XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => David Lynch => Topic started by: MacGuffin on May 27, 2007, 11:23:21 AM

Title: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on May 27, 2007, 11:23:21 AM

Blood and Crashes? Sounds Like Lynch 
By JOHN ANDERSON; New York Times

Regina, Saskatchewan

AS one might expect, the exploding head is going to be the highlight of the afternoon.

Since dawn, an oppressive prairie wind has been flogging the set of “Surveillance,” a shocker-thriller whose trucks, tents and cameras occupy the kind of rural road that seems to come out of nowhere, en route to nowhere else. If Cary Grant ran by, chased by a malevolent cropduster, you might not be surprised. But the energy and mood are high as the director Jennifer Lynch buzzes around the set, an Energizer Bunny doing ribald stand-up comedy.

“She’s a sailor,” said the actor French Stewart, with some admiration.

Ms. Lynch is smiling, despite the obvious pressures, which include re-establishing herself after more than a decade away from filmmaking and a disappearing act that featured years of alcohol and drug abuse. They also include getting this shot done right. Because it’s going to be done only once.

Those not taking part in the scene, including the movie’s star, Bill Pullman, stand beyond camera range, while the stunt coordinator, Kirk Jarrett, perches on the hood of a van, which itself rests atop a station wagon it’s supposed to have run over. The explosion is loud enough to send Saskatchewan’s ubiquitous striped gophers back to their burrows as the driver — a dummy, actually — loses his face amid a shower of movie blood and auto glass. In the same instant, Mr. Jarrett pitches himself through the smashed windshield. Ms. Lynch yells “Cut!” Which, at that point, seems redundant.

“Yes!” a crew member exclaims. “It blew the glasses off!” There was a wager, apparently, involving the dummy’s sunglasses. Everyone looks happy. The filming moves on. Quickly. As if the director is making up for lost time.

“Surveillance” is Ms. Lynch’s first feature project since the amputee romance “Boxing Helena” rocked the Sundance Film Festival of 1993, but despite the themes of this movie — serial murder and bad luck — she is determined to lead a production that’s blessed. A week into filming, the actor Mac Miller had an emergency appendectomy. Remarkably, he was back to work in three days, though his brief departure forced Ms. Lynch to improvise while he was gone.

“It was a big gamble,” said one of the film’s producers, Marco Mehlitz, whose Berlin-based Lago Film is behind “Surveillance.” “Jen found a brilliant way of shooting around him, adding a scene, and making sure all the angles were right. And we just got lucky.”

Mr. Miller’s absence showed that the director was not going to be stopped by mere vestigial organs, or ill Canadian winds. What she exudes, between the group hugs and raunchy jokes (usually provoked by someone pronouncing “Regina” in the local fashion, to rhyme with a woman’s body part) is supreme confidence.

“When you say confidence, my heart sort of stops,” she said later. “I think my attitude is really joy, which translates into confidence. It’s all about being surrounded by the people who are here. I know no one’s going to quit because I mess up. I think that breeds confidence. I feel safe. And I feel fortunate.”

As the daughter of the director David Lynch, she has an inherited ease around film shoots; as the director of “Boxing Helena,” she has something to prove.

An elaborate metaphor about male oppression and female sexual power, “Boxing Helena” concerns an obsessive surgeon (Julian Sand) who cuts off the arms and legs of the woman he loves (Sherilynn Fenn). Not exactly a date movie.

Even the making-of-“Helena” story, as tabloid readers might recall, bordered on the gothic: Ms. Lynch’s producers sued Kim Basinger for breach of contract after she dropped out of the project (Ms. Fenn replaced her), and the producers won. But it didn’t help the image of the film that an actress would go to such lengths to avoid it, or that some critics got in such a lather over a movie that was supposed to be a twisted fairy tale.

Janet Maslin of The New York Times called “Boxing Helena” a film “that threatens to give the concept of metaphor a bad name.” In The Washington Post, Rita Kempley called it “a luridly stylish expression of female self-loathing.” Others were more personally damning.

