It’s David Lynch’s birthday but he’s the one giving away a present.
On the day he turned 74, the singularly offbeat director of films like Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet (as well as TV’s Twin Peaks) dropped a new short film online via Netflix: What Did Jack Do?.
This 17-minute avant-garde two-hander is set in a single room at a train station. It’s a conversation between a couple of primates that is shot in rich, grainy, black-and-white noir style.
Lynch plays a detective who interrogates…a monkey. Yes, a monkey.
Dressed in a suit very much like Lynch’s, one suspects that the little guy is voiced by Lynch as well, albeit pitch-shifted for effect.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard watching a movie. At times, to the point of tears.
Not that it’s conventional or slapstick. What Did Jack Do? is as bizarre and surreal as one would expect from Lynch, playing out like something from a dream that’s been induced by hallucinogens.
The monkey’s name is Jack Cruz and, apparently, he’s suspected of murder. Who the victim is is as absurd as everything else and makes the whole thing that much more, well, Lynchian.
Bottom line: What Did Jack Do? is a GIF and meme machine. Enjoy. (Rated TV-14 for some language.)
(To see another recent short film by another pair of exciting indie auteurs, click here to watch Goldman V Silverman, a 6-minute piece from Uncut Gems directors Josh and Benny Safdie, starring Adam Sandler.)