Thursday, July 24, 2014

Inland Empire Review

David fucking Lynch. Seriously.

I was considering waiting a bit to figure out what in the hell to say about his surreal 2006 masterpiece Inland Empire, but I can't just walk away from the opportunity to put some words down while the work is still fresh in my mind. This freshness is also the downfall of my ability to form coherent thoughts though, because honestly, I have no damn clue what I just watched. I don't. Why lie about it? Why pretend like I was able to peel off the many, many bizarre layers of this film, like I have any earthly idea what was going through Lynch's mind during the creative process that spawned this picture? 

I have had intense, confounding nightmares that have haunted me less than the imagery presented throughout this film. I absolutely will not go search for meaning from whatever it is I just witnessed. I wouldn't possibly risk ruining this feeling, like I just observed both a cinematic miracle and an abomination to the medium during the same three hour film. I'm sure some out there would absolutely consider a work like this to be the latter, a pretentious (a word I friggin' loathe) clusterfuck of meaningless images without a comprehensible narrative to follow. I tend to lean more in the other direction.

The irony of surrealist cinema is that while it takes a genius to craft something as spectacular and baffling as Inland Empire, it is mandatory for me to use as little of my brain as possible while I watch it. I want to soak up all the aspects that are made apparent, the incredible imagery, the vivid cinematography, the downright scary performances, and the musical score that suits the haunting tone of the entire work, but as for trying to piece together any sort of message of the narrative, the deeper meaning of every single scene, putting too much effort into understanding does more harm than good. If I am able to have a visceral reaction to the film, if I am fascinated by what I am seeing to the point that looking away feels like a crime, than I know I love what I am seeing. 

I was endlessly fascinated by Inland Empire, and I couldn't look away.


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