In 1988, the Figaro magazine asked to a few famous directors a series of short movies, to celebrate the 10 years of the revue. The thematic : The French seen by - The movies have been released for the French revolution bicentenary.
Harry Dean Stanton,
A series of 5-minute line animations (drawn in the rough style and with the minimalist plots of David Lynch's The Angriest Dog in the World comic strip) featuring an angry and violent Neanderthal, and his family and neighbors.
An imaginative lad of about ten has a couple of problems: he wets his bed, and his parents are abusive and disgusting. In a spare room, he finds a bag of seeds, which he plants in soil that he's placed in the middle of a single bed. The seed sprouts and grows into a grandmother, who's loving and approving. Life with his parents and with his imagination continues. Is a smiling grandmother enough to get him through? Written by
Stands on its own as a great, surreal and dark, short.
One of the most disturbing things i've ever seen. The actors in this film, David Lynch's third film technically, but his first narrative film, were never in any other movies - one of them, Father, died a few years ago - it is as if they exist only in the frightening nightmare world of this boy's life, which consists of two dog-like parents who only bark at him with unintelligible sounds, and beat him and rub his face in the urine when he wets the bed, like a puppy. The subject of the film (and if i don't tell you this, it'll make so little sense to you, because its never properly explained in the film) is the boy has no love from his parents, and no grandmother to give him respite from them and comfort him, so he grows one in the attic.
It is a horrifying, brilliant film, which creates an imaginative world very successfully - albeit one you desparately want to escape from as soon as possible, but it does this well at least.
The Lynchian oeuvre is almost fully formed here, right from the start. Little dialogue, atmospheric soundtrack of constant sound effects which you find in Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr; impressionistic approach to performance and makeup/costume and sets; the quality of estrangement in the direction, and most importantly there is the union of terrible, twisted darkness and optimistic naivety (developed to the full in Blue Velvet and Mulholland Dr).
For Lynch fans, this is a thing to see. Unlike Six Men Getting Sick or The Amputee, this is not just an experiment or an early film of a Director that ruins your impression of them, it stands on its own, irrespective of Lynch's subsequent work (though it also sets the tone for his subsequent narrative work) as a great surrealist/impressionist narrative short.
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