David Lynch has taken time out of destroying our minds with some of the most complex and rewarding (and downright fucking weird) cinema ever; to destroy our minds with an album called ‘Crazy Clown Time”. I’ll let that sink in for a second.
The first offering was a ditty called “Good Day Today”, a hypnagogic mix of Scandinavian electro and liberally vocoded vocals. A lovely song - but hardly the auditory equivalent of a 3ft spermatozoa.
The title track, ‘Crazy Clown Time’ is something more along the lines of what you’d expect; a crepuscular shuffle down the alley of ‘Let Love In’ era Nick Cave. It lurches and creeps its way along much like the narrative of Lynch’s films.
So in honour of this imminent release, I’ve compiled five of what I think are the most memorable scenes from some of Lynch’s films.
Eraserhead (1977) – In Heaven Everything is Fine
Which scene could I possibly chose from Eraserhead? A shitting chicken on a plate? Henry slicing up his deformed reptilian baby with scissors to an explosion of pus? No. I decided on what is the most eerily beautiful moment of the film, the lady in the radiator, and what is one of my favourite musical moments in any film. Lynch has stated that no one has ever come close to his interpretation of Eraserhead, but to me it’s about the terror of becoming a parent – fear of inadequacy and bad family traits being passed on. This scene takes Henry away from all that, to a lady in a radiator, who sweetly tells him that it’ll be OK, because ‘In Heaven, Everything is Fine’.
Blue Velvet (1986) – Frank Takes Jeffrey On A Joyride
Even though Blue Velvet’s stellar cast includes Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern – it’s Dennis Hopper’s portrayal of the psychopathic Frank that really makes the film. He steels every scene with levels of unpredictable insanity that top even his wildest flights of fancy in Apocalypse Now. Requiescat in pace you crazy bastard.
Inland Empire (2006) – Teaser Trailer
Now before you call ‘cheat’, I picked a teaser for two reasons. One, the film’s narrative is a loose patchwork of surrealist shots woven together to give some semblance of a plot – so to present a clip of that would be the best way forward. And two, I couldn’t find the clip where the women massage each others breasts then dance along to the ‘Locomotion’. So there.
Wild At Heart (1990) - Opening Scene
Hands down the grittiest opening scene in any Lynch film, and also a stark reminder that hidden among the utter trash that Nicholas Cage has made over the years - there are some gems lurking in there. I could have chosen Willem Defoe’s love letter to his manhood, the floating nighttime desert drive to ‘Wicked Game’, or Cage's monologue about his affection for Snakeskin Jackets - but this intro sets the tone for some of the most blistering and harrowing film ever committed to celluloid.
Mulholland Drive (2001) – The Cowboy
Lynch likes to re-use his actors (Laura Dern being the obvious example) and in his more recent films there is no exception. Justin Theroux (the bastard love child of Johnny Knoxville and Robbie Williams) has a hand on the nice’n’sleazy types. The kind of characters you hate out of jealousy for their charm and success. Also, the kind of characters you like to see put in their place – like in this memorable non-sequitur from Mulholland Drive.