Search Results for: david lynch
If there is ever a core idea behind our modern-day celebration of Halloween it is the need to escape. We run from ourselves into masks and costumes, for one night becoming that which we wish we had been. Sometimes we choose the face of a monster, only because we as mere humans are the most monstrous creations of all. Fear of oneself is essentially fear of your seed, of your origins. No filmmaker has captured the very psychology of America like David Lynch, and even in his early student and short film work, one finds an artist digging into the depths of his psychic plane, and our own. [Read more…]
Released today on Warp Records
Film directed by Steven Ellison & David Firth
Flying Lotus, “Fire is Coming” (feat. David Lynch)
Disturbing yet mesmerizing depictions of death, decay, and deformity bestrew beloved neo-noir director David Lynch’s latest collection of multimedia paintings, watercolors, and drawings currently on display at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. This series of dark, violent, and surreal meditations on childhood and adolescence offers a rare and tantalizing peek into the celebrated film legend’s perplexing psyche. [Read more…]
Room to Dream
by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna
Random House, 592 pp., $32.00
All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. — Edgar Allan Poe
For the past forty somewhat years, David Lynch has dreamscaped a long day’s journey into night, taking audiences on a hallucinated tour through the underworld of their own splintered psyche. In a world, or perhaps I should say industry, often bereft of visionary spellcasting, Lynch has been the equivalent of a cinematic shaman, a goofball deviant in bi-polar shades, trafficking in symbols, archetypes, glyphs, images and impressions, fished out from a fathomless substratum. His oeuvre, a steam-punk Frankenstein of interchangeable parts, speaks to the savvy and glee of a mad scientist at play, while his blending of the eternal with American pop has given us a surrealistic soap-opera with an eye toward the numinous. Carl Jung eating apple pie in a diner while riffing on anima with a gum-clacking waitress named Flo; the red-jacketed ghost of James Dean partying on top of a toxic mushroom cloud while Marilyn Monroe lip-syncs “Happy Birthday” in Yiddish; a blue jukebox isolated in the desert where it serves as an altar for a congregation of devout rabbits . . . these could be dispatches from a world of Lynch’s making. [Read more…]
Kitchen Talk. A Long Smoke. A Story (of course!).
“It was dark. I mean, a moonless night, barren landscape. And suddenly the train slows, and stops. And somehow the message went out that we could disembark, go off the train, because there was an opportunity to buy some drinks. But there was no station. You come off the metal stairs on the train, and go across, dust, dust was blowing, dust was filling the air, and it was somehow warmly lilt from the interior lights on the train that was spilling out from this barren, dust-filled landscape. And there, through the dust, we saw this little stand, canvas and wood, with some small lamps around it. And as we got closer we saw bottles: yellow bottles, green bottles. The bottles were clear, but the fluid inside was green or yellow or red or violet. And it was sugar water. It wasn’t, you know, chilled. It was just absolutely the temperature of the outdoors. And for the smallest amount of money you could get a bottle of this sugar water. So I gave the man there in this small tent — moths were flipping and flying like frogs, frog moths were pulling themselves out of the earth and flying up in front of the stand, dust was blowing, it was like a mysterious strange-wind sound, and out came the tiniest little copper coin that I got somewhere, and I gave it to this man. I gave the man the coin. He gave me a bottle of, I don’t know if I got violet sugar water or what. I got this bottle. And, in addition, I got a paper, a piece of paper money — four inches by three inches — the most beautiful, intricately designed gold and green and blue, red, a piece of paper money, and the bottle, for just giving him this small copper coin. Back I went into the train . . .”
by Alci Rengifo
Madness grips the airwaves like a deafening transmission, and the overlords of the earth seem to speak in terrifyingly grim visions. Thank the gods that every age produces its own soothsayers. It is fitting, then, that just as a surreal state of affairs takes hold, David Lynch returned to us with Twin Peaks: The Return, a continuation of his landmark cult 1990s series that combined melodrama with the director’s brand of surrealist imaginings. But not only did Lynch return, he also shows himself to be fully in tune with these new dark ages. Episode 8 of the revival in particular goes beyond television or even cinema — it is one mad flow about our civilization’s communion with dark forces to unleash absolute destruction. [Read more…]
by C von Hassett
The new Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) finds David Lynch working in fresh and sublimely haunting domains, ones that pleasurably flirt or unnervingly skirt the spectral drop-offs of some charged and sinister abyss. This seems no visional or evolutional change of tack, nor does it appear, at least in these early episodes, Lynch is newly surveying unmapped terrains. Rather, there is something more elevated in this late-career landscape, and something far more intimate as well. One senses, when viewing this new series, particularly his excursions into Lynchian Other-Realms, that his articulation of these doppelgänging worlds feel more experiential than conceptual, more occupied than conceptualized.
