Thursday, August 23, 2007

Inland Empire

As I said, in 1980, my love affair with David Lynch began in, well, 1980.

And yet, for some reason, I approached Inland Empire with some trepidation. I think a lot of it had to do with the issue of DV. Count me as still a big dorky lover of film, a Luddite, all of those things.

While I must say, Go Inland, young woman! by Jim Emerson (with a special addition of Take the Lost Highway to the Inland Empire... for Lynch neophytes and skeptics) says nearly everything I might say about it for the most part, while I loved the movie, the story, the acting, the editing, etc. - in fact, nearly as much as anything Lynch has done, which is saying a lot - and I admire the self-consciously DV look he was able to work out in principle, I still count myself as a DV skeptic.

That said, whether you saw it, like it or not, haven't seen it, don't care about it, whatever... you must rent or purchase this DVD. The second disk may be the best second disk of any recent movie I've seen! Lynch may be the most excited quinoa cook ever. And while I, as a director, enjoyed watching the feature "Lynch II", featuring a seemingly random assortments of clips of him working, "Stories" is fabulous. Just wonderful.

His sudden passionate rant about watching movies on "your fucking telephone!" is a thing of beauty, and frankly his nearly religious passion for an ability to achieve greater loudness (as well as "really tasty silences") from movie theater speakers sounds almost like something that Michael Bay could have delivered, except, of course, with more artistic sincerity.

That's not to mention the complete 60 minute collection of deleted scenes (or "More Things That Happen") that's overwhelmingly informative to the movie, but also nearly like watching a short sequel.


r_sail said...

I'm pretty skeptical about Inland Empire, as I didn't care much for either Lost Highway or Mullholland dr.

Something about them just didn't sit well with me. I dunno, I don't have a problem with symbolism or not being spoon fed, but they just seemed to be 'deep' or 'difficult' for the sake of it. I've yet to find anyone who can explain to me why I should care about either film or the characters in it. And I fucking LOVE David Lynch.

Still, I'll watch Inland Empire, I'm just waiting until I'm not predisposed to disliking it. The second disc sounds wonderful, though.

Neil Sarver said...

I don't know what to say, as, for me, Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive is some of his best work, but I'm not sure exactly what to say to convince others to agree with me.

I will happily re-iterate that the second disk is, one way or the other, worth the price of a rental.

Jeremy Richey said...

I don't know what has happened with me and David Lynch. His work meant so much to me as a teenager and in my twenties and I still count "Fire Walk With Me" and "Lost Highway" as two of my favorite films...and I have been a "Twin Peaks' fanatic since the night the pilot premiered and blew my young 17 year old mind.
For some reason though I just haven't been able to bring myself to "Inland Empire". I don't know what it is. It sounds fascinating but for some reason David Lynch has started bothering me the last few years. I can't put my finger on why but I find myself increasingly less interested in his current work.
I will watch it someday and who knows it might blow me away but for now I will wait.
I do know I will have to watch it eventually for my Nastassja Kinski blog as I know that she pops up towards the end...
anyway, great post as usual Neil.

Neil Sarver said...

Jeremy, thanks for your thoughts.

I know the feeling. I know that part of my issue at the time Inland Empire was released was not as much Lynch as it is Lynch fans, many of whom seem to not actually grasp the work, or even be that terribly interested in doing so, but to sort of enjoy it as one more thing that pretentious and "trippy" for them to feel smart for pretending to admire... or something like that.

And, I admit, I'm being too judgmental, but it's definitely a factor in there.

Make sure when you get to it for the blog that you watch "More Things That Happen". In the movie itself, she's blink and you miss her, but she has a pretty substantial (and interesting) scene in "More Things..."

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