“I was so completely dumbfounded,” Ms. Lynch said of the response to the film. “Not that any creative medium isn’t important, but how was it possible for people to write that I didn’t deserve to be loved, or that I was a misogynist? It’s a movie, folks. It’s not like you walk into a museum and see a painter you don’t like and say: ‘You know what? That guy doesn’t deserve to be loved anymore. He’s a bad person.’ ”

Ms. Lynch fought off the memory, resting her cheek on her fist. There were Chinese characters inked on her forearm. “It says ‘live for today.’ It was the closest thing to ‘one day at a time’ they had at the tattoo shop,” she said.

Now a 39-year-old single mother of an 11-year-old girl, Sydney, Ms. Lynch had radical back surgery a few years ago and has a titanium rod implanted in her spine. “I was rear-ended at a crosswalk in L.A. when I was 19,” she said, “but after I gave birth to my daughter, the pain became impossible.

“I can tell you the reason I’m not in chronic pain anymore, and the reason I’m here making a movie, is because I got sober.”

It’s been six and a half years of sobriety for Ms. Lynch. “It’s not necessarily what anyone wants to do, but they’re not kidding when they say it’s all going to work out if you just take care of yourself,” she said. “I think being loaded puts you in a crummy mood. It just does.”

Mr. Pullman, who during an early stage of production was originally to star in “Helena” opposite Madonna, said that Ms. Lynch “never looked contrite or beaten down after any of that stuff; she just kept looking for stories.”

The one she was filming now demands as little explanation as possible to avoid plot spoilers, but it’s about a number of doomed and dangerous people — including a pair of homicidal maniacs — who cross paths as they travel what’s meant to be the flatlands of Nebraska. As any student of American mass murder will tell you, Nebraska was home to Charles Starkweather. Coincidentally, the movie Mr. Starkweather inspired, Terrence Malick’s “Badlands,” involves a flight to Saskatchewan.

In a way, Ms. Lynch is here fleeing the past, but she’s also in pursuit of something about which she has a very definite idea. “I don’t know if it’s an intuitive feeling, or the way she talks about the characters, but I feel very certain about what she’s talking about,” Mr. Pullman said. “I don’t have to ask a lot of questions, which is a good way to begin. There’s a kind of kabuki quality about this script, which is both grotesque and insane. Actors behave and say insane things, in giddy mode, or the sheerest terror. That’s what I like about it. She’s not just underlining the obvious. She’s looking for places in which human behavior short-circuits.”

Keeping the production from shorting out is something Ms. Lynch has obviously decided to achieve through general good feeling and humor. She’s prone to hugging and at the outset of the filming met with the entire crew, assuring the members of their importance and requesting whatever input they could offer.

“The attitude on a set starts at the top,” said the unit photographer Allan Feildel, who with the rest of the local crew has been given welcome employment and the chance to collaborate with Mr. Pullman, Mr. Stewart, Julia Ormond and Cheri Oteri. The mood is buoyant, despite a sky that constantly shifts and makes continuity of image impossible.

“If there’s no solution,” said the sanguine cinematographer Peter Wunstorf, “then there’s no problem.”

“I know I’ll be scrutinized,” Ms. Lynch said of the film. “There was a moment when I found that ‘Surveillance’ could actually happen that I broke out in a form of hives. From my navel to my neck. Brutal hives. It wasn’t till I said, ‘O.K., you know what? This is complete anxiety and fear’ that they vanished. As soon as I admitted I was scared, they were gone.”
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on March 26, 2008, 01:31:26 PM
International Trailer here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGwqZnxeSbI)
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: gob on March 26, 2008, 05:47:31 PM
I'm actually pretty interested.

