David Lynch

It's a trap! Don't get hooked on old indies like ERASERHEAD

It's a trap! Don't get hooked on old indies like ERASERHEAD

A lot of people have way more free time on their hands than they used to (for very poignant reasons), plus there are more ways to watch movies than ever before, so the nostalgia pit has been beckoning with a treacherous appeal of scary new magnitude. And there are plenty of classic indies that lend themselves to watching them over and over for nuances — or just for their culty essence. But I’m here to urge you to stay away! Don’t get addicted to viewing old indies!

It's a trap! Don't get hooked on old indies like ERASERHEAD

It's a trap! Don't get hooked on old indies like ERASERHEAD

A lot of people have way more free time on their hands than they used to (for very poignant reasons), plus there are more ways to watch movies than ever before, so the nostalgia pit has been beckoning with a treacherous appeal of scary new magnitude. And there are plenty of classic indies that lend themselves to watching them over and over for nuances — or just for their culty essence. But I’m here to urge you to stay away! Don’t get addicted to viewing old indies!

David Lynch is having a champagne moment

David Lynch is having a champagne moment

David Lynch is having a bit of a moment. Yes, it’s outside of the film world, but of course it still has all of Hollywood (and us) intrigued. The surrealist director — whose credits include BLUE VELVET, LOST HIGHWAY, ERASERHEAD and MULHOLLAND DRIVE — has a naughty love for women, organic coffee, quinoa and, not surprisingly, champagne, which led to his collaboration with Dom Pérignon.

Whither art thou, Agent Cooper?

Whither art thou, Agent Cooper?

Twin Peaks left its audience with many more questions than it answered. That’s probably why, every year, a new generation of college students commit to watching the entire series (I don’t think that happens with Murphy Brown). It has also left one Brooklyn artist, Michelle Levy, Searching for Agent C. So, it is only fitting that we cap off our week of Twin Peaks haikus and David Lynch backyard BBQs checking out the hunt for our favorite FBI Special Agent. Warning, if you’ve never made it to the end of the series you may find some spoilers below!

Top 10 Twin Peaks haikus

Top 10 Twin Peaks haikus

When I heard David Lynch was releasing a music video, I immediately thought that I probably wouldn’t know what was going on in said video, but it would look awesome and also cool. Then, I began to reminisce about Twin Peaks, because every Lynch fan/future film student/cool weirdo watched that show! I myself tuned into Twin Peaks in high school because I wanted all the boys to think I was artistic, dark, and super good at watching television. To add to that mystique, I wrote a lot of poetry. It wasn’t GOOD poetry, but it did have the word “ribcage” in it a lot. To celebrate my high school Lynch loving self, I decided to get all nostalgic on you. Here are some Twin Peaks haikus, because really? Why the hell not!

The top 10 effed-up sex scenarios of David Lynch

The top 10 effed-up sex scenarios of David Lynch

Never let it be said that David Lynch takes sex lightly. To quote the man himself: “Certain aspects of sex are troubling — the way it’s used as power, for instance, or the way it takes the form of perversions that exploit other people.” And those “certain aspects” seem to be the only ones that interest Lynch. In his world, no one ever cracks up in bed after an inopportune fart ruins the moment. But no one has glamorized, Hollywood-ized, unrealistic sex either. “Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical,” Lynch said once, “but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way.” And by “flat” he either means “more fake than a declaration of true love on THE BACHELOR” or else “specializing in female subjugation, exploitation and masochism.” Whatever the case may be, the kind of sex his characters have — and the kind of sex his movies deal with — are best described as simply Lynchian, a term which has been defined as “having the same balance between the macabre and the mundane.” This top 10 list, in chronological order, should help further explain:

Watch David Lynch's CRAZY CLOWN TIME right here & on Sundance Channel

Watch David Lynch's CRAZY CLOWN TIME right here & on Sundance Channel

What has David Lynch been up to lately? Making an animated short with Interpol, directing a live-streamed concert for Duran Duran and making an album of his own. If you were David Lynch, who would you hire to make your first music video? I’d hire David Lynch.

