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Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1997)

From an early age, David Lynch was inspired by the arts and the warm inner glow that comes with the pursuit of creative expression. "Pretty as a Picture:The Art of David Lynch" examines how... See full summary »

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From an early age, David Lynch was inspired by the arts and the warm inner glow that comes with the pursuit of creative expression. "Pretty as a Picture:The Art of David Lynch" examines how this modern day Renaissance man makes a motion picture, and examines, through his artistic explorations, the very nature of creativity. Written by Anonymous

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14 October 1997 (USA)  »

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Connections

Features Six Men Getting Sick (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

And Still
Written by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch
Performed by Jocelyn West and Angelo Badalamenti
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Interesting for fans but a little too loose overall
27 December 2013 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

This documentary is one aimed pretty firmly at fans of David Lynch. It isn't probably going to do too much for those who are ambivalent about the director. It was made during the making of Lost Highway and features a fair bit of behind the scenes material from that film. This is a little unusual for Lynch seeing as he is usually loath to elaborate on his movies or describe the making-of process. He once said that he would never tell what it was that was used to create the baby from Eraserhead as that would render it an effect and strip it of some of its potency, which sounds reasonable enough to me. But whatever the case, it is quite interesting to see the great man in action behind the cameras here and to see some of his working practices. We also witness an on-location reunion of the Eraserhead crew, where they reminisce about the shoot.

As the title of the doc indicates, we also look at Lynch's other artistic endeavours, such as his paintings, photographs, models and furniture. It's very interesting to see this kind of stuff, and it really shows the wide range of Lynch's interests and skills. You really get to understand why his movies have a consistent look and feel, as his attention to detail is huge. The furniture he made for Lost Highway being a case in point. Similarly, his work with Angelo Badalamenti on the music is key. He has always had a specific ear for the scores in his movies and also the sound design generally. He really seems to immerse himself in this side of things it seems. Among all of this are interesting interviews with family members as well as people he has worked with on his movies. These provide an interesting view on the man.

In fairness, this is not a faultless documentary in many ways. It often feels more like a DVD extra that a true standalone piece. There isn't really a narrative to it as such and we don't even cover all of Lynch's movies up to that point. It would have been better if it had more focus on this. It's also a bit messily constructed and similar points are covered more than once. For example we have two extended parts at the beginning and near the end where we see Lynch work on the soundtrack to Lost Highway. It would probably have been better to have had just the one, as they cover very similar ground. So don't expect a definitive documentary on the great man, as this isn't it. But it is a very worthwhile one for fans and it does have some interesting bits and pieces that will stick in the mind.


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