Anything that involves The Violent Femmes' Add it Up is immediately interesting to me though.
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: brockly on March 27, 2008, 02:47:33 AM
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on April 02, 2008, 09:34:22 AM
New Trailer here. (http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=5465)
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: brockly on April 03, 2008, 02:55:51 AM
is it just me or is the persistent inclining camera movement a really bad idea? i don’t want to sit through two hours of that, the trailer was bad enough. haven’t watched the second trailer though. i got better things to do, like write this post.
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on May 24, 2008, 08:04:32 PM
Director Jennifer Lynch reemerges with the thriller 'Surveillance.'
The film stars Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond in a twisty thriller with an unabashedly nasty streak.
By Dennis Lim, Special to The Times

CANNES, FRANCE -- "IT FEELS kind of miraculous being here and kind of surreal," Jennifer Lynch said as she picked on a light lunch Wednesday afternoon, just hours before her official reemergence from a long stretch in the wilderness. "Surveillance," Lynch's second feature as director -- and her first since 1993's much-derided amputee fairy tale "Boxing Helena" -- was scheduled to have its world premiere as a midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival later that night.

A twisty thriller with an unabashedly nasty streak and an almost theatrical taste for excess, the movie stars Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond as FBI agents investigating a massacre in the flatlands of Nebraska, where they must contend with the dim local cops and a host of highly unreliable witnesses. (Magnet Releasing, which acquired the film just before Cannes, is set to open it later this year.)

"Surveillance" originated as a screenplay by Kent Harper (an actor who has a supporting role in the film), but Lynch, who has a co-writing credit, tailored it to match her interests. "Originally, it was about witches," she said. "But what I gravitated to were the elements of desolation and the idea of people watching each other. I also liked the idea of a thriller that right from the get-go lets you in on the fact that all these people are lying."

Lynch, now 40, has barely been heard from since she made a splash as the precocious daughter of David Lynch, entering the family trade with "Boxing Helena," a film she wrote at age 19 and directed at 24.

During that absence, she devoted herself to parenthood -- her daughter, Sydney, is now 12 -- and for a time struggled with alcohol abuse. "I'm a different person," she said. "I've been through quite a lot: raising my daughter on my own, which is an ongoing process, and I got sober, which is an ongoing process." She also had three spinal surgeries for an injury sustained in a car accident: "The fact that I get to walk down the red carpet tonight and hold my daughter's hand is a big deal -- they didn't even know if I'd walk at one point."

She admits to being wounded by the fallout from "Helena," which received scathing reviews and was at the center of a high-profile lawsuit. (Kim Basinger, the original star, pulled out and was successfully sued by the producers; she was replaced by Sherilyn Fenn.) "The film became a huge target and it never had a chance," Lynch said. "I'd be lying if I told you it all didn't really mess my head up. . . . I still can't Google myself today." But she added, "It's great to have fallen flat on my face and to stand up again. . . . I have more to say in a much more mature voice."

Lynch is acutely aware that as long as she makes movies, she is destined to exist in the shadow of her famous father, a former jury president here and a Palme d'Or winner for "Wild at Heart."

Still, she said, her father has been an inspiration: "He feels very little responsibility to anyone but himself when he tells his stories -- that's something to be envied, to be studied." She added, "If there's one gift I've been given from both my parents" -- her father and painter mother, Peggy Reavey, divorced when she was 6 -- "it's the idea that you make the work you want to make -- the joy is in the making. Once it's done, you let it go, and you move on."
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on July 11, 2008, 12:34:38 PM
Jennifer Lynch Takes on Snake Woman
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Lynch has signed on to direct horror-thriller Nagin -- The Snake Woman, which will be shot simultaneously in Hindi and English, says The Hollywood Reporter.

"Nagin," toplined by Indian star Mallika Sherawat, tackles the ancient Eastern myth of the snake woman who can take on various forms.

The film is being produced by Mumbai-based music label and film production banner Venus Records and Tapes along with Bollywood director-producer Govind Menon's Split Image and producer Vikram Singh. Venus will handle India and worldwide distribution.

Lynch's most recent film was Surveillance, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond, which premiered at Cannes in May.

