Friday, August 17, 2007

inland empire

people, seriously. got the dvd yesterday. started watching late last night, knowing i would not be able to watch it all because i needed to get up early this morning for adjunct orientation. agony to hit pause.

but seriously. i. am. in. love.

i'll watch the rest tonight. in the meantime, please share your Inland Empire experience.

celebrity moment: i met Grace Zabriskie in the bathroom at Sundance a few years ago.


Jim said...

I saw Inland Empire at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX last year. Lynch was travelling around and screening the film on his own - he even did a Q&A afterwards. Anyway the film is haunting and awesome. I won't tell you my favorite parts because I don't know what parts you've seen yet. Laura Dern rules.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

wow! i would love to have been there when Lynch presented his film. i love festivals because of the q & a and intros and getting to chat w/ the filmmakers. very inspirational.

Laura Dern is amazing. She's born to work in his films. I will watch the rest tonight, and then we can chat about all the scenes.

thanks for writing ;)

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

i find it a very loving film. self-reflective and critical and able to be more fully aware of what it means to represent people (women, esp) in film. transcendent. amazing.

now, tell me your fav parts!

Jim said...

Okay, it's been about 8 months since I've seen it (planning to watch on DVD very soon), but here are the scenes that still give me a chill:

-When Laura Dern sees herself talking to the Director and her co-star...right before she ends up in that creepy house.

-When Laura Dern's face turns into a sort of painted blur...a la that painting "The Scream." I mean, that is the scariest thing I've seen in years.

-The conversation with the homeless man or woman (can't remember) as Laura Dern is bleeding to death.

-The conversation Laura Dern has in that attic with that very strange man.

Notice these are all "glimpses"..."images"..."shots." They are not really scenes. I think what I liked most about this film was that it was a collection of spectacular moments or frames. In many instances, these frames scarred me. I am still haunted by them. And I want to see them again.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

"collection of spectacular moments or frames."

i love that a good film can be just that, no very clear narrative. love it.

the attic conversations were super creepy; she was at her best, and i kept thinking that the man looked like a puffier version of David Foster Wallace.

i LOVE where she is in the scene w/ Devin and something shifts, and she says "that sounds like dialogue from our script!" and the director says "what's going on?" and she proceeds to continue freaking out . . .

yeah, the homeless lady talking about the bus to Pomona was crazy-funny, and the other woman's soothing words "you're just dying, that's all . . . " were actually very tender and loving and bizarrely appropriate.

i think what i love most is the way he captures the interiority of the breakdown . . . all those decaying hallways and stairwells.


bonnie lenore kyburz said...

if i'm understanding Lynch clearly, the dvd reveals that the rabbits were performed by Scott Coffey (who did _Ellie Parker_, the Naomi Watts acting showcase for her MASSIVE acting skills, which had already been made abundantly clear in The Best Masturbation Scene Ever, in _Mulholland Drive_), Naomi WAtts, and Laura Elena Harring (latter 2 from _Mulholland Drive_; got to meet Coffey at Sundance a year or 2 ago when he brought EP to screen at our theater, fwiw).

i love hearing Lynch talk about his work.

also, some of the deleted scenes reveal more of "what's going on," and while i think some of the cuts were wise, there were some atmospheric image-shots (no "action" via characters) that were so lovely i though he maybe should have used them; but then, the film was already, imho, about 20 minutes too long, and as a filmmaker myself, i know the AGONY of deciding what to cut).

maybe you can tell me what you think: the way i see, it, Nikki is experiencing the (sort of cliched, especially for female characters) screenplay w/in the context of her "real" life, and thus the film is dealing with (non)distinctions between film/fantasy/narrative and "reality." it is especially focused upon revealing how female characters/females are manipulated via representation (there is that wonderful moment where you don't know if you are hearing Nikki, Susan, or Laura -- probably all 3 -- say "I'm a whore!" and you realize that she is talking about being used and battered about -- in life, in film). we see similar scenes play out in Poland, which suggests the sort of universal (ugh, i know) nature of the phenomenon, that we can't ever move beyond these blurred borders, that our world is a series of sound stages.

what is loving about the film is making it; rendering it into metadiscourse on the phenom but not in a very clunky, PBA or afterschool-special way but as *art* as something worthy of Serious Contemplation and even "play" (because if you can't just FREAK OUT -- clowns, anyone? -- or laugh -- lafftrack w/in context of the rabbits -- what do you do?).

it feels so clunky to write it up like this, but this is how i'm reading it, and it makes spectation no less disturbing, haunting, absurd, and intellectually engaging, for me; in fact, i appreciate that i can comprehend this in a holistic sense and still feel such heightened affective freakiness w/in the context of individual scenes/images/moments.

i have not yet read any criticism on the film. my husband noted that the dvd box is unique in that it contains not one smidgen of info on "plot" but simple comments like "brilliant!" and so on, and only 1-2 at that.

music put me away. Badalamenti is always good, very good w/ Lynch.

watching more special features later today . . .

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