Inland Empire

Lost Highway, the Elephant Man, Twin Peaks, Blue Bob, Blue Velvet ... all other Lynch discussion here please
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somethingbad
 
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Inland Empire

Postby somethingbad » 21 Nov 2010

I recently watched Inland Empire. I'd held off from seeing it for fear of how self-indulgent and impenetrable it would be. Boy, was I surprised! I really enjoyed it and saw it as a companion to MD.

I love supernatural stories and I think Lynch does too but I don't think he ever puts anything supernatural into his films. Only events that the characters may perceive as a supernatural or even the audience but I think that Lynch himself has a natural explanation for them - albeit that natural explanation will often involve his characters having some pretty trippy visions and the like.

On that basis I'll be able to rest over IE when I'm able to explain that Laura Dern never plays anyone real in the film and the real person is the girl in the hotel room having some pretty trippy thoughts about her life whilst watching static on the TV.

I also think that Lynch is probably a very autobiographical artist and for his last couple of films has fooled people with lead characters who are female.

I wondered if anyone else on the board had any views on IE?

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danieltx
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby danieltx » 21 Nov 2010

The first time I watched Inland Empire, my mouth was literally hanging wide open by the end of it. It's just so surreal. When you think you have an idea of what's happening in the film, all of a sudden something else occurs and it gets thrown out the window. Your premise that Dern doesn't play a real character and that the actual main character of Inland Empire is the Polish girl in the hotel room is correct in my mind. I've done a lot of research and reading of people's thoughts on this film, and by far the best analysis I've come across is this one - http://x4mr.blogspot.com/2007/11/inland-empire.html. The film actually makes sense after you've taken the time to read it.

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blu
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby blu » 21 Nov 2010

I think that IE has some wonderful moments, but to me there's no compelling story as with MD, for example. It doesn't hang together fantastically well for me. I saw it twice in the cinema but have never felt the desire to revisit the DVD despite the fact that it's been sat on my shelf since release. I understand that it's developed quite a community exploring in the same way as MD did, but I wasn't taken with the film enough to join those discussions.

My personal opinion is that you could probably lose half an hour of the film without losing anything from the film. David could have done with Mary Sweeney in the edit suite with him. Those who have looked at it much closer than I have will probably disagree.

Aside, and off-topic, danieltx - the bbcode you used to show the weblink you posted should have been deactivated before the forum launched as it's potentially exploitable - I deactivated it and your link just shows as normal now.

Thanks for the link, I will certainly revisit it and read properly when I have a bit more time.

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silenthiller119
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby silenthiller119 » 27 Nov 2010

I first saw Inland Empire at a midnight screening, so to say I remember much from those three hours so late at night (for me at least) would be an overstatement.

I agree mostly with blu about the film. The fact that it falls down so many rabbit holes (or at least I feel it does) just makes for too much work to enjoy it. Personally, I felt there was way too long of pauses in the film and it tested my patience. Don't get me wrong, if I'm immersed inside a film I can love long pauses or slow walking; in this film, however, it was tedious. I also agree that the film could've been edited down even more too. According to what I've heard, the film was even longer than the one released in theaters! When it was cut down, it was put in the DVD's Special Features under More Things That Happened.

This is a side note, but the audio balance in the US DVD I have is so uneven I have to constantly turn the volume all the way up or all the way down in certain scenes to hear people talk or when the music got too loud.

Overall, the film was only ok to me but it's not one I can watch in one sitting. As one critic said, it's kind of a "mess".

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Agent Cooper
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby Agent Cooper » 03 Dec 2010

I agree with the opening poster on Inland Empire being a companion piece to Mulholland, but I understand why people have more trouble with it artistically. The fact that it is shot on Mini DV, the long running time, and the overtly disconnected nature of the scenes can definitely be disconcerting to a casual viewer.

But like Mulholland, Inland has deeper levels of meaning and explanations that adequately harmonizing the seeming randomness of events into a tight story.

I look at Inland Empire as Inception if the characters stopped explaining every little thing to the audience. We are delving into multiple levels of dreams, dimensions, and spiritual planes in a battle being waged over decades between forces of good and evil.

