Movie Review: INLAND EMPIRE

You cannot watch this just for fun. Three solid hours of Lynch in some of his most experimental work, this is not for the faint of heart. You have to plan ahead to watch this. Before that, you need at least three or four Lynch films under your belt. I didn’t follow this advice; this was my second Lynch film after Eraserhead. I saw this one morning last winter on YouTube in full. To describe a plot at it’s fullest in a Lynch film would be like lighting a match at the bottom of the ocean; it can’t be done. What I can do is retell my experience with this film (usually written in ALL CAPS).

We begin with the start of “Axxon N”, “the longest running radio play in history.” Two faceless people enter a hotel room. A sad girl watches footage at ludicrous speed, things that will be shown later on in the film.

The main story follows actress Nikki Grace as she is waiting to hear about a role she auditioned for. A mysterious Polish woman lets herself into the massive house and tells some stories. Nikki gets the part. This movie, On High in Blue Tomorrows, is said to be a remake of a cursed production called 47. She becomes crazy as today is tomorrow, and tomorrow today, and yesterday is weaving in and out. Multiple personalities become visualized. Nikki is then murdered. That’s all I can say about the main story without going into spoiler mode.

There are several sideplots that may or may not be explained over the course of the film. One personality is interrogated harshly. The sad girl in the hotel room plays a part toward the end. The rabbits are recycled from the Lynch short Rabbits to fit with the film.

This is the first film David Lynch shot with a digital camera. There was no real script to begin with, which most would say that would explain the whole atmosphere of the movie.

This came after 2001’s Mulholland Dr. and so far is the last theatrical film Lynch has made. He has made some videos here and there, most recently the music video for NIN’s “Came Back Haunted” (do NOT ignore the warning).

Is it my favorite Lynch film? No. Is it worth watching? Once, maybe more if you’re a Lynchian like me. It’s a lot to go through with no satisfying resolution. It’s one of his harder films to find (the one I have the most difficult finding is his Wild at Heart, the last film of his I need to see).

What time is it? (studio laughter)

7/10

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