Well, I just saw Inland Empire at the Brisbane International Film Festival.
Where do I start? Well, I’ll start with the stylistic choices. The digital looks great. I am a big fan of using digital as a stylistic choice. Sure, it can look just plain shit when it’s done because it’s cheap. But when a director like Lynch uses a digital camera, there’s a reason. It gives him incredible movement. It’s like a whole new side of Lynch, but still undoubtedly his own. He makes use of a wide angle lens and frequently blows out the windows of houses during the daytime. It sounds like a cheap V-Cinema film, but it looks fantastic.
Now, the story. Well, it reminded me of the first time I read Naked Lunch by Burroughs. It skips from small stories to the main story and then proceeds to get weirder. The beat poets, like Burroughs, had this tradition of telling a story and then taking it to the extreme until it got really bizarre. Inland Empire reminded me of that. As far as Lynch goes, it is closest to Mulholland Drive than any of his other work. Laura Dern sits in a room with some girls as a couple of them comment on one girl’s breasts, saying that they are beautiful, and then it cuts to all the girls doing the locomotion in the living room, disco lights flashing over the room. It continually cuts to three bunnies in a room, one of them doing the ironing, a laugh track playing when they say certain things. It’s unlike anything else. And Laura Dern is amazing. What a role. It requires so much range and yet she pulls it off. Harry Dean Stanton and Jeremy Irons are awesome too.
By far, the most insane thing I’ve seen this year. Well worth trying to see it on the cinema screen. 5/5