10 Most David Lynch-Like Videos of 2013
In general, people have become more comfortable with the weird and the subversive, and we think this has a lot to do with David Lynch. Through his movies, his television melodrama 'Twin Peaks' and his music, the white-haired artiste has helped the masses embrace the unknown and the strange. Lynch's influence has also begun leaking into the subconscious of musicians and directors everywhere, affecting their art in bizarre and brilliant ways. Many of this year's best videos are distinctly Lynchian in nature, but none more than these 10.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have always had a mysterious edge, often accompanied by music videos with unsettling and fantastical imagery. Their clip for 'Sacrilege,' directed by Megaforce, follows a young runaway/prostitute who is chased throughout her life by obsessive lovers. It's got David Lynch written all over it. Plus, it's really freakin' frightening. A priest, a truck driver, a businessman and a sensual lady ('Mullholland Drive,' anyone?) all pursue their redheaded muse until she finally escapes through marriage.
The lastest Beach House video, directed by Eric Wareheim is as beautiful as it is absurd. The 'Tim & Eric' anti-comic takes a page right out of Lynchian lore by hiring Ray Wise (of 'Twin Peaks') as the "Coach" of America's best halftime show ever. The crowd fist pumps, weeps, hollers and blankly stares at gymnasts flying about in colorful suits, while cheerleaders toss around lightsabers and nun-chucks. It's not just the imagery of this childlike fever dream that is reminiscent of Lynch's work -- it's also the fact that Ray Wise commits so heartily to his performance. Comedy and drama seem to be one in the same while he sings aloud.
Boston's Bear Language have made a Lynchian love story for their video 'Rememory,' instead of just broadcasting a jumble of images that make your hypothalamus dump loads of serotonin into your caffeinated blood stream. The clip, directed by Nicolas Pesce, follows a couple whose lives are stuck between a VHS tape hell and a surreal red velvet lounge. A creepy bald man guides the couple through their thoughts until they've been reprogrammed and rewired. Freaky!
David Lynch once made an ad for his signature brand of coffee, and as you'd suspect, it was pretty damn weird. The spot featured Lynch lovingly stroking a Barbie Doll's hair for six minutes while explaining the origins of his dark roast in terrifying detail. Yo La Tengo have done something very similar with 'I'll Be Around,' which really lends itself to a Lynchian quality of absurdism. Superchunk singer Mac McCaughan plays guitar in the woods of New Jersey, and Yo La Tengo make dinner together all while recipes for scalloped potatoes, to-do lists and unfinished poems scroll across the screen. Director Phil Morrison's video is certainly one of the year's bests.
Thom Yorke and dancer Fukiko Takase's ballet pokes a bit of fun at the Atoms for Peace frontman's own spastic rug-cutting. Crazy camera angles, Yorke's wonky eye and the Elaine Benes dance that's both serious and surreal are ripe for Lynchian comparisons. Thankfully, director Garth Jennings didn't even have to beg Yorke to dance like a fool. Fool isn't in his vocabulary.
Now we're getting somewhere. Foals' new video takes place in a post-Soviet gangster refuge filled with violence and too-cool indie rock. Diretor Nabil's graphic film falls through scenes of sex, childbirth, businessman buffoonery, suicide fetishes and just straight-up abject violence. A baby is born, and a Lynchian nightmare is the afterbirth. You're welcome.
Even Yeezus himself can't resist getting his Lynch on. The animated video for 'Black Skinhead' features hooded figures, a 3D Kanye and scary yelping hounds barking along to the beat. Marilyn Manson's 'Beautiful People' sample keeps the song's fear amplified and steady while 'Ye goes all 'Eraserhead' on his faithful fan base.
Nick Cave likes violence and sex. If you've seen 'Lawless,' you know exactly what we mean. As a filmmaker, Cave is unafraid of using weirdness to deliver his gritty message. Hell, Lynch might have even taken a page out of Cave's cinematic playbook. 'Jubilee Street' takes us to a lonely red-light district where a sad middle aged gentlemen cries at the foot of a prostitute. Just when you thought the video couldn't get any bleaker, a breast descends right into the sad dude's mouth. It's an intense moment, juxtaposed by Cave strutting down the street like Tony Manero. Do music videos even need to make sense anymore?
Oh look, a video that was actually directed by David Lynch made this list -- and it isn't even number one! Before you scroll further and feverishly write in the comments section in disgust, hang with us for a moment. We can explain. The director's video, which can cause a photosensitive epileptic reaction, is basically a collection of items from Lynch's deep closet of skeletons, ghouls and lost souls. Though rock bro Trent Reznor isn't the scariest looking guy, the images surrounding him are made of pure nightmares. Has David Lynch ever had a good dream? Probably not.
'We Can't Stop' is the most Lynchian video of 2013. Why? Well, let's start with the hair -- an obvious homage to the 'Twin Peaks' creator. But that's certainly not all. Images of barbies, taxidermied marsupials, aggressive bread eating, Los Angeles, furries, '80s computer animation, a young girl misappropriating ethnic stereotypes and subsequently heading for a crash back to earth, oh and … twerking. When you watch the video on mute (without Cyrus' inane, lowest-common-denominator single) it is simply a terrifying, voyeuristic look at a popular L.A. girl's dance with hedonism.