The evolution of ERASERHEAD star Jack Nance

The evolution of ERASERHEAD star Jack Nance

After David Lynch saw Jack Nance’s performance at a local theatre in Philadelphia in the early 70s, he cast him as the lead in his avant garde 1977 film, ERASERHEAD. A few years prior to their first meeting, Nance had been seriously considered for the lead in THE GRADUATE, a role which would have launched him off on an entirely different career than the one he had working alongside Lynch…

Does Lynch match up to Kubrick's creep powers?

Does Lynch match up to Kubrick's creep powers?

We’ve got a great line up on Sundance Channel this month, but one film that we’re really excited to be showing is EYES WIDE SHUT – so excited, in fact, that we’re airing it three times (which, if you’re like me, means you’ll be watching it three times, too). But thinking about EYES WIDE SHUT – Kubrick’s final, posthumously released film – got me thinking about what other movies can possibly compare to Kubrick’s surreal vision of bottled up fantasies that drive the men that obsess over them to the fringes of society’s underground? The story is based on Arthur Snitzler’s 1926 novella, Traumnovelle or “Dream Story,” about a doctor who goes on a two-day psychological bender of mind-alteration that culminates in a masquerade ball, which, like Kubrick’s film, involves that old fashioned combination of masked men and orgies…

David Lynch at his all-time creepiest

David Lynch at his all-time creepiest

David Lynch holds a strange an undeniable power over me. No matter how disturbed his films make me and no matter how little sense they seem to make (even upon subsequent viewing and after consulting so-called Lynch buffs), I will, without hesitation, go and see whatever he lays his creeptastic hands on. And if I lived in Paris you had better believe I would find a way onto the VIP list of Club Silencio, no form of begging would be too low. After all, we’re talking about the man who brought me Agent Dale Cooper, the only detective to inspire a crush so epic I stopped putting sugar in my coffee and learned to love it black. But I’m hardly the only Lynch lover out there, and one such fan has compiled a list of “The Ten Absolute Creepiest Moments in David Lynch’s Oeuvre,” a list only a true fan could make because only a true fan could sit through all the moments that bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe, and watch them again, and again and again.

David Lynch designs a nightclub

David Lynch designs a nightclub

The Club Silencio scene in David Lynch’s MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001) is easily my favorite part of the film. The Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying Over You” is eerie and breathtaking, and for a moment I feel as if I actually know what’s going on. That said, it’s probably not the first place I’d look when designing a Parisian night club, but then again I’m not David Lynch.

David Lynch's AFI Fest

David Lynch's AFI Fest

David Lynch is one the most imaginative and influential filmmakers of our day, and with a roster of films and TV series like TWIN PEAKS, BLUE VELVET and MULHOLLAND DR., it’s hard to imagine that he ever doubted his abilities, but back when Lynch was 22-years-old he was less than certain. “I was living in Philadelphia, and I didn’t see the brightest future for myself. I applied for an independent filmmaker grant in 1968, and I won that, and it changed my life.”

"He showed me these things called Wookiees."

"He showed me these things called Wookiees."

Kottke shared this recent video that made me chuckle of David Lynch recounting his visit with George Lucas who was trying to pitch the director responsibility of RETURN OF THE JEDI. Quite a funny tale that includes a slowly developing migraine, untold millions of dollars left on the table, and a Ferrari.

Moby and David Lynch – Dynamic Duo

Moby and David Lynch – Dynamic Duo

While listening to filmmaker David Lynch speak at the BAFTA Awards in February 2008, Moby had an epiphany. Lynch’s message – creativity for its own sake is a beautiful, wonderful thing – was a simple one, but it hit Moby with the force of the Zen master’s cane. “At that moment, I decided to just…

A Goofy Movie, the David Lynch edition

A Goofy Movie, the David Lynch edition

To close out Sundance Channel’s May salute to David Lynch in style, check out this Goofy cartoon recut to mimic his aesthetic, making this the most eerie Goofy I’ve ever seen. Sure to give children everywhere nightmares!

A short dose of David Lynch

A short dose of David Lynch

IN SHORT: DAVID LYNCH screens Thursday at 10PM on Sundance Channel.

David Lynch’s short films offer us a quick injection of what we might expect from his work… a little bit of mutable reality, a flexible trip through time and space, a taste of wry dead-pan comedy, and of course some grotesque body parts and fluids to both entrance us and make us squirm.

