David Lynch’s “Grandmother” Makes It All Better

A young boy is trapped in an abusive home. As his parents become increasingly detached, demeaning, and violent he finds sanctuary in the attic. There, he plants magic seeds from which a grandmother grows.

David Lynch made Grandmother in 1970 on a total budget of $7,200. This incredible film [David’s third] was shot in Lynch’s house in Philadelphia, where he painted the walls black and the actors white. The lack of dialogue, with everything conveyed through guttural noises, barking, and a score from a local group, Tractor, compliments the stylized, stripped down atmosphere that’s since become the Lynch standard.

This depiction of childhood escapism yanks us away to that special place where everything is very, very WRONG. No one is better than David at evoking that sense of creeping  dread, that beautiful paranoia! But there is love here too, unconditional and pure, as the grandmother provides everything the boy’s parents deny him. A dream, a nightmare and a slow attack on the psyche – watch all 5 parts below when you have a quiet hour to spare.

8 Responses to “David Lynch’s “Grandmother” Makes It All Better”

  1. Sam Says:

    Aw, sweet! I almost rented a DVD of Lynch’s short films yesterday, but instead went for The Fall, which you should check out, if only for its visual sexiness. And one particularly fabulous collar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZECJDyR028&feature=related (spoilers after 0:50)

  2. Zoetica Says:

    Sam, wow – thank you for that! [I stopped it before the spoilers]

  3. kai Says:

    Let’s have a Coilhouse post on Tarsem!
    Visual Sexiness indeed!
    I wish I had a spare hour to watch “Grandmother”! Although I like Lynch a bit better after he started having a film budget….

  4. Nadya Says:

    Kai, we actually did do a post on Tarsem (almost exactly a year ago!), and it generated some interesting discussion:


  5. R. Says:

    I’m going to have to watch this. I remember seeing on Youtube in 2007 bits and pieces of this in a fanmade video for the band Interpol and I just loved the imagery.

  6. Ana Droid Says:


    That was great!

    I hate Lynch apart from Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, so this is very nice to see.

  7. Icelandbob Says:

    Wow that was a blast from the past! last saw the film in the early nineties on BBC2 (when they showed PROPER stuff) when i was about 15. It was probably one of the most disturbing tales i´ve ever seen. In many ways it probably in kin to those grisly old school fairytales…

  8. The Grandmother (1970) « Notes on Short Film Says:

    […] Spartan imagery, and most notably, that “creeping dread, that beautiful paranoia” (Coilhouse) that his films build slowly. The aesthetics of The Grandmother and Eraserhead are quite different, […]