Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lynch and the B-36 "Peacemaker"

Three weeks ago I watched a fine documentary on one of cinema's most highly regarded filmmakers. David Lynch: The Art Life reveals something interesting, at least to me: David Lynch appears to have an affection for the Convair B-36 "Peacemaker". This historical aircraft has long been a favourite of mine.

My introduction to Strategic Air Command's long-range heavy bomber happened in early 1977 when I watched 1955's Strategic Air Command on late night television. No doubt I had known of the machine before that viewing, but it was the VistaVision (on NTSC television) picture that took me up high.

In The Art Life we see a few instances, and versions, of the B-36: A tiny wooden or pewter model sitting on a windowsill; a Lynch painting, albeit one where he eschewed the plane's six propellers (and four jet engines); and Lynch himself holding a large model.

This attachment by the director would make sense as he was born in 1946, and the Peacemaker was in operational service with the USAF between 1948 and 1959. Perhaps David Lynch saw Strategic Air Command when it hit theatres.

Film directors often are aviation fans. Stanley Kubrick was one; George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have also expressed affection for flying machines.

Where does that put me?....At a much lower altitude.

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