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The Short Films of David Lynch [DVD]

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQM2WQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,040 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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By gcd on Nov. 1 2011
Format: DVD
If you're familiar with Lynch's ouevre you'll know exactly what to expect. NO surprises except the usual weirdness we've all come to demand from the Prince of Weirdo.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like everything about this product! I would definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who is a fan of David Lynch's movies, art, and/or his general aesthetic. Thanks.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
150 of 152 people found the following review helpful
Little-seen Lynch Dec 16 2005
By Garry Messick - Published on
Format: DVD
This collection of David Lynch's short films was originally only available through his Web site. This new edition is reportedly the same disc with different packaging (it lacks the oversized box and booklet of the first version), but it's considerably cheaper. You can watch each film with or without an introduction by Lynch. The films are:

SIX MEN GETTING SICK - This animated one-minute movie was Lynch's very first film. It was originally part of a multi-media piece and was projected over a sculpture on a continuously running loop. The title is an accurate description of the film, as several human heads become inflamed, catch fire, and vomit copiously. It's worth noting that, while 99.9% of movie directors become filmmakers because they're into films, Lynch came to filmmaking purely as an extension of his painting, and was never a movie buff. I think that simple fact goes a long way in explaining Lynch's originality as a director.

THE ALPHABET - A combination of animation and live action, this approximately 5-minute film is "about the fear of learning," according to Lynch. The soundtrack consists of children repeatedly chanting the alphabet, while animated letters seem to excrete and procreate and a woman in white-face cowers in a bed and eventually vomits blood (vomiting figures strongly in Lynch's early film work). It's a concentrated and eerie piece of surrealism.

THE GRANDMOTHER - A lonely, abused boy grows a grandmother from a seed in this, Lynch's first attempt at narrative (of a sort). There's some animation, but live action dominates. It's crudely made in comparison to his first feature, Eraserhead, but it's clearly the product of the same singular artistic vision.

THE AMPUTEE - Back around the time he was making ERASERHEAD, Lynch was offered some videotape for free, so he used it to shoot this short bit of black comedy. It stars Catherine Coulson (much later she became the Log Lady in TWIN PEAKS) and Lynch himself.

THE COWBOY AND THE FRENCHMAN - Made for French TV right after he finished BLUE VELVET, this is a virtually plotless exercise in comic surrealism, plopping down an absurdly stereotypical Frenchman (he wears a beret, and carries a bottle of wine and snails in briefcase) in the middle of a ranch inhabited by several stereotypical cowboys. It looks like it was mastered off a videotape source, which is odd. I wonder if the original film elements were lost.

LUMIERE - Originally titled PREMONITION FOLLOWING AN EVIL DEED, which I personally like a lot better than LUMIERE. This was made for the film LUMIERE AND COMPANY, in which acclaimed directors from all over the world were given a Lumiere camera (the very first motion picture camera) and asked to make a movie with it. Since the camera could only hold 55 seconds worth of film, the directors were retsricted to that running time. They also were not allowed to edit. If you've seen LUMIERE AND COMPANY, you know that Lynch's film is by far the most interesting and imaginative of the bunch. He ingeniously got around the prohibition against editing by constructing several sets side-by-side, and blocking the lens momentarily while he moved the camera to the next scene. The movie goes by in a flash of bizarre black and white images. Was that a naked woman floating in a huge glass tube? And what were those humanoid things and what exactly were they doing? You have to watch the film several times to begin to get a clear idea of what you've seen.

These shorts represent the more abstract side of Lynch's film work - they're much more the work of the Lynch who made ERASERHEAD than the Lynch who made THE STRAIGHT STORY. Your average Joe Filmgoer would hate them. But if you're a Lynch fan and haven't seen some or all of these films, you'll definitely want to get this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Nightmares! Dec 14 2008
By Brian Lange. - Published on
Format: DVD
What is it about old short films with grain, textures, and lo-fi sounds that make it so haunting?

I've never quite been able to state whether I love David Lynch's work or hate it. But I can't deny that he's always been intriguing. These films are quite frightening and yes, of course they're bizarre and strange. As I mentioned, the textures, the contrast, the audio, the characters and stories... all the elements combine to produce some really amazing and beautiful work. You'll get basically nothing as far as the traditional narrative here, but there is so much more to work with. If you're familiar at all with the Brothers Quay, this would be a definite buy for you.

