Author Topic: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis  (Read 33092 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

drepoe29

  • The Call to Adventure
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
Re: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis
« Reply #165 on: June 29, 2017, 07:17:22 PM »
0
Hello, definitely enjoyed reading thus analysis and all the other theories that were provided. Definitely cleared some things up for me that I missed watching the first time. I could not get subtitles to work to hear all dialogue. I like both the purgatory theories and someone else talked about multiple personalities, which is what I thought at first because I thought she ended up being a drug addict..but by the end didn't get the sense that she was. A couple of things I wanted to add:

Does anyone have any comments on the rabbits involved in the movie or the polish gypsy folklore at all?? I agree about the comments here but I also have more to add. From online reading rabbits or hares have a a variety of meaning over time.. The holy trinity, messengers of dieties, they have represented fertility death and rebirth, also a trickster (they have all of these elements in the movie). I think that this movie touches on all of those things, not to mention the male rabbit was definitely some sort of messenger. Also, the one folktale in the movie talked of the alley on the way to the palace (palaces are in fairytales) and there is a Russian man named Vladimir Propp of the 20th century who named the elements of the folk tale (which also came to be known as the fairytale) and this movie has all of those elements. I took this movie as a surreal fairytale of the subconcious, which leads to true enlightenment. It's hard for me to explain my thoughts but definitely look up some of the above.
I also read somewhere recently on a different article that David Lynch really likes that Vladimir Propp (has a picture in his house) and did research on rabbits or hares over the years? I don't know if this is true but linking these two things, after doing some reading online, gives me a feeling that the name Inland Empire refers to a subconscious fairytale (palace..empire). The movie definitely has all aspects of the structure of what fairytales are considered. It's extremely interesting and thought-provoking to me. Below are links to some info on what I brought up in my response.

http://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2014/12/the-folklore-of-rabbits-hares.html

http://changingminds.org/disciplines/storytelling/plots/propp/propp.htm

Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 10933
  • Respect: +1341
Re: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis
« Reply #166 on: June 30, 2017, 06:44:43 PM »
0
I think that's valid. I will have to read more about rabbits representing fertility, because that is certainly a big issue in the film.

For a really great distillation of the Propp formula and Inland Empire, be sure to read this post by SamFZGames:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=10711.msg330952#msg330952

I would also say the rabbits serve as a kind of spiritual source for the whole thing. They are often visually matched with characters in the film, especially characters from the spirit world. But more than that, the rabbits clearly represent the folktales, and the folktales are the ultimate source. It unfolds like this:

Folktales/rabbits ––> 49 ––> On High In Blue Tomorrows

These stories represent lives. I believe Lynch is making an illustration here that each of our lives is like its own story that is cyclical and repeating. 49 is the "story" that Lost Girl is stuck in. "On High" is the story that Sue is stuck in. Nikki is spiritually separated and sees that as a story — so essentially, we see Nikki's journey. (If it wasn't clear, I view Nikki as the non-incarnate version of Sue.)

The final piece is Axxon N., "the longest running radio play in history." I believe Axxon N. represents the whole system of lives, deaths, and reincarnations playing out like stories.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

janetshlox

  • The Call to Adventure
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
Re: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis
« Reply #167 on: September 16, 2017, 06:24:33 PM »
0
Two things that kinda stick out to me is:

1. A little girl/boy went out to play. Can this be a reference to the cheating love affairs?

2. Is it possible that the phantom can only be seen as the reflected evil?

statsrespecter

  • The Call to Adventure
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Respect: 0
Re: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis
« Reply #168 on: September 21, 2017, 11:16:48 AM »
0
This is a REALLY good analysis, probably the best I've read.  I agree completely with *most* of your assessments, with a few exceptions.

The biggest is that I don't believe that Nikki Grace OR Sue Blue and the people of her reality are real.  I think that it's a multiple layered projection on the part of the Lost Girl.  Like you, I believe she's in a sort of purgatory, for the reasons you so eloquently spelled out.  However, rather than Sue being a reincarnation or spiritual "twin" to the lost girl, I think she's a device created by the LG to understand and overcome the purpose of her existence in this limbo, ie: the debt requiring payment.  I think Nikki is her attempt to "clean up" Sue's story, just as Sue herself is a means of "cleaning up" LG's story, but ultimately the Nikki facade falls away, leaving it nothing but the rationalization through Sue for LG.  Just as Nikki is "half born" from Sue, Sue is "half born" from LG...Nikki is Sue's avatar just as Sue is LG's avatar...but only LG is a real person.  To me, this is why we see some repeating characters that are "real" to Sue and Nikki -- Piotrek, The Phantom, Doris Side\Piotrek's wife -- are all actual people from LG's life in Old Poland.  Of particular interest -- the Phantom was the primary antagonist in her life -- her abusive, controlling husband, the same one that killed her lover.  It would stand somewhat to reason that the Phantom, the reflected evil or debt collector, would take on that persona as it pursued Sue.

I think the "Sue\Smithy\Billy\Doris are reincarnations of past people in a real world" is just a little too convenient or on the nose.  No one can say for sure, and I certainly could be wrong, but that explanation just doesn't "feel" right to me, and I can't find enough in the film to support it.  It reminds me a little of a popular(and in my opinion, VERY incorrect) theory that the Phantom is some kind of deity\demon that travels through time forcing victims to act in his "play" and the LG\Sue team up to defeat him.  It just doesn't feel "Lynch" to me.

