“I discovered that if one looks a little closer at this beautiful world, there are always red ants underneath.” – David Lynch
For all the pseudo-cinephile out there now, there was a time growing up when they’d boast of watching David Lynch’s films: “You gotta check out Eraserhead asap man! It’s so fucking cool, that it might just be the best movie I’ve ever seen!”
The story further continued after watching other films from the oeuvre of the filmmaking genius. With every film, the better he got. Then there was also Twin Peaks, which he had made with Mark Frost so that he could rule the television scene too – which has since gone on and become an indelible component of modern pop-culture. So yeah, highlighting the main point: David Lynch is one incredible filmmaker.
The distinguished master of modern cinema—who for his contribution to the industry has also been called as “the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking”—is aged 74 now, and continues to make more of his trademark surrealistic, mindfucking films set apart by his characteristic dream-logic non-linear narrative.
If you’ve seen David Lynch’s cinema, you indeed have seen cinema. But sometimes, as on most times, it so happens that we just can’t get enough of the auteurs’ works and go on and complete their filmography within a couple of days. So, if you by chance happen to be among one of us, you’re in luck. For now, we’ve scorched through Netflix ourselves in finding the perfect “Lynch-Esque” movies.
Here we list the five films that David Lynch fans need to watch on Netflix now.
5 films David Lynch fans need to watch on Netflix:
5. Lucky (John Caroll Lynch – 2017)
Truth to be said, you only have to watch the trailer to get an idea of how awesome this film is. Directed by John Caroll Lynch (yep, we aren’t very sure about the possible connection here either), Lucky has the legendary Harry Dean Stanton playing “a 90-year-old atheist who has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment.”
Lucky lives alone in an isolated house in the small desert town of Piru, California. He drinks a glass of cold milk after his morning yoga and cigarette before getting dressed and heading out to his daily routine.
In his final onscreen role before his death at the age of 91, Stanton gives an outstanding performance in this emotionally enticing film, that is sure to get your tear ducts checked. Oh, by the way, it has David Lynch acting in it too.
4. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick – 1980)
Yep, if you’re a die-hard David Lynch fan you must be aware of the fact that one of Lynch’s favourite directors growing up was Stanley Kubrick, among others such as Federico Fellini, Werner Herzog, Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, and Jacques Tati, along with Billy Wilder. In fact, Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita was a major influence on the director growing up.
Hence, it should not come across any surprise that The Shining has firmly cemented its place in popular culture, resulting in tons of works and spin-offs influenced by the film. Almost every horror film since then has had it as their bonafide inspiration.
While there can be (and have been) numerous and varying interpretations of the film, it notably stands out for constructing up an increasingly realistic portrayal of mental-health at a time when it hadn’t been identified as a buzzword yet. The effects that prolonged solitude and loneliness can have on a man which it so chillingly shows is frighteningly accurate – perhaps now more than ever.
3. What Did Jack Do? (David Lynch – 2017)
This bizarre and totally absurd seventeen-minute short—in which Lynch plays a detective interviewing an on-the-run fugitive monkey (who might have committed a passion crime) over idiosyncratic and proverbial dialogues—might just be the greatest thing you’ll ever watch.
The film was eventually shot in 2016 and premiered on November 8, 2017, at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, as part of the launch of Lynch’s Nudes photo book published by the Foundation. Lynch had talked about the premiere during an interview with the Cahiers du cinéma recorded on October 30, 2017, and published in December: “I will be in Paris for the release of this book. I will sign copies at the Paris Photo fair. And then I will show my ‘monkey film’ at the Fondation Cartier. It’s a strange film of 17 minutes.”
2. Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy – 2019)
A mind-bending surreal horror-drama in the same vein as that of some early Lynch’s work, Velvet Buzzsaw had the Nightcrawler-duo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Dan Gilroy team up in this bloody critique/satire of the contemporary art world.
Gilroy had said of his project: “It’s set in the world of contemporary art in Los Angeles, and its got a Robert Altman-like large ensemble cast. It’s got a The Player vibe to it. There’s a large cast and we’re moving around from person to person as we move through this world. The story is being told through these different characters.”
Fun fact: David Lynch started his career as a painter, and to help support his family, he took job printing engravings.
1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock – 1960)
We really don’t need to try too hard to see the impact Alfred Hitchcock’s magnum opus has had on David Lynch’s film aesthetics and cinematic style.
One can consider that maybe the loosest connection between David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock is their approach at plotting in terms of conspiracy theories, gender, and mystery. Alfred Hitchcock is famous for his “wrong man” movies which see an everyday hero thrown into a situation of extraordinary circumstances, frequently pitting him against spies and government agencies or criminals.
Lynch, like Hitchcock, also seems to have a thing or two about blondes. In addition to these smaller coincidences and looser narrative ties, they share another similarity: the door that shouldn’t have been opened. For Alfred Hitchcock, this was never achieved to greater effect than in Psycho.