" It was here that he began a relationship with a fellow student Peggy Reavey and they were married in 1967. Initially funding for the project came from the AFI who gave Lynch a $10000 grant but it was not enough to complete the work and under pressure from studios after the success of the relatively cheap feature film Easy Rider they were unable to provide him with any more. However in order to do so he would have to get the permission of Mel Brooks whose company BrookFilms would be responsible for production; subsequently Brooks viewed Eraserhead and after coming out of the screening theatre embraced Lynch declaring that "You're a madman I love you! You're in.
The French government awarded him the Legion of Honor the country's top civilian honor as a Chevalier in 2002 and then an Officier in 2007 while that same year The Guardian described Lynch as "the most important director of this era". The surreal and in many cases violent elements contained within his films have been known to "disturb offend or mystify" audiences. After Eraserhead became a cult classic on the midnight movie circuit Lynch was employed to direct The Elephant Man (1980) from which he gained mainstream success.