Another minor detail that I'm not sure about in your piece is the Rabbits -- but I can't fault it either, because I can't really explain their connection either.  To me, that's the biggest missing piece for me..there's clearly something important being conveyed, but I can't see what it is.

Overall...tremendous work...I've read countless interpretations, and maybe it's confirmation bias, but this is far and away the best, most "correct" one I've come across!

Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 10933
  • Respect: +1341
Re: HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis
« Reply #169 on: September 21, 2017, 05:37:28 PM »
0
Thanks for all the kind words!  :oops:

I am working on a major update, which I think addresses some of what you're saying.

The biggest is that I don't believe that Nikki Grace OR Sue Blue and the people of her reality are real.  I think that it's a multiple layered projection on the part of the Lost Girl.  Like you, I believe she's in a sort of purgatory, for the reasons you so eloquently spelled out.  However, rather than Sue being a reincarnation or spiritual "twin" to the lost girl, I think she's a device created by the LG to understand and overcome the purpose of her existence in this limbo, ie: the debt requiring payment.  I think Nikki is her attempt to "clean up" Sue's story, just as Sue herself is a means of "cleaning up" LG's story, but ultimately the Nikki facade falls away, leaving it nothing but the rationalization through Sue for LG.  Just as Nikki is "half born" from Sue, Sue is "half born" from LG...Nikki is Sue's avatar just as Sue is LG's avatar...but only LG is a real person.  To me, this is why we see some repeating characters that are "real" to Sue and Nikki -- Piotrek, The Phantom, Doris Side\Piotrek's wife -- are all actual people from LG's life in Old Poland.  Of particular interest -- the Phantom was the primary antagonist in her life -- her abusive, controlling husband, the same one that killed her lover.  It would stand somewhat to reason that the Phantom, the reflected evil or debt collector, would take on that persona as it pursued Sue.

I like this interpretation! I prefer mine, unsurprisingly, but this is really good. It has a lot of things going for it, including something that could be seen as a smoking gun: when they "merge" at the end, Nikki fades away while Lost Girl remains. We do see Nikki after that, though, still existing in some capacity and then seeming to go into her own afterlife — perhaps one of fiction, if you're correct, which is also kind of supported since we see (presumably) Camilla/Rita from Mulholland Drive.

I fully agree with you that Lost Girl is at the absolute center of the film, and that everything about Sue flows back to Lost Girl. I just feel like Sue has her own distinct journey in this narrative with her own agency. So in that sense, personally, I don't see her being an avatar of Lost Girl. Our interpretations are not necessarily incompatible, though, in many ways.


It reminds me a little of a popular(and in my opinion, VERY incorrect) theory that the Phantom is some kind of deity\demon that travels through time forcing victims to act in his "play" and the LG\Sue team up to defeat him.  It just doesn't feel "Lynch" to me.

Spoilers for new Twin Peaks... I would argue that the finale shows that Lynch is very much interested in forces of good teaming up to defeat an evil supernatural entity. Whether he was in 2006 is I guess an open question.

But I agree the Phantom is not as important as many people believe. I view him as a "threshold guardian," a type of figure that we also saw throughout new TP. What's important in Sue's confrontation with the Phantom is what Sue chooses to do — she chooses to openly face and defeat her own evil.


Another minor detail that I'm not sure about in your piece is the Rabbits -- but I can't fault it either, because I can't really explain their connection either.  To me, that's the biggest missing piece for me..there's clearly something important being conveyed, but I can't see what it is.

Yeah, I didn't really deal with the rabbits too much. They were discussed somewhere in this thread, though. Essentially, they can be seen as direct connections to the Polish folktale (and representations of it).

If you haven't, read this, one of the best / most important posts in this thread:

http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=10711.msg330952#msg330952

In my update, I'll have an explanation that addresses the four "levels" of reality/narrative at work in this universe. But here's a sketch of what I have in mind:

1. Axxon N. — Represents the whole spiritual system of this universe — incarnate lives as stories — a plane on which all of this takes place. The way Axxon N. is used to frame 47, it's like 47 is an iteration within Axxon N. — an episode of it. Here's an excerpt from what I'm writing that elaborates on that:

When Sue gets to see some scenes from Lost Girl’s life via Axxon N., it plays out like Sue is vividly watching… yet there is the crackle of the needle, reminding us this is all still a story playing out on Axxon N., as is all human drama, as are all lives.

2. The Old Tale / Polish Folktale — The creative source of all narratives that run through lives. (Credit to the post linked above.)

3. 47 — Lost Girl's story. Ostensibly a German film based on a Polish folktale. However, we see Polish characters speaking Polish (not German), all but proving that Lost Girl is not literally in a German movie — rather, the fictitious 47 is a figurative representation of her actual life.

4. On High In Blue Tomorrows — Sue's life. A "remake" of 47. Which neatly illustrates that Sue's life is based on Lost Girl's life. Now we see exactly how these "movies" are being used to represent these two lives.
"Hunger is the purest sin"

 

DMCA & Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy