Inland Empire (France, Poland, US, 2006)

What does it all mean?

What does it all mean?

I love Lynch because he, as a true surrealist, eschews bourgeois representations of the world and, hence, the audience often doesn’t a clue about what’s going on. There’s a terrific synopsis on Wikipedia but it doesn’t necessarily explain what the film’s about. I like Danny Leigh’s ideas because he accepts that futility of actually trying to pin down meaning that bourgeois epistemology insists upon.

Clearly the film is a companion piece to Mulholland Drive (2001) in that it deals with the Hollywood Dream Factory (the leads, Naomi Watts and Laura Henning,  appear briefly). However, the shifting play of realities between ‘life’ and ‘film’ is clearer (well, relatively). I’m not sure what the Polish element is about (did the Polish funding necessitate shooting there?) and suggests Eastern Europe as Other but…

There’s the usual Lynch elements: flickering lights that give off very little light; the red curtains; grimy underworld places. There’s the postmodern merging of realities (most obvious in Lost Highway, 1997, which is referenced by the woman in the blonde wig during the end credits) and the unstable postmodern self.

Laura Dern puts in a bravura performance and there’s many stunning images and moments of horror. It may not be as engaging as other Lynch movies (too much retreading over old territory?) but is a healthy antidote to normalcy.

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