early to justify an aperitif. Not very noble, I admit, and I had expected to find just a few movie buffs and some beatific meditators.

I lasted about 15 minutes, during which he spoke through a translator as if imparting the finer points of the ABCs to an eager group of six-year-olds. It was comforting to read the article from daily La Stampa, which said the illustrious director sounded like the latest American to hit these sunny shores trumpeting the Zone diet or life coaching.

Maybe there’s hope for Europeans after all.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 5:59 PM | Permalink

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