David Lynch Collection

Umbrella Entertainment / Region 4

As the man who has done more to expose the strange and dark underbelly of American suburbia, David Lynch has long been one of the most important and at the same time idiosyncratic directors so this box set looking at his work with short films over the years (as well as featuring his first feature Eraserhead and a featue length) is certainly more than welcome.

Lynch himself grew up in the kind of small town, white picket fence environment, that he likes to pick apart so much and he has often said that his child hood years were the happiest of his life but it was at art college in Philiadelphia (which he apparently hated intensely) that he first discovered film making, moving from painting to animation with his first short The Grandmother (included here). Over the next five years he continued to make shorts whilst also working on his incredible debut eraserhead, filmed in black and white (to cut down on processing costs) and telling the distinctly Kafka-esque tale of a man (with amazing hair!) looking after a small monster. Incredibly strange and also very poignant, Eraserhead can be seen at its heart as a study of someone having trouble coming to terms with impending fatherhood, the movie made a major impression on aficianados and although wasn’t widely seen at the time certainly made Lynch’s name as someone to watch out for. The collection also includes a feature length interview with Lynch on the making of the movie and the original trailer.

The Short Film Collection features 6 short Lynchian masterpieces, from his earliest The Grandmother right up to the 1980s, whilst Dynamic 01 again focuses on his short films, this time later productions including fully realised works that up to now have only been available on his website, latterly, especially over the last few years, Lynch has been devoting more and more time to internet projects including Dumbland, his startling and bizarre animation series (also featured here of course) that is drawn (very crudely in black and white line drawing style) by Lynch as well as being mixed, scored and voiced by him too.

FInally there is Lynch (one) a fantastic feature length documentary, some two years in the making, focusing on Lynch as he made his last film Inland Empire (he actually had to release this movie himself as no major studio wanted to get involved incredibly). This also includes some behind the scenes featurettes, galleries and trailers.

A fantastic collection of rarely seen material from one of America’s most individual directors. Well worth checking out.