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Lynch plays favorites at AFI Fest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Lynch has segued from making movies to showing them.

As the first guest artistic director of the AFI Fest, the “Blue Velvet” director has programmed a mini festival within the film festival, which begins next week in Hollywood.

His selections: director Ingmar Bergman’s “Hour of the Wolf” (1968), Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” (1962). Jacques Tati’s “Mon Oncle” (1958), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (1954) and Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Blvd.” (1950).

Whittling his list down to just a half-dozen was “impossible in a way,” Lynch noted. “These are films that really inspired me and films I love.”

Lynch and the festival have a long history, dating back to his first feature, “Eraserhead” (1976). “I’d been rejected from the New York Film Festival, and Cannes; I was supposed to go,” Lynch recalled, adding that he finally scored a screening for “Eraserhead” at Filmex, the AFI Fest predecessor. “Ben Barenholtz from Libra Films saw it (there) and the film was distributed on the midnight circuit.”

“Eraserhead” would become a cult classic and the film that launched Lynch’s Hollywood career, which also includes “The Elephant Man” (1980), “Blue Velvet” (1986), the TV series “Twin Peaks” (1990-91), and “Mulholland Dr.” (2001), for which he received one of his four Oscar nominations.

The director, who has produced video introductions for select screenings, will be on hand Nov. 6 to present the double bill of “Eraserhead” and the classic Hollywood drama “Sunset Blvd..” “Billy Wilder created such a world and I say I would love to live in that world,” Lynch commented. “I loved watching this film and being in that world. William Holden and Gloria Swanson: beyond the beyond, the mood, it’s like a beautiful dream.”

In addition to serving as guest artistic director, Lynch also created artwork that serves as the official image of the festival, which is in its 24th year. AFI Fest 2010 is set for Nov. 4-11.

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Online: www.AFI.com/AFIFEST

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