Mar 10, 2008

Inland Empire

Any fan of the bizarre or down right obscure cinema, knows the name David Lynch. Over decades, he has sealed his place as the master of American mainstream arthouse with his debut film Eraserhead; which is among his best film and if not, one of the most disturbing pieces of independent cinema to grace US soil.

Throughout the years, he has expanded in many different genre pieces and themes for film including alcoholism, surrealism, sexual dysfunction, and identity crisis. With his newest film Inland Empire finally released, many fans are left confused due to the sprawling 3 hours of nonsense that seems like every deleted scene from a Lynch film mashed together and given reject characters.

The film pays its homage to his own creation, Mulholland Drive, at the very beginning and continues throughout the runtime. Lynch's muse Laura Dern stars in the film which quite simply, is about a woman in trouble. The reason he never explained this is because i don't even think he knows what this film is about.

Many theories have been unearthed and clues pieced together to form some plot about a woman with an acting curse. Many of the scenes are just completely random and fit in nowhere. The only satisfaction presented in this film is the score, the rabbit scenes, and the tense screen on the poster pictured above.

Many of the scenes are disjointed and connected with an amazing soundtrack. The soundtrack is one of the key elements in the deliverence of the story. If it wasn't for the soundtrack, i might have completely despised this film. Over the years, Lynch has accumulated an unnecessarily huge fanbase. With this in mind, the decision to permanently switch to Digital Video isn't that strange at all.

With the rise of David Lynch, the "auteur", it seems he realized that he could make an extreme amount of capital off the situation, thus releasing his own brand of coffee beans tagged with the line "It's all in the beans ... and I'm just full of beans." This tagline is either self-mocking or just an attempt to make people fashionable if you gobble up Lynch's beans. Some might get hotheaded and lash out on me by saying "You just didn't get it lol". My friends, i didn't want to get it. The hallucination within another hallucination just got old after 30 minutes.

With the beans in tow, it looks now that the reason for the digital video choice is the cost. Lynch can make a film for half the price now, and even more people will buy it. It's an amazing profit, which must account for his fashionable coffee table. Lynch's DVD company ABSURDA seems to have blown his ego huge. For his privately released films, he has a special edition which includes a huge cardboard box for an extra 10 - 20 dollars. If the world allows something such as Dumbland to be sold for the same amount of any other classic film, i don't want to be apart of it.

Inland Empire is just a rehash of Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and a plethora of concepts from Lynch's assorted projects, self-boasting his throne of experimentation. It seems the days for Lynch to make a good film are long over. If you look at his films in a broader perspective, his characters are no more contrived than in any Wes Anderson film; the same absurdity, the juvenile pauses to build atmosphere; and the same Twin Peaks characters in a never-ending rerun.

Final Words: Inland Empire is the result of the corpse of Dali shitting on film, and no, that is not flattery.



JD said...

This is a hard film to get through. I saw at our AFI theater and of his recent films, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive stood out more to me.
Great article!!

Anonymous said...

This movie was pure fucking torture, Lynch is a victim of hypnosis as he has been brainwashed over the last couple of years by transcendental meditation (which is know for creating one track minded nut jobs). Lynch believes anything he does is amazing and you must pay to see it. I doubt Lynch would even be hired by any studio ever again so he'll be peddling sub-par digital goods from here on out. His 80s films are amazing.