Less dream (or dreamy) than earlier movements into surrealist expression, the first quarter of Episode 3, for instance, shows Lynch, in an extraordinary way, to be as clear-eyed and sure-footed as he’s ever been in these ghostly yet thoroughly gripping realms. It’s as if, rather than imagining, some doppelgänger of himself now inhabits these realms, sending in return faint coordinates and word; or Lynch, figuratively, has set foot in them himself, excursioned through them in a near-corporeal way, and now with intimate familiarity he is able to speak cinematically to their airy constructions, and he does this with such nuance that they feel like alternate extents of consciousness and being: expansive, elusive, wholly mercurial states of mind-borne self.
1973. David Lynch had been shooting Eraserhead for roughly one year when he ran out of cash. The film was suddenly and indefinitely on hold. It was, he says, “a depressing time.” Yet it was also at this time that the American Film Institute asked a friend of his, Fred, to shoot a test using two different black and white video stocks to determine which stock was best, because, as Lynch tells it, “they were going to buy a bunch.” Lynch says when he heard AFI was buying video tapes, “it gave me a sadness, and I worried they were going to have to change the name of the place” (from American Film Institute to American Video Institute). “So I looked at Fred, and I got an idea, and I said, um, ‘Fred, does it matter what you shoot?’ And he said, ‘Well, what are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘Could you shoot anything you want? Twice. One with one stock and one with the other, and go like that, for the test?’ And he said, ‘Well, I don’t see why not.’ So I said, ‘Could I write something and make something for tomorrow?’ And he said, ‘Okay.’”
That evening Lynch wrote The Amputee. The next day he shot this video:
Works On Paper And Sculpture Art Los Angeles Contemporary / Kayne Griffin Corcoran By Christopher Michno
At this year’s Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the international contemporary art fair of the West Coast, the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran devoted its booth to a display of 46 works on paper and two mixed media sculptures by David Lynch. The four day affair, running January 26-29, 2017, offered a dense sampling of the 70 year old artist’s drawings and watercolors, the majority of which were dated from 2008 through 2014. Though most of these works have been previously exhibited, it was a welcome reprise, and Lynch’s works on paper addressed threads that also repeatedly emerge in the auteur’s better known film oeuvre—the desire to probe the unconscious mind, the sense of the uncanny, the need to stare directly into the murky depths of humanity’s darkness. But as is the nature of small works on paper, they are quieter than his film work, and more reflective. [Read more…]
Riot Material Presents
Entering The Mind 3-Part Podcast
Entering The Mind 3-Part Podcast is an intimate discussion on “mind in its natural state” — what the Tibetans refer to as rigpa — and how we as meditators can recognize this already awakened mind within ourselves, then fully realize it through day-to-day practice. But the conversation is so much more than that, for it is an intimate discussion between two intimates — husband and wife duo C von Hassett and Rachel Reid Wilkie, both of whom are practitioner’s of a timeless wisdom practice known as Dzogchen, which points the meditation practitioner directly into the fertile interiors of their own mind — not the conceptual mind, which we are all too familiar with. The mind referred to here is the naturally occurring one, the innate mind, or what is known in Dzogchen as “mind in its natural state.” It has been called the awakened mind, or the fully realized one, and not only is this mind within each of us, it is also ever-so close – as close to us as our finger is to touching space. How far must we move our finger to touch space? Our own natural state is this close, and we must only turn inward to first see it, then familiarize ourselves with it, before intimately coming to know it.
The rich discussion in the series below speaks to the key concepts in C von Hassett’s new book, Entering the Mind, excerpts from which can be read here. We hope you enjoy the 3-Part Podcast, and we likewise hope you enjoy the book.
