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Inland Empire (2006)

Inland Empire (2006)

Karolina GruszkaKrzysztof MajchrzakGrace ZabriskieLaura Dern
David Lynch


Inland Empire (2006) is a English,Polish movie. David Lynch has directed this movie. Karolina Gruszka,Krzysztof Majchrzak,Grace Zabriskie,Laura Dern are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2006. Inland Empire (2006) is considered one of the best Drama,Fantasy,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

After an uncomfortable, borderline disturbing visitation by a cryptic neighbour, the fading movie star, Nikki Grace, is thrilled to hear that she has just landed herself the female lead role in director Kingsley Stewart's sensational Southern melodrama called "On High in Blue Tomorrows". However, as she gradually disappears into her complex role, Nikki's character, Susan Blue, starts to emerge from the labyrinthine pathways of her unconscious, creeping into her delicate consciousness. More and more, as Nikki's dissociation becomes more aggressive, and her self-transcendent experience sets in motion a sometimes subtle, sometimes profound transformation, parallel worlds interweave, and a mysterious lost girl tuned into the TV sitcom, Rabbits (2002), begins to take shape. Is Stewart's ambitious project doomed to fail?


Inland Empire (2006) Reviews

  • I would like a red plumb floating in perfume served in a gentleman's hat.


    Much can be said about David Lynch but I think the mistake most people make is to think that he is trying to create a coherent and straight forward narrative structure. He is working on a subconscious level in his mind. The idea comes before the reason behind the idea. In many ways this is how art should be created because any other way will feel forced and pretentious. David Lynch is not just trying to f*k with you. Its not meaningless and its not pretentious. If you've ever seen his interviews he is one of the most humble and soft spoken directors I've ever seen. Justin Theroux did a Q & A after my screening of Inland Empire and he described working with lynch as light hearted and fun. The complete opposite of what its like to watch some of his films which are often dark, terrifying, and disturbing. Inland Empire is a sister film to Mulholland Dr. As my wife put it, "Watching Mulholland Dr. helped me to understand Inland Empire." They are two sides of the same coin. Lynch still seems to want to take a stab at the evils of Hollywood. His concern for the well being of actors is strong but this time instead of a new comer (Naomi Watts) he deals with one older actresses come back role and like Mulholland Dr. their are the evil producers behind the scenes and even the added possibility of a cursed set. I am a huge Lynch fan. I don't find his films hard to understand. I am not a very intellectual person but Lynch's themes are so simple. The visuals are to be enjoyed on their own terms especially when they seem not to fit with the rest of the film. A lot of lynch's trademarks return, the dual personalities, time folding in on itself, gratuitous nudity, and another tragic murder mystery. While this film does feel like a retread of Mulholland Dr. it also stands on its own especially since it contains a much more upbeat ending and perhaps four layers of storytelling,good luck figuring out which is which. He also continues to experiment with sound and even sings the vocals to a song in the film. I got exactly what I wanted from Inland Empire. The downside to this is that Lynch is sort of repeating himself and I hope that doesn't mean he's out of ideas or perhaps Mulholland Dr. did not yet exercise his disdain for the studio system. The film is part murder mystery and part lucid dream. It has dream logic and has a lot of fun with some of its bizarre dialog and incredible visuals. This film also has much in common with Eraserhead in that he's completely free to explore his ideas. No one is telling him to shorten the film, cut out scenes, or that it doesn't make sense. Its uncompromising and truly art without boundaries. My only other criticism is that the digital video is just ugly at times. When the shot is static the amount of detail in the picture can be incredible but when its hand held and moving around its grainy and looks pretty terrible. I miss the polished look of his older films but I guess that is going to be another thing that sets this movie apart from the others. I highly recommend this film to the Lynch enthusiast and to no one else. If you aren't in on the joke then I cannot imagine you leaving the theater happy after three hours of pure, free from concentrate, unpasteurized lynch. I went to see this with my wife and my best friend needless to say only I loved it. Take that as you will. 4/5