Of the Lynch features I've seen, I'd probably say that "Eraserhead" and "Inland Empire" are the most comparable to the short films on this disc. Take it for what it's worth, could be good or bad. I think that his early work embraces the experimental, and he capitalizes on the fact he is working with a short film, not a feature. I really love these pieces, having previously only seen "Luminere"

I will assume that most people at least have some idea of what David Lynch can be like... so take that into account if buying this collection. I think the films are great, but they're definitely not for everybody. One huge attribute to this collection is the short intros given by the director before each film (option to watch with or without)

& Peggy singing the alphabet is going to give me nightmares for weeks.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A tangential opinion Feb. 20 2007
By Russell E. - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The films themselves are simple, odd and fun to watch; but the commentary by David Lynch is amaaaaaaaazing. Slow and intensely weird while at the same time, somehow, warm and educational. Lynch doesn't hold back about his beginnings, rambling on in his nostalgia. He's one of those people who make you think, "How can he be so serious about what he does?" And then, you realize, you've just been thoroughly entertained.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Whoa! Aug. 9 2008
By Private Quentin Tarantino Fan - Published on
Format: DVD
This is some pretty cool stuff by David Lynch. While I haven't been able to see Blue Velvet (already a contender to be one of my favorite movies, but I have to see it) or Eraserhead, well no matter. I have no clue about weird film directors besides Lynch, but matter not. It's some cool watching.

The short films on here are pretty great, and the Grandmother, The Alphabet (that one rules) and the six men getting sick are worth the price alone. David Lynch gives some great tricks.. I love his live action shooting in this one. It's extremely dark and his lighting is totally weird. Just check out the Grandmother, with Matt (well, that's what the parents yell, one of the only lines in the whole movie) and his creepy room, a weird looking bed in a black backdrop. Pretty cool. The Alphabet has some sinister looking faces, and is supposed to be about the life cycle (and was inspired when someone he knew was saying the alphabet in a tormented way) David Lynch does some great introductions as well. Great acting, really, just some cool stuff.

It's a great DVD. This one is just worth seeing just to see it's many cool images. A must watch, maybe not a must own, but a must watch.
The great, the good, the decent, and the not-so-good Nov. 10 2010
By Tom Benton - Published on
Format: DVD
"The Short Films of David Lynch" compiles six of David Lynch's short films. Two were made while Lynch was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. These are "Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Times)," a three-minute loop of nauseating animation and sound seemingly consciously or subconsciously designed to make the audience sick, and "The Alphabet," a disturbing, bloody incarnation of one of the former Mrs. Lynch's nightmares. "The Grandmother" is the longest of the shorts at just over half an hour, and was the first film Lynch shot at the American Film Institute. "The Amputee" features young Catherine Coulson, the Log Lady of "Twin Peaks," and was shot to test film stock while Lynch tried to secure funding for "Eraserhead." The subtle slapstick and absurdity of "The Amputee" is amusing. It's the first of the six pieces in which Lynch seems to be discovering himself as a filmmaker. Its predecessors are avant-garde bulls--t, interesting but unorganized, lacking purpose or theme, experiments in which Lynch searches for himself at the cost of emotion and humanity, those feelings which compelled his greatest works. The final segment was Lynch's contribution to the "Lumiere" project, in which filmmakers created a minute-or-so silent film in a single take on the Lumiere brothers original Cinematographe camera, the greatest cinematic technology of 1895. What Lynch's Lumiere film achieves in 52 seconds is intriguing, as well as disturbing, and surreal, even by Lynch's high standards of surrealism. The crown jewel of the collection is "The Cowboy and the Frenchman," a 25-minute short created for French T.V., featuring Lynch regulars Harry Dean Stanton and Jack Nance. Lynch's knack for comedy is often overlooked. It shines in "The Cowboy and the Frenchman," Lynch's hilariously absurd vision of the French. A scene in which Stanton's fellow cowboys unpack the titular Frenchman's suitcase is one of the most enjoyable and outrageous Lynch has filmed.