Author Topic: INLAND EMPIRE  (Read 80293 times)

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MacGuffin

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #105 on: October 09, 2006, 01:07:15 AM »
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Lynch has plenty of criticism for film biz as 'Empire' screening looms
Source: Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK -- David Lynch criticized standard methods for distributing film -- and even film itself -- as he prepared to screen his newest work, an epic fever dream "Inland Empire," at the New York Film Festival, where it will have its North American premiere Sunday night.

"The world is changing and the old ways are going quickly," Lynch said in an interview Friday after the film's press screening. "People are thinking of new ways to begin a film, new ways of shooting, new ways of post production, and you've got to come up with new ways of distribution." While Lynch acknowledged "there are a lot of rumors flying about" concerning "Empire's" theatrical release, with several indie distributors said to be closing in with offers, he said he hopes to announce his release plans for "Empire" early next week.

Not that Lynch appeared very concerned about the film's commercial prospects. "I would like it to be a summer blockbuster, but I'm realistic," he said, adding facetiously that his target audience is "14-year-old girls in the Midwest." No one would mistake that for a serious statement after viewing the three-hour film, which had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and which has sharply divided critics because of its often inscrutable scenes.

"Empire" begins with two interwoven stories of an actress, played by Laura Dern, who is making an onscreen comeback in a Southern melodrama she's filming called "High in Blue Tomorrows." But the film soon branches off to follow a third abused and abusive character also played by Dern. "I figure I have at least three roles, maybe a few more," she laughed in an interview.
 
Each plotline deals with issues of betrayal in relationships, but the film soon veers off those tracks as it showcases musical dance sequences and dramatic episodes with actors speaking Polish. Perhaps only Lynch devotees will fully appreciate a monologue that describes a woman with both a hole in her vagina and a pet monkey that "shits everywhere."

The director created each scene individually before lacing them together thematically, but despite the film's winding road, he pooh-poohed talk that his film is too long. "A time restraint is so arbitrary and kind of meaningless," he said. "This is the length that feels correct."

Sitcom-style segments featuring a family wearing rabbit heads with an oddly timed laugh track are laced throughout the film. They're adapted from "Rabbits," a series of nine shorts that Lynch showed on his website in 2002. Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring and Scott Coffey, who starred in Lynch's last film, 2001's "Mulholland Dr.," filmed the original shorts on a sitcom-looking set and later re-enacted their scenes on the same set for "Empire."

"Empire" was shot digitally after the director became infatuated with a Sony PD150 camera he used to create the shorts, and he has since sworn off celluloid. "For me, film is completely dead," he said. "[It] gets dirty and breaks breaks and scratches, and the equipment is so heavy. It's like swimming through cold molasses. Digital is getting better every day."

Dern started on the project by shooting a 14-page, single-spaced monologue that belongs to the character of the violent woman. She was surprised that Lynch gave her a co-producer credit, which she discovered only when she saw the completed film. "I think it came from sticking with him for three years, being part of the creative process and and giving up other projects to go on this experimental adventure," she said. "There were some scenes where it was just David, me and the camera, which made it a very financially easy way to do it."

What the film lacks in budget -- Lynch will only say it cost "under $100 million" -- it made up for in time, taking nine months to complete in the editing room. It left the director feeling a bit drained. "There's always a vacuum when you finish a film, but I have a couple of ideas," for new projects, he says. "I'd like to do some painting first."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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samsong

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #106 on: October 09, 2006, 01:58:34 AM »
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possibly the most terrifying, beautiful, visceral moviegoing experience of my life.  there's no anticipating what it's like spending three hours in lynch's completely liberated vision.  to make a lazy/easy comparison, this is lynch's Fanny & Alexander... as far as scope and sheer size is concerned.   laura dern bears so much in what will (or should) be considered one of the greatest performances of all time. 

he introduced the film so well, too.  "[i don't remember the quote he read but it was about spiders as a metaphor for humanity]. ladies and gentlemen, Inland Empire."  that's it!  what a night. 

Gold Trumpet

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #107 on: October 09, 2006, 02:13:35 AM »
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laura dern bears so much in what will (or should) be considered one of the greatest performances of all time. 

