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
Long-time Lynch collaborator Jack Nance once said that watching The Grandmother was like spending half an hour in the electric chair. Mixing live action (both colour and black & white) with animation, along with a dark & unsettling soundscape created by Alan Splet (still Lynch's sound designer today, three decades later), the film is an intensely disturbing experience.
The Grandmother deals with the story of a boy, abused by his brutal, animal-like parents, who grows himself a kindly grandmother in the attic.
Although it does suffer from a certain 'student film' feeling, this half-hour short is a must-see for all fans of David Lynch, particularly those who admire the stark & surreal world of Eraserhead. One can definitely see the genesis of Lynch's next film within it.
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