A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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INLAND EMPIRE
2006 - David Lynch - United States / France / Poland
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Inland Empire marks David Lynch’s first digital video feature and it very well may be his most experimental film since his masterful 1977 debut Eraserhead. At an uncompromising three hours long and without a conventional plot, Lynch’s surrealistic epic will undoubtedly divide audiences. However, fans of the director or those aware of what to expect will appreciate what appears to be a definitive Lynch film as a reflection of his art. The film goes beyond rational interpretation instead becoming a bizarre journey into a subconscious dreamworld of vast possibilities to interrupt. These possibilities are more to be experienced then they are interpreted. Inland Empire rejects a single or even a cohesive narrative, instead overlapping several timeframes and narratives. At once Inland Empire is a film within a dream within a film, reflecting on a woman’s role in Hollywood, a murder mystery, an underground world, and several love affairs. Ultimately the film becomes a meditative exploration deep into the psyche and confused subconscious of its character. Playing an actress, an abused wife, and a prostitute Laura Dern gives an unforgettable performance that honestly belongs mention among the very greatest. Dern is brilliantly working on various levels as she intensely pushes through the complicated and terrifying hallucinations and dreams (or nightmares) of Lynch’s vision and of her own mind. Stylistically, Lynch expresses the film through his trademark use of scattered sounds and visuals (notably the expressionistic use of lighting, the obscure close-ups, and the carefully positioned color patterns). Heightened by Dern’s sweeping performance, Inland Empire is a surrealistic film that challenges and struggles with you. So much so that in the end all you are left is admiration, and the one thought that is perfectly captured in the final shot (before a wonderfully strange closing credit group dance sequence to Nina Simone's Sinnerman)… sweet indeed!!
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