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REVISITING DIRECTOR DAVID LYNCH'S BODY OF WORK

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2008 05:07pm | Post a Comment
eraserhead
Ever since recently receiving word that film director David Lynch would be visiting Amoeba Music Hollywood today (6:30PM but get there a little early) for an in-store signing in celebration of the release of the recommended new nine disc DVD box set collection David Lynch The Lime Green Set, I decided to do a little digging in the crates and host my own personal David Lynch film fest: going back to re-watch many of the living legend's classic creations, most of which I hadn't seen in many years.

I watched several episodes of the early nineties show Twin Peaks (which was executive co-produced by Lynch along with Mark Frost), Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Wild At Heart  -- all of which combined, I know, really only scratch the surface of this fine film-maker's body of work. But still it was enough of a refresher course to give this Amoeblogger a proper dose of the heart and soul of the artist behind these brilliant works.

I guess in retrospect what is foremost so striking about the 1990/91 ABC TV series Twin Peaks, to which the 1992 David Lynch film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was a sequel of sorts, is the fact that it even made it onto network TV in the first place, and managed to last two seasons at that. It was not your typical mainstream TV fare by a long shot but like any of the best TV shows it was addictive viewing for those who got it. I guess that is the key to all of Lynch's work: you have to appreciate all of his nuances and to fully dispel everyday reality & allow yourself to submerge deep into Lynch's world -- typically a slightly surreal parallel universe that summons blue velvet by david lynchup the place of dark dreams we've all experienced at sometime --  to really get and to fully appreciate the magic David Lynch manifests on the screen. 

And 1986's Blue Velvet is the perfect starting point. The things that stuck with me from first viewing this film all those years ago were the overall darkly seductive mood and vibe of the film, the soundtrack song from which it gets its title (Bobby Vinton's 1963 hit single), and the standout performance of Dennis Hopper as the twisted and deranged Frank Booth character he plays to perfection. But the image forever ingrained in my brain from first viewing Blue Velvet was that of the severed human ear found in a field, around which the mystery film is based. And on second viewing all these elements, like the film itself, stood the test of time: just as great and weird and engaging as the first viewing. I had the same experience re-watching 1990's Wild At Heart.

Even more enjoyable on the recent repeated viewing was Eraserhead, Lynch's breakout 1977 horror flick that continually grows in cult status over time. What really impressed me most this time rewatchiwild at heartng the black & white film was how equally powerful its soundtrack is. And by soundtrack I don't mean the very occasional pieces of music (like when actor Jack Nance as printer-on-vacation Henry Spencer puts on a record while waiting in the living room) in the film but the actual soundtrack as in every single sound in the film, which is so powerful in and of itself (kinda like some dark industrial music) that it can be fully enjoyed by isolating it (only listening, not watching) and playing it back individually. 

Not surprisingly all of Lynch's later films had music soundtracks that were not an afterthought (like so many movie soundtracks) but rather carefully chosen pieces of music that were integral parts of his films. 

Below is info on the contents of the new Lynch box-set plus some trailers for the films Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, & Eraserhead plus the director at a Q&A answering a question about film-making as therapy.

If you are in the Hollywood/LA area and can make it over to Amoeba by 6:30PM today (Tuesday Nov 25th), get over there and meet this living legend.


 
 

 

Note that for today's (11/25) Amoeba Hollywood signing by the director, due to anticipation of a large group of Lynch fans showing up, there are some justified rules & regulations in place: The signings are limited to purchasers of the new box set or of one selected Absurda Studio title -- all of which are available today at Amoeba. The Absurda Studio titles that are available for purchase/signing for today's instore include the Eraserhead DVD, Inland Empire DVD, Dumbland DVD,
Lynch (One) DVD, Short Films of David Lynch DVD, Polish Night Music CD, Eraserhead soundtrack CD
Twin Peaks soundtrack CD, and the Ghost Of Love EP CD.

CONTENTS OF THE 9 DVD & BOOKLET:
DAVID LYNCH THE LIME GREEN SET:

ERASERHEAD - REMASTERED VERSION
ERASERHEAD SOUNDTRACK
THE SHORT FILMS OF DAVID LYNCH
THE ELEPHANT MAN
THE ELEPHANT MAN EXTRAS - DVD DEBUT
WILD AT HEART, INDUSTRIAL SYMPHONY No. 1 - DVD DEBUT
BLUE VELVET - NEW LYNCH APPROVED 5.1 SOUND MIX
DUMBLAND, MYSTERY DISC - DVD DEBUT
INCLUDES 32 DELETED OR EXTENDED SCENES FROM WILD AT HEART
40 PAGE COLLECTORS PICTURE BOOK.

Relevant Tags

Blue Velvet (1), Wild At Heart (2), Amoeba Hollywood (406), Eraserhead (3), David Lynch (23)