  • The film Lynch has been working towards all his career


    I just saw this film at the New York Film Festival followed by a Q & A session with David Lynch, Laura Dern, and Justin Theroux. I will try my best to recount my thoughts while they are fresh, and incorporate what the film maker and actors had to say. "I can't tell if it's yesterday or tomorrow and it's a real mind f---" This single quote from Laura Dern sums the movie up fairly well. It is also one of the self- referential moments of the film that explores the audiences very thoughts while providing some comic relief. Lynch's new film, INLAND EMPIRE, is similar to his other work, but unlike anything he's ever done, or I've ever seen before. As one reviewer aptly put it, it is a double reference to Hollywood and the inner workings of the human brain. Before I discuss the substance of the film I will briefly review the technical aspects. First of all, the movie is not unwatchable (because of clarity purposes) as some critics had said, although I did see it at the Lincoln Center which has a beautiful theater and top quality facilities. The digital camera works well for this film. It lose some of the cinematic flourish of film, but also brings a more realistic, gritty feel to it that is appropriate for the theme. The lighting and production were top quality as usual for a Lynch film and the score sets every scene brilliantly. Often times we can't tell if the sound is diegetic or non-diegetic, but it makes no difference. Lynch said that he used the digital camera to give him freedom. You can see much more movement in this film than his others, giving an almost voyeuristic feel. He also uses many close shots, and as always, obscure framing allowing ambiguity and confusion. Lynch really explores the freedom of movement and editing that is available with digital, and you can feel his energy and zest in the new medium. The moments of suspense and terror are so well done - there are several scenes that will literally make you jump - that I found a Hitcockian brilliance of using subtlety, indirectness, and sound to convey emotion rather than expensive special effects. Of course, there are other scenes that would qualify as downright freaky. The movie is completely carried by Laura Dern, and not because she is in 90-95% of the scenes. Her character(s) morph and change so often in identity and time that it is hard to believe it is her in every role. Her range and ability to work consistently over so many years and under the conditions of this film is mind blowing. It is one of the finest performances I've seen by an actress or actor. The film itself is hard to summarize. Most of you know the basic plot, but this really means nothing about the film. It has no type of linear story line and the converging and diverging plot lines are connected by only the most simple threads, time, location, memory ("Do I look familiar? Have you seen me before?") identity, and people who are good with animals. It would be a disservice to this film to try to find meaning or symbolism as I see some people already are. It is not a mystery to be solved, as Mulholland Dr. was (though that film never will be solved either). It is a movie that plays off of ideas, color, mood, it presents intangible emotions that we feel and internalize rather than think about and solve. Film doesn't need a solution to make sense, but it is typical for us to want solve things, to have closure. This film is better if you just let it wash over you and surrender the urge to find meaning. The three hour running time makes no difference because the movie moves in and out of itself with no regard for time. Using so many scenes allows time to effect the viewer much as the characters themselves. As the characters question time and reality, the audience does too. As the scenes slowly build up, giving us reference, we start to wonder where we saw that character, who said that line before, what location fits into what part of the sequence and how, leading up to the Laura Dern quote I used before. It doesn't ask us to think, but to feel, and it does this better than any film I've seen. It plays on our emotions with intense sound and cinematography, grasping fragments from dreams, sliding in and out of reality, exploring nightmares, and asking us what time and reality really are. The film is also very self-conscious as I said before, and also makes many subtle (and not so) pokes at the audience. It also has some truly surreal moments of Lynch humor. Explaining all this doesn't really matter because you will have to see it and take your own idea from it. I would recommend that you see it in a theater though, as it could never have the same impact anywhere else. I was skeptical going into this movie after what I had read, thinking Lynch had gone off the deep end. However, I realized nothing you read about it will make a difference once you see it, and that Lynch is in better form than ever. Ebert said that Mulholland Dr. was the one experiment where Lynch didn't break the test-tube. With INLAND EMPIRE he throws the lab equipment out the window. His freedom in making this movie, both with medium and artistic control, is unparalleled in anything he's done. He finally made a movie for himself and his vision, without any kind of apology or pretense.

