Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Films of David Lynch: Shorts and Curiosities 2007-2009

David Lynch completed his final (so far) feature film in 2006 – but he has hardly “retired” since then. In the three years between 2007 and 2009, Lynch directed two segments of omnibus films (Absurda, Dream #7), a couple of shorts (Boat and Blue Green), and a music video (Shot in the Back of the Head for Moby). Some of these seem like Lynch just goofing off, but some are interesting – to say the least.

Absurda (2007)
Directed by: David Lynch.

In 2007, the omnibus film Chacun Son Cinema gathered quite a few filmmakers from around the world and gave them 3 minutes to make their case for the future of cinema. For Lynch, the result was Absurda – which is a fascinating little three-minute film, although I must admit, I have no idea what the hell he’s saying about the future of cinema. The three minute short takes place in a movie theater itself – with a trio of people talking watching a movie on the screen, when one of them, a young woman, realizes that she is seeing herself on the screen – and that what she is seeing is her nightmare, which is starting to come true. The film is Lynchian surrealism at its finest – disturbing, violent, a little bit of humor involved – all down with an unmoving camera in a movie theater. This is one of the best of the Lynch shorts.

Boat (2007)
Directed by: David Lynch.
Written by: David Lynch.
Starring: David Lynch, Emily Stofle.

There isn’t all that much to say about Boat – a seven minute short that Lynch made for his website. It’s an odd little film to be sure – with a voiceover from a woman talking throughout the early part of the film, with only visions of a boat, and the sea, as visuals. Then the boat pulls away – the driver is Lynch himself – who wants to take the boat so fast they can journey into the night. This seems like Lynch goofing off to me – I have no idea what this means, if anything. But it is amusing (especially the shot of Lynch at the controls), the sound design is classic Lynch, and it takes a strange turn near the end. Not bad by any means, but if it means anything, it’s lost on me.

Blue Green (2007)
Directed by: David Lynch.

Like Boat, I think Blue Green is mainly just Lynch goofing off a little bit – but even if this film is only half the length of Boat, I think there’s a lot more going on – and is a nice bit of Lynchian surrealism. The film is made up of several types of shots – including returning time and again to a tracking shot of a happy little boy skipping through an industrial hell scape. There’s also scenes of a woman, who is going through some sort of pain, and various shot of a man watching it all. Blue Green doesn’t make a lot of coherent sense – but it’s a haunting little film, that comes back to your head again and again, which is perhaps all it was intended to be.

Shot in the Back of the Head – Moby (2009)
Directed by: David Lynch.

Other than Absurda, my favorite thing Lynch directed in this post. Shot in the Back of the Head is a music video for the wordless Moby song (which I’m pretty sure I’ve heard multiple times on This American Life), and this animated video fits the song perfectly, and works as a mini-Lynch film in its own right. A man comes home to his wife, when another man enters, and does what the title implies. There are surreal touches through – floating body parts, etc. and the song and the video go together perfectly. A lot of these late shorts, etc. seem like Lynch goofing off – but this one works.

42 One Dream Rush - Dream # 7 (2009)
Directed by: David Lynch.

This film is basically 42, one minute short films, giving directors a chance to show off one of their dreams in a minute or less. I think perhaps I should go back and watch the entire film other than just the Lynch segment – afterall, some of the 42 directors include Kenneth Anger, Charles Burnett, Leos Carax, Larry Clark, Abel Ferrara, Mike Figgis, Harmony Korine, Gaspar Noe and Carlos Reygadas. On the other hand, I love Lynch, and his one minute segment is completely forgettable and fairly uninspired – some nonsense involving an egg. You would with a roster of directors like that, this would have garnered more attention. Perhaps there’s a reason it didn’t.

Overall these five shorts (and others)   are interesting – but other than Absurda and Shot in the Back of the Head, forgettable, and feel like Lynch just having a good. You be the judge as to whether or not you want to see that.

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