David Lynch loves teasing us with monkeys. One of the more beguiling bits of Twin Peaks lore involved a monkey uttering the name “Judy,” and now the filmmaker is back with another talking primate, this one named Jack. In a wonderful surprise, the filmmaker dropped an incredible short on Netflix today called “What Did Jack Do?” in celebration of his 74th birthday. Lynch stars in the 17-minute tale as a detective in conversation with the titular Jack, who may or may not have murdered someone named Max. According to The Playlist’s Kevin Jagernauth, the short originally premiered in Paris in 2017, and also screened at one of Lynch’s Festival Of Disruption live events.
“In a locked down train station, a homicide detective conducts an interview with a tormented monkey,” reads Netflix’s plot synopsis, though that description, indelible as it is, still can’t capture how simultaneously hilarious and unnerving this whole thing is. Shot in black and white and suffused with Lynch’s signature brand of punishing pauses and hard-boiled dialogue—“Do you play for keeps?” Jack asks at one point—the film also ropes in a chicken named Toototoban and a musical number that could only be described as “Lynchian.” Lynch’s wife, the actor Emily Stofle, also appears as an amiable waitress.
Does this mean Lynch is in cahoots with Netflix? Might we expect an original collaboration between the two sometime in the future? Maybe that rumored new season of Twin Peaks? Something to ponder while popping some garmonbozia.
Watch it here.