Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Short Films of David Lynch Part 2 (2002-2013)

Part 2 (2002-2013)

Darkened Room

Shot as an eight-minute experimental film with digital cameras that was seen on his website, the film plays into a young woman (Jordan Ladd) crying in a sofa as a Japanese woman (Etsuko Shikata) is in Tokyo talking about bananas. It’s a film that doesn’t have much plot as it would feature a brunette woman (Cerina Vincent) coming in to the room for the short’s second half. It’s a short that is quite dramatic but also has this sense of the unknown where it’s not trying to explain itself or be anything other than an experiment.


In a return of sorts to the world of animation, Lynch creates eight episodes where its entire series run at nearly 30 minutes which plays into the life of a dim-witted white-trash man named Randy. Set to crudely-drawn hand-made animation, the short series present Lynch at his most absurd in terms of just off-the-wall stupidity and low-brow humor. Yet, it is so goddamn funny into the situations Randy and his family go into involving a neighbor, a doctor, a treadmill, a clothesline, a man with a stick inside his mouth, Randy’s son having a toothache, his uncle Bob, and ants. All of which involves Randy reacting to these situations in the most idiotic way as it’s one of Lynch’s most entertaining shorts.

Out Yonder (Neighbor Boy)

In another experimental short of sorts that Lynch would make for his website, it has him and his son Austin sitting on lawn chairs observing a young neighbor who is creating a racket. It’s a short that has the two Lynches talking in squeaky voices about this gigantic neighbor who just wants milk as all sorts of craziness occurs. It’s a short that is quite simple yet it also shows Lynch’s knack for low-brow and offbeat humor as it showcases that he can find humor in not just the absurd but also in the surreal.


In a four-episode series where it’s shot entirely in a single room with only three characters, the short is a strange mix of horror, comedy, drama, and avant-garde where Scott Coffey, Naomi Watts, and Laura Elena Harring all play rabbits who converge in a single room in a wide static shot. Through some very strange dialogue, the short uses some laugh-tracks and other sound effects to play off the idea of a sitcom yet many of the things said are very dark. It’s definitely Lynch at his darkest and most surreal but certainly one of the most intriguing projects he ever did.


Made as part of the Dynamic No. 1 DVD film collection of shorts Lynch did for his website, the short is a simple story of a young woman talking about a boat as she goes on a trip with a man on this boat. Featuring the voice of Emily Stofle, the film features Lynch driving the boat himself as it has this air of hypnotic textures in the voiceover with Lynch providing pristine yet intoxicating images through the digital camera.

Bug Crawls

A digital video/animated short is a simple story that revolves around a bug crawling on top of a house just as a blimp passes by. It’s a simple 4 minute short that reveals what happens when a bug crawls over the house as it’s a short that harkens back to Lynch’s early work. Especially in what happens when a door is revealed as it’s a short with only two simple cuts and that is it making it one of Lynch’s finest works.


Lamp - David Lynch from FĂ©lix Al-karaz Al-wazir on Vimeo.

The thirty-minute short film is essentially David Lynch making a lamp where he reveals not just his meticulous approach into making the appliance but also in the craft and dedication into making the stand with the help of a tree. It’s also a short that looks into the workshop Lynch has where he does things outside of films while he would film himself doing everything that is happening. Even as he would take breaks during the making of this lamp stand.

Industrial Soundscape

This ten-minute animated short is essentially a loop where machines do the same thing to create sound textures as it is shot in an entire static shot where the only thing that changes is the sound to play into this mix of ambient and industrial music. It’s Lynch using film to display his love for music as it play into not just his own dark sensibilities but also his willingness to try different things.

Intervalometer Experiments

A trio of short films where Lynch would shoot simple things through the digital camera showcases the filmmaker once again trying to do something simple and find something entrancing. Whether it’s a room, some steps, or the sunset, it’s all shot in time-lapse presentation which allows the ordinary to become extraordinary. Even as it plays into these simple events being told in the span of a day.

