Watching the new David Lynch doc I felt as if I was listening to an old friend I never knew I had.
Lynch recounts his life from early childhood up to Eraserhead. David Lynch – The Art Life illustrates how he became the person who is now adulated worldwide for his uncanny and uncompromising films.
Most of the film shows Lynch working on a painting, adding layer after layer of paint, and then buffing it with a sander even after he’s added a glob of gelatinous antimatter that looks like a squishy embryo.
Lynch’s narration rides over the images. There are also several shots of Lynch sitting in a chair in his workshop smoking a lot of cigarettes. This ties into a specific incident in his life where he sat in a chair for a couple of weeks only getting up to pee or eat.
Lynch appears to be an artist first and a filmmaker second.
Lynch reflects on his parents and sitting in a mud hole under a tree as a young lad with a friend. His mother was religious but never preachy, his grade school friends were of questionable ethics.
Eventually Lynch grows up and moves to Boston and then Philadelphia. In Boston, Lynch rooms with Peter Wolf who would go on to become the lead singer of The J. Geils Band only to find their friendship comes to a crashing halt one night after a Bob Dylan concert.
In Philadelphia, Lynch and his first wife Peggy Lentz make a meager living and raise his firstborn Jennifer, who herself would go on to make bizarre films like Boxing Helena.
Eventually Lynch discovers motion and his short films The Alphabet (1968) and The Grandmother (1970) get him a scholarship to the American Film Institute. The rest is history and my cursory description pales in comparison to hearing the same story as told by Lynch.
David Lynch – The Art Life unwinds this weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Saturday, May 20 at 7 pm. and Sunday, May 21 at 5 pm.
The unlikely story of an underdog who gained his fifteen-minutes of fame is told in Chuck.
Heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner went one-on-one with Muhammad Ali. Wepner was known as the Bayonne (New Jersey) Bleeder, yet you can’t knock success even at the street level that Wepner excelled at. Liev Schreiber stars in the titular role with more than superlative support from Elisabeth Moss as his first wife and an unrecognizable Naomi Watts as the object of his affection. Ron Pearlman, Pooch Hall, Jim Gaffigan, Morgan Spector and Michael Rappaport also co-star.
Wepner was the basis for Sylvester Stallone’s screenplay for Rocky although he never saw a dime from that massive Hollywood hit. The bit in the movie where Wepner finally meets Stallone is tinged with bitterness.
Wepner hits rock bottom before his life finds a purpose. The evocation of the 1970s and ‘80s rocks with great color schemes, props, cars and occasional real footage of the actual events.
Chuck opens exclusively this weekend at the River Oaks Three.