DESPITE THE GODS Goes Behind The Scenes Of Jennifer Lynch's HISSS Debacle

Associate Editor; Dallas, Texas (@HatefulJosh)
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DESPITE THE GODS Goes Behind The Scenes Of Jennifer Lynch's HISSS Debacle
Hindi snake woman film, Hisss, was one of the most spectacular failures in recent Bollywood history. The film was in production for roughly two years before it was finally released to a shitstorm of terrible reviews and rumors about goings-on behind the scenes. The most potent rumor being that Jennifer Lynch had the film taken out of her hands in the editing room in order for the producers to create a more Bolly-friendly version of the film than she had intended. Add to that the complete disappearance and disowning of the film from nearly everyone involved and it became clear that Lynch's career in India was over. Thankfully, a team was lurking around behind the scenes to watch this story unfold.

The resulting film, Despite the Gods, is scheduled to have its world premiere at HotDocs this year, and here's how they synopsize it:
Jennifer Lynch, daughter of cult film auteur David Lynch, made her auspicious directorial debut in 1993 with Boxing Helena at the Sundance Film Festival. A box office disaster, the film was viciously mauled by critics and became the focus of multiple lawsuits. Fifteen years later, a recovering addict and hard-working single mother, Lynch returns to the director's chair with an ambitious project that will test her skills and the entire crew's sanity. Despite the Gods brings us behind the scenes on the set of Lynch's Bollywood/Hollywood action film about a man-eating snake goddess. Out of her depth shooting on location with an Indian crew and two top Bollywood stars, Lynch turns her production into a vehicle for her own self-actualization, paying no regard to timeline, budget or reality. As the story in front of the camera derails, the story behind the camera explodes.
I'm hoping to get the opportunity to review this title as I spent so much time covering that piece of shit, Hisss, that it is the least I can do to get something positive out of the experience.

The trailer clearly shows Lynch desperately trying to keep a grip on her film and failing miserably. The combined stresses of being the director and having to work in a foreign and very different atmosphere were clearly a strain. I'm really looking forward to checking this out.

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Penny VozniakDavid GreathouseJennifer Chambers LynchSydney LynchGovind MenonDocumentary

More about Despite The Gods

Joe YoungMarch 27, 2012 6:30 PM

Wow....thank you Hurtado!

This looks like more fun then Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) & Lost in La Mancha (2002) etc.....nervous breaksdowns, culture shock...seems like a real festival winner.

Well...I want to see it...

GarthMarch 27, 2012 7:40 PM

Definitely looking forward to seeing this at HotDocs.

Ard VijnMarch 27, 2012 9:21 PM

How fair is this though? With all the backpedaling everyone has done on this title, for all I know it might be that a scapegoat was needed. I hope the documentary makes a DAMN strong case about what it claims.

And I don't mean just a collection of behind-the-scenes footage of "best of outbursts" because you can make one of those for each director I think, regardless of success or quality.

jaguar3000March 28, 2012 4:26 PM

I don't even think she comes across as someone so dislikable. Rather honest and impulsive and probably slightly crazy, too - anyway, I'm curious to see the film.

Kurt HalfyardMarch 28, 2012 4:26 PM

I'll be taking this one in for sure.

Joshua ChaplinskyMarch 28, 2012 10:24 PM

Goddamn, she looks like her dad. Eerie.

Ard VijnMarch 30, 2012 7:44 AM

By the way, I think it is funny that even this trailer continues to show off how insanely hot Mallika Sherawat is.