David Lynch Digression 1: Perfume and Pasta

David Lynch Digression 1: Perfume and Pasta

I know I promised to do two episodes with each post but sometimes ambition gets the better of the best intentions. We're putting together a bunch of content at once here at A.V. Club central in the hopes of taking what you hu-mans call some "va-ca-tion time." So I only got through one. And for that I'm sorry. I could cheat and just do a single-episode post and probably will down the line. (I want to save some space to write about the first season finale.) But instead of copping out entirely, let's make this the first of what will probably be several digressions and devote an entire post to some odds and ends the Twin Peaks co-creator made around Peaks time. It's an all Lynch Miscellany post this week.
Lynch Miscellany: The perfume era
In the late-'80s and early '90s, Lynch enjoyed a healthy sideline in directing perfume ads. 1988 saw the debut of four commercials for Calvin Klein's Obsession fragrance, 30-second spots cued to sensual passages from famous authors, including:
D.H. Lawrence


Ernest Hemingway


and F. Scott Fitzgerald


These are lovingly shot but only the Hemingway spot really reveals the director, to my eyes at least. Lynch has a way with lights flashing in a room and beneath the synthesized strings you'll hear a suggestion of his ability to manipulate noise to unsettling effect. (Is that Heather Graham in the Fitzgerald clip, by the way?)
After Obsession, Lynch moved on Giorgio Armani, who chose Lynch to direct a 1992 short film introducing his Gio fragrance with a neat little mood piece:


This feels more Lynchian, particularly with the way it's able to change moods on a dime thanks to the score (which I'm just going to go ahead and say is by Angelo Badalmenti even though I don't know for sure.)
That same year, Lynch worked for the briefly controversially named Opium fragrance:


It's also moody and sensual but, unlike with the Gio ad, you never forget that it's selling perfume. Maybe that's better for the perfume. Still, even the least interesting perfume spot Lynch did, a 1993 ad for Lancome's Tresor starring his occasional leading lady Isabella Rossellini, comes from a time when, for one reason or another, perfume companies were open to some experimental approaches to advertising, a moment pretty much made for Lynch. A 1994 spot for Karl Lagerfeld's Sun Moon Stars, starring Daryl Hannah, ended the era:


Again, not incredibly interesting but it does the job and it's colorful. And it's much more Lynchian than the single entry in…
Lynch Miscellany: The Pasta Era


David Lynch and Gerard Depardieu team up to do comedy. At last?
Next week, back to Twin Peaks. Hope you didn't mind the digression too much.

Filed Under: TV, Twin Peaks

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