FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Nov 21, 2008

my new obsession

Though it may be old news to you, I was only recently turned on to David Lynch's contribution to the Lumiere and Company project, this extraordinary short:



The project involved handing the Cinematographe camera to 41 filmmakers, who then had to produce shorts following several rules:

1) The short could be no longer than 55 seconds
2) No synchronized sound
3) No more than three takes
4) Natural light only
5) No editing between scenes

I'm just so taken with Lynch's effort. The music and sound effects (wings?) are haunting, the subject matter is horrifying, and there's more of a wallop packed into 55 seconds than most filmmakers can manage in 90 minutes.

I would love to see Lynch tackle some straight-up horror. Sure, his work tends to have elements of the genre, but what could he do with something like The Shining? Or Silent Hill?

Lynch talks a bit about Lumiere and Company here.

15 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

From his roots with Eraserhead and The Elephant Man, it is clear that Lynch can at least do horrifying. Horror would be seem to be a natural next step.

PS - Love your blog.

Theron said...

He's such an amazing filmmaker. He has such a strong visual sensibility.

bill r. said...

Earl - Oh, Lynch has made plenty of horror films already. Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive...strong arguments could be made for Eraserhead and Inland Empire, too.

jackie said...

I find the Lynch films the most horrifying--a zombie I'll most likely never see but I could possibly intersect with a Frank...(shiver)...

Voodoun Romance said...

I heart David Lynch for Elephant Man and Eraserhead.

However, the sleaze in me hearts him even more so for Mulholland Dr.

when is evil cool? said...

i understand the obsession. i've just watched it 10 times in ten minutes. the shadow in the window at the end. try watching it with headphones on.

Bill Walsh said...

That's a terrifically weird piece of film. As WIEC? notes, one of the most eerie bits is the woman's shadow on the windowshade—or the person outside? With natural lighting the latter would generally be much more likely, but, it moves with her very well. Actor outside mimicking her movements? Does the husband cast a visible shadow?

Anyway, very nightmarish. I actually think the scene with the three women in the weird bower-like environment is one of the most gripping.

Thanks, Stacie.

JA said...

I can't stop watching it either! It's so deeply unsettling. Thanks for posting this, Stacie; I'd known of it's existence but kept not seeking it out. The way the doorway goes practically black at the end is what gets me... shudder...

Smogo said...

Fire Walk With Me *is* Lynch's take on The Shining: a domestic drama gone horrifyingly wrong.

Mikey Filmmaker said...

Don't know where you or any of your readers live, but David Lynch will be doing a signing at Amoeba Records in LA on Tuesday. I think I'm going to check it out.

Dave Ehrlich said...

The music and the sound effects really create a great feeling of total dread and unease. I think I need to experience that again. Thanks for posting this...

Dan North said...

I don't mean to be the one to quibble, because I think it's an amazing short, certainly the best of all the Lumiere and Company films, but it does break all the rules of the task. Unless there's a very elaborate multi-set arrangement in the same location, this looks like it has multiple set-ups and some in-camera cuts.

Can any elaborate on what it might be depicting? I just watched it on my lunch hour and I'm feeling a bit haunted now...

Stacie Ponder said...

I think it's just your average, run-of-the-mill alien abduction. The girls, out enjoying their day, disappear. They're zapped up to the ship, experimented upon, killed, and zapped back. The cops find the bodies and inform the worried parents, but no one will ever know what actually happened to them.

Dan North said...

Thanks, Stacie. That seems precise enough, though I didn't see them as aliens - maybe I need to see it on a bigger screen again. Lynch seems to deal more usually with earthly sources of evil and horror (Eraserhead possibly excepted), so he doesn't normally take the safe route of attributing stuff to dudes from outer space. They look like Victorian scientists to me....

I'm still intrigued by how he might have done it without edits. It's possible that there were no cuts, and I love the use of overexposure or darkness to move between scenes, but the camera has certainly been stopped at some points. The Cinematographe was hand-cranked, so you could control the speed (at point of recording or projection) and wind it back for double exposures. The sad thing is that Lynch has pledged never again to work with film: he's clearly made the best possible use of its unique capabilities here.

Dale said...

Dan, it's hard to see, but they all look identical to me, and seem to have bumpy foreheads too.

I love the slow organ-y music, it's very creepy and adds such a feeling of dread.