Combustible Celluloid Review - Lynch/Oz (2013), Alexandre O. Philippe, Alexandre O. Philippe, Amy Nicholson, Rodney Ascher, John Waters, Karyn Kusama, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, David Lowery
Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
With: Amy Nicholson, Rodney Ascher, John Waters, Karyn Kusama, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, David Lowery
Written by: Alexandre O. Philippe
Directed by: Alexandre O. Philippe
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 108
Date: 06/09/2023

Lynch/Oz (2013)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Behind the Curtain

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This essay film from writer/director Alexandre O. Philippe will be lost on anyone who isn't a fan of filmmaker David Lynch or the film The Wizard of Oz (1939), and its six mini-essays don't really contain any real conclusion other than that Lynch is a fan of the film, but for those of us obsessed with film and in love with thinking and talking about it, it's a treasure trove.

The six segments are narrated by film critic Amy Nicholson (who appeared in the documentaries Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Time and Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies), and filmmakers Rodney Ascher (Room 237), John Waters (Female Trouble, Serial Mom), Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Destroyer), Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless), and David Lowery (A Ghost Story, The Green Knight).

Each offers interesting theories and personal observances, sometimes based on their own relationships with The Wizard of Oz, and side-by-side clips reveal sometimes eye-opening comparisons between films. (Lynch's Wild at Heart has The Wizard of Oz written all over it, but I truthfully hadn't noticed its influence in his other works.)

Some of the conclusions aren't particularly profound — any movie about a journey can be compared to The Wizard of Oz — and the segmented nature may suggest a lack of cohesion, but I loved the bold way Lynch/Oz throws out ideas just to see if they stick. (Not to mention that it's always fun to hear John Waters talk about anything.)

In 2024, Janus Contemporaries released the film on a nice Blu-ray. The film looks great and comes with optional English subtitles. We get a 17-minute making-of featurette (perhaps deceptively called "Meet the Filmmakers"), interviewing director Alexandre O. Philippe, that expands upon the film, and a trailer. Journalist Michael Joshua Rowin provides a brief liner notes essay. Recommended.

Movies Unlimtied