In David Lynch-fashion, we are being treated with another one of his many creative personal projects. Over the last several years, the filmmaker has released a couple of music albums, returned to his first passion, painting, and wrote and directed season three of Twin Peaks. But now he will be releasing for the first time to the public his animated short, Fire (Pozar), which has been in the works since 2015 with the musical collaboration of Marek Zebrowski.
There is a difficulty in reviewing an experimental short film like this, harkening back to his early student work like The Alphabet, which is considered more video art than short film since those pieces were displayed in art galleries. The reasoning is that we are provided a series of black and white animated imagery that will cause discussion on its true meaning. Knowing Lynch’s previous work, we understand it is all based on your personal response, as there will never be a “right” interpretation.
Since I’ve had to review many experimental pieces for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, North America’s oldest and longest avant-garde and experimental film festival, seeing something like this has me beg the question: If it wasn’t written, directed, and animated by David Lynch, would it still hold the same weight?
It is a good experimental short that offers more protein for the Lynchian purists, showcasing elements of what keeps the famed director going, his visual artwork. But my own love or admiration for his work doesn’t stop the gut reaction I had while watching, that, in many frames, I’ve seen it all before. There’s interesting components and polished artistic design, but nothing that would stand out from what a lot of art and filmmaking students are doing for their thesis projects nowadays.
I wish I had more to say on the subject and could use this opportunity to champion it, but it’s a personal project he did for himself, which he has every right to do. Maybe if it came out 40 years ago, I’d be able to highlight his artistic genius, but today, it felt like a short film from someone inspired by the early works of David Lynch.
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