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David Lynch

Twin Peaks (series, season 3 2017)

I would be lying if I said that I have been a ‘Peaky’ for 25 years, but it has been certainly more than two decades since I watched the series every couple of years and I have followed Peak-freak groups for many years. These groups, of course, only contained ‘die-hard fans’ when the series had faded from the public eye. Then a while ago there was a stir within the fan base, since, did Laura Palmer not say: “I will see you in 25 years” at the end of the original series? Would Lynch (and Frost) indeed revamp the series? For a while Lynch denied, but either or not persuaded by all the attention, at some point he confirmed that work was done on a new season. Not too much later the filming had actually started, again in Snoqualmie, and people who went there to see what was going on, could see what actors were involved. Actors were confirmed, rumors wandered around the rest and in the end the new season was put out with a massive amount of publicity. Mark Frost even published a book. Suddenly everybody was a Twin Peaks fan and had been one for 25 years.Read More »Twin Peaks (series, season 3 2017)

The Short Films Of David Lynch (2008)

I do not know why it took so long before I set out to see this collection of short films. I knew some of them and I am not sure how. Perhaps from extras on other DVDs or perhaps just because of Youtube, but this DVD contains Lynch’s debut films “Six Men Getting Sick” (1 minute, 1967 animation), “The Alphabet” (16 minute, 1968 funny animation with real film cut in). Then you get “The Grandmother” (34 minutes, 1970, a dark and weird film reminding of “Eraserhead”), “The Amputee” (5 and 4 minutes, 1973, a test with two different cameras with ‘The Log Lady’ as the amputee, created after a year of shooting “Eraserhead”)), “The Cowboy And The Frenchmen” (26 minutes, 1988 a not-so-interesting view of Lynch on the French, he made this one on request) and “Lumiere” (55 seconds, 1995 created with a rebuild traditional camera, could be a trailer of a great new film). This disc has also been released in the Lime Green Box which also contains some films that I already have, but also “Dumbland” (also available separately) and the film that I wanted to see most: “Industrial Symphony no. 1” (1990). An amusing set of Lynch weirdness, but the full-length films are better.

Dune * David Lynch (1984)

I had not seen this film in ages. I never bought it because Lynch himself is not very happy with this commercial project, but every now and then I feel like watching “Dune”, so in the end I just got myself a very cheap copy. “Dune” is a rather dull scifi with a story that is hard to follow. There are various actors that we also see in other Lynch films and on a few occasions there is ‘Lynchian scene’. I do not particularly like “Dune”, but it is not like I was bored stiff either.

Eraserhead * David Lynch (1977/2000)

It must have been decades since I saw this film, since I didn’t remember much of it. I got a Lynch release of the cleaned up 2000 version and I have no old version to compare, but the sound and visuals are indeed amazing. “Eraserhead” is a truely ‘industrial film’. The soundtrack would in terms of my music reviews section be called “industrial dark ambient” or something, the setting is in some desolate industrial landscape and the pressing atmosphere is amazing. Since this is a Lynch, there is hardly a story and the scenes get weirder and weirder. “Eraserhead” might not be Lynch’s best film, but it is a lot better than I remembered.

