Bret Wood's Efforts and Exploits

An updated guide to film and DVD work.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lynch Art

Back in 1998 I wrote an essay on David Lynch's forays into fine art (painting, photography, printmaking), which was published in Art Papers magazine. I had begun to think the article had vanished forever, since I no longer have a copy... but tonight I Googled myself (it's okay, we all do it, you won't go blind) and there it was, compliments of a website called The City of Absurdity, a Lynch-devoted website created by Mike Hartmann.

Looking back on the essay, it's not very good. Because I was used to writing about film, and had less experience (and confidence) writing about art, I overcompensated with a lot of convoluted pseudo-academic-speak. Regardless, there are still a few nice insights hiding within.

Anyway, here it is, just to preserve it for the record:

"Organic Phenomena: DAVID LYNCH's Deepening Mysteries"

At the time, Lynch's people agreed to a brief interview... which kept being delayed and delayed. Finally, I offered to just fax a handful of questions and, after some more haranguing, finally got some responses. It is all too clear that he was pressed for time and didn't want to go into detail. So it's not much of an interview, but here it is if anyone's interested (Thanks again to Mike Hartmann, whoever you are, you have a great website).

Head to Head: an interview with David Lynch

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More from the MPAA

Well, the controversial scene was cut, and Psychopathia was issued its official R rating. Kino has already announced the release of two DVDs -- so everybody's happy.

As you may know, the way the ratings system has worked in the past few years, distributors not only label their films with the rating, but provide a summation of the content that caused it to earn the rating. Usually they say something like "adult language, graphic violence," something like that. But I'm proud to Psychopathia has the strangest warning I've ever seen:

"Strong sexual content including aberrant and deviant behavior, graphic
nudity, some violence and disturbing images."

I find this particularly ironic since so many critics complained that the movie was too tame. You just can't win.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

And the MPAA says...

Well, we finally got unofficial notification of Psychopathia Sexualis's rating. It scored a tentative NC-17, for one brief scene in which one actor squeezes an apple juice box with the straw aimed at the mouth of another actor. Well... that's not exactly what's going on in the scene, but that's how we filmed it.

They're kind enough to give you an informal report on the objections raised by the ratings board... and give you the option of making changes -- essentially allowing the filmmaker/distributor to choose the rating they want (by editing the film according to their comments).

So, Kino has agreed to distribute two versions of Psychopathia on DVD: the R-rated director's cut and the unrated DVD. Why unrated and not NC-17?

As I understand it, you pay for the MPAA to issue a rating certificate. So we're opting for the R. If we want the NC-17 in addition to the R, then we'd have to pay a separate fee. And that money could be well spent elsewhere... like the authoring of a separate DVD, the creation of the glass master from which DVDs are made. Oh, how quickly the expenses add up.

I'm grateful to Kino for consenting to the dual version. It's a lot of hassle, and extra expense, but I think having an R-rated version and an unrated version will add to the allure of the picture. Hopefully those who stumble across the R-rated DVD will then rent/buy the uncut edition to see what they missed.

And they will have missed quite a bit. Instead of just trimming out the offending shot (approximately one-second in length), I opted to remove the entire two-minute scene.

One more thing -- new content calls for a new boxcover. Here is the tentative Psychopathia DVD jacket, with butt-crack tastefully concealed in shadow.