Last week a new piece of film arrived from David Lynch. Like much of his recent film work, it is a commercial, but in this case it’s a commercial for something closely related to movies. The 70-second film, The 3 Rs, is a trailer for the 2011 Vienna International Film Festival.

This is a weird, possibly amusing little stopgap piece that channels the spirit of Lynch’s paintings and absurdist humor. Since it seems unlikely that we’ll get any new narrative features from Lynch in the near future, those of us who enjoy his output will have to make do with this. Read More »

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Twenty-five years ago, David Lynch held a crystal clear mirror up to the face of America. Blue Velvet, which had played festivals in Montreal and Toronto, opened in the US on September 19, 1986. It was mainstream America’s real introduction to the private world of David Lynch. Eraserhead was still a cult film. While many people had seen The Elephant Man and some (not many) had seen Dune, few were prepared for the deeply idiosyncratic dreamscape Americana seen in Blue Velvet. Attacked for depicting a savage sexuality rarely seen on screen, the movie attracted no shortage of negative attention, but it quickly became regarded as a classic.

After twenty-five years Blue Velvet’s mysterious and musical vision of middle-American life remains seductive and powerful. Its gallows humor still earns laughs, and a peculiar clash of of classical Hollywood and noirish styles draws viewers in to Lynch’s unique world. The classic and noir impulses came out of Lynch’s own fondness for movies, but combined with his depiction of raw, violent sexuality they suggested something specific. That is, the deranged sexual power games in Blue Velvet aren’t anomalies; they’re what was always going on when the camera panned away in movies of the past.

The film established the career of Laura Dern and prevented Kyle MacLachlan’s image from being lost in the sandstorm of Dune. (MacLachlan’s look as the young Jeffrey Beaumont was actually based on Lynch’s own sartorial manner.) More than anything else it gave Dennis Hopper a framework in which to create one of the strongest, ugliest and most frightening characters ever seen on the silver screen: the raging gangster and sexual manchild Frank Booth.

The film’s twenty-fifth birthday is something to celebrate. As Jeffrey says when making a toast in the film, “here’s to an interesting experience.” Read More »

We’ve seen a few instances of big directors making a couple bucks directing live webstreams, the most high-profile probably being Terry Gilliam’s collaboration with Arcade Fire last year. But I did a triple-take when a press release landed on top of the inbox this afternoon, because it proudly announced that David Lynch will, on March 23, direct a livestream webcast featuring a performance by ’80s synth-pop chart-toppers Duran Duran. (With all original members!)

If you’re as confused by this as I am, check the full release after the break. Read More »

LOL: If Filmmakers Directed The Super Bowl

Slate has put together a video which shows us what it might be like if filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, and Jean-Luc Godard directed the Super Bowl. Sadly, they didn’t include versions by Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg. Also, am I the only one who thinks they get the Tarantino one all wrong? Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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Here’s the best news I’ve heard all day: David Lynch says that footage previously thought lost from a rough cut of Blue Velvet has been found and may be included on the forthcoming Blu-ray release of the film. A new HD transfer of the director’s landmark picture — which will hopefully showcase the incredible cinematography of Frederick Elmes with new detail and subtlety — is exciting enough. But to think we might get some new footage is absolutely thrilling. Details after the jump. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 33 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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The last proper feature from maverick director David Lynch was the 2006 shot-on-DV effort Inland Empire. Since then he’s made commercials and music videos, done quite a lot to promote Transcendental Meditation, and worked on multiple albums. The most high-profile of those was with Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse [RIP], called Dark Night of the Soul. Music has always been one of the director’s passions — he’s had a big hand in writing and recording much of the music for his films — but the Danger Mouse project must have left him wanting more in a similar vein.

This week the director dropped a digital single on iTunes featuring two songs. They’re the first inking of the music project Mr. Lynch is working on now, which he’s calling “a kind of modern blues.” Read More »

Never Let Me Go

After the Telluride Film Festival premiere of his latest film, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview director Mark Romanek for a long-form interview. It was a collaboration between Alex from FirstShowing and myself, which explains how we were able to get so much time with the filmmaker.

Mark Romanek is one of the best music video directors to come out of the 1990′s. His videos have included Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer”, “Scream” – Michael Jackson’s grammy award winning collaboration with sister Janet Jackson (at $7 million, one of the most expensive music video ever made), Janet Jackson’s “Got ‘Til It’s Gone”, Johnny Cash’s gut-wrenching cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind”, Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, Beck’s “Devil’s Haircut”, Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”. His 2002 feature film One Hour Photo is probably best known for Robin Williams’ dramatic turn. While the film is beloved by cinephiles, it pretty much went under the radar of mainstream audiences. It did however gain Romanek a lot of the respect in the movie industry. His follow-up, a big screen adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s novel Never Let Me Go, premiered at the 37th Telluride Film Festival. The book was named one of TIME’s 100 Best Novels (from 1923 to the Present), featured on many top ten books of 2005 lists, and a finalist in the National Book Critic Circle Award.

After the jump is part one of the chat, where we talk about the director’s influences, how he became a music video director, his long journey back to feature filmmaking, and what it took to create his latest movie, Never Let Me Go.

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