The Alphabet (1968) - News Poster



Rushes. Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread", Kodi's Piracy, Ozu's Essays

  • MUBI
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.Recommended VIDEOSPerhaps you haven't caught it by now, or simply need reason to watch it again: the first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and set in the 1950s London fashion scene.Independent filmmaker Zia Anger, whose provocative short work we're big fans of, offers a stunning video for Zola Jesus' new single.Kinet, the online avant-garde publishing platform co-programmed by Mubi's Kurt Walker, has released their seventh program in the form of an ambitious Halloween-themed omnibus film entitled Aos Sí. It includes new films by Gina Telaroli, Raya Martin, Sophy Romvari, Neil Bahadur, Walker, and many more.At the Toronto International Film Festival, we loved Louis Ck's I Love You Daddy, a dark comedy of artistry and perversion. The film, Ck's first since Pootie Tang, shot
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Review: “David Lynch—The Art Life” (2016; Directed by Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, Olivia Neergaard-Holm); Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Portrait Of The Artist As A Young And Old Man”

By Raymond Benson

David Lynch is today’s foremost surrealist. In many ways, he has taken up the mantle begun by those artists of the 1920s who attempted to present in tangible, visual forms the juxtapositions, bizarre logic, and beauty/horror of dreams. Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Man Ray, Germaine Dulac, René Magritte—to name a few.

Most people know Lynch from his films, but as this thoughtful and insightful documentary reveals, he is and has always been primarily a painter. Lynch began his career in the “art life” studying and practicing fine art… and he sort of fell into filmmaking along the way. Even today, despite his recent foray back into television with Twin Peaks—The Return on Showtime, Lynch spends most of his time in his home studio drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and painting.

The film is narrated
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David Lynch: The Art Life Review

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Daniel Goodwin

“You have to sometimes make a huge mess and big mistakes to find the thing you are looking for,” an at ease David Lynch imparts while painting and smoking in a sun soaked yard as his young daughter swirls about before him. In David Lynch: The Art Life, the genius artist/director reflects on his early years, recalling childhood memories, troubled youth and identity crisis’.

Combined with insights from the man himself, Director Jon Nguyen captures petite ticks, character traits and scenes which shed light onto Lynch as painter/film-maker and old/young man. New filmed footage of Lynch tearing up a croissant and staring curiously at a stick as though seeking inspiration, is both endearing, wry and enlightening, alongside his stories of infancy (playing war) and the living “hell” of adolescence due to routine intestinal spasms and living with a conflicting personality.

What isn’t explored
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Untold stories, part 1 by Anne-Katrin Titze

Jon Nguyen on first meeting David Lynch: "In Poland, when he was making Inland Empire." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Connecting a Mr Smith in Boise, Idaho, to Winkie's diner, splitting Naomi Watts in two, a Bob Dylan memory turned into Jeanne Bates and Dan Birnbaum coming out of a bag, and The Cowboy Monty Montgomery in Mulholland Drive, the air in Eraserhead, a Blue Velvet moment, the lines of Lost Highway, David Lynch's daughters Lula (Laura Dern's name in Wild At Heart) and Jennifer (voice in The Alphabet, starring Peggy Lynch) as bookends, cinematographer Jason S on call to film Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes and Olivia Neergaard-Holm's David Lynch - The Art Life - all this and more came into my conversation with one of the directors.

On Mr. Smith: "I think the only person that knows is David. Just as he's the only one who
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Criterion Reflections – Short Films of 1968

Last night, at the end of a busy week at work when I was just in the mood to hang out at home and unwind a little, I decided that it was a good time for me to wrap up my viewing of Criterion ’68 by ingesting an assortment of short films that had accumulated, like the last crumbs of cereal at the bottom of the bag, in my chronological checklist of films that I’ve been blogging about over the years. It was a suitable occasion for me to fully immerse myself into what turned out to be a festival of random weirdness. My wife, recovering from a bout with illness, was feeling a bit better but wanted to find a productive use of her time with the resurgence of energy, so she kept herself busy by working on a new quilting project. That left me free to indulge without
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Criterion Collection: Eraserhead | Blu-ray Review

There was a time, not very long ago, when obtaining a decent copy of David Lynch’s first masterpiece, Eraserhead, was problematic. Selected in 2004 for preservation in the National Film Registry, nearly four decades of overriding nearly every other piece of flotsam and jetsam comprising the cult classic continuum, one of the most exquisite directorial debuts of all time gets a lavish Criterion Collection treatment. A film whose aural devices equal its bizarre and unforgettable visuals, outside of a theatrical screening, it’s the definitive way to experience this dream of dark and troubling things.

