In my last Trailer Talk article, I stated that the film industry needs to take more risks and release wackier films, instead of conforming to the norm of sequels and remakes. The day after the article was uploaded, I found out about the new short film by David Lynch called ‘What Did Jack Do?’
‘What Did Jack Do?’ is a 17-minute short film that was released on Netflix on 20th January 2020. It was written, directed, edited by and starring David Lynch (‘Eraserhead’ and TV show ‘Twin Peaks’).
The film revolves around a detective interviewing an attempted murder suspect…which is a talking monkey.
As you’d expect from David Lynch, this is a strange film. While I’m still not sure I enjoyed it, I’m glad I watched it. The film’s black and white visualization and its framing makes this piece of work seem almost film noir-ish. The dialogue and tone of the film embraces this genre too, and the film portrays itself seriously, to the point where you forget that one of the characters is a monkey. The story would work just as well if Jack was a human character.
This is a unique approach to a scenario audience have become familiar with (the interrogation). However, the editing should’ve been tighter and more concise in the first half; most of the shots were painfully, and unnecessarily, long.
As well as this, the script needed a rewrite as some dialogue went nowhere and were just meaningless phrases and puns that served no purpose to the overall plot. It also has a musical number, sung by Jack, which just occurs out of nowhere and, again, served no purpose.
While I’m not sure I enjoyed it, I’m glad I experienced ‘What Did Jack Do?’. I appreciate the amount of work and effort that was put into it, especially since David Lynch did most of it including writing, directing, editing, acting, set design and set construction.
It’s an oddly welcoming return for David Lynch and, in its short runtime, it gives audiences a unique spin on the Interrogation scene that has become so well known in the film industry.
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