The Samovar

Inland Empire
April 2, 2007, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Film

I am a massive fan of David Lynch, I think there’s no doubt that he’s the greatest living film director. That said, I’m not entirely sure what to say about his new film Inland Empire. I need to see it again before I can make any intelligent comment about it, so in the meantime here are some entertaining quotes from reviews:

  1.  Germaine Dulac’s 1928 movie Le Coquille et le clergyman was refused a certificate by the British Board of Film Censors, one of its examiners observing: ‘This film is so cryptic as to be meaningless. If there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable.’ Which brings us to David Lynch’s Inland Empire, as opaque a movie as I’ve ever seen, yet riveting or hypnotic in a way that makes you feel not that you’ve seen it, but that you’ve dreamt it.
  2. In a recent Cahiers du cinéma interview, [Lynch] says: ‘Perhaps in a few years time, we’ll speak of Inland Empire as a simple story.’ As Ethan Edwards or Buddy Holly might say, that’ll be the day.
  3. The great eroto-surrealist David Lynch has gone truffling for another imaginary orifice of pleasure, with results that are fascinating, sometimes very unwholesome, and always enjoyable.
  4. The nightmare goes on and on – for three hours, in fact. But believe me when I say that, though this is familiar Lynch stuff, it is never dull, and I was often buttock-clenchingly afraid of what was going to happen next and squeaking with anxiety. The opening scene, in which Nikki is visited by a creepy neighbour (Grace Zabriskie) is so disturbing, I found myself gnawing at a hangnail like a deranged terrier.
  5. Recently, I get the feeling that [Lynch] could make a three hour movie of a fat man having a shit and the Peter Bradshaw’s of this world would still line up to praise him.
  6. By the time we got to the beautiful young women, all flashing-eyes and -breasts, it was time to leave. It struck me that he should try directing porn – I think he’d especially like lesbian hardcore as his films all seem to coyly smile that way as it is. So bring them on, get their kit off and let’s have some action. That way the rest of us can enjoy the w*nk as well.
  7. It could be that these (brown) rabbits are reminders of the White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” taking Alice down the hole into bizarre lands. With the strange and terrifying occurrences, the low ceilings and the non sequiturs, there’s more than a whiff of a threatening Wonderland. But since the rabbits first appeared in shorts on Lynch’s Web site, it may be that he simply likes the image of people dressed in rabbit outfits.
  8. Who knows, maybe the reason a group of prostitutes start singing “The Locomotion” is because Lynch heard it on the radio the day before. Does it belong? Does it matter, since everything belongs?
  9. “Inland Empire” may be the most aggressively surreal feature film ever released to movie theaters in this country, and it’s possibly close to the movie David Lynch carries around in his head.
  10. Pressed to describe “Inland Empire,” Lynch has said it’s about “a woman in trouble,” which is like saying “Jaws” is about a fish.
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