Today, David Lynch is a celebrated director of critically acclaimed films and TV shows. He’s been called “the first popular Surrealist” by film critic Pauline Kael, and “Jimmy Stewart from Mars” by Mel Brooks. But back in 1979, the 33-year-old Lynch was relatively unknown, and his Eraserhead (1977) had just become an unexpected independent hit.

In the above interview, conducted by a group of UCLA students in West Hollywood, the young Lynch answers questions about the making of Eraserhead. The interview is one of Lynch’s earliest television appearances, and while the young director has yet to adopt his now-iconic rumpled suit and button-down shirt, he still has the same distinct voice, and the same tendency to obscure more than he explains about his films.

The interview was filmed at the oil fields where Lynch shot parts of Eraserhead, and Lynch gives a fascinating and morbid tour of the area, showing off the remains of a cat that “got covered in tar and preserved itself” but didn’t make it into the film, plus a muddy puddle that did. Lynch is as charming and strange as ever, and the interview provides a fascinating glimpse into the early career of the acclaimed director.

[h/t: Boing Boing]

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