The Alphabet (1968)
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Critic Reviews for The Alphabet
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Audience Reviews for The Alphabet
A very short work at under 4 minutes, depicts the aphabet via a lucid and disturbing nightmare, which apparently is where Lynch derived it from. It is very experimental and nothing I would say is esential viewing, but still very interesting to watch along with his other early shorts.
Experimental films are always difficult to review. It's often difficult to predetermine whether one should jump into an experimental film to be entertained, moved, persuaded, or enthralled by mesmerizing visuals. Regardless, "The Alphabet"'s a near 4 minute long short film takes every sense of the word "unconventional" to its full advantage and confidently fulfills its goal. From the opening second to the closing fade, "The Alphabet" illustrates, what may seem to be at first, an inscrutable narrative, but there is, undeniably, a profound message David Lynch seeks to show the audience. Chanting of the simple ABC's, ink-blotted stop-motion pictures that are psychotically etched in, and blood -- in a disturbing craze -- pouring out, is what "The Alphabet" is furnished with. As one can imagine, this short consistently evokes a pitch-dark tone and eerily disturbing imagery, enough to erode the mind. And surprisingly for a film that has little to no narrative, it's fast-paced and always drawing up new frightening images with a focused objective in mind. Agreeably, "The Alphabet" takes full advantage of shock-value, but uses each frame effectively to portray a message of what may be a dull subject through other mediums. "The Alphabet" encourages the keen to handpick and spot the symbolism and meaning behind its dark exterior. In other words, this is an immersive piece of filmmaking that is sure to initiate conversations longer than the actual film's running time. Altogether, David Lynch, for his debut into the film industry, has handcrafted a cryptic motion picture that exudes a sinister tone. Few may see this type of tone as an immediate dismissal; many will undeniably commend Lynch's execution for his stylish, yet strangely intricate vision.
Experimental art school short film from David Lynch. See it if you will, but no loss if you don't, because it only lasts a minute. It was like a segment from a lost Sesame Street episode - in a nightmare.
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