In continuing a career as eclectic and unpredictable as David Lynch’s, the American auteur has seen fit to release a short film to stream on Netflix, dropping with little fanfare yesterday on Lynch’s 74th birthday. What Did Jack Do? is streaming now on the service, runs 17 minutes, and features Lynch in an acting role opposite a monkey.
What Did Jack Do? is filmed in the hard boiled tradition Lynch so often touches upon with his films, though of course nothing’s ever strictly genre when it comes to films like Lost Highway or his run on Twin Peaks.
In keeping with the surrealism Lynch is known for, the titular Jack is in fact a monkey, fully-voiced and edgy opposite Lynch in a grainy, black-and-white bottle story of interrogation. Jack is suspected of murder, and Lynch, as the gumshoe asking the tough questions, is keen to find out just what the sinister simian might have done.
It’s all very strange on paper, like most of Lynch’s work, but affects an ominous, nightmarish tone in a lot of its uncertainty. Just what did Jack do? Should we be afraid? Could he do it… again? These and other questions might be answered, and then replaced with further inquiries, should you take a peek through Netflix.
Lynch’s short actually premiered in 2018 at the Festival of Disruption, the Los Angeles-based art show curated by Lynch himself, but is widely available for the first time now.