Tuesday, August 14, 2007

MOUSE BROWN 4

Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)

Albini once said to me how he believed in the fundamental principle that good music sells - that's all there is to it, if it's good, it'll sell. I agree with that to a point, yet a lot more people will see Rush Hour 3 this weekend than will have seen almost any David Lynch film, with the possible exception of the dreadful Dune. Ironic?

Inland Empire is shot on video which takes some getting used to having been accustomed to the director's usual high production values and cinematography. Beyond that incongruence however, this is very much classic Lynchian territory - and he gives free rein to his exceedingly fertile and surreal imagination over the entire 3 hours of the movie in ways that go beyond even my previous (and still) favourite, Fire Walk With Me.

In fact, although many mainstream reviewers (predictably) complain that it's too weird, and that it doesn't make sense (where have we heard that before?), while without wishing to second-guess Lynch's original intentions, to me at least, it's a fascinating and powerful exploration of a person's, in this case a woman's, layers of the unconscious mind - the wild ocean of possibility where any thing can happen, where any thing is possible (see EXOTERIC where I discuss this in relation to my own work). The fears, the lists of what needs to be done, the social pressures, the desires, the doubts, the relationships, the internal conflicts. Even the title itself can be summed up thus.

That the sexiest actor on the planet, Jeremy Irons, also stars is yet another reason for seeing this incredible work. Not, of course, that another excuse is in any way required.

11 comments:

SYpHA_69 said...

"Fire Walk With Me" is one of my favorite Lynch films also... probably the only one he's done that freaks the hell out of me. I probably should get around to watching the TV show that preceded it one of these days.

John McAndrew said...

I really enjoyed Inland Empire. One of the best cinema experiences (as opposed to just watching a film) I've had this year. Somewhat ironic considering it's shot on video. I too need to watch Twin Peaks (even though I own the 1st season and Fire Walk With Me), but I'm still waiting until the 2nd season is released in the UK before viewing it. I plan to gorge on the entire experience without any stops.

Richo said...

Just, finally, seen the film at a cinema here in Krakow and feel it is up there with Lynch's best. Sure, 'Inland Empire' is carried along by some of the director's trademarks, such as parallel realities and sequences more dreamlike than their surroundings, but the ideas and, indeed, imagery unspools like very little else around. Just a shame the film only arrived here the exact same week the DVD has been released, really, but I'm always happy to revisit Lynch's work and, well, my TV doesn't compete with the experience of the big screen, irrespective of how the film itself was shot.

I had great fun trying to pick away at the little Polish I know as well (I don't know if it's got English subtitles for these sequences elsewhere, but they weren't, quite naturally and clearly enough, on this print!).

William Bennett said...

Did it receive extra attention in Poland due to these sequences, Richo?

jubal66 said...

My favorite aspect of the Lynch haters is the "nothing happened! nothing happened!" defense. Sure, okay, your plot wasn't spoon-fed to you like some dip-shit Farrely brothers comedy. Lynch's movies are more about creating a sense of mood and ambience than serving up some half-assed story that any 3rd grader can grasp. Despite its detractors, Wild at Heart remains one of my favorite movies, precisely because of its celebration of chaos, freedom, wanderlust, and wild abandon that is epitomized perfectly in Sailor's snakeskin jacket!

Richo said...

Regarding the Polish sequences, I recall many people gushing over the fact Lynch was filming in Lodz (pronounced 'woodge'!) last year but barely anybody has said much about the film's release, to my knowledge, here in Krakow. Furthermore, the audience last night was approximately a third of its capacity and consisted of a number of people who walked out long before the film finished (as noted in my MySpace blog), regardless of their apparent enjoyment of most of the Polish dialogue sequences (well, they mostly laughed at them).

In more general terms, I've encountered little about these sequences creating any more excitement towards the film over here, though. Which is especially odd given that it's difficult to meet anybody in Krakow itself (and I can only really speak for this city) who doesn't claim to like Lynch (or Jarmusch and Lars von Trier, come to that).

Time to don my deerstalker hat and pipe...

Walter Peck said...

"My favorite aspect of the Lynch haters is the "nothing happened! nothing happened!" defense. Sure, okay, your plot wasn't spoon-fed to you like some dip-shit Farrely brothers comedy."

That's funny, because my favourite aspect of Lynch-lovers is the patronising and presumptuous defence they use against those with a different opinion ;)

Richo said...

Different opinions are fine, but claiming "nothing" happens in a Lynch film doesn't really carry any weight...

pelao said...

inland empire is an experience, vivid.
doing a li´l lynch festival here in spoon with 3 friends, the whole works, seeing all the inlaid groundworks, the fine ornamental flights of fancy, the terrible consequences of moral activity throughout...it gets better and better with time, and lost highway is another high high high!

Richo said...

Following a little promised investigation, I've subsequently discovered the Polish press has mostly, apparently, (unfairly) panned 'Inland Empire' for being "long", "dull" and suchlike, which may go some way towards explaining its audience being influenced accordingly. However, I only yesterday stumbled across a piece in a recent edition of the Krakow Post (a fairly new free paper written entirely in English) that helped redress the balance.

I'm certain Lynch chose Lodz to shoot some of the film because of its possessing Poland's most famous film school, too. A place that, amongst others, Kieslowski studied at.

pelao said...

my friend got the original transcript of the movie, inland empire, and the polish bits come untranslated! deliberately i suppose, to add to the mental debrischarge!