To outline the narrative of Eraserhead feels rather reductive since the film is a visual and auditory experience that requires first hand exposure. But, basically, it’s about a guy named Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) who is forced to marry a neurotic girlfriend, Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) because she gave birth to a creature/baby he impregnated her with.
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Review: David Lynch's "Eraserhead" (1977) Criterion Special Blu-ray Edition

  • CinemaRetro
Eraserhead” (Directed by David Lynch, 1977)

(The Criterion Collection)

Everything Ugly Is Beautiful

By Raymond Benson

One of the many excellent supplements that appear on this disc is a rare video interview from 1979 with David Lynch (and cinematographer Frederick Elmes). For those of us who have aged along with the director, it is a striking glimpse at a young artist at the beginning of his strange and wonderful career. In it, he explains that he is attracted to sometimes harsh, oppressive settings, such as the nightmarish industrial cityscape in Eraserhead. “What everyone else finds ugly, I find beautiful,” he says proudly. And the director has pretty much remained true to his word, hasn’t he?

Eraserhead is a landmark picture, but its original release in 1977 was slow to reach an audience. It gained its must-see reputation only after the film was picked up to run on the midnight movie circuit that
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8 Restored Images From the Criterion Release of David Lynch's 'Eraserhead'

8 Restored Images From the Criterion Release of David Lynch's 'Eraserhead'
At last, on Tuesday September 16, David Lynch's iconic artifact of the unconscious "Eraserhead" -- long in the Janus Films archives -- gets the Criterion Collection Blu-ray treatment. Accompanying the 1977 classic will be Lynch's eerie short films "Six Men Getting Sick" (above), "The Alphabet," "The Grandmother," "Premonitions Following an Evil Deed" -- a Lynchian title if there ever was one -- and more. Here are eight spooky images from the newly burnished shorts, all presented in new transfers and of course supervised by Lynch himself, who was closely involved in the vibrant Blu-ray restoration of "Blue Velvet." Will we ever see "Mulholland Dr" on Blu-ray in the Us? "Inland Empire"? "Lost Highway"? Various region-free versions float the Amazon Marketplace, but Criterion has teased a possible "Mulholland" Blu-ray in the past. We shall see. You can watch the shorts on Hulu here,...
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Criterion to Release David Lynch's Eraserhead on Blu-ray & DVD September 16th

David Lynch’s 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead, is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes and Herbert Cardwell, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey remains one of American cinema’s darkest dreams. Director-approved Edition: ● New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray ● “Eraserhead” Stories, a 2001 documentary by David Lynch on the making of the film ● New high-definition restorations of six short films by Lynch (all with video introductions by Lynch): -- Six Men Getting Sick (1967) -- The Alphabet (1968) -- The Grandmother (1970) -- The Amputee, Part 1 and Part 2 (1974) --...
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: Eraserhead

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 16, 2014

Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Jack Nance stars in David Lynch's Eraserhead.

David Lynch’s (Blue Velvet, Dune) 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead, is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey remains one of American cinema’s darkest dreams.

Yeah, yeah, we’re just running Criterion’s press release write-up for the film but, jeez, there’s been so much said about it over the years, that we’ll wait for our review to lay on some editorial gravy…!

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD releases of Eraserhead contains the following features:

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray

• “Eraserhead” Stories, a 2001 documentary by David Lynch on the making of the film

• New high-definition restorations
See full article at Disc Dish »

Eraserhead Makes Its Way into the Criterion Collection

One of the most prestigious honors a film can receive is to be added to the Criterion Collection, which solidifies a movie's status as an important piece of cinema. At long last the honor has been bestowed upon David Lynch's Eraserhead, and we've got all the release details on tap for ya today!

