“The Grandmother”

Directed by David Lynch

I just didn’t have time to watch Boy’s Don’t Cry today so I decided to go with something brief and light-hearted to start the weekend. With that in mind, I present to you: “The Grandmother,”* which is generally regarded as David Lynch’s first film (his previous two shorts are closer to art projects that are difficult to define). Like much of his early work, Lynch is concerned about parenthood, but this time looks at it through the lens of the child instead of the parent as he does in Eraserhead (so I read – I still haven’t found the courage to watch it). The boy, referred to as “mutt” and treated as such by his parents in the film, tries to grow a grandmother** who will offer the unconditional love he craves (I guess it’s true), much like a pet dog would.

All of Lynch’s potential as a director is on display here, but I thought the most impressive aspect of the film was its use of sound. It drives the narrative of the film almost as much as the visuals do and his ability to use a surreal and ambient sound design is second to none.

Check this one out for yourself (it’s about a half hour long) and let me know what you think. As I’ve written before, Lynch is really hit or miss for me, but I think “The Grandmother” plays to his strengths as an artist. He’s not a very good storyteller, but these kinds of shorts free him up to play around with the creepy surrealism he’s so effective with.

*Rent the DVD or watch this on Netflix Instant Viewing if you’re really interested. The image quality of this on youtube and Google Video is awful and you miss out on some important details. However, I still linked to one to give you a taste of what it’s like.

** I thought the pod she grows in looked like a cross between E.T. and Pinhead.