David Lynch directs Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart and Jeanne Bates in this independent art film where a strange man in an industrial hellhole learns he is going to be a father.
The genuine nightmare. Took 5 painstaking years to make. Wrote Lynch’s ticket in independent filmmaking. Is indisputable as uncomfortable viewing. The parts that makes sense are unhinged: a histrionic dinner at the parents, a premature baby driving a couple mad with sleepless nights. Then there are the untethered bits. A sperm squashing stage show behind a radiator. The bookend in the cosmos. This is as much Ed Wood as pure art. The black and white visuals are icky – diseased, derelict. The performances are ungainly, irritating. I’ve watched this twice now. I’m more mature, more awake, I understand the themes and symbolism as well as anyone who isn’t Lynch can. But it is an abrasive experience, very few pleasures reside in it, quite a few feelings linger afterwards that nobody wants living within them. Not many movies can achieve that insemination of dread but I’m not sure what it would take for me to actively seek this out for a third watch.
Perfect Double Bill: David Lynch: The Art Life (2016)
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