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Short Film Review: The Alphabet by David Lynch

By Archana Iyer • Published on April 25, 2012

[T]ake a peek into the mind of David Lynch, to witness a world of eeriness. David Lynch is an American filmmaker known for his surrealist films. His characteristic style of filmmaking often referred to as ‘Lynchian’ is known to disturb audiences. The Alphabet is one of the early works of this three time Academy award nominated director.

The Alphabet was an experiment born out of a little girl’s nightmare. David’s then girlfriend Peggy’s niece was reciting the alphabet in her dream in a tormented manner. This gave birth to the idea of making the film. Difficult to construe, the surreal film is open to interpretation. It indicates the trauma of rote learning in schools. It conveys that learning should be a pleasant part of growing up and not become a cause for fear and nightmares.

The Alphabet combines animation with live action. The sound design is morose and dark. The visuals are spine chilling and will make the audience’s hearts skip a beat or two. To describe the animated objects, blood spattering, alphabets being fed into someone’s brain and the haunting sounds of a crying child would be to ruin the thrill of watching this short oneself and feeling the pulse race. To summarize, it would take courage to watch The Alphabet but watch it at your own peril.

Archana Iyer is a short film enthusiast, scriptwriter, poet and brand architect. 

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