HALFBORN: An Inland Empire Analysis

Started by Jeremy Blackman, May 18, 2009, 09:03:10 PM

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Hi Jeremy I just wanted to say thank you for your write up of inland empire: ever since I was little I always felt that you could be split off from a part of yourself. Before I read your interpretation I felt somehow like I felt something was speaking to me in a familiar voice yet I couldn't understand - and when I read about your half born theory it made me feel like everything was now articulated. Lynch communicates on a really deep level that transcends our trivial surface life. It matters more how we journey in ourselves through in this life than how we solve the puzzle is of a film. Meditating on how a dream made us feel is of more value and use than just looking in a dream dictionary. Being able to discuss and infer is also fun and interesting and Thank you for articulating it so well - it almost fly like you were speaking to me personally. I don't understand why people would assume there to be no spiritual element to lynch's work, he knows what's underneath all the surface level shizzle and can see the wide vistas. I find it so enriching. Thanks again and if possible would you be able to find the English translation of the polish phone call interruption from MTTH clip with Nikki on the floor and it ends with 'There's something here'? Cheers Kat, England

Jeremy Blackman

Wow thanks for the kind words! And I agree. Inland Empire is so clearly and overwhelmingly spiritual (about spirits and spirit worlds) that it shouldn't even be a debate. Makes me wonder how much of this sort of thing is in his earlier films where I may not have realized. Twin Peaks The Return made this interest of his even more obvious.

Quote from: KatKatKat on February 20, 2019, 03:16:17 PMand if possible would you be able to find the English translation of the polish phone call interruption from MTTH clip with Nikki on the floor and it ends with 'There's something here'? Cheers Kat, England

Hmm I will have to check that out.


Currently reading Room With A View To Dream (I swear I hadn't even drunk when I fucked that up) and it's there from the beginning. Jack Fisk says the levers he pulls in Eraserhead represent karma. And it was in those years of making Eraserhead he first got into TM.
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


Yes he said Eraserhead was his most spiritual film because that's when his clown suit of negativity started to dissolve with all the TM. Regarding the spiritual aspect I find Lynch helps me a lot to understand the quite heavy Theosophical and Eastern mysticism that can get quite dry when you read about it, but then seeing it played out with a narrative - it can help so much with the comprehension. Especially when it's quite heavy stuff.
The thing with Laura Palmer and the Angel of the Presence and the Dweller on the Threshold (is that what Sue BLue's doppelgänger is?) are very interesting to me. Currently about to start reading Dion Fortune's Psychic Self Defence and have been reading the fabulous theories on the 25yearslater website - especially the Electricity Nexus recent ones about the Buddhist idea of universes existing in pairs, and Twin Peaks being an example of this (being like the infinity symbol that Jeffries gives) with the material world at one end - co depending on the non-material dream/lodgespace at the other (maybe a bit like two soul twins in Inland Empire being a two parts of one unified whole).

Funny how a TV program/ film can affect us this much huh? :)

There is a good vid on YouTube with Lynch talking about creativity and meditation (abut half an hour long) and he draws this road map of the soul with the 'surface level life' most people - well everyone really - is living - the illusion so to speak, at the top, and the he draws out and labels how TM takes a person down into the Unified Field where everyone is One (as in Laura is the One) - and he draws comparisons with the scientific molecular stuff with the subjective spiritual stuff side by side on the paper with his big chunky marker pens. What a dude.

I hear he is doing some collaborative projects with Flying Lotus at the moment.


Hello everyone. Longtime lurker here. I've really enjoyed this entire chain of discussion as well as Jeremy's thorough analysis. I'm just wondering whether anyone have any thoughts on this theory. The idea that Lost Girl is the only "real" person seems to make a lot of sense:


Bill Roberts

I published a book titled "Unlocking INLAND EMPIRE" which is available from Amazon.  It is 163 pages with color photographs, many enhanced in Photoshop to show detail in scenes that are too dark to make out on the DVD release from Rhino.  It also contains segments of dialog, including all four of Sue Blue's wonderful monologs spoken to Mr. K.

I wonder how many people noticed Sue has a band-aid on her neck in all those scenes, plus the same clothes and purse and screwdriver, which clearly means they all occur during the same meeting with Mr. K.

Ever wonder about the strange colors (purple and turquoise) that appear on the buildings behind Gordy in the woods at 1:55:28?  They match the colors and layout of the buildings behind Doris Side at 2:08:04.  Possibly two worlds co-existing / commingling.

Ever wonder whose Hollywood star Sue Blue is standing on when she drops the screwdriver?  It is Dorothy Lamour's.

The book has some introductory pages, then covers the movie, scene-by-scene.  At the end is a summary meant to make it a bit easier to see how some of the scenes are related.

The reason I mention the book is merely to make others aware of its existence.  There was a time when I searched Amazon for such a book, and had one been available, I would have gladly purchased it and saved myself a lot of "on-again, off-again" work during the last 10 years. 

I elected to give 1/4 of the profits to the David Lynch Foundation, about 1/4 for taxes, and the reminder goes to help someone else with a personal matter.  So, I don't personally make anything from the book.  As such, I am not trying to push it, just wanting to make others aware it exists.  I think anyone who has an interest in "INLAND EMPIRE" will find the book helpful as an aid to understanding plus it contains lots of interesting aspects like those mentioned above.

BTW - This is THE BEST web site for help on understanding the movie.  So please DO read Jeremy's write-ups, whether or not you buy the book.

Jeremy Blackman


Do you have a preview of a page or two? (Just curious.) Either way, it sounds like your book deserves a proper link:

Unlocking INLAND EMPIRE: A Guide Towards Understanding David Lynch's Movie Masterpiece

Bill Roberts

Thanks for including the link, Jeremy - that was very kind of you.

Here are PDFs of three pages from the book.


Something lovely about this film iz that it's so info-heavy, yet you can watch it without catching any of all-that and experience Sue's journey as pure sensation, as she might.

Bill Roberts

I agree.  Even when initially watching the movie and it doesn't make sense, we share in Sue's confusion, and at the end of the movie, we know we have seen something special.


Hi again, went to a Theosophical conference in Leeds at the beginning of June and the speaker mentioned how one part of a soul must stay out of the incarnation whilst the carnate part of the soul experiences life in order to learn and grow in its journey towards unification (or as Jung would put it - individuation). It is an alchemical process.

Has anyone here read the new In Dreams book by H. Perry Horton yet? I got it recently but not read it yet - and it allegedly unites the worlds of Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. I read the last page (I alway do this!) and it said something about a duality between the dream and the reality. In Hermeticism, the universe, life as we know it, reality is the most basest and densest of the emanations coming from the All, the One, the unified field or the pure unmanifest of consciousness  (which is the dreamer). So I guess it is a very old and mystical wisdom that is being told here by Lynch.


It's Alice Bailey I think who spoke of the celestial twin - she was one of the key Theosophical writers. Theosophy explores truths that are Western and Eastern and it explores comparative religion and the hidden mysteries of hermetica so you do go to lots of interesting depth when looking at Lynch's work through a Theosophical frame of mind.


Colours in Inland Empire:
Red = violence, murder, the act, the cause
Green = karma, retribution, effect
Blue = awakening, redemption, evolution, moving forward