Inland Empire

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Eric and I went to see David Lynch’s latest masterpiece tonight. Sadly, I was disappointed by the whole thing. For the record, I have liked virtually everything he has done before. I also really enjoyed the first quarter-or-so of Inland Empire–it set the stage for a great story of two actors hired to make a film, which they later discover was being remade after the first attempt was left incomplete for reasons that nobody could quite get a handle on. It may or may not have originally been a story based on a gypsy curse, but you know how rumors are–maybe they’re based if fact, maybe not. Things get twisted in a great way as it begins to to be difficult to tell what is real life and what is part of the movie being filmed. The main actress is visited by a crazy gypsy neighbor, starts “remembering” things in the future, and there’s a great little mobius strip scene where she indirectly runs into herself.

That was the first quarter-or-so of the movie. There were some great elements that reminded me of Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. Unfortunately, at that point, it became an art school project. The movie pretty much diverted on to a new path and never really came back to the original one. I’m usually pretty tolerant of artsy movies, but the majority of the film had me looking at my watch and wondering if David Lynch had actually pre-written the entire script beforehand or if he was just making stuff up on the fly and cobbled something together in post-production just before his final deadline. In several places, it fell into his short film series Rabbits, making me wonder if he’s pretty much tapped out of ideas at this point.

Maybe my expectations were too high, but…. blah. At least there was a monkey. And a music video during the closing credits, which was the exact same tune that the modern remake of The Thomas Crown Affair used for its closing credits.

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