The film begins shooting in India in August.
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: Fernando on March 09, 2009, 05:52:15 PM
Jennifer Lynch On David Lynch
Surveillance director discusses her dad’s movies…

To celebrate the release of Jennifer Lynch’s dark delight Surveillance this Friday, we sat down with David’s daughter to discuss her dad, and the influence he’s had on her career.

You were in Eraserhead – what are your memories of making that movie?

Eraserhead was my childhood. I lived with the actors, lived on the sets. My father as a director is the same man he is as my father, so it is hard to separate the two.

It was an incredible creative time, during which my love for a collaborative life, telling stories with others, was born.

What did you think of The Elephant Man the first time you saw it, and what are your memories of your dad while he was making it?

The Elephant Man is one of my all time favourite films... regardless of who directed it.

It is the most potent and eloquent telling of what it is to feel the monster inside as much as the human.

It speaks to me of the kindness of which we are capable as humans, as much as the devastating and blind cruelty.

I remember my father working in the garage in the apartment we had in Middlesex, London.  He was trying to create the make-up for Merrick himself, and would cast my face in plaster, speak to me about textures and stories.

As the plaster warmed on my face, the stories would progress. Some of my favourite moments with my father have to do with the making of that film.

I know he struggled a great deal too, with being considered just a novice by some of the actors... of course...this ended once they saw the film. The guy knows what he’s doing!

You were a production assistant on Blue Velvet. What was that experience like and what are your memories of David around that period?

Blue Velvet was magical. Each day something incredible and new emerged on set, and in the wake of Dune, my father had a freedom in North Carolina that he really deserved, and that I think the story needed.

My father is luminous on set. I remember that. And the passion, laughter, and excitement of cast and crew.

What did you think of Wild At Heart the first time you saw it?

Wild at heart is an incredible film. Brave in ways many are not. I recall my father living in his bravery at that time.

And Twin Peaks?

I’m a Twin Peaks fan for sure. I was thrilled to pen Laura's secret diary. What isn’t to love about a show that captures the horror, beauty, absurdity and common sense requirements of real life?  It is Norman Rockwell... naked.

Have you noticed any changes in your father's attitude over the years as a result of transcendental meditation?

We both started when I was six years old. I think the changes in him were immediate.  He had a place to put his anger, and let it dissipate. His fears, his hopes, his love... all could be examined with a clarity and a kindness.

I know it has changed us both, and the many others who have found it.

I recommend it.

Finally, your new film, Surveilance - your dad was executive producer, what was he like to work with in that capacity?

My father was exec producer in name only. It actually came about when after two years the script wasn’t getting any attention, and he asked if I’d be interested in his putting his name on it to see if that got the material read.

I was reluctant; as I make it a point not to 'use' my father as a connection... the press and public tend to assume that for me.  I agreed in an experimental mood, and three days later, there was interest and offers.

I wondered aloud with my father... "What about all of the writers out there with screenplays that should be made, but who have no one who offers to place their name on the cover page to add respectability?" it is a real shame.

After I shot the film and completed it, and went over to dad's to show him the film. I explained before we turned the lights down, that if for any reason he wanted his name removed after seeing the film, I would understand.

When the film ended and the lights came up, he said, "Jen-o... I just want to say one thing...  I WANT MY NAME BIGGER."

It was a nice moment.

You've got a daughter yourself, would you want her to get into the film business?

If Sydney feels that film is where she finds her heart, I’ll support her. If she finds her heart in digging ditches, I'll support her.

I guess if given the choice, I wouldn’t want her to enter a business as ruthless as film, but I love it so much myself... I'd be kidding her if I told her the pain wasn’t worth the pleasure.

Creating things is such a wonderful way to live.

Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 09, 2009, 06:42:26 PM
This short interview was mainly about, what did you think of your dads work? Jesus, dig deeper interviewers
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: MacGuffin on March 10, 2009, 03:06:51 AM
New Trailer here. (http://indiefilm.movies.yahoo.com/video-11794393-surveillance-theatrical-trailer/)
Title: Re: Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 29, 2009, 08:21:59 PM