Well known for his critical documentaries on cinema—78/52 Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, Leap Of Faith: William Friedkin—Lynch/Oz writer/director Alexandre O. Phillippe examines filmmaker David Lynch, making the case that he pays tribute to The Wizard of Oz in nearly all his films. Who knew? Like many of us, he first saw the film as a child. There’s no denying that Lynch’s surreal imagination and visual style shares similarities with Victor Fleming’s classic film.

Lynch/Oz is constructed in six chapters of by contributors including critic Amy Nicholson (Chapter One) and filmmakers Rodney Ascher (Chapter Two), John Waters (Chapter Three), Karyn Kusama (Chapter Four), Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Chapter Five) and David Lowery (Chapter Six) . Each takes on a different theme, exploring the similarities between The Wizard of Oz and Lynch’s work on Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks: The Return, The Straight Story, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.

Whether its examining the similarities between The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life, themes concerning the real world versus nightmares, the odd humor seen in the work of Lynch and John Waters, or exposing the artificiality of Hollywood, each chapter plays out like the video essays presented as extras on home releases of some boutique labels.

With Lynch having remarked, “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about The Wizard of Oz, at a Q & A, nothing here is revelatory. If anything, it makes me wish David Lynch himself would have made this film. As it is, Lynch/Oz is speculative, offering little proof that David Lynch drew certain inspirations Oz. Further, too much of the film focuses not on Lynch but the narrator’s personal feelings about the film. Without Lynch’s personal involvement, Lynch/Oz feels like a half-baked pursuit.

Presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Lynch/Oz arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Janus Films/Criterion. Mixing a lot of footage from various films, archival content with David Lynch and original content, overall quality varies. The original content looks excellent and any variations are inherent to the original quality. The transfer does a good job of reproducing each film and its natural look. Viewers should be very pleased. There are no scratches or other anomalies.

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. offers clean, clear and concise dialogue be it the film clips or new narration. For obvious reasons, there are some fluctuations when it comes to dynamics, but nothing that effects the overall audio experience.

English SDH subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • Meet the Filmmakers: Recorded originally for the Criterion Channel and lasting eighteen minutes, filmmaker Alexandre O. Phillippe discusses what he hoped to accomplish with this project.
  • Trailer

Lynch/Oz (2022)
3.4 Reviewer

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