Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I love this film. The more I think about it, the more I love it. I have no illusions about the film’s commercial prospects. It’s not that kind of movie. At three hours, it is a punishing experience, in no small part because of the absolute stink of crazy that’s all over it. I know that the person who went to see it with me liked it, but was disturbed by it days after we saw it because of the way it sticks to you. You can either read my review of it, or you can check out this guy’s obviously shaken reaction:
Well, I was lucky enough to get into the Inland Empire sneak preview here in boston, David Lynch in attendance. I read this website daily, but have never contributed. For the first time I feel I might have something a bit different to share. The experience around the film wasn't all that important, aside from the incredibly strong coffee that had me tweaking through the first hour. Inland Empire itself starts beautifully, scored perfectly, with abstraction, a record player and a woman weeping at a television screen. Despite the occasional moment in the beginning the movie is fairly easy to follow for a bit. You know, cursed production of gypsy folktale, it's not until around an hour in I'd say that the movie switches. While most might say its at the scene that indicates a haunting, won't say much about that, I think the real pivot point is when when Laura Dern loses her sense of self. This realization was for me, immediately shattering. Anyone familiar with psychosis, as in, one who has experienced it before should veer away from this film if possible. I have never seen such a clear rendition of psychotic effects, that distilled paranoia and de-realization. The narrative immediately falls apart into a two hour long nightmare of loosely woven ideas, some completely un-necessary, some beautiful, ALL terrifying. The film is for the most part unredemptive, and whenever it seems to be reaching a redemptive point, it quickly spirals into something worse and more terrifying. At first the film was light fare, but after that pivot point I found myself wishing I could leave, but so enraptured by the terror I was frozen to my seat. I resolved to leave immediately after it finished but realized I needed to sit, let the lights come up, the credits roll so I might readjust myself, know that the nightmare of inland empire is over. I must say, I felt shaken the rest of the night. Again I warn anyone who's danced the lip of mental illness to shy away, the rest, it's quite a ride. While I was nearly incapacitated, I heard other moviegoers saying things like: oh that was pretty cool. Leaving me to wonder if THEY were out of their minds. The Q and A at the end was standard, a mix of people wanting to hear themselves talk, a few good questions (particularly about digital video). David said DV allows you to drift from subject to subject, not having to deal with focus pulls and the like. Other than that his speaking reminded me of his TM tour, dodging the fanboys, focusing on creativity. What I couldn't wrap my head around was how a man so focused on inner piece could create such a nightmare. Part of me felt it was cathardic, but part of me saw all the social and mental decay that haunts me spilled out like bile on the screen. It's not a pretty movie, that's for sure, but I think the context might be everything. I wonder what other people felt like in watching it and look forward to reading reviews. It might just be a personal thing, but deep down, I really wish he hadn't made this movie. The dark underbelly is interesting if caged in a narrative with a sweeping personal change, a romance, and some kind of rebirth in the end. To free that terror and let it swill freely, well I just don't agree with that I suppose. Though metaphysical terror, such as is David's medium, has been around long before any written or even verbal record, I feel the good has always been there to shine it out, something Blue Velvet did beautifully. Inland empire...it was just too much. If you use this nonsense call me, the kook.