David Lynch Releases Short Film Fire on YouTube

David Lynch has taken time out from talking about the weather on YouTube (there's no joke there; that's actually what one of the world's greatest directors is doing amid the pandemic lockdown) to share a short film, Fire, which he has been talking about for years. Indulging his love for animation as well as the grainy, black-and-white celluloid and instrumental vibe that Twin Peaks fans will remember from that show's third season on Showtime, Lynch delivers a nearly 11-minute anddistintly Lynchian "theatre" experience from the comfort of your home. The short was written, drawn, and directed by Lynch, with animation by Noriko Miyazawa and music by Marek Zebrowski.

The film was made -- which we know both from the copyright date and from previous interviews -- in 2015. The idea was to collaborate in a vacuum -- something many artists are being forced to do in the age of COVID-19.

You can check it out below.

"The whole point of our experiment was that I would say nothing about my intentions and Marek would interpret the visuals in his own way," Lynch said in 2015 (via the USC School of Music). "So I say it was a great, successful experiment, and I loved the composition Marek wrote for the Penderecki String Quartet."


"I thought it was a very melancholic film in a certain sense and also very poetic," Zebrowski said at the time. "Without trying to be too explicit, I tried to illustrate further what David was doing. For example, there is something that looks like a hailstorm and I used a lot of pizzicato, but I also used a soaring melodic line to add a lyrical element to it."

This kind of imagery has followed Lynch throughout his entire career. The kind of bizarre and disturbing imagery, with shaky, grainy camera images and atmospheric scoring, that you see in Fire has been a part of the Lynch vernacular at least since Eraserhead, the movie that made him a breakout success in 1977. While he has sometimes made efforts to "go mainstream" and made films palatable to the masses, for the most part, Lynch's success has come from doing what amuses David Lynch, and letting everyone else catch up with him. It's often said that Twin Peaks was ahead of its time, but by the time "peak TV" caught up to the series and Showtime offered him a third season, Lynch wanted to make something that barely resembled the original, getting bolder, weirder, and more experimental.

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