You can watch David Lynch’s bizarre new short film on Netflix now

Because who wouldn't want to stream a 17-minute long monkey murder mystery?

by Jenna Mahale
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21 January 2020, 11:39am

Image via Netflix

Yesterday was David Lynch’s 74th birthday, and in a magnanimous turn the indie auteur gave us all cause to celebrate with him, with the release of What Did Jack Do?, a previously unseen short film of his.

The film is typically Lynchian in many ways, shot in black-and-white and as surreal as they come. The central conceit is that Jack Cruz, a talking capuchin monkey, may be responsible for a human murder. Lynch, playing a sharply dressed policeman, interrogates him for the duration of the short and, no spoilers, but Mr Cruz does not come out looking all that innocent.

What Did Jack Do? was originally screened in 2018 at Lynch’s “Festival of Disruption”, a weekend of talks, art, and musical performances in New York. However, this is the most widely available for viewing the short has ever been.

Let’s take a minute though, to appreciate the huge diva move it is for Lynch to write, direct, edit, and star in his first Netflix original (though the credits don’t reflect it, he almost definitely also voices the monkey). Massive.

Reviewers have muddled through their emotions to come to the conclusions that the short is “funny”, though “aggressively strange” and also “briefly goddamn terrifying”. Sounds like a ride!

Speculations of there being more Netflix/Lynch content to come have followed the release. Last week, news of the streaming giant’s 2020 budget came out, and the company’s content expenditure was estimated to be around a whopping $17.3 billion. With Lynch’s cult following and name power, it would be common sense for Netflix to give him a slice of it, right? But this might just be wishful thinking.

Regardless, if the combined efforts of Cats (2019) and -- arguably more disturbingly -- Dolittle (2020) haven’t put you off animal-centric film altogether, you’ll love this perfect little piece of simian noir.

Tagged:
Netflix
short film
DAVID LYNCH