INLAND EMPIRE * David Lynch * 2007

Watching a David Lynch film is like listening to a power-electronics album. It is not for most people, because most people will be looking for melodies, lyrics and a feel-good atmosphere, rather than oppressive darkness, chaos and violence. The same goes for a film such as INLAND EMPIRE. Film critics have been looking for logic, a story, a nice atmosphere and a happy end, but they have found none of that and therefor slay this film to the ground. What INLAND EMPIRE brings you is a very ‘industrial’ opening, weird characters, strange filming, absurd dialogues, scenes that (apparently) have nothing to do with eachother, a story that is ‘incorrect’ and confusing (actually there seems to be a multitude of ‘stories’) and most of all: extremely dark scenes, eruptions of violence and disturbing images. Indeed, Lynch-fans can be reassured, INLAND EMPIRE is in the style of Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive. In a way, it continues the ‘path’ where the other two point to.Where Lost Highway had two stories (and ‘unconnected scenes’) and Mullholland Drive several, INLAND EMPIRE seems just a collection of short films rather than a film. It has elements of the sitcom “Rabbits” (that I haven’t seen), hallucinative scenes, typical ‘Lynchial’ close-ups with industrial background music, different stories that somehow seem to form a red line, but maybe that is not the case at all. You guessed it: I am not going to tell you a story, I will not going to analyze the different elements. The biggest mistake you can make with a film such as this, is to approach it rationally. Somehow everything has its place. Like the electronic noise terror of a power electronics release, the artist has carefully put it together, undoubtely with an idea, but if the artist leaves out an ‘explanation’, all you can do is undergo it and enjoy the atmosphere. Somehow I like one power-electronics release, but another not. In film there isn’t such a variety, there is Lynch and a few other ‘weird directors’ that don’t care about how things are supposed to be. I happen to like Lynch. His films are impressive and because they cannot be understood, I can watch them over and over again, like I can listen to music over and over again. Maybe a final note for Lynch-likers like myself: Lost Highway is magnificent, Mullholland Drive is very good, INLAND EMPIRE is good, but it seems like Lynch is trying to be weirder and weirder which makes it more and more difficult to ‘get into’. Of course I have only seen INLAND EMPIRE once now, but at the moment it seems that with Lost Highway Lynch has reached his peak for me and now it is slowly (and I say “slowly”) going down. No worries, because INLAND EMPIRE still is a film that you have to see if you can stand a film like this and I adivise you to see it on the big screen, even when it only plays in a few cinemas. A last thing about the camera work, as you know Lynch shot the film with digital handycames (that he partially handled himself!), this is sometimes irritating (shaky images, not too good quality), sometimes fitting. Concider it as a typical David Lynch experiment and don’t worry about it.

Twin Peaks second series 1990/1 – David Lynch (2007)

It is a magnificent day for a Dutch Lynch-freak. Today “Inland Empire” premieres (in only five cities!) and we are going to see it coming sunday. Also, after almost five years of waiting, the often anounced boxset with the remaining Twin Peaks episodes is available!! The ‘first series’ was 7 episodes (you had to buy the pilot separately if you got the American version like me, I believe the European version has 8 episodes) and now we are finally up for the remaining 22. The series proved successfull enough to allow Lynch to make more episodes, yet it never came to a third series. The box of the second series is nothing compared to that of the first. There is no tranparant plastic case this time, just a cardboard box holding two ‘digipacks’ with two halves of the second series (which are released separately in Germany I heard). The artwork seems to have been tried to give a ‘modern look’. Why does the dwarve have white eyes on the box and what about this strange frontcover?
You can imagine that I haven’t yet watched the 22 remaining episodes, I just got the box! I have seen Twin Peaks a couple of times and I am not going to say anything except that this is the best that ever appeared on TV. If you don’t know Twin Peaks, you will have to start with the first series anyway (read my review of many years ago) and the rest will be excited by the news that the remaining episodes are truely finally available on DVD.

Wild At Heart * David Lynch (1990)

Of course this wasn’t the first time that I saw this film, it’s a Lynch afterall. Of course many actors are the same as in other films of Lynch, but the main part is for noone less than Nicholas Cage. Cage plays a man good within but always getting problems. He falls in love with a girl he better shouldn’t see. His former employee had a girlfriend who is Cage’s girlfriend’s mother and when the husband/father gets killed, both his former employee and the mother think that Cage knew what happened. Anyway, “Wild At Heart” became a roadmovie with Cage dancing to heavy metal and singing Elvis. Naturally Lynch included some dark and vague scenes and his weird sense of humour comes out well too. Very nice film.

Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me * David Lynch * 1992

This film is actually a weak afterbirth of the popular Twin Peaks series. Having left the viewers with many unanswered questions after the series, Lynch returned with “the chilling truth behind Laura’s final days”. Indeed you get to see who killed her, but real answers aren’t here either. Fortunately! Watching this film I actually have to conclude that it may well be almost as good as the series themselves. It is much darker, far much stranger and Lynch really seemed to have wanted to give everyone who wanted simple answers a punch in the face. Not the answers people were waiting for for sure! A lovely film that you really shouldn’t watch before you saw the series.

