|David Lynch Painted by Alessandro Fantini (2003)|
|Lynch Lifted Some Scenes from his Web Projects to Help Complete Inland Empire (2006)|
And Some Scenes from Inland Empire Evolved into Independent Short Films
David Lynch certainly experiments more than most filmmakers, but even he is subject to certain financial constraints when operating in a feature film production. These pressures might preclude the director from exploring all the free-form possibilities he might otherwise like to experiment with, since he is responsible for making a movie that is narratively sound and remains a financially viable investment to recoup the millions of dollars its cost to make, as well as hopefully generate a healthy profit.Abstractions in Film
But short films, on the other hand, are so cheap to produce and so small in scale that the directors' workload is considerably easier and more manageable. Like a lab for filmmakers, short films provide a safe venue to experiment with the tools, techniques, and concepts of film. For this reason, many filmmakers take a break between feature films to make music videos, commercials, or otherwise find some means of compensating for current short film productions. Since the technologies and techniques of filmmaking are always evolving, most directors value a low-pressure forum where they can simply play around in their stylistic sandbox with the newly developed tools of their trade.
|Directors are Often Weighed Down with Expensive Problems on a Feature Film Set|
Pictured: David Lynch Directing Blue Velvet (1986)
Interpreting the Ideas of Lynch's Film
SECTION I: SHORT FILMS
|The Short Films of David Lynch|
Lynch Painting Interview in Paris Pt. 1
(Click on "Part 2" to See the Last Half Once "Part 1" Finishes)
SIX FIGURES GETTING SICK (1966)our analysis of Eraserhead, David Lynch felt he made his first real strides as an artist when he avoided the traditional painter's education in Europe and lived in an industrial wasteland in Philadelphia. Filled with a feeling of dread from the violence and human decay in the ghetto where he lived, Lynch finally came face to face with his muse. For the rest of his career, the alienation of modern society and the soot and grime of industrialization would texture all his work.
|The Last Figure on the Right Looks Eerily Similar to The Elephant Man|
Designed as a painting that moved through time while projected on sculptured 3-D faces as its screen, Six Figures Getting Sick (1966) aptly prefaces the bizarre and disturbing facets of David Lynch's repertoire. We even see a small glimpse of a recurring question that Lynch seems to be asking in his art: Is mankind reducing itself to a hideously deformed shadow of its former self?
David Lynch Summarizes his Early Career
THE ALPHABET (1968)
|"Please remember, you are dealing with the human form."—The Alphabet Vogon|
David Lynch presents this story as an abstract nightmare, apparently representing the school, teacher, and teacher's instruction with monstrous animated images and intercutting those images with a young girl in bed dreaming. The young girl was actually played by his wife Peggy Lynch. The Alphabet sounds an abstract voice of warning against the subhuman mistreatment of children in modern society, who are frequently looked down on as small computers that simply need to be programmed. Many parents, teachers, and adults tend to emphasize the ability to spout off facts on demand, rather than help the children love the learning process and think for themselves.
THE GRANDMOTHER (1970)
—or as it is commonly known by in English The Red Balloon (1956)—and then Lynchifying it into a completely different, darker remake and you might get an inkling of what The Grandmother is like to watch.
|David Lynch's Son Austin Plays the Grandson in Twin Peaks Episode 9|
The grandmother and grandson duo first impersonate the Tremonds in the Twin Peaks TV series, and later impersonate the Chalfonts in Fire Walk with Me. In both instances, they seem to be portrayed as Lodgian entities who are in opposition to Bob's murderous agenda and they offer vital clues to help the characters uncover secrets about Bob. Chronologically speaking, they first helped Laura confront the fact that her father is Bob's vessel into our world. And they later helped Laura's best friend Donna Hayward discover Laura's secret diary, where she included many important passages about Bob and her visions of the White/Black Lodges.
From the off-handed remark by Mike in Cooper's vision that Bob and he lived above a convenience store, David Lynch created this surreal scene depicting a meeting of these entities that David Bowie's FBI Special Agent Phillip Jeffries somehow managed to attend.
At the end of the day, The Grandmother shines brightly as David Lynch's first narrative film and is as disturbing as it is touching. To again quote what Mel Brooks said about Lynch, "I felt I was dealing with a true artist, with David Lynch. I felt that he was as close to [understanding] the phenomenon of life and why we're here and why we have to die, as any artist I ever met."
THE AMPUTEE (1974)
In the middle of Eraserhead's production, David Lynch used one of the many breaks in production to experiment with new video technology, foreshadowing his eventual departure from film nearly 30 years later in favor of digital video. Catherine Coulson (Twin Peaks' "Log Lady") plays a woman amputee who has lost both her legs while she writes a letter about recent odds and ends that have been happening in her life, sharing certain thoughts she has been pondering, as well as discussing the status of her friends.
THE COWBOY AND THE FRENCHMAN (1988)
INDUSTRIAL SYMPHONY NO. 1:
THE DREAM OF THE BROKENHEARTED (1990)
In 1989 David Lynch had just shot the Twin Peaks Pilot (1990) and began directing Wild at Heart (1990). As if he were not busy enough already, Lynch decided to direct a live stage performance to showcase the songs he has been developing with his composer Angelo Badalementi for the heretofore unaired Twin Peaks. Lynch collaborates again with his Roadhouse singer Julee Cruise and the Little Man From Another Place Michael Anderson and creates a memorable live stage performance that was performed twice at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City.
