The second day of David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption kicked off around the Ace Theatre and Hotel in Los Angeles, California featuring talks by acclaimed filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Lynch himself. Like the day before, the day activities were filled with talks and screenings, while the night performances were filled with music.
Coppola introduced his film Jack, which is widely considered his worst film, a sentiment that he shared during a discussion. In contrast with his acclaimed work such as The Godfather, its sequel and Apocalypse Now, this film was more directed as a children’s movie, starring the late Robin Williams as a child with a rare condition that causes him to age four times faster than the average human.
After this screening Coppola asked the audience to keep Williams’ message, that was delivered at the end of the film, in mind. He then held a short Q&A session, taking questions from the audience where he spoke on his own works and the film industry.
He stated that he made the film Jack due to his desire to work with the late Williams and because of the massive amount of debt he accrued during the late ’80s and ’90s. In order to pay off the exorbitant interest rates, Coppola needed to make what would average out to be a film a year.
Regarding the film industry, Coppola says that he has faith in the next generation of filmmakers, saying that they are relying on their own intuitions and passion rather than large studios. This “fertilizer (of filmmaking talent) is not from big studio money,” he began, “it’s from kids maxing out credit cards making it with iPhones.”
He also spoke on where he believes the cinema is headed as well, saying that while cable companies like Comcast bought out the major film studios during the ’80s and ’90s, that tech companies like Google and Amazon will eventually come to the forefront of the film industry. “Social media is not content, cinema is,” Coppola explained.
Lynch held a coffee and donuts talk next, inviting the audience to grab these concessions right outside the main theater area. After a brief interview, he began to take questions from the audience as well.
This small interview began with crafting art, which Lynch explained uses all of the human senses. In his words, he explained that an idea can be seen, heard and felt and that a good way to manage them is to immediately write them down.
On a question regarding change, Lynch stated that “we’re like light bulbs so we radiate what’s within.” He explained that someone must look inside and want to handle those negative emotions so that they can better compose themselves and have it radiate outside of themselves, following the festival’s theme of transcendental meditation.
Over at the Bold space, right across the ace theater, the Twin Peaks Virtual Reality experience took place, seeing an unprecedented amount of popularity. Lynch worked closely with Showtime and Collider Games to prepare this experience that took the participant across a couple of scenes, Glastonbury Grove and the Red Room from the famous television series.
“This is a sneak preview of what to come, which is going to be a full immersive VR experience that’s coming out later,” Erik Martin, the main producer behind Festival of Disruption, said in an interview. “This is like a first taste for fans at the festival.”
The experience is done with two HTC controllers to simulate each hand for the players, while the players wear the HTC VR headset, that is connected to a pair of headphones. During the experience, the player begins in Glastonbury Grove, where they are expected to approach the famous pool of scorched oil. Upon reaching it they look down and enter the famous Red Room and are teleported there.
Inside the Red Room, a statue falls on its own, leading the player to be directed to pick up a coffee cup, which does not spill if tipped over. After tossing said coffee cup, a ring appears on the player’s hands and begins vibrating violently, before the user takes it off and discards it. Another coffee cup appears and wants it is emptied a shadowy figure appears who is set on fire. Eventually, the player reaches toward a door they can’t go through and the entire demo experience comes to a close.
David O’ Reilly’s Eye Of The Dream visual performance also took place at the Ace Hotel. This piece centered on various floating pieces across various landscapes taking numerous shapes via CGI technology for hours on end.
Richard Reed Parry, of Arcade Fire, began the night events with an opening performance, playing multiple songs from his new album Quiet River of Dust Vol 1. His unique blend of spacey folk-rock fit the tone for the festival, with tracks like “Gentle Pulsing Dust” and “Farewell Ceremony winning over the audience.
A poet Amber Tamblyn took the stage next for a brief 15-minute intermission, reciting poetry off her 2014 book Dark Sparkler that featured a drawing from Lynch. At the end she also read a piece she wrote in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, discussing the issues of misogyny and sexual assault in our society.
After her performance, DJ and producer TOKiMONSTA took the stage next, in a performance that was a bit too casual for the event. Rather than focus on her back catalog of songs from her Brainfeeder era, or new remixes mixed in with Lynch’s own works, she preferred to stick to her usual set, which is well-suited for a club or even a festival performance, but came across as underwhelming for a seated venue, in between experimental rock acts.
Mercury Rev served as a highlight for the night, taking their brand of progressive rock to the venue and having a great and engaging performance throughout. They played a variety of their standard works doing “The Funny Bird,” “Tonite it Shows,” along with “Goddess on a Hiway,” with an energy that rewarded the audience.
Closing out the night was the Dover Quartet, headed by Aaron Schlossberg, who performed an orchestral version of the music from the Twin Peaks series. This was done in six movements, three which were taken from parts of the first two seasons of the new series, with the last three being made to capture the feelings of the show.
Photo Credit: Richard Saethang