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‘Lynch/Oz’ Trailer: David Lynch’s Fascination with ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Is Unmasked

Director Alexandre O. Philippe re-contextualizes Lynch's famed works within the world of Victor Fleming's "The Wizard of Oz."




David Lynch is the man behind the curtain, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, in the surreal construct we call cinema. Or so documentary “Lynch/Oz” makes it out to be.

Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, the film was born out of auteur Lynch’s response during a Q&A panel at the 2001 New York Film Festival following the screening of “Mulholland Drive.” Lynch said more than 20 years ago that “there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about ‘The Wizard of Oz'” when asked about the classic film’s impact on his own work.

“Lynch/Oz” reframes Lynch’s filmography within the context of the technicolor fantasy dream sequence that propelled innocent Dorothy (Judy Garland) into a storybook world. The documentary will make its U.K. premiere during the BFI London Film Festival and Film 4 will release the feature in U.K. theaters and on demand on Eire December 2. “Lynch/Oz” will be distributed by Janus Films in North America, and does not yet have a release date.

The official synopsis reads: “Lynch/Oz” explores one of the most fascinating puzzles in the history of motion pictures: the enduring symbiosis between America’s primordial fairytale, “The Wizard of Oz,” and David Lynch’s singular brand of popular surrealism.

Separated into six chapters narrated by critic Amy Nicholson, “Jennifer’s Body” director Karyn Kusama, Rodney Ascher, and fellow iconic filmmaker John Waters, “Lynch/Oz” parallels Lynch’s famed projects like “Mulholland Drive,” “Twin Peaks,” and “Blue Velvet” with the elusive promise of adventure in “The Wizard of Oz.” Much like Dorothy’s descent into the Emerald City, Lynch pulls back the curtain on the false concept of a safe suburbia, exposing a mind-bending surreal portal just over the rainbow.

IndieWire critic David Ehrlich reviewed “Lynch/Oz” out of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, writing that the documentary “makes a somewhat filling meal out of the tasty breadcrumbs that Lynch has left behind about his lifelong fascination with psychogenic fugues, ominous gusts of wind, and a strange woman named Judy (who we might not be able to keep out of this, after all).”

“‘Lynch/Oz’ is at its best when it’s at its most illustrative — spiking familiar clips with new context, or arranging side-by-side comparisons that hear uncanny echoes between Victor Fleming’s family classic and David Lynch’s most haunted work,” Ehrlich continued. “Filtering ‘The Wizard of Oz’ through the lens of David Lynch, Phillippe and his guests find those energies in close proximity to each other, using two deceptively different visions of America to suggest that our dreams and nightmares have never been as far apart as they seem.”

“Lynch/Oz” is coming soon.

Check out the trailer below.

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