David Lynch’s early short film

In the context of my research of surrealist Wilhelm Freddie, I started looking at other artists working in the surreal field. It surprised me that many very different artists have/had a connection to Surrealism. One of the general themes in Surrealism is subconscious.
André Breton (founder of Surrealism) highlighted in The first Surrealist Manifesto: “The importance of the dream as a reservoir of Surrealist inspiration.”
Dreams have been used, and are still in use, as a direct inspiration source; to image creation and storytelling.

I heard a lecture in Cinemateket CPH about David Lynch’s early short films. The speaker was the Danish David Lynch-expert; Andreas Halskov. He presented Six Men Getting Sick (1966), The Alphabet (1968), and The Grandmother (1970).
David Lynch started his art career as a painter; he got experiences of sound and movement while painting. That’s what turned him in the direction of filmmaking; he wanted to see moving painting.

Six Men getting sick:
First animation.
Animated Painting which should be seen six times after each other.
The film is about illness. “The illness that has to leave the body” is a key element in Lynch’s film.
The inspiration from other painters came among others from Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper, and René Magritte.


The Alphabet:
Animation and live action
Inspiration comes from his nice having a nightmare where she repeated the alphabet over and over.
Human voices make almost all sound/folio. A statement takes focus: Please remember you are dealing with the human form!

The Grandmother (1970):
Animation and live action
A boy cultivates a grandmother out of his bed.
It is an avantgardistic film having a blurry border between dream and reality.
The dialog is not meant to be understood. The folio sound is distorted, and the atmosphere sounds deep and creepy in combination with tinnitus sounding insects.


When the Danish Broadcast showed Twin Peaks in the early nineties, I was like many others hypnotized by the film’s sound and images, the storytelling and the mood. I just listened to the soundtrack an hour ago, and it brings me back to the house and the people I was living with at the time.
One of the recurring scene in the series; Agent Cooper’s dream, is still standing strong in my mind; a dwarf speaks and moves awkward in a red room together with Laura Palmer’s cousin. Agent Cooper appears paralyzed in his armchair. Each time, he comes to this scene, he will get a cryptic message from the dwarf.