Produced, written and directed by David Lynch
Photography by Herb Cardwell
Woman: Catherine Coulson
Doctor: David Lynch
Amputee was shot during a break from filming Eraserhead, temporarily halted due to lack of funds. Frederick Elmes was asked by the American Film Institute to test two different stocks of video tape in order to decide which one for them to purchase. When Lynch heard about this, he asked Elmes if he could write a short scene to film twice, once with each stock. Elmes agreed and Amputee was the result.
The Amputee features a woman with both her legs amputated at the knees, sitting alone in a room, writing a letter and mentally reading it to herself. The letter details various relationships gone bad, both hers and others. As she writes, a doctor comes in and attends to her legs, yet she pays no attention to him. The scene was shot twice with no sound, which Lynch added later. "It was really cool because we couldn't shoot sync sound, so we shot it and then ran it back and foleyed the whole thing live to picture. It was pretty exciting to do sound effects on the fly."1
You can purchase Amputee on DVD from the store at davidlynch.com. It's on the Short Films DVD.
1. Chris Rodley (editor), "Lynch on Lynch," Faber and Faber, 1997
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