I’ve ingested a lot of Twin Peaks trivia over the years, but this is a tasty new morsel: evidently Steven Spielberg was such a fan of the show’s first season that he got into some talks to direct the second season opener. What happened? Series co-creator David Lynch wanted to do the episode himself, and did.
As it turned out that was a good call. That episode features some of the show’s best ‘Lynchian’ moments, such as the first appearance of “senior droolcup” (venerable Western character actor Hank Worden) and his giant analog (Carel Struycken). It also pushed the show deeper into pure soap opera territory, but that was balanced by the vision of the horrifying death of Laura Palmer in the train car, which is still one of the freakiest damn things ever broadcast on television.
After the break, get the quote from Peaks producer Harley Peyton about Spielberg’s brush with the show. Read More »
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It’s easy to overlook the fact that David Lynch‘s career is inexorably linked to Mel Brooks. The two men don’t seem to have much in common. But when Lynch’s first feature Eraserhead was on screens, one of Brooks’ producers, Stuart Cornfeld, saw the film and recommended Lynch as someone to work with. That ended up leading to The Elephant Man, which landed Lynch a Best Director Oscar nomination and established him as a filmmaker who could do more than outrageously weird stories.
Lynch had also been part of AFI’s class of 1970 — Eraserhead was made during Lynch’s tenure at the school — and yesterday AFI honored both Lynch and Brooks with honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees. That’s one shot of the two men at the ceremony, above, but there is a much better image of the two grads below. Read More »
The technology used to make films has been changing at a rapid pace for the past twenty years. Digital video has gone from being an upstart media to a primary means for creating movies. Major companies are no longer producing new film cameras. Native 3D requires shooting on digital, but the popularity of IMAX keeps some film purists going. Companies like Kodak are experiencing tougher times than ever.
Side by Side is a documentary directed by Chris Kenneally in which Keanu Reeves (who also produced) talks about film and video with a wide variety of filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese, Andy & Lana Wachowski, Christopher Nolan, Walter Pfister, David Fincher and many, many more.
See a trailer below. Read More »
This is as good a Friday treat as we’re ever likely to offer. Just as I celebrated the 25th anniversary of the film this summer, it was announced that fifty minutes of deleted scenes had been recovered for David Lynch‘s seminal 1986 film Blue Velvet. Those scenes are available on the film’s new Blu-ray disc release, which streets next week, on November 8. I just watched a handful of the ‘new’ scenes, and while I haven’t yet seen them in full blu-ray resolution, what I did see suggested that the mastering and color correction all supervised by Lynch, were done with a meticulous attention to detail.
But don’t take my word for it. Below you’ll find a scene featuring Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) threatening one of his ‘friends’ as Jeffrey Beaumont and Dorothy Vallens (Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini) look on in horror. The clip is considered NSFW due to language and nudity, but given that this is a Frank Booth scene, I’m sure that does not come as a surprise.
Oh, and this features the infamous lost ‘woman lighting her nipples on fire’ moment, which Lynch has called a favorite scene. It has been discussed by many Lynch fans, but seen by few people. I’ve wanted to see this scene for many, many years. Read More »
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 »
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 »