The bumpy ride! American director-screenwriter Jennifer Lynch’s career journey, her lonely childhood, and club feet defect!
American screenwriter and director Jennifer Lynch is popular for her film ‘Surveillance’ but she also had her share of criticisms and problems in Hollywood. She had a bumpy ride in her career journey and it is shroud with a lot of controversies. Let us find out all in detail!
Jennifer Lynch’s first movie
Jennifer is the daughter of the famed artist and filmmaker David Lynch. She wrote the screenplay for her debut film called ‘Boxing Helena’ (1993) and also took up the reigns of directing it in her hands. The film had faced problems right from the word ‘go’. Many actresses including Madonna were called in to play the lead but ultimately it was Sherilyn Fenn who was cast in the main role.
Kim Basinger first agreed but later backed out and this led to a court case against her. Kim Basinger was saved from paying any penalties since the Judge agreed that she had valid reasons to do so.
The film did not get good reviews at the box office. Its rating on Rotten Tomatoes was 19% while IMDb gave it a score of 4.6/10. There was also a feminist outcry over its sadist subject and accusations of nepotism also had cropped up. There was a lot of shaming done by critics and viewers and Jennifer was totally dejected. She said:
“I would love to know why people were so mad at me for telling a crazy fairy tale. I’m the first to say I didn’t know what I was doing. I did the best I could at 19, and all these crazy things happened. The idea that the film was faulted when everyone involved worked so fucking hard and believed in me, and there were these adults believing in me, who was essentially a child…when the National Organization of Women slammed me, that was sort of the final straw.”
The hiatus and the comeback
After a long hiatus, Jennifer returned with the film Surveillance in 2008. This won rave reviews and was also the winner at the Festival de Cine de Sitges. She also was the first female to receive the best director award at the New York City Horror Film Festival. She also directed Bollywood film ‘Nagin’ or ‘Hisss’ but the final product was different from her work. She was accused of having turned around the project for self-actualization and wasting the money and time with no regards to the reality.
She was named on some projects but either the project never took off or was left in between due to various reasons. She also started to make the film called ‘A fall from Grace’ in 2013 which was scheduled for a 2015 release, but it never made it to the big screen.
She is doing some direction on TV and has also authored a book.
Jennifer’s childhood and her birth defect
Jennifer had a lonely childhood. Her father was ever busy and her mother being a painter used to be engrossed deeply in her artwork. Jennifer describes her childhood in these words:
“It’s being in a very large room, in a crib of sorts; I don’t know if it was a real crib. But I was crying and there was a woman there that seemed a mile away who was painting. My parents think that was me being babysat when they went out one night. It was a huge room filled with canvasses.”
Her parental divorce made things worse. She said:
“…. it was just very clear that there were different plans going on for each of them. I think my biggest fear throughout my life was that I wouldn’t see enough of my father and he’s been very good at making sure that never happens. But that was the little girl fear in me: “What if I never see him?” So that’s the first feeling that sweeps over me when I recall that time.”
Jennifer also had severe club feet. At birth, her feet were turned inwards and downwards leading to difficulty in walking. She was in a cast from the waist down. She said of that time:
“I had been born with a really bad case of club feet and was put in a cast the day I was born. I had never crawled, I had scooted because of the bars on my legs “
She had a surgery at the age of four years and was on orthopedic shoes until the age of 12 years.
It is a birth defect in which the feet turn inwards and downwards. Mostly both feet are affected. The cause is not known. If mild, physiotherapy is offered. A POP cast is usually needed after the feet have been put in the corrected and improved position. This is from the waist down. The back tendon of the ankle is cut and braces applied till the age of four. More surgical corrections may be required depending on the case.