Of course I saw this one many years ago, but recently I bought the UK DVD. No extras whatsoever, but who gives a damn.

Twin Peaks – the first season special edition DVD * David Lynch * 1990/2002

Without a doubt “Twin Peaks” is the best thing that ever happened in television-history. Reshown on several TV-stations several times, but now we have been ‘Peaksless’ for far too many years. Long ago the complete series have been made available on video. You can either look for the tapes, but I believe they are still obtainable when you know your sources. Too long after the introduction of the DVD “Twin Peaks” is available again. First in America of course, a few weeks ago Europe followed.

The editions are very different though. The European version is twice as expensive as the American version. One reason for this may be that the European version includes the pilot and the American doesn’t (…). Hoping that the American version would instead include the first episode (there is actually a pilot AND a first episode), I got the American version with the idea that I would get the pilot later. However the count starts at episode 1, this is not the first episode! Laura has already been found, Dale Cooper is already in Twin Peaks and you are already supposed to know the characters. That is really too bad, because I would have loved to get both the pilot and the first episode…

Anyway, the first series are episodes 1 to 7. Two episodes per disc plus extras on the fourth disc. Also there are some extras on the discs with the episodes, like introductions by the log-lady.

I am not going to tell you about the series. I AM going to tell you about the “special edition DVD” though. It comes in a cardboard box that you can unfold until you can place/take four discs and a small booklet. The artwork is beautiful. The box comes in a plastic slip with the picture of Laura Palmer and when you take the box out, you get the ‘wrapped in plastic’ look of her. 7 Times 45 minutes. Hell, I will have re-viewed them in a week and then I will have to wait for the second series which aren’t available yet… A Peaks-freaks must-buy!

Mulholland Dr. * David Lynch * 2001

Is has been a long wait since Lynch’s last ‘Lynch film’ “Lost Highway” (1997) which is one of my all-time favourites. Two years ago there was Lynch’s one ‘normal’ film called “The Straigth Story” and then it was as usual quiet for a few years around mister Lynch on the film field. He probably worked on other projects on the field of sculpting, painting, music or something else.

“Mulholland Dr.” had it’s official Dutch premiere at the filmfestival of Rotterdam two weeks ago, and it has played in two cinemas before the ‘public premiere’ the day before yesterday. Also the German version has been playing in Germany for about a month now, which is pretty strange. Rather sad is that this film was supposed to be another TV series, but the producers thought that it was better to cut it to a film, which eventually came to last 2,5 hours. The open end can suggest that Lynch wants to keep the possibility for a series open…

Anyway, in more than one aspect, “Mulholland Dr.” is like “Lost Highway”, especially in the beginning. The way of acting, two of the same kinds of policemen. Furtheron there is another ‘mystery man’, changing characters/ personalities and the not knowing whether what you see is ‘real’, dreams, visions, flashbacks or whatever.
Where “Lost Highway” had mainly two different stories that can be either told after eachother or synchronous, “Mulholland Dr.” has more different stories that are either or not told throughout the whole film, either or not have something to do with eachother or again, either or not to have happened after eachother or at the same time.

The film starts with a scene in which Camilla Rhodes/Rita (Laura Harring) sits in the back of a limo (that seems to have a special significance in the film) and when the driver stops to have her shot, the limo is ran into by a racing car full of teenagers. Camilla staggers out of the limo and towards the lights of the city, where she eventually ends up in the empty appartment that will be inhabited by the beautiful, but dumb Betty Elms (Naomi Watts).
In the beginning there isn’t anything really ‘wrong’. Stories about two guys telling eachother about the accident, one killing the other in a brilliant and violent scene. The two women meeting in the appartment, becoming friends and trying to find out who Rita really is and eventually falling in love with eachother. Then there is a story about the young and hot director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) who sees his latest project falling into the hands of a rich Italian and loosing his sayso about the main character in his own movie. Angry as he gets he drives home where he finds his wife in bed with the pool-cleaner (another great scene) and flees to a cheap motel downtown. A guy with a disturbing nightmare. Etcetera.
After this things get more confusing. Rita is also a body that the two women find, but this body is also Betty who seems to have gone mad when Rita dumped her in favour of the film-director. The transition to this part of the film comes in typical and extremely dark and impressive Lynch scenes with disturbing events, vague camera-work, dark sounds and strange images.