His earliest short, SIX FIGURES GETTING SICK (SIX TIMES), was made in 1965 while studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and came out of Lynch’s desire to see his paintings move. What struck me about this short film and several of the others was David Lynch’s early interest in bodily processes (and bodily liquids) and how he projects that on the landscapes of his film in a variety of ways. For example…

Dark secrets in public: opening up to Lynch

Dark secrets in public: opening up to Lynch

David Lynch presents INTERVIEW PROJECT on his website on June 1, featuring short interviews with hundreds of people — the result of a 20,000 mile road trip over seventy days across the United States. “The people told their story,” Lynch says in his video introduction, “It’s a chance to meet [them] … it’s human … and you can’t stay away from it.” Read SUNfiltered’s earlier post on this project if you missed it, and click the link below for more video and commentary.

David Lynch’s INTERVIEW PROJECT: the inner life of small towns

David Lynch’s INTERVIEW PROJECT: the inner life of small towns

David Lynch has a penchant for small cities and towns and the people in them, and he has set a lot of his films in such places. Towns like Deer Meadow (from TWIN PEAKS, not to mention Twin Peaks itself), Lumberton (BLUE VELVET) and Laurens (THE STRAIGHT STORY) come to mind. His bios seem to always remind us that he grew up in Missoula, Montana and was an Eagle Scout. So… in what seems like an ode to this world, David Lynch has embarked on INTERVIEW PROJECT with filmmaker team Austin Lynch (his son) and Jason S. This 121 part documentary series premieres on his website on June 1st and will continue unleashing its short (3-5 min.) episodes for a year, each episode featuring a person from a new place in the country. What exactly is INTERVIEW PROJECT? Watch David Lynch explain this “20,000 mile road trip” here….

Planet ERASERHEAD

Planet ERASERHEAD

ERASERHEAD screens this Thursday at 10PM E/P on Sundance Channel.

The last time I saw Eraserhead on the big screen was in Prague in 2001. The place looked like a Lynch interior, had old ornate European furniture in the lobby and an escalator leading up to the main room. Again this is how I remember it and I’m not fact-checking with friends because memory is mutable in the David Lynch world and that’s where I was. The theater wasn’t made for movies but had a huge screen, a screen so big that it makes most of the current New York city arthouse theaters look like Ipods. It was sold out… sold out! I looked around at the audience, noticing that many wore geriatric and clunky looking headsets to hear a simultaneous live translation of the movie in Czech. Poorly designed, these headsets leaked their sound in murmurs. Somehow it was so fitting… all these strange mechanical humming devices just another layer of the soundtrack for this startlingly odd and wonderful film.

DIRTY DANCING, David Lynch style

DIRTY DANCING, David Lynch style

In the spirit of this month’s Sundance Channel spotlight, here’s one of the better movie mashups I’ve seen recently: a DIRTY DANCING trailer edited in the style of David Lynch. Pretty excellent:

David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE

David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE

David Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE is in some ways the ultimate expression of a story he’s been writing for decades. Shot on digital video, Lynch (who’s said he’d never work with film again) was free to explore the subconscious of himself and his characters without regard to things like the cost of film stock or the unwieldiness of large cameras and lighting setups. INLAND EMPIRE was shot without a script, and out of order, with Lynch hoping that it would somehow come together in the end. For him, it did.

David Lynch catches big fish.

David Lynch catches big fish.

Sundance Channel salutes David Lynch this month with a series of screenings every Thursday, beginning this week with INLAND EMPIRE. See screening times and more.

Last week I was talking to a student about his screenplay and the “rules” of screenwriting, basically the formula that most stories get plugged into (you’ve got your “normality” and then “disturbance” in the first few pages and then the “first act turning point” … and so on). If you’re not familiar with it, please stay blissfully ignorant. It can make movie watching a little less fun when you can too easily predict exactly what is going to happen and when.

My own writing experience using this structure has run the gamut from… get-down-on-my-knees-thankfulness for the backbone it provides especially when you have a bunch of ideas that felt like loose body parts…. to feeling like creative choices have been reduced to something akin to the choices you hear parents give their kids… you can either eat your asparagus or go to bed (i.e. you can either do a strong first act turning point by page 30 or risk alienating your audience). But story structure is hard to knock, as a well structured movie moves and moves well.

“What about Lynch?”