• Dynamic:01 The Best Of David Lynch.com (Subversive Cinema) DVD Review

    Released by: Subversive Cinema
    Released on: January 30th, 2007.
    Director: David Lynch
    Cast: David Lynch
    Year: 2005
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    Dynamic:01 The Best Of David Lynch.com – Movie Review:

    What is Dynamic: 1? The easy answer is that it’s a compilation DVD that collects some of the short films that director David Lynch shot for his website. A few years back, he decided that he was going to create a bunch of short films using digital video, as it would allow him to work faster and on a smaller budget, and that he’d make this material available to subscribers on his website. A few years later and Subversive Cinema, who also released the Eraserhead, Dumbland and Short Films DVDs back in the early 2000s, gathered together some of these shorts and made them available to the public.

    What’s interesting about this release isn’t so much that it compiles what has, until now, been fairly exclusive content but also that it gives us a look into how Lynch works as a filmmaker by way of some introductory material from the director and a short geared specifically to show his creative process. In a sense, this is like listening to your friend who just learned how to play the guitar bang out a few songs – it may not be great, but you want to support him because you care about him and that makes it interesting to you. This is a disc for established David Lynch fans, and it doesn’t make a particularly good starting point for those who haven’t already eaten up everything the director has put out so far. For those who already know they enjoy his material, however, this release is pretty nifty…

    The Darkened Room (10:30): A Japanese woman lets us look out her window and then she talks about eating bananas. From there we see that a woman has been locked up in a room and is crying. Another woman comes into the room and we see that there’s a dummy on the floor. The second woman talks to the other woman, who is obviously still upset.

    Boat (7:15): A female narrator tells us about a trip she took on a boat, telling us how the captain of the boat (played by Lynch himself) intended to pilot it into the night. We have no idea who she is, where she came from or what she’s doing on this boat. As the boat speeds along, we see things go from light to dark a few times until they arrive at their destination.

    Lamp (30:40): The longest of the short films in this collection is also the most down to earth. Essentially, we simply watch as David Lynch works on a lamp for the better part of a day. He works various different materials into and onto the lamp, he stops for coffee, and he mixes paint. He talks about his sink and shows us his work shop and then he basically finishes the project and he’s done. If this sounds boring, it’s not – it is actually very interesting if you have an interest in seeing how his creative process works. One can easily compare the way he works this lamp to the way that he crafts his films and this is a rare chance to see how he makes things happen. It’s a little too long for what it is, but it’s quirky and amusing in its own right.

    Out Yonder: Neighbor Boy (9:40): Two older country-bumpkin types (one of whom is voiced by Lynch) talk to each other about how the neighbor boy who lives next door keeps wanting milk. This is a genuinely odd piece complete with strange animation and an unusual fake dialect that is reminiscent some of the more bizarre voice work done for Twin Peaks.

    Industrial Soundscape (10:30): There’s no real plot to this piece which, through the wonders of animation, basically just shows us how some bleak looking machinery can belch out strange music. This is really interesting for the first few minutes but it’s so repetitive that it’s hard to sit through the whole thing without wanting to stick pencils in your ears – that might have been the point. It is interesting to see how Lynch ties this short into Eraserhead.

    Bug Crawls (4:25): This animated short follows a bug that crawls across the roof of a remote building. Once he’s made his way across the roof, we get a look inside the building and find that it’s inhabited by some ominous looking machinery. The soundtrack to his one is pretty odd, giving it a very dark atmosphere.

    Intravalometer Experiments (13:30): The final film in the collection is a montage of three scenes which use time lapse photography to document the way in which three separate areas (a landscape, a set of stairs and a dining room set) change over a day’s time. The interesting part about this material isn’t how the objects move – they don’t. It’s what is surrounding them that changes and it gives this short some curiosity value.

    Dynamic:01 The Best Of David Lynch.com – DVD Review:

    All of this material was shot on digital video and then tinkered with in post-production. What we have, then, is a fairly stable image that has been manipulated in spots to get the director’s desired effect in place. Some bits look better and cleaner than others, and this is definitely on purpose. There are some mild compression artifacts here and there but other than that, everything looks fine.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is clean and clear and free of any hiss or distortion (except where things are pumped up a bit on purpose). Dialogue is easy to understand and follow. The levels are manipulated in spots for effect but for the most part there’s nothing to complain about here.

    While this isn’t a super stacked special edition, there are a few interesting extra features in here that will appeal to die-hard Lynch fans. First up, Lynch provides introductions to each of the seven short films on this DVD. He more or less just gives us the rundown on where some of the ideas came from and what he was trying to do with each short and these are actually fairly interesting. Additionally, there’s a segment included on this disc where Lynch answers questions that were submitted to him by some of his website subscribers. Again, this is worth checking out if you’ve got an interest in the man or his work as he covers some unusual ground here.

    Dynamic:01 The Best Of David Lynch.com – The Final Word:

    This is probably the worst starting place for people unfamiliar with David Lynch’s work but it’s a great little package for those who already know and appreciate his technique and his aesthetic. It’s a fairly experimental collection and one that’s probably going to alienate a few people, but these odd little short films are always interesting even if they’re not always successful.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      He loves his lamps. I love his sink.