More Things That Happened

Featuring 75 minutes of material that didn’t make the final cut of INLAND EMPIRE, the short is essentially a collection of scenes and outtakes that is turned into a project that is entirely its own. The material included additional subplots that related to the film as it involve Laura Dern’s Sue character and her marriage as well as insights the lives of prostitutes in Hollywood, the work of the Phantom in the film, and other aspects that relate to Sue. The scenes are interesting while as a whole film, it’s an odd and dense one that won’t be for everyone. Yet, it is still one of the most fascinating things that Lynch has ever done.


The 12-minute short film is essentially a ballerina dancing to music though the soundtrack is largely dark-ambient music that is reminiscent of the music in many of Lynch’s films. Yet, it is presented with images that are very cloudy as it dissolves over the ballerina dancing where it has this dream-like quality to the short. It is one of Lynch’s most beautiful short films as well as one of his essentials that proves he can find beauty in dark places.


A three-minute short made specifically for the anthology film Chacun son Cinema that celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Lynch’s short segment plays into a group of teens going into a movie theater. An old man would present them the film that is filled with horrifying images that comes to life as it plays into not just Lynch’s own take on horror and surrealism. While it is a very short segment, it is definitely one Lynch’s best works.

Blue Green

Made as a music video collaboration with David Vegara, the short is a simple yet offbeat short that has a child skipping around a factory while a young woman wanders around in the street and buildings. It is a short that isn’t trying to say anything yet doesn’t need any kind of explanation as it’s just Lynch being himself and having fun making a short inside a factory.

Dream #7

This 10-15 second short plays into not just Lynch’s own ideas of surrealism but also in the fact that he is willing to strange things no matter how long or how short the film is. A digital animation short involves an egg and an eye and what does it all mean? Well, does it need to mean anything? Still, it is one inventive short.

Lady Blue Shanghai

A 15-minute short made for Dior which stars Marion Cotillard as well as Emily Stofle, Gong Tao, Cheng Hong, Lu Yong, and Nie Fei. It’s a short that revolves a woman who returns to her hotel in Shanghai where she finds a mysterious blue purse not knowing where it came from as she starts to see things believing that she’s been to Shanghai before. Shot in digital video, the short has this air of beauty that Lynch is often not known for yet he manages to do so much with the film as well as flesh out a mesmerizing performance from Marion Cotillard. The short itself is truly one of Lynch’s best works.

The 3 Rs

This 65-second short that Lynch made for the 2011 Venice Film Festival is a simple short which revolves around surreal images shot mostly in black-and-white where Lynch has a man holding two rocks though people are really wondering how many rocks he’s really holding. It’s definitely in line as an avant-garde short but it offers so much more where it ranges from being scary to being comical.

Idem Paris

The 8-minute documentary short has Lynch go into the Idem Paris fine art studio print which reveals the art in making lithographic processing. Shot on high-definition digital video in black-and-white, the film is essentially a documentary with no dialogue or anything strange but rather something very straightforward about what these people do at Idem Paris. Even as these are people who work very hard at what they do and be dedicated to an art form that doesn’t require new technology as they often try to fix or refine the machines they’re using. It’s definitely one of Lynch’s best films that showcases his love for the world of art.

No matter what form David Lynch is doing, his work in short films definitely adds to his already legendary status as an artist. Whether it’s in musical performances, commercials, animation, or just something straightforward. Lynch always find something to say no matter how small or how short these films are as it is an indication of his power as a filmmaker. Even if it plays into the absurd, the fear, or just being absolutely comical as it shows why people love David Lynch.

David Lynch Films: Eraserhead - The Elephant Man - Dune - Blue Velvet - Wild at Heart - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me - Lost Highway - The Straight Story - Mulholland Dr. - INLAND EMPIRE - The Short Films of David Lynch Pt. 1 - The Music Videos of David Lynch

The Auteurs #50: David Lynch: Pt. 1 - Pt. 2 - Pt. 3 - Pt. 4

© thevoid99 2015


Chris said...

I've seen a few of these short films and the absurd and disturbing tv-show DumbLand.

I love Rabbits, very mysterious, the canned laughter gives me chills. I think it works as its own thing separate from Inland Empire. Rabbits is so vague that you can interpret it in different ways.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-DumbLand made me laugh my ass off. I love it. I like a lot of those shorts as it shows why Lynch is so fucking awesome. I hope he does more soon.