Inland Empire is really a remarkable film once you catch the vision of the broader conflict.

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CarlottaValdes
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby CarlottaValdes » 23 Feb 2011

Mulholland Drive was perfect but this overstepped the mark and was so annoying.
In a nutshell, I like to think of Inland Empire as Mulholland Drive's ugly stepsister.
However, I do love the end credits. Nice to see Laura Harring making an appearance.
'I hate you. I hate us both. Oh and just kidding, I really only hate you. Myself I’m totally in love with.'

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threnos
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby threnos » 15 Apr 2011

I have heard Lynch say that to him it is all about the magic and the unexplainable. I've also heard him say that there are things that can't be explained so I do believe that he incorporates the supernatural into his work. There are things in Twin Peaks that can't be explained without the supernatural playing a part.

I think that Laura Dern did play one real person in the film. I'm cramped for time so I'll explain this the next time I login.

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threnos
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby threnos » 18 Apr 2011

This is what Inland Empire meant to me.

I think that Inland Empire is as much about infidelity and the ramifications that it has on a woman emotionally as it is about identity. It’s been a while since I saw the whole film but I remember key scenes in it.

We begin with a Polish woman, about to have sex. We then see her afterwards in the hotel room, obviously sad, lost and possibly trapped. She watches the television where she is able to watch a woman called Nikki’s story. We’ll forget about the rabbits for the moment.

Nikki Grace is an actual person, as well, in vast difference from the Lost Girl (Sue), Nikki is wealthy, but on the edge of having an affair. The day before she is cast in a film, the moment before she will be prominently connected to the man she will have the affair with, she is visited by a strange Polish woman. The new role this woman references Nikki taking isn’t the character in the film at all but as an unfaithful wife. The concept of magic and time is brought up and when the woman references if it was tomorrow Nikki would be sitting on the opposite side of the room. We then see this tomorrow and the events that lead to Nikki having an affair with her co-star Devon.

I won’t go into too much detail here. I will say that Devon is warned about having an affair with Nikki. This implicates that he is known for his string of romantic relationships. The laughter the group of men share about Nikki’s ass is also sickening. Nikki’s husband even warns Devon that Nikki is bound to him by marriage and that even outside forces will make sure the bond is not broken. Still, despite this, Devon and Nikki begin an affair. Devon breaks off the relationship, indicated by his laughing at Nikki during sex, leaving Nikki in a kind of depressed no where land, the same state Sue is lost to. This is represented by the strange house Nikki is in. The prostitutes are also representative of Devon’s past conquests. While it may have been love for Nikki it was not so for Devon. By having sex with him she has essentially sold herself. She has to subsequently deal with the shame and guilt that the affair has left her with.

Nikki begins to experience the life of Sue, the Lost Girl, who experienced the same situation. Sue’s story is the old Polish folk tale that 47 was based on. She cheated on her husband, got pregnant and then felt trapped in the boredom the end of the affair intensified. She has a daydream of killing her husband, believing this will make her happy. She becomes lost, potentially supernaturally, in connection to one of her husband’s associates: the Phantom. Her husband, after losing his temper realizing the child is not his, loves her and searches for her.

In the end, Nikki and Sue have experienced each other’s life. This teaches them both a lesson. In Sue’s case it frees her from the curse the Phantom placed her in, and probably was also due to her own emotions, so she is able to return to her husband and child without shame, love them and be loved in return.

In Nikki’s case she has avoided the affair all together. The Polish woman gave her a vision of the future. That is why we return at the end of the film to “yesterday” the scene where Nikki and the Polish woman sit on the couch discussing Nikki’s new “role”. Nikki will not accept the role, indicated by her happy and innocent appearance on the other couch. She will remain faithful, having learned the pain and emptiness an affair will cause. The outside forces Nikki’s husband referred to did come into play as did the magic the woman mentioned. Devon’s agent had mentioned that Nikki’s husband was powerful and knew everything. Once more a supernatural element has come into play. His preventing Nikki from having an affair did not only save him from the pain it would cause but most importantly it saved Nikki.

That’s what it meant to me anyway. It was kind of a cautionary tale that infidelity causes pain and sorrow and is not worth it.

