Back in1983, the Waldenbooks chain recorded a long conversation between David Lynch and Frank Herbert. The occasion was the impending release of Lynch’s version of Dune. The final film, as most well know, was often derided as an artistic failure, and it was undoubtedly a commercial disaster. In the years since the film’s release, Lynch rarely speaks of it. Herbert died in early 1986, so he didn’t have time to see the film attain a certain level of respect in the sci-fi community.
But the movie has earned a large number of fans over the years, and rightly so. Though quite flawed, the film features incredible production design and film craft, elements which are often cited as the reasons for fan appreciation. But it is also interesting as an adaptation that isn’t afraid to muck around with the source a little bit. I think a lot more adaptations should indulge in changes. Listening to this interview, which appeared on YouTube this week, it seems evident that Frank Herbert might agree. Read More »
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Even the most casual Star Wars and/or David Lynch scholar knows that Lynch was offered a gig directing Return of the Jedi and turned it down. Lynch’s features at that point were Eraserhead and The Elephant Man — both incredible examples of storytelling and world building on relatively controlled budgets. One can only surmise that something along those lines is what Lucas put the job in Lynch’s path.
The fact of not doing the film isn’t something that’s ever been a big deal in the director’s history. For example, it gets only a couple lines in Lynch on Lynch: “I went to meet George Lucas, who had offered me the third Star Wars to direct, and I’ve never even really liked science fiction. I like elements of it, but it needs to be combined with other genres. And, obviously, Star Wars was totally George’s thing.”
Ironically, Lynch went on to make Dune immediately afterward — a film in which science fiction was certainly combined with a lot of other genres, especially in Lynch’s hands. Publicly, he’s never talked much about the Lucas experience, but in mid-November he told the detailed story to a small group. It’s worth a listen. Read More »
Everyone I know is compiling a list of the best films of the aughts, and 2001′s Mulholland Drive seems to be a lock on most (and if it’s not, 2006′s Inland Empire is the more pretentious substitute). But as the decade closes out, I do wish we had seen more “Lynchian” films from David Lynch, who seems occupied with experimental video, his son’s ambitious documentary projects, the advent of Twitter, and exposing as many people/fans to Transcendental Meditation as possible. So, if it’s a tad disappointing that the chain smoking auteur’s next film won’t hinge on creepy dream logic, it doesn’t qualify as a surprise that it will instead be a doc on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The founder and guru of TM died early last year, and true to form, Lynch adds that his doc on the man will “hold a lot of abstractions.”
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Obviously, the staff at /Film collectively views Spike Jonze‘s Where the Wild Things Are with a certain reverence. The film is simply a win all around, tastefully exploring and modernizing the notions of imaginative nostalgia and vice versa that are so often exploited these days in the name of “geekdom” and “hipsterdom.” On a related note, I’ve always found it a bit profound that Ain’t It Cool and Vice magazine were started within two years of one another (’96 and ’94, respectively); both went on to make a positive, DIY impact on culture in the aughts unlike anything in new media this side of negative influencers like Matt Drudge and Rupert Murdoch. Back then, I remember thinking that Austin’s Harry Knowles was fat off movies (and ‘shrooms?) and the Brooklyn staff at Vice was lithe off drugs and deadlines, but there was something in common: they both ignored Old Media (now dying), didn’t give a damn about design trends, and did things the way they should be done, with knowledge, a cultivated attitude, and enthusiasm.
One the main and most important guys who has helped Vice see its way to 23 offices around the globe, millions of readers, and untold cultural influence is the mag’s long-term Editor-in-Chief Jesse Pearson. He also plays a role in the company’s video website, VBS.tv, where WTWTA director, Spike Jonze, serves as the creator director. On the eve of Vice‘s 15th anniversary and a coinciding $250K Halloween party in Brooklyn, we spoke with Pearson about the future of the company’s Vice Films (where Jonze is also involved) and regarding the mag’s recent, highly recommended Film Issue. He also shared a few of his favorite films and welcome ideas about the state of cinema, the ever-controversial fast-moving zombie, and the “Chaos Reigns” fox in Antichrist (not to mention the fetching photo shown above.)
Hunter Stephenson: Hi Jesse. Vice has released a film issue that arrives during a very interesting, chaotic time for cinema, especially in the States. And Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is an important film that I think signifies a steamy unification between two of the aughts’ biggest influential youth movements; to the eye rolls of many on both sides: the geeks and the hipsters. And as such, it seems a great time for /Film and Vice to have a chat. Since Spike is the creative director at Vice‘s VBS.tv, what are your thoughts on his latest film in terms of its cultural relevance and do you agree with these notions?
Jesse Pearson: Right now, all I really feel qualified to gauge in terms of cultural relevance is the film’s trailer and all of the general advance expectations surrounding the movie. I know that I have rarely, maybe never, seen a trailer create so much visceral excitement in so many people. Friends have told me that they cried watching it. That seems a wee bit over the top to me. But, to partially answer your question, I think that the amount of drooling going on in advance of Where the Wild Things Are is very interesting and very telling. What it means to me is that people, lots of people, maybe people in the two much-maligned, very amorphous and perhaps not-really-existing-in-the-way-that-most-people-mean-it-when-they-say-it groups that you mentioned, geeks and hipsters… Wait, where was I going with this?
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Last night at the Venice Film Festival, the spiritual sequel to writer/director Alex Cox‘s punk rock, sci-fi cult classic Repo Man, Repo Chick, premiered. Co-produced by David Lynch, the film has loomed with some hesitation in the minds of fans as an oddity, because it was shot almost entirely on green screen using RED cameras and an indie budget. After the jump, we’ll take a look at the first review by Variety, whose reviewer seemed surprised to like it as much as she did, if not as much as the original. I’ve also included photos and videos from the production, and I’ll update in the comments as more reviews come in…
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Oh, I’ve been waiting for this one. Werner Herzog has recently completed not one film (Bad Lieutenant) but two, the second being the David Lynch-produced My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. Both are going to show up at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. And now My Son has a trailer that is…well, just watch this sucker, after the break. Read More »
As you probably know by now, Gallery 1988 will be holding their third annual pop culture art show Crazy4Cult 3D from July 16th (TONIGHT!!!) to August 8th in Los Angeles. Gallery1988 has given us permission to run an exclusive preview of some of the cool artwork which hasn’t been seen yet, that will be available at the show. After the jump we’ve included over 30 pieces of the awesome art you’ll see at the show. If you’re interested in buying any of the original art — make sure you’re there! If you want to order any of the prints, you can email Gallery 1988 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 323 937 7088.
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While we wait for another feature film (which is beginning to seem like it’ll be a while) David Lynch is making and releasing music. He recently was involved in the smoky cool project Dark Night of the Soul with producer Danger Mouse and musician Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse. Now, according to EW, he’s produced the music and written the lyrics to a record of guitar-based ’50s-style tunes called Fox Bat Strategy, which comes out June 30. Read More »