In 1995, 41 well known filmmakers, including David Lynch, got the opportunity to use the first motion picture camera, the Lumière brothers’ cinématographe. All got a single, 52 second roll of film to do with whatever they liked with the results running the gamut from Zhang Yimou’s convention thwarting joke to David Lynch’s bizarre miniature epic. But no matter who they were each filmmaker had to adhere to three rules:
- The film could be no longer than 52 seconds
- No synchronized sound was permitted
- No more than three takes
This collaboration produced the film, ‘Lumière and Company’, an anthology of these short pieces, each of which showcases the kind of creativity only strict limitations can release but it is David Lynchs that stood out.
Even in these 52 seconds, Lynch fans can spot many of the director’s signature aesthetic and emotional preoccupations. Taking place in a sinister small town in midcentury America – a realm now more closely associated with Lynch than anybody – the film drops in and out of a brief fugue of pure biomechanical grotesquerie. Some of the eerie dream – state quality comes from the genuinely old look and feel of cinématographe footage. Much more comes from the sound design which lays the music of a warped classic film score on top of the noise of aging machinery.
Let me know what you think.
Via Open Culture
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