Jatriot wrote:Could you please elaborate on how and what brought you to such a conclusion? There are some tone elements at work and both have a haunting song in them but Jack Nance similar to Laura Dern I can only make tenuous connections to their characters at best. Love both films. Oh BTW-See WILD AT HEART!!!! Worth it for the the Sherilyn Fenn Cameo. Ya won't be shaking that one in this life ... no idea why I went old Timmy, Scottish at the end there? Probably a stroke LOL.
Have been meaning to reply to this for a few days now.
Just as Eraserhead
is about the feeling of being a man in an uncaring world, Inland Empire
is about the feeling of being a woman in a predatory one. The make similarly nightmarish, surrealistic moves to communicate each experience.
That isn't to say that the films are only communicate as gendered experiences -- in fact a lot of what makes them so affecting is how communicative they are about particular forms of emotional experiences regardless of the gender of the viewer. But I do feel they are his most
gendered films, and the the gender of the protagonist in each is important in eliciting the right kind of response from the viewer.
They're inverses and parallels in so many other ways as well. Compared to Lost Highway
and Mulholland Drive
, which I also see as something of a sister pair within Lynch's catalogue, with their active protagonists trapped by inescapable consequences of evil actions, Eraserhead
and Inland Empire
offer similarly passive leads. Yet the decisions that trap both Henry and Nikki are also inverted. Henry traps himself by failing to take action at multiple points. Nikki traps herself by walking through a door she shouldn't (and this is true both figuratively and literally regardless of which incarnation of Dern is the "real" one). The nightmarish structures we surround ourselves with, and I think the films indict these thoroughly, are such that a man must speak out to survive; a woman has it worse; she must forgo assertive actions.
I think their endings also mirror each other in certain ways. Without going too far into it (and I'd probably need another viewing of each to offer a compelling argument) Eraserhead
's is comforting without being cathartic. Empire
's is cathartic without really offering comfort.
They're twin explorations of the kinds of evil that target passivity, of gendered experiences in arbitrary and bizarre social structures. I find both incredibly moving.
LATE EDIT -- Having recently watched Fire Walk With Me
on its own and found it really, really does work as a powerful stand-alone feature, my list would more firmly be:
2. Inland Empire
3. Fire Walk With Me
4. Lost Highway
5. Mulholland Drive
6. Blue Velvet
I love the first three; I like but don't love the latter three. Anyone with Eraserhead
, Inland Empire
, and FWWM
occupying the top three slots in any order is basically sympatico with me.