Hitting both DVD and Blu-ray, the Criterion release of Lynch's 1977 feature debut comes our way courtesy of a brand new 4K digital restoration with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

As always, a handful of new special features will be included on both discs, and you'll find a full listing below along with the cover art.

In the film Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is left alone in his apartment to care for his deformed baby and has a series of strange encounters with the beautiful girl across the hall and the woman living in his radiator.
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September Criterion Releases Include Lynch's 'Eraserhead,' Polanski's 'Macbeth' & Horror Classic 'The Innocents'

It's the middle of the month, and we know what that means. Well, for us, it means realizing we have $70 to last us until payday, but for the more frugal cinephiles among you, it means that it's time for Criterion to announce what they've got coming up three months down the line. And once more, there are some treats in store. Kicking things off, and certainly the headliner, is David Lynch's seminal 1977 first feature "Eraserhead," the first of the director's features to make the collection. The film will be displayed on a new 4K digital restoration, along with new restorations of six Lynch shorts (1966's "Six Figures Getting Sick," 1968's 'The Alphabet," 1970's "The Grandmother," 1974's "The Amputee Part 1 and 2," and 1996's "Premonitions Following An Evil Deed," plus interviews and a 2001 documentary by Lynch called "Eraserhead Stories." So yeah, pretty much a must buy when it lands on September 16th.
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Criterion Announces David Lynch's 'Eraserhead' and Polanski's 'Macbeth' for September 2014

David Lynch fans are certainly getting a treat as of late. On July 29 Lynch's "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery" comes to Blu-ray and now Criterion has announced come September 16, Lynch's Eraserhead will be released on Criterion DVD and Blu-ray. The Eraserhead release will include a new 4K digital restoration of the film, a 2001 "Eraserhead" Stories documentary, a new high-definition restorations of six short films by Lynch including Six Figures Getting Sick (1966), The Alphabet (1968), The Grandmother (1970), The Amputee, Part 1 and Part 2 (1974) and Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1996), all of which include a video introductions by Lynch. Finally it will include new and archival interviews with cast and crew as well as the film's trailer. Also coming in September is the release of Roman Polanski's Macbeth on September 23. The release includes a new 4K digital restoration, new documentary, the 1971 documentary "Polanski Meets Macbeth" and much more. Jack Clayton's 1961 supernatural film
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Watch David Lynch’s 85-Minute Documentary About the Making of ‘Eraserhead’

Cinephilia & Beyond has quickly become one of my favourite online daily stops. Today they posted a rare, hour and a half documentary titled Eraserhead Stories, which features David Lynch reminiscing about the six years he spent putting together his first feature length film, Eraserhead. The doc itself has quite a few Lynchian qualities of its own; shot in black-and-white, and in front of a curtain, with Lynch explaining in great detail, the nuts and bolts of creating a bizarre and disturbing look into a man’s fear of parenthood. Lynch was thirty at the time of the Filmex premiere of Eraserhead and he had only two previous short films to his credit (The Alphabet, The Grandmother). Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period, Lynch’s radical feature was no easy task to shoot, but with persistence and dedication, he completed the project, and Eraserhead went on to become
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Blu-ray Review: ‘The ABCs of Death’ Mistakes Endurance Test for Entertainment

Chicago – “The ABCs of Death” may easily rank as the most repugnant two hours I’ve ever had the displeasure of being condemned to review. But don’t let that entice you, gorehounds. It’s also uninspired and thoroughly monotonous. The only thing that scared me was my realization after the first short film had ended that I still had 25 films left to go. This isn’t entertainment. It’s an endurance test.

Consider the vignette about an obese woman who decides, in a fit of depression, to slice off her fat. Her self-mutilation is juxtaposed with footage of a skinny model striking poses in a commercial. The director, Xavier Gens, cuts back and forth between the imagery with such mechanical repetition that the viewer develops a mixture of nauseation and whiplash but not, alas, fear. What a sad encapsulation of modern horror’s exceedingly sorry state. Horror used to be about atmosphere,
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The birth of ‘The Grandmother’ and Lynchian themes

The Grandmother

Written by David Lynch

Directed by David Lynch

USA, 1970

Mrs Bates lived on inside Norman’s fractured psyche.

