6. Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Who made it? Peter Strickland made it as his debut; he then made “The Duke of Burgundy” which was acclaimed by critics worldwide.
What is it about? A British sound engineer is employed to made sounds for a giallo movie.
What is Lynchian about this movie? “Berberian sound Studio” is a giallo movie without gore and it pays homage to giallo movies of the 1970’s.
However, the focus of the movie on its lonely sound engineer and its aesthetic emphasis (fine use of brown and red color) on colors and sounds make it like a giallo movie made by David Lynch. By the way, “Berberian Sound Studio” is about gradual madness in a claustrophobic environment much similar to what we see in Lynch movies.
7. The Cell (2000)
Who made it? Indian-American filmmaker Tarsem Singh, who is now famous for directing “Mirror Mirror”, made “The Cell” which brought him fame.
What is it about? Child psychologist Catherine Deane helps FBI to locate the last victim of a serial killer.
What is Lynchian about this movie? While the movie may look like long video clips with beautiful images, it is actually a movie about the labyrinth of a sick mind in which our journey is no different from what we take when watching Lynch’s dreamy scenes.
8. The Reflecting Skin (1990)
Who made it? The director and writer of this eerie film is British filmmaker Philip Ridely who is best known for writing “The Krays” for Peter Medak.
What is it about? Eight-year-old Steve thinks that a local widow is a vampire.
What is Lynchian about this movie? “The Reflecting Skin” is one of the forgotten movies of the 1990’s, a somehow surrealistic movie that shows the dark side of a rural city in a way that Lynch displays in “Blue Velvet”.
Ridely’s image may not be as subtle as Lynch’s compositions; however, his Freudian psychology is very close to Lynch’s notion of the relationship between men and women. Only few directors managed to change a young boy’s laughter to something sinister, Ridely has done this in “The Reflecting Sky”. Steve’s laughter is so much like Dennis Hopper’s laughter in “The Blue Velvet”.
9. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Who made it? “Jacob’s Ladder” is an odd choice for director Adrian Lyne who is famous for sexually charged movies such as “Fatal Attraction” and “9 ½ Weeks”.
What is it about? A Vietnam War veteran tries to remember his past in the days after the death of his child.
What is Lynchian about this movie? While the movie is in many ways biblical, its non-linear storytelling and the blurry line between reality and fiction owes so much to Lynch and his cinema. Something that makes this movie Lynchian is its homage to Fancis Bacon paintings, especially those scenes that deal with Jacob Singer’s headaches (yes, it’s like those transformation scenes in “Lost Highway”).
10. Vanilla Sky (2001)
Who made it? Academy Award winner Cameron Crowe, who is known for “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous”, made this movie which was hailed by critics.
What is it about? An accident changes the balanced world of David Aames, a publishing manager.
What is Lynchian about this movie? Though the movie is made based on Alejandro Amenabar’s “Open Your Eyes”, “Vanilla Sky” is not just a thriller like the original Spanish movie. “Vanilla Sky” defies psychological thriller rules and tries to be something more than a subtle studio production movie. The movie interestingly tries to show how dream is a better place than reality and how cinema manages to make a better world for us.
You may not find anything Lynchian about the movie at first glance, but there are certain sequences like David’s dream of wandering lonely in the city that makes you feel David Lynch was present when the movie was made. And also note how Lynch’s idea about blonde vs. brunette / femme fatale vs. innocent girl is present in the movie.
Author Bio: Hossein Eidizadeh is a film critic and cinephile. He has interviewed David Lynch, Margareta von Trotta, Barbara Sukowa and many others. He writes film posts on his blog http://www.framative.com.