Netflix Mini-Review: What Did Jack Do? – David Lynch Interrogates a Monkey

No, really, David Lynch interrogates a monkey.


David Lynch, the famed creator of crazy weird stuff, sits across a table from a monkey with a human mouth and interrogates him about a murder using a number of film noir cliches. There’s also a chicken.

Monkey Wdjd
Yes, Capuchin are monkeys. 


By the standards of anyone other than David Lynch, this short film is insane. By the standards of David Lynch, it’s fairly tame, if only because it doesn’t contain the levels of mindf*ckery present in Eraserhead or Mulholland Drive. It’s not quite as surreal as many of his films, in the sense that you can actually get what is going on in the film pretty easily. It’s just that the situation and the way it was presented are unbelievably absurd. 

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They’re at a train station. Apparently.

The film is clearly supposed to be a tribute to the film noir genre from the language to the filming, being in black and white and having extra grain added to the film to make it appear cheaper and older. The recording of Jack’s dialogue has poor quality and noticeably sounds like it’s in a different room than the other party to the conversation. It sounds similar to the old Tom and Jerry “Don’t you believe it.”

IF there is a point to this, and that’s a big IF, then it’s that the film is a parody of the noir genre designed to lampoon how absurd the language used is by using even more absurd language. In contrast to the typically hyper-masculine and serious hard-boiled interrogations, this one includes a number of light or goofy exchanges. The nature of the sound and the horrifying monkey mouth are designed to make the viewer look at noir objectively.

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Yeah… it’s easy to get pulled out of the film.

Overall, it’s only 17 minutes long and includes a musical number, so give it a try. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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