Her continued residence compensated for the guilt her son felt following her murder. Ever present, her spectral presence kept watch in the guise of a maternal superego overlooking the Bates motel from close quarters.

Psycho was one of many Hitchcock films in which the master of suspense would allow the repressed trauma of the Real to trickle through and threaten the stability of a carefully constructed ‘reality’. Maternal anxiety would again occur in The Birds by way of its eponymous creatures wreaking havoc on the townsfolk. The verbal contract in Strangers on a Train, epitomised in the kernel of a single cigarette lighter, refused to die a quiet death. And in Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart’s Lb Jeffries saw in the apartments opposite his own – surrogate frames for the cinema
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Revisiting Lynch- Part One: Early Life, Eraserhead and Elephant Men

  • HeyUGuys
Few filmmakers have had as profound an effect on me as director David Lynch. When I was exposed to Twin Peaks during its initial run back in late 1990 my mind was blown out the back of my head by the possibilities of what film and television could be.

For many it was first seeing Star Wars and for other more recent generations it will be their first viewing of Fellowship of the Ring but for me it was the scene where an older Kyle Maclachlan speaks to a backwards talking dwarf in a red room and my life was changed forever.

As a result I have eagerly watched all of David Lynch’s directorial work many times over the years and await each new project eagerly. Sadly he seems to have slowed down somewhat from the productive decades of the 80’s and 90’s and has only directed two movies in the last ten years.
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Win a copy of the Limited Edition David Lynch Blu-ray Box Set

This is perhaps one of my favourite competitions we’ve ever run on HeyUGuys. If I could enter I would, but I can’t – but you can!

To celebrate Universal Picture Centennial Anniversary year and the release of a Limited Edition David Lynch Box Set out on 4th June, containing six of David Lynch’s classic films plus exciting never-before-seen footage, it includes classics such as Eraserhead and Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me and Hey U Guys has 1 special David Lynch Box set to give away.

I’ve copied in a list of the films and the assorted extras (gathered onto a single disc in this box set) so you know exactly how much Lynchian madness you’re getting. There are interviews, outtakes, short films and other experimentia secreted within and this is a must for fans of the director.

Here’s a list of what’s on what,
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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #113

Second #5311, 88:31

1. This frame is from around twelve seconds into a thirteen-second shot, just before the screen goes black. Jeffrey sobs. The unflinching, unmoving camera eye does not look away. There is no soundtrack. There is nothing ironic or postmodern about this moment.

2. Paul Virilio, from his book Open Sky:

‘If anyone thinks I paint too fast, they are watching me too fast,’ Van Gogh wrote. Already, the classic photograph is no more than a freeze frame. With the decline in volumes and in the expanse of landscapes, reality becomes sequential and cinematic unfolding finally gets the jump on whatever is static.

3. Rendered at a low frame rate (below) the shot in question suggests Jeffrey’s jagged brokenness. In order not to watch too fast maybe we ought to watch differently, deforming the film to correspond to its own portrayal of psychological torment and deformity.

4. David Lynch, from an interview
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Short Film Review: The Alphabet by David Lynch

Short Film Review: The Alphabet by David Lynch
Take a peek into the mind of David Lynch, to witness a world of eeriness. David Lynch is an American filmmaker known for his surrealist films. His characteristic style of filmmaking often referred to as ‘Lynchian’ is known to disturb audiences. The Alphabet is one of the early works of this three time Academy award nominated director.

The Alphabet was an experiment born out of a little girl’s nightmare. David’s then girlfriend Peggy’s niece was reciting the alphabet in her dream in a tormented manner. This gave birth to the idea of making the film. Difficult to construe, the surreal film is open to interpretation. It indicates the trauma of rote learning in schools. It conveys that learning should be a pleasant part of growing up and not become a cause for fear and nightmares.

The Alphabet combines animation with live action. The sound design is morose and dark.
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