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May 29, 2007


Jennifer Lynch is a glutton for punishment

Jennifer Lynch

There are two things that you might remember about Jennifer Lynch. She's David Lynch's daughter, and she made 1993's Boxing Helena. What you might remember about Boxing Helena is that it could be the worst movie ever made.

Now she's back, making her first movie since then: Surveillance. As much as I admire anyone who can come back after such an abject failure of a first movie (especially with such an acclaimed father,) judging from the things she says in a feature the NY Times did about her, it seems that Jennifer Lynch might be getting sick of waiting around for people to start writing mean things about her again.

Boxing Helena, and sometimes Lynch herself, got savaged by critics (especially good was Janet Maslin's review, which doesn't fall back on accusations of misogyny or perversion that some other critics threw out, but rather says the movie "threatens to give the concept of metaphor a bad name.") There's really no temptation to be contrary and claim that Boxing Helena is some kind of misunderstood masterpiece. Lynch seems like a nice enough person, but her movie really is as bad as everyone says (video evidence). Not surprising: she wrote the script when she was 19.

But now that's over, and she's offering herself up to be pistol-whipped by this cruel, cruel world all over again. Here's a quote from the NYT feature that comes after she's already openly discussed her addictions, her changing emotional states, journalists who think she doesn't deserve to be loved, and the titanium rod that was implanted in her spine a few years ago:

"I know I’ll be scrutinized. 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."

There are so few female directors working in Hollywood, and I really wish I didn't find this one so irritating. Surveillance ("both grotesque and insane!" --Bill Pullman) is about homicidal maniacs driving through Nebraska. I hope it's good, or soon we're going to be reading about her breakthroughs in group therapy and abnormal Pap smears.

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 2:25 PM | #

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