Ah, even if its boring there could be some good nudity.


Astrostic

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #108 on: October 09, 2006, 08:20:35 AM »
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It was so intense.  It felt like it lasted about 5 hours, and I was dreading the end throughout the entire second half.  The Q/A at the end made me want to marry David, especially with his Ball of Flames comment.  Poor Laura Dern let her own little interpretation of the film slip and then turned to David and asked "is that right?" in a very please-don't-hate-me-for-saying-that sort of way.  Very cute.  Basically the film is the last 40 minutes of Mulholland dr. squared.  I kind of hated the digital for the first half of the film before falling completely in love with it.  Great lesbian moments, but nothing as important or drawn out as in Mulholland Drive.  "Yeah, Those are great tits."  Lynch has a way of making you feel deeply sad for his characters whether you have gotten to know them or not.  There's some hot 50's music, and the best Julee Cruise song in a Lynch film yet.  So sad to have to wait so long to see it again, so sad...

Pubrick

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #109 on: October 09, 2006, 09:41:57 AM »
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this was absolutely everything i expected and more. there are no words to describe the depths of my soul which this film touched. but i will try anyway. from the very beginning to the final shot (if you can even speak of this film in such a linear sense) i felt unravel at first the intellect, then the emotion, then the goddamn spirit of a human on film. at some point i realised that while some directors flourished in "film", the amount of patience and perserverance of vision required to make a statement in that medium is wasted when the same can be applied to a more immediate and fresh form. lynch has captured the results.

i don't know if it will give rise to a slew of copies, how can this be copied? poorly i suspect. but i fear there will be some who outright reject it, with every conservative will of their fearful hearts, they will resist the CHANGE this piece of work requires in you. nay, DEMANDS it, forces it. one second of consideration to its true intent, which is at once simple and evident in every impossible transition, will confront you with a new representation of ideas that you have not seen before. and it is a confrontation. what does it mean to encounter such fearlessness?

i am reminded of the line from Jacob's Ladder sampled in UNKLE's Rabbit In Your Headlights "if you're frightened of dying, and you're holding on, you see devils tearing your life away. But, if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the Earth..." this film is an angel, and i let it take me away. i can think of no other terms for it without attempting to produce a work of equal beauty.

i have not seen this movie.
under the paving stones.

bonanzataz

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #110 on: October 09, 2006, 11:45:33 AM »
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i have not seen this movie.

clearly. i don't know what fuckin' movie these guys all saw.
The corpses all hang headless and limp bodies with no surprises and the blood drains down like devil’s rain we’ll bathe tonight I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls Demon I am and face I peel to see your skin turned inside out, ’cause gotta have you on my wall gotta have you on my wall, ’cause I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls collect the heads of little girls and put ’em on my wall hack the heads off little girls and put ’em on my wall I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls

GSinNYC

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #111 on: October 09, 2006, 03:25:14 PM »
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Saw it today.  Lynch, Dern and Theroux in attendance...also Isabella Rosellini and Philip Seymour Hoffman in audience.

So much to think about, mull over, digest...but my first thought, before I come down:  Take one copy of Eraserhead, one of Mulholland Dr., throw into a blender and mix.  Pour and drip a la Jackson Pollock all over a blank canvas...and there's INLAND EMPIRE.

modage

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #112 on: October 09, 2006, 03:42:15 PM »
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yeah i saw Noah Baumbach there last night as well.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

RegularKarate

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #113 on: October 09, 2006, 03:51:12 PM »
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Take one copy of Eraserhead, one of Mulholland Dr., throw into a blender and mix.  Pour and drip a la Jackson Pollock all over a blank canvas...and there's INLAND EMPIRE.

reminds me of my review of Science of Sleep:

"Cut a DVD of Eternal Sunshine in half and glue it to half a copy of Gondry's director's label then put that in your iMac and rip it to an external drive and take that to Circuit city and let it play with Human Nature (if you can find it) then feed it three corn dogs and take it on a roller coaster and when it gets sick, collect the vomit and bury it under a magic oak tree.  Five years later, a small child will appear before you... that child is Science of Sleep"

