The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
A blonde actress is preparing for her biggest role yet, but when she finds herself falling for her co-star, she realizes that her life is beginning to mimic the fictional film that they're shooting. Adding to her confusion is the revelation that the current film is a remake of a doomed Polish production, 47, which was never finished due to an unspeakable tragedy.Written by
I just finished watching "Inland Empire", having long awaited a Lynch film since I was so completely awe-struck by "Mulholland Drive." Let's get one thing straight here. David Lynch is probably my favorite director. He is certainly one of the most innovative minds in film and deserves to be on the same plateaus as Kubrick and Scorcese. However, Inland Empire is not a film. It's a three-hour long digital journey, and I honestly think that if this movie had been on film it would have had more of an impact on me.
Making a three-hour digital film is a very daring thing to do and the movie is very impressive in that sense. But I never felt myself entirely engaged with the movie as I had with Lynch in the past. Whereas I usually am on the edge of my seat and overcome with feelings of dread that no horror movie can accomplish, I laid on my couch through most of "Inland Empire" and maybe sat up straight for two whole scenes.
I'm going to attribute this to the film being on digital. For one, the shots and footage are so dark at times that the film feels like you're looking at a black box on the screen for a lot of the movie. In a theatre that may be very different, but on a television set that grows very tiresome.
Secondly, "Inland Empire" is a very ugly film. It is very reminiscent of Lynch's earlier works like "The Alphabet" and "The Grandmother" where the films were very dark and made them even more frightening for those reasons. And yes, those films are very good films, but not pleasing to look at.
This is probably my biggest complaint about the film. Despite Lynch being such a dark and creepy character, his films were always contrasted by moments of serene beauty. The scene in "Mulholland Drive" where Naomi Watts and Laura Harring go to the Club Silencio is one of the most beautiful scenes in a movie I have ever seen. "Inland Empire" has no beauty in it at all, which makes it difficult to sympathize with anyone in it.
Lastly, this is still a problem with the digital nature of the film, but Lynch's style lacks a lot of edge when on digital. Part of what I think made Lynch so impressive is that the shots and takes he got on film most studio executives would have a fit over -- "Is this guy a bloody amateur?!", etc...
And yet that was what made Lynch so special as a director. He managed to capture the things that people were afraid to capture because film as a medium is so costly and most wouldn't waste it on eerie inserts of lamps, and lips, and eyes, etc. He managed to capture discomforting things and show audiences a side of the world they had never seen before. With "Inland Empire", I would argue that any film student or amateur could have done if not the same, the equivalent. The digital style is overall not very Lynchian.
The performances on Laura Dern, Justin Therous, and Jeremy Irons parts are wonderful. Dern is especially brilliant considering she's not playing much of a character but more of an abstraction and yet still is very convincing. The "Locomotion" dance number is worth seeing alone. In the end, I give this film a 7 out of 10 because I am a die-hard Lynch fan and know that those who are not as die-hard as myself will probably be less critical and enjoy this film -- I mean, movie, a lot.
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