In a galaxy far, far away, a young man in a sea of sand faces a foreboding destiny. The threat of war hangs in the air. At the brink of a crisis, he navigates a feudalistic world with an evil emperor, noble houses and subjugated peoples, a tale right out of mythology and right at home in George Lucas’s brainpan. But this is Dune (2021), baby, Frank Herbert’s science-fiction opus, which is making another run at global box-office domination even as it heads toward controversy about what it and its messianic protagonist signify. [Read more…]
Reviewed by John Biscello
by Patrick Modiano
Yale University Press, 176 pp., $24.00
If there is a suitcase, forged documentation, café-life and tons of mileage accumulated tramping the streets of Paris, it’s a pretty safe guess that you are inside a Patrick Modiano novel. The French writer, whose Nobel Prize in 2014 launched him into a new stratosphere of exposure, acclaim and readership (with many of his works now having been translated into English), has been haunting a familiar path, a twilit phantom territory all his own, for the past fifty-plus years. [Read more…]
Cinema Disordinaire, aka Riot Cinema, is a uniquely selective entry of films that showcase the singular in all of cinema, the seminal, and the utterly sublime come to screen this past half century. For these particularly disordinary times, where self-isolation is our newly mandated norm, we offer up a distilled list from Cinema Disordinaire’s five-decade accounting. These are must-see films — if you’re a lover of cutting-edge or entirely uncommon cinema — beginning with the latest (2019) and working backwards to high cult-bizarro, 1972. Soderbergh’s Contagion, the current streaming darling of this moment, is surely not amongst these greats, but an infectious strangeness runs throughout them all. They are, in other words, Riot Material’s favorites, offered up for those with a latently wicked heart. Below you’ll find links that take you to the original reviews of each film. Enjoy: [Read more…]
Jonathan Glazer emerges every so often with work that above all is constructed by a powerful aesthetic. More than narratives, what Glazer crafts are images combined with soundscapes which immerse the viewer in moments of dread, hallucination and discovery. Moments which could have the feel of a common day action suddenly take on a dreamlike ambiance. In Glazer’s underrated 2004 film, Birth, Nicole Kidman plays an upper class New Yorker confronted with the possibility that a young boy is her reincarnated husband. His 2013 Under the Skin finds a silent woman played by Scarlett Johansson, an extraterrestrial in human form, drives through grey streets seeking male prospects for the purpose of consuming their physical essence for an unclear plan. In both films familiar settings, whether upscale dinner parties or gritty alleyways, are touched by extreme possibilities. But how does the artist respond to the world when it actually does become extreme? [Read more…]
Laura Krifka enjoys doing things she is not supposed to do. Having absorbed the tenets of neoclassical painting, she bypasses high-minded seriousness by adding a candy-coated veneer of hyper-artificiality adopted from 1950s MGM musicals to the domestic decor of private scenes she then undercuts with a deviant sexual subtext recalling David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This irresistible mix of dexterity, decor, decorum and deviance makes viewing her paintings a guilty pleasure — rather like sneaking into a peep show or secretly spying on neighbor’s forbidden acts. We can view the conventions of art, cinema and domestic life through a bemused female gaze with no-holds-barred on taking delight in human foibles. [Read more…]
Reviewed by Brad Sanders
Lao horror director Mattie Do makes films where the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is permeable, but the people who pass through it often pay unimaginable costs for the privilege. In her debut feature Chanthaly, the title character can communicate with her dead mother, but only when she forgoes the heart medication that keeps her alive. Do’s second film, Dearest Sister, features a young woman who begins to see the spirits of people who are about to die, but only after she develops a degenerative eye disease. Engaging with the ghosts turns her into a vessel for winning lottery numbers, but it also sends her into debilitating seizures. The Long Walk (2019), Do’s third collaboration with her screenwriter husband Christopher Larsen, gives its lead spirit medium the most complicated risk-reward analysis of all. Taken as a loose trilogy, the films do nothing less than invent a Lao national horror cinema. [Read more…]
An animated movie by GKIDS Films about one of the great iconoclasts and rebels of the cinema is fittingly surreal when the subject in question is Luis Buñuel. The Spanish master has been conjured in numerous films about other people over the years, from his comic-light appearance in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris to Little Ashes, an altogether not uninteresting drama about Buñuel’s broken friendship with Salvador Dali. That, too, was a surreal experience in that Dali was interpreted no less by Robert Pattinson. I have to report, however, that this new animated feature, Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles, is till now the best dramatization of Buñuel’s early years, since it’s illustrated approach is free to imagine the master’s mind as a landscape of distorting dreams while still wisely interpreting the world around him. Director Salvador Simo also understands something elemental about Surrealism as a movement: that it was not simply about trippy images but, perhaps more so, about the revolutionary transformation of life and the world. [Read more…]
It is the cinema which chronicles the passions, nightmares and dreams of an era. To look back at the movies of any given decade is to peer into the very fabric of an age’s consciousness. We are currently living through a period of historical transition, a moment Gramsci would recognize as a moment when an old world is beginning to die and what will come forth we do not yet know. Paris is burning, new parties worship the cult of blood and land. This helps explain why much of the year’s defining cinema obsesses itself with the past, the present and an aching uncertainty over what is to come. Yet some movies were also full of hope and tenderness, wisdom and the reverie of romance. I spent much of this year in darkened screening rooms all over Los Angeles. Whether in a hidden corner of Rodeo Drive or in some distant multiplex in Burbank, I found myself moved, exhilarated or challenged with despair. Here are ten offerings which defined the year in film, and crystalize our place in this current passage of time. [Read more…]