Lynch/Oz is a new documentary that explores how the film The Wizard of Oz has deeply inspired director David Lynch. Instead of just pointing out obvious nods to the 1939 movie, this film dives into the subtler ways Oz has shaped Lynch's unique storytelling style seen in films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and the TV series Twin Peaks.
The documentary, made by Swiss director Alexandre O. Philippe, brings together insights from film critic Amy Nicholson and a bunch of Lynch's fellow filmmakers. They provide a look at how movies shape each other and get us inside Lynch's head. If you're in New York City, you can catch it now. And if you're elsewhere, don't worry–it'll be coming to more cities from June 9.
This isn't just a random idea Philippe is chasing; any fan can tell you that 1990's Wild at Heart is full of overt Wizard of Oz references. But even beyond that film, we know Lynch has the Emerald City lodged in his brain. He doesn't go on camera and say it directly here, but in the past—including in front of a film festival audience, as Kusama remembers first-hand—he has remarked that he thinks about Oz every day. Though it does point out how fond Lynch characters are of red shoes, and the way his sets tend to use theatrical curtains, Lynch/Oz is less interested in his use of direct homage. Instead, it's more intrigued by the ways Victor Fleming's 1939 classic has infiltrated the themes, character details, mise-en-scène, and moods of both dread and hope that swirl throughout his filmography.