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peirucalueva
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby peirucalueva » 11 May 2011

It's the worst movie I've watched over three times. Or at least the worst 3-hour movie.

I still like it a good deal. It's interesting... to a point. The first hour is particularly mesmerizing and the sound design is as sharp as ever with Lynch.

But I don't think the DV works a lot of the time, and the film doesn't really suck me into its world like MD or Lost Highway do. There's also something that makes it very hard to watch for me, not as in too disturbing or whatever, but I just find myself losing patience. I don't think its necessarily the length. But the way Lynch splices together all these seemingly disparate parts doesn't quite work for me; it lacks the coherence of the two aforementioned films. As well as much of the emotional resonance.

I'm still happy to give it a fifth, sixth, etc. viewing though, which just says a lot about how much I admire Lynch and what he's trying to do here, regardless of my reservations with it.

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kmkmiller
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby kmkmiller » 13 Apr 2013

The writers of LOST explain Inland Empire.


Locke: Is he talking about what I think he's talking about?
Ben: If you're talking about time-traveling bunnies...then yes.

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Xav
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby Xav » 14 May 2013

Stuck in INLAND EMPIRE?

Here is your way out.

http://www.xaverius-empire.comze.com/

have fun

cheers,

Xav

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Siku
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby Siku » 19 Jun 2013

Thanks Xav I like the site a lot. It's not the easiest to navigate but that seems appropriate given the subject!

BTW I'm still stuck but I'll keep looking and all signposts are very welcome.

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kmkmiller
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby kmkmiller » 20 Jun 2013

it is probably just something that only exists in my mind, but that site really is cool, xav.

(except for that scream when I click on the main link. it scares me. I think, but only in my mind, so go ahead and keep the scream :2up: :2up: )

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kmkmiller
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby kmkmiller » 08 Jul 2013

come to find out this building has been used in a LOT of movies (including Catch Me If You Can), so I suspect this isn't news to everyone but I was pleased to come across this anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_Place

http://www.dohenymansion.org/

Not to be confused with the other Doheny Mansion AKA Greystone that is a much larger white building 10 miles away with surrounding stables.

This Doheny Mansion is actually located on a Women's college campus in Los Angeles which I like to think ties in nicely with some of the feminist readings of INLAND EMPIRE. that it begins and ends on such a campus makes sense to me. Lastly, the address of this Doheny Mansion, it might be a clue as to where Lynch got Agent Chester Desmond's first name. We all know where Chester Desmond's surname comes from, that's for sure.

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Erniesam
 
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Re: Inland Empire

Postby Erniesam » 19 May 2014

Ah yes, IE. The film I've watched over two years ago and and whereby I fell asleep. In the theater! So, I've watched the second half at home. I couldn't get my head around it, like so many of Lynch's films watched for the first time. Still, it bugged the hell out of me. I wanted it to be good,because I love LH and MD. I guess one has to give oneself time to absorb his works.

So, I started to look online, talk to friends etc. No as feverishly as I did with LH and MD but still: the seed of interest was planted. It's a difficult film, partly because of the use of digital camera. Aestetically I find it less mesmerizing than his last two films. Still, I don't think Lynch used DC just for the fun of it. He has a purpose with everything he does in his movies. I also think the rabbits scene has as distinct meaning or purpose, but as of now I'm not quite sure what this could be. I also belief the movie is about the repression of reality and that the first part is NOT reality, but like MD a dream or better: a fantasy. I'm not quite sure if this fantasy is a deliberate repression of reality or just the workings of a damaged mind in her dying hours. I also belief that the conversation we hear between the two female bums while Nikki is dying is the source of much of the fantasy that has preceded it (in terms of film chronology). Right now I'm playing with the thought that Nikki (is that realy her name?) has in reality cheated on her husband and that she feels guilty about it. Still, I have to work on that, because like LH and MD, the real meaning of the movie becomes clear only when you indulge into it. It isn't a puzzle, where you simply use logic to get the whole picture, but an enigma, wherein you have to follow the logic of dreams and use imaging and symbolism instead of narrative explanations.

I'm looking forward to tonight. A couple of friends are coming over and I have some beer in the freezer. Yep, let's go space trippin'.

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