MacGuffin

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #114 on: October 09, 2006, 04:26:24 PM »
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So was the free DVD scene in the movie or not?
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Astrostic

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #115 on: October 09, 2006, 04:50:45 PM »
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Not

but all three actors from that scene are in the film, and playing the exact same characters as from the DVD clip.  Basically, you could splice that scene just about anywhere into the final 2 hours of the film and it would fit perfectly.

matt35mm

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #116 on: October 09, 2006, 04:54:34 PM »
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Basically, you could splice that scene just about anywhere into the final 2 hours of the film and it would fit perfectly.

Oh no.

bonanzataz

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #117 on: October 09, 2006, 11:08:08 PM »
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so, people liked this movie? i'm sorry, but this film was just not very good. this film was a self-indulgent, three hour student film that seems to have been made by a lynch imitator rather than the man himself.

now, before people go knocking me and saying i didn't "get it," i would like to acknowledge the fact that before this film, i absolutely adored lynch. everything he did was magic for me. after i saw nearly every one of his films on home video, i would rewind it and watch it again immediately afterwards. this was not entirely because i didn't understand what was going on. i'm familiar with lynch's style and the language he uses in order to convey emotion/story/character/time/place etc. i would watch those films again because i couldn't believe the direction they went in. i couldn't believe that any film could effectively show such raw power and emotion. i couldn't believe that despite the twists and turns his films would take, no matter how far he asked his audience to go, i was always there with him every step of the way. and i was never bored.

then he says he's going dv. with a tiny bit of skepticism, i say the man must know what he's doing to make such a bold jump. he says he loves the freedom he's been given with the format. well, with this film, lynch shows us what a man can do with no restrictions whatsoever, and that's to make a three hour, self-indulgent film that is truly a test of endurance for its audience. nobody else in my audience could see that by the time the third hour began, the audience was fidgeting, coughing, going to the bathroom, being really uncomfortably silent? that was one of the most uncomfortable (and NOT in a good way) audiences i have ever seen. people left the theater! including laura dern and justin theroux! where the hell was his editor? even if you were completely lost during lost highway or mulholland dr, you could NEVER call either of those boring films. every person i talked to on the street told me how bored they were by the whole thing. i never looked at my watch once, and i kept thinking that THIS would be the end, then realizing i had a long long ways to go. after the film, there was a brief q&a in which he states that the whole movie, he would write a scene and then shoot it the next day. neither he nor the actors knew where the hell they were going with the film or what the hell they were doing and it showed. whereas all of his other films lead up to an emotional, frightening, and beautiful conclusion, this movie just seems to wander all over the place, meandering towards an unsatisfying end that so desperately aims to reach those goals. the movie, especially towards the end, seems intent to explain to you that it is brilliant, when it is anything but. it never wants to end, because it assumes its audience wants more. the scene that plays over the end credits of the movie is a scene that seems to revel in everything that has come before it. it is a celebratory dance, honoring the strange and macabre world that it has introduced to its audience. it's a wonderful moment, but the movie it is celebrating doesn't deserve it.

and then there are parts that are so inspired that i feel bad to be knocking this movie so hard. laura dern gives the performance of her career. considering the conditions she was working under, it's amazing what she brings to her role(s). theroux and irons are good as well, but they're not given too much to work with. harry dean stanton, in his (barely) ten minutes of screen time is hilarious, as are william h macy and diane ladd, but if you blink, you'll miss them. i was happy to see grace zabriskie back in lynchland, but her scene was too long and shot really awkwardly (lynch continually uses the same shooting style as he did in his internet short darkened room). certain scenes are written and handled with such poignancy and care, it's such a shame that the rest of the movie bogs these moments down. i'd say that in the three hours runtime, there's about 30-45 minutes that are simply amazing, but they're so few and far between it's hard to care. what i love about lynch films are his fabulous and carefully constructed set pieces. most of this film seems so slapdash and hurriedly thought up and put together. his use of music and sound (usually a strong point for him) is also piss poor. there's one scene that utilizes beck's "black tambourine" that's so out of place it's not even funny. it's sloppy, lazy, and too self-involved to care, and over the years, i've come to expect more from lynch.

