Simon Le Bon on David Lynch's 'Duran Duran: Unstaged': "It's Quite Bizarre"
The makers of 'Girls on Film' meet the auteur of 'Eraserhead'
The video-driven 1980s band Duran Duran — which "made MTV," as VJ Martha Quinn has said — will screen David Lynch's new cut of his 2011 film Duran Duran: Unstaged in about 300 U.S. theaters. The one-night-only event will take place Sept. 10, presented by Screenvision in alliance with Phase 4 Films. "It was shot at our show at the Mayan Theater in L.A.," says Simon Le Bon, lead singer for the group, which was named after the character who tries to kill Jane Fonda with an orgasm-inducing device called the Excessive Machine in the 1968 film Barbarella.
The Lynch film is excessive in a way, says Le Bon. "It was an art project, and we gave him utter control over the visuals — you don't try and direct a director like David Lynch, really. It was quite bizarre, the Mayan Theater, and he set it up in a very strange way, with little niches and nooks and crannies all the way around the theater, with little tableaus, grottoes with decorations and tables and things." The film stars the original band members — Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor — and guest performers Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), Beth Ditto (Gossip), Kelis and Mark Ronson.
The screening, which features material from the band's All You Need Is Now album, will help promote Duran Duran's untitled 2015 album, which Le Bon says is "just going into its mixing phase," as well as Lynch's first-ever art museum retrospective, "David Lynch: The Unified Field." That exhibit opens Sept. 13 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where Lynch won his first art prize for his first artwork to incorporate film, 1967's Six Men Getting Sick. Its projection of images onto human forms somewhat resembles his superimposition of Lynchian weird scenes onto Duran Duran performing live, such as a scary house reminiscent of Blue Velvet to visually complement the tune "Planet Earth." "The most surreal moment for me is where he intercuts footage of somebody barbecuing sausages into the song 'Come Undone,' " says Le Bon. "Not what we had in mind, but it's absolutely hilarious." Lynch also prepared a new trailer for the film.
The original Mayan Theater concert sold out in less than five minutes, and the rerelease will be over in 112 minutes.