Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Auteur Spotlight: David Lynch

with 2 comments

David Lynch, like many burgeoning directors, started his career making short films. From 1966-1974, he created four of film history’s most memorable shorts, leading up to his breakout, oft-critiqued feature, Eraserhead (1977). His style is defined by the dark, the grotesquely physical, and the bizarre. Many of his shorts included animation. Sound and music for films was also of utmost importance to the paranoia-filled atmosphere of his works. The dark and the bizarre were aspects he would carry over to his television show, Twin Peaks, which aired for two seasons in 1990 and 1991.

Previously, I have analyzed his short The Grandmother (1970) for your reading pleasure.

His other shorts, including Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Times) (1966), The Alphabet (1968), The Amputee (1974), and The Cowboy and the Frenchmen (1988) (a special case, originally aired on TV) all follow his particular brand of anti-Hollywood cinematic dread. Lynch chooses to subvery normal Hollywood narrative structure. Six… and The Amputee could be gallery installations, with their cyclical narrative structure. The soundtracks in those as well as The Alphabet are meant to put the audience on edge, seeking comfort in a tidy ending and receiving none. David Lynch’s unique brand of filmmaking – his Lynchness, if you will – has had a profound impact on film and television today, and I hope he continues to make films that both inspire and creep us out.

I want to leave you with The Cowboy and the Frenchman, my favorite off The Short Films of David Lynch anthology, for its lighthearted bizarro and marked contrast to The Grandmother. I hope you enjoy!

You can find information on David Lynch’s shorts and features here!

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2 Responses

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  1. Videos don’t work anymore! 😦

    Gemma

    October 9, 2011 at 6:41 am

  2. Hi can you help me? I googled:- ‘Harry Tuttle- review of Pans Labyrinth symbolism’, because I’d been looking for a deep investigation of the symbolism of this film, & was recommended Harry tuttle’s one. When I googled, your site came up, with the words (aprox) as follows;- ” May 7th 2011-Harry Tuttle wrote an excellent review of Pans labyrinth…”
    So I got onto your site, & am faced with a picture of David Lynch & a paragraph or 2 about his early short films, plus a vid of one of them, and other filmaker maverick articles.
    I’m glad to discover your site by accident- really like the content, and will save it.
    But I can’t find my Harry Tuttle piece. Please excuse if its obvious and I can’t see it- could you tell me how to locate it on your site,
    Yours sincerely,
    Sooz,

    Susan James

    February 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm


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