  • Mulholland Drive on Acid


    I saw INLAND EMPIRE at the Venice Film Festival world premiere last month. I want to keep this review short due to the fact that writing in great detail about this film is useless. INLAND EMPIRE is an experience. An experience not to be written about but to be FELT. It is David Lynch's definitive work. It's everything he has ever wanted to put into a film and it's completely free from anyone else's taming influence. The film is suffocating, dark and endless yet paradoxically contains some of the director's funniest and lightest scenes. I was frightened, uneasy, overwhelmed and moved. My emotions were thrown into disarray several times during which I lost all sense of appropriate reaction. Do not expect the mystery of this film to be solved, but expect it to be finished. Do not expect your head to understand the resolution but expect that your heart and intuition will. If you cannot decide whether to see this film or not, I implore you to get up and go. Whether or not you enjoy it, you will never see a film like this again. I also implore you to see it IN THE CINEMA. Do not wait to see it on DVD because the experience won't be half as extraordinary.

  • Overstuffed, Overcooked Pseudo Psycho-Metaphysical Turkey


    David Lynch, the visionary director who created unforgettable films revealing darker realms of life such as "Elephant Man" and "Blue Velvet" and who brought to mainstream TV a deeper aesthetic and consciousness with the "Twin Peaks" series, unfortunately went overboard with "Inland Empire" writing and directing the worst film of his career. "Inland Empire" is arguably Lynch's most ambitious effort: a meandering three-hour dive into a nightmarish dream world where all his previous themes and obsessions convey. There are enslaved women (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), women in trouble (Mulholland Drive), supernatural entities in other realms (Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive), dissociative fugues and alternative realities (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive). As expected of a Lynch movie, the cast is top notch starting with Laura Dern and it even includes Jeremy Irons as a movie director. But the direction and the script fail to give us something of depth or a remotely compelling, entertaining story, therefore this Lynchean nightmare becomes endless, pointless, and ultimately boring. Each shot of dreary,dilapidated Polish buildings or empty and dark Hollywood sets become endless. Every time the character are hurting or menacing, the camera does a close-up distorting their faces or they behave histrionically as in the worst of the Mexican telenovelas. This is simply poor direction. These close-ups and long shots, among other cinematic pyrotechnics, are Lynch's filler to disguise the emptiness of "Inland Empire," Although both films are similar in plot and style, "Inland Empire" suffers compared to "Mulholland Drive." Lynch deserved the Oscar for that brilliant film which is memorable for its character development along a dark psychic ride, elements that are missing in "Inland Empire" replaced by a cheap thrills posing for art and profundity. The plot is vintage Lynch, but it is the most convoluted, longest, and silliest of them all. Lost Girl, an enslaved woman in Polish hotel/purgatory watches shows on a psychic TV: a sitcom with supernatural rabbit people, scenes from a Polish film that never got finished because the leading actors were murdered, and the life of an American actress who starts in the remake of the Polish film. Nikki (Laura Dern), the actress, begins an affair with her leading man and freaks out entering an alternative reality becoming Sue, the white trash character she is playing in the movie. Sue is having an extramarital affair with Billy, a rich man, and lives with Smithy in the house of the movie set. Sue is psychically connected to enslaved prostitutes who teletransport themselves from the snowy streets of Poland in the 1940s to present day Hollywood Boulevard. The prostitutes talk about men, love, and T&A and suddenly burst into dance for no reason - they do a killer number with "The Loco-Motion" which is unfortunately too short. Sue's husband, Smithy, who is Polish, leaves for Poland to work with a circus. Sue goes to see Billy and Billy's wife beats her. Sue becomes a whore working Hollywood Boulevard with the dance-loving, space/time-jumping whores. The Phantom, an evil supernatural man who has Lost Girl enslaved in purgatory, kills an early incarnation of Smithy who was Lost Girl's lover. The Phantom hypnotizes Billy's wife who is the reincarnation of a Polish woman who was stabbed to death with a screwdriver by the original actress in the Polish movie. The rabbit people are also wise, older Polish men and have a séance with Lost Girl and they bring Smithy to talk to Lost Girl. The old men give a gun to Smithy to kill the Phantom. Sue gets stabbed with a screwdriver on Hollywood Blvd. by Billy's wife and dies. That is the end of the movie and it is a wrap. Nikki is congratulated by the director but she ignores everybody and walks away from the movie set remaining as Sue. She goes to the house where she finds the gun Smithy was given by the old men. She goes through some dark corridors and finds herself in the Polish hotel/purgatory where the Phantom is and as she shoots him his face becomes Sue's own distorted face. The Phantom dies and all the women are free and Lost Girl reunites with Smithy and her son. Then Nikki is back in her home and all the women have a big a party and some women shake their booties to a Nina Simone song. They are in a kind of good place, not purgatory. It is not clear whether Nikki/Sue was an invention of Lost Girl who had been the real murderer and was in purgatory or whatever; in the final analysis, it does not matter because the movie is empty and lacks any redemptive qualities. It is hard to understand why some of the critics and audience fail to realize that this is a very bad film, poorly written and badly directed. Lynch is a true artist and has done some remarkable films for which he should be praised, alas, "Inland Empire" is a disjointed, tedious, nonsense mess filled with pretentiousness. If you want to waste three hours of your life with a superficial mind-tease filled with pseudo transpersonal psychology and collective unconscious references, see it at your own risk.