as for the dv. half the time, the dv images are ugly. images are overexposed, characters blend into the background, and there is horrible pixellation, edge enhancement, and interlacing. the other half of the movie gets so much out of the format, it's mind-boggling to think that these images are part of the same whole. you can almost see lynch and the rest of his crew getting accustomed to the format (or perhaps the image looked good on the days that peter deming showed up to do some "additional lighting" as the credits stated). several shots are taken straight from the "rabbit" shorts while there are repeated references to axxon n. when somebody asked about this during the q&a, lynch (as he is wont to do) gave a very evasive answer. i'm going to assume that much of "inland empire" was meant to be "axxon n," but canal plus stepped in and said, "hey, why don't you make a feature out of this." perhaps that explains why sometimes the footage looks very amateurish while sometimes it looks very polished and professional (i found it remarkable how some of the darker stuff looked, as, anyone who's shot on dv can tell you, shooting in low light can kill your image).

whatever the reason, it further adds to my opinion that this is less a movie and more an artist's masturbation piece. its a unique experience to see pure, unfiltered lynch, but the movie simply has no ground. there was no time for any idea to fully marinate and as a result, most of the movie is dreadfully dull. with the freedom he was given, the man has run wild and lost all sense of control. i suppose some of you might take that as a good thing, but it was too much for me. maybe i was missing something and i desperately need a second viewing, but i couldn't see myself sitting through this again. there just wasn't anybody/anything that i could connect to and no emotional/spiritual resonance/core that could make me care.

i hope somebody out there can persuade me otherwise, but i highly doubt it.




EDIT: like, fuck, an hour after i wrote that, i went online to look at other reviews and i want to see it again. was it REALLY that bad? no matter what, because of the way the movie was shot, it will always be amateurish and disjointed, but all of the positive reviewers seem to have found that emotional core that i was looking for and couldn't find. i suppose i'm gonna have to see it again. if only for the fact that i can't turn my back on lynch that quickly. THERE NEEDS TO BE SOMETHING THERE AND I'M SO TERRIFIED THAT IT JUST ISN'T!!!
i expect a lot of reviews like this when the film opens domestically.
The corpses all hang headless and limp bodies with no surprises and the blood drains down like devil’s rain we’ll bathe tonight I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls Demon I am and face I peel to see your skin turned inside out, ’cause gotta have you on my wall gotta have you on my wall, ’cause I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls collect the heads of little girls and put ’em on my wall hack the heads off little girls and put ’em on my wall I want your skulls I need your skulls I want your skulls I need your skulls

Astrostic

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #118 on: October 10, 2006, 10:16:12 AM »
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So I'm hearing rumors that Lynch's self-distribution strategy is going to give this film a similar release to what Crispin Glover is doing with "What Is It?" and that INLAND EMPIRE might be available to buy on his website by the new year.  I don't know how I feel about this, as I really want to see this again on the big screen, but the idea of getting to watch it on repeat and properly digest it (especially without rude fucking people in the audience who play with their phone in front of me and sick people sneezing on my neck) is very exciting.  I'm a little afraid that Lynch seems to be crawling into some kind of esoteric hole where eventually, he will create a 9 hour film that contains clips of every nightmare he's had in his life, and you can only see it if you show up to his house and ask nicely.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: INLAND EMPIRE
« Reply #119 on: October 10, 2006, 12:03:38 PM »
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He could be digressing to anonymity the way Jean Luc Godard did after the 1960s. Godard broke with his 60s cinema, called those films "bourgeoisie" and subsequently made films that were experimental video works. In the following 20 years, he was only occasionally seen on the big screen with a big screen esque film. If Lynch is as excited about digital the way he says he is I wouldn't be surprised to see him use his website and the internet to promote his films. Of course it would be a mistake. With every new film he would lose more funds to produce them because using the internet is basically refusing to make films that make money. I think he would turn to a cult filmmaker only. The perfect world says you can make any film you want, but as Orson Welles once said, if you talk films and don't mention money you're just a jackass.

 

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