Lynch, Badalamenti, and Cruise
(The Music from the Performance is Edited Out
of this Video, Most Likely for Rights Reasons)
The performance begins with a video conversation played out between characters reminiscent of Wild at Heart's Lula and Sailor, also played by Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage. David Lynch shot their segment during the production of Wild at Heart. Nicolas Cage's character breaks up with Laura Dern's, prompting Laura's broken-hearted dream self to float down across an industrial wasteland in the form of Julee Cruise, who begins singing the songs we have come to love later in Twin Peaks. Cruise's character literally descends on the stage, and sings over scenes of civil unrest, violence, and many other forms of dark imagery.
Lime Green Set. Of course the image quality is less than ideal since it was shot on video, but the soundtrack and powerful imagery supersede these visual constraints of video.
PREMONITION FOLLOWING AN EVIL DEED (1995)
(Segment of Lumière and Company)Lumière brothers near the turn of the century, then this really becomes a must see for Lynch's fans. 40 directors took the challenge to create a film that was no longer than 52 seconds long, which could contain no synchronized sound, and could contain no more than three cuts. David Lynch reportedly worked around the three-cut constraint by projecting some shots on a screen which he burned away to reveal another set of actors on a set behind the screens.
SECTION II: WEB PROJECTS
our discussion of Inland Empire last week, but we present video clips below in which Lynch explains his reasons.
His Original Journey into Film and Later Digital
David Lynch Goes Digital
|Many of David Lynch's Web Projects are Included on this DVD|
Daily Weather Report Sample
DARKENED ROOM (2007)
We also see allusions to Blue Velvet (1986) with the strange humanoid doll in the room reminiscent of another oddly out-of-place humanoid doll in Ben's drug den. And the strangely nonsequitir prologue with a young Asian woman introducing the plight of her friend in the room also bears some resemblance to the scene in Inland Empire (2006) when a young Asian woman on the street of Hollywood discusses the plight of her friend in Pomona while Nikki Grace's character Sue Blue bleeds out on the street in front of her.
INDUSTRIAL SOUNDSCAPE (2007)
A simple animation featuring a subtly brooding musical soundscape playing as background noise to the oddly musical repetitive clanking of machinery. Those who like to dismiss Dune (1984) from what they consider David Lynch's feature films should note that the machinery featured in this short film looks similar to Dune's thumpers on the desert planet.
Industrial Soundscape (2007)
INTERVALOMETER EXPERIMENTS (2007)
(David Lynch Included No Soundtrack to this Experiment. The
Mulholland Dr. Track was Included by Someone on YouTube.)An intervalometer is a device frequently used in time lapse photography or with other machinery that requires a machine to operate at regular intervals of time. With no discernible storyline or concept in this web project, David Lynch seems to just be experimenting with digital superimposing certain images over others through a continuum of time. The techniques he learned here would later be used extensively in his Duran Duran live webcast last week, where he would take still and motion images and overlay them over the live performance of the band to frequently brilliant effect.
BUG CRAWLS (2007)
OUT YONDER - NEIGHBOR BOY (2007)
MORE THINGS THAT HAPPENED (2007)
As part of the two disc special edition, you will find over an hour of deleted scenes from Inland Empire (2006) collectively referred to as More Things that Happened (2007). Some of the scenes are deeply tied in with the film Inland Empire, but some stand alone as interesting web projects on their own. Most of these 75 minutes worth of deleted scenes are incidental to the story, but some of them were so important in helping the audience connect the dots that we wonder why David Lynch cut them out. Our favorite deleted scenes include one with Nastassja Kinski being revealed as the woman in the hallway who cannot find her key, as well as some of Laura Dern's best scenes from On High in Blue Tomorrows.
ROOM TO DREAM (2007)
Although technically not referred to as a deleted scene of Inland Empire (2006), this web project was obviously created during the production of Inland Empire, since it was shot on a prominent location from the movie with three of its supporting actors. Had there been time in the movie, we imagine this web project could have fit into Inland Empire as an interesting tangent to the main narrative.
Room to Dream (2007)
DVD Special Feature: Making Quinoa
(Segment of To Each His Own Cinema)
LADY BLUE SHANGHAI (2010)
Lady Blue Shanghai Pt. 1
Lady Blue Shanghai Pt. 2
Lady Blue Poem
Lady Blue Shanghai - Behind the Scenes
SECTION III: COMMERCIALS
David Lynch on Product Placement
David Lynch on Advertising
Playstation 2 Commercial #1
Playstation 2 Commercial #2
Gucci Perfume by Gucci
Jilsander's "Background" Cologne
David Lynch "Opium" Perfume
Calvin Klein "Obsession" Perfume #1
Calvin Klein "Obsession" Perfume #2
Calvin Klein "Obsession" Perfume #3
Teaser for Michael Jackson's Dangerous
And David Lynch is still keeping busy on several video and audio projects, including tonight's David Lynch directed live webcast on youtube of Duran Duran's concert tonight! Below is a video teaser Lynch created for the webcast, which as far as we know is his first foray into HD digital motion picture technology. Until now Lynch has tended to eschew HD in favor of the lower definition MiniDV format. We are glad to see him exploring HD for this concert.
Lynch's Teaser for Duran Duran Webcast
Duran Duran Invitation to the Webcast
INLAND EMPIRE (2006)
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