  • A quintessential "women's picture" for the new millennium!


    ***** SPOILER ALERT!!! ******* Lynch's latest moved me tremendously. I was a big fan of Mulholland Drive, and as one poster here asserted, that earlier film helped me to "dissect" this latest Lynch masterpiece. Lynch himself might think it improper or "uninteresting" to discuss what this film conveys, but "Inland Empire" is such a significant work of art it seems criminally negligent not to, its depth and honesty as profound as it is. In every case Lynch portrays women's sexuality as powerful and without a shred of judgment, even if they are promiscuous, or prostitutes. Lynch acknowledges life's consequences, but without moralizing in any way. Laura Dern's actress character is a true heroine, an everywoman and bold protagonist. The character watching the TV screen throughout the film is the actress in the first version of the film being remade by Dern and Justin Theroux. That actress was killed making the film, by her jealous husband after he discovered her affair with her co-star, and she now sits in limbo, crying from sadness and guilt (another theme in recent Lynch films, brilliantly realized in the fever-dream death hallucination of Naomi Watts' spurned, suicidal starlet in Mulholland Drive). The film was never finished or remade because it was subsequently thought of as "cursed", and the odyssey of Laura Dern's character purges that curse. After consummating an affair with Theroux ("watched" by the suspicious, jealous eyes of her cold, threatening husband). Dern becomes haunted by the suffering spirit of the murdered woman, and all women judged and abused for their sexual choices. I loved the scenes with the women who slept with the actor, comparing notes - and with a real sense of solidarity, there is no cattiness or competition between them, they even admire each other's breasts. They are also stuck in a cramped limbo, their yearning embodied in their hip-swinging, yet robotic and joyless "Locomotion" boogie. Dern's dark odyssey is her experiencing the actresses' pain, the women's collective pain – which she seems to choose to do, her character constantly revealing determination, strength, purpose. And the women heap their burdens on her, trusting her to save them. There are so many examples of this – the Mary Steenburgen character talking about a "debt that needs to be repaid" by the man who lives in the strange little house, the Japanese street girl confiding in Dern's dying character about her junkie/whore friend with the monkey, the strange confession of Dern's white trash woman who climbs the stairs. It all concludes with Dern's suffering a horrible, lingering "death". Then, triumphant at the end of shooting the film, she refuses to accept the kudos directed at her, her victory incomplete if just for herself. She "rises from the dead" to find the first actress in the room watching the events unfold and kisses her, as if to say, "I have endured this and now you are free". The woman's face brightens, she ceases crying, and reunites with her husband and child. Then, during the marvelous closing credits, Dern is celebrated by all the beautiful women, who are now dancing quite joyfully, as she sits on the sofa, beatifically observing the fruits of her efforts as the women sing about "POWER". Dern is portrayed as almost Jesuslike in the themes of sacrifice, will, compassion. She willingly endures an odyssey of horror that leads to her "death" to save them all, whores, unloved wives and spurned starlets alike. David Lynch is a tremendously sensitive, soulful and brave artist, who is just getting better and better. He understands that its not enough to just tell a story, he has learned to make us truly "feel" the story. Three hours was necessary. The bunny people are there, just like the homeless man/monster of Mulholland Drive, to set the stage for a suspension of the laws of logic and linearity, to invite absurdity and magical unrealism into our awareness, so that we can experience pure emotions like a sense of triumph, catharsis, compassion, empathy, unconstrained by the expectations imposed on us by conventional narrative. This movie made me cry, it made me feel so much! What an achievement. Bravissimo David Lynch!!!


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