These lines can only tell a glimpse of what is really there. I have seen “Mulholland Dr.” once now and I think that just as with “Lost Highway” it will take a view or four before some things will be clear and links seen. Also just as “Lost Highway” there is no easy ‘solution’ for the impossibilities in the stories and again the film is not made to be understood or correct.
I wonder -therefor- why “Lost Highway” was slain by the press and called “an ununderstandable monstrosity” while “Mulholland Dr.” gets only raving reviews.

My one opinion for the time being? A bit too much like what Lynch already did. There is a bit too much “Lost Highway” and even Twin Peaks with Michael J. Andersson as a strange character in a room with curtains against the walls (he was the dwarve in Twin Peaks’ Red Room). Still, “Mulholland Dr.” is visually impressive and with a magnificent dark atmosphere like only David Lynch can make it. Just go and see it a couple of times.

– – – – – – –

So yesterday I went back to the cinema to see it again. Amazing, “Mulholland Drive” has been shown for a month and still it is sold out almost every single time!

Did I see anything new watching it for the second time? Only small things it seems. Some people come back on a few moments in the film which made me feel like the story of Rita ending up in Betty’s appartment is part of the ‘real story’, also that Betty falls in love with Rita/Camilla, and Rita with Adam the director. Betty can’t cope with that and goes crazy. A large part of the film seems to be Betty’s visions/nightmare in which characters play that she saw in her ‘real life’ at one point or another. The scene in which Rita and Adam say there are getting married would then be a ‘real scene’, the one in which the two women find the body a ‘dreamt scene’. But of course things are not so easy with Lynch.

Rita/Camilla appears to be an actress who would play the main character in Adam Kesher’s latest film. Somehow some rich Italian brothers take over the finances and therefor sayso about the film and they try to kill Rita (opening scene) and replace here by Betty who at one point also seems to be Camilla Rhodes (the scene in which Betty accidentally ends up on the set of Kesher). I don’t know the relation between the Castigliane brothers and Kesher and/or Betty, but there are on Kesher’s party while first they had the biggest fight. The limo still seems to be of special significance, but I don’t know what. It is the limo in which Rita/Camilla has her accident, but also the limo of the Castigliane brothers (this could be, since they probably wanted Rita dead) and the limo that picks up the hysterically laughing old people.

Betty ‘becomes’ Diane Selwyn in the end, who is the dead body and apparently a friend of Rita/Camilla and it is also Diane who goes nuts after being put aside by Rita, so is the Betty story a dream or the Diane story?

Also it is strange that the Cowboy says to Adam that if he does right (by choosing Camilla Rhodes as lead actress which is Betty on the photo) he would see him only once, and if he does wrong, he would see him twice. The Cowboy appears in the film twice more, but Adam did choose Camilla. One time the Cowboy turns up in Betty’s appartment (who just turned into Diane) and there is no Adam present. Hmmm.

Stylistically then. I remember being highly impressed by certain scenes the first time I saw the film, yesterday I was looking forward to the “theatre of illusions”-scene, but I don’t know what I was so impressed by the first time! It is only at a few moments that things get rather dark. Maybe I was watching details too much?

Still too many questions. What is the meaning of the scene of the hitman shooting a friend for a blackbook with numbers? Who is the Twin Peaks dwarf exactly? He seems to be a powerfull being having control over the filmindustry and it seems that he wanted Rita dead and Betty as main character, but what are all these other people have to do with him? He probably represents a dreamstate again, like in Twin Peaks.
The hitman is later hired by Betty to kill Rita, but the blue key telling that things have been taken care off, appears in the film earlier.
And what are that blue box and the monster?

It almost seems like Lynch wanted to keep leads open for in case it is allowed to make the series of Mulholland Drive like he wanted. I sure hope so!