The Floating Arm

Discussion of INLAND EMPIRE

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applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:12 pm

All I can see is that the "ninety year old niece" hints that Kingsley has some contact with people involved in the first story. When he says that, Nikki's eyes bug out. I don't know more than that.

"The longest running radio show" seem to refer to mythic tales which are repeated over the centuries. Kingsley says 47 was based on a Gypsy folk tale: So, there is word of mouth. We also see a record playing, which happened before radio. The we see a black and white movie, then we see a digital movie with a celluloid movie inside it.

In "The White Goddess", Robert Graves proposes that all poetry which he considers true poetry is based on what he calls "the single poetic theme". Though not everyone agrees with him. But the story he is talking about is different from another one with which Joseph Campbell begins "The Hero with a Thousand Faces". That story is much more like IE.: In all times and places there have been stories about a hero who goes into another reality, is tested by fearsome unknown beings and situations, solves something there in order to return, and brings new knowledge back home.

When people first saw IE one of the first things they talked about on the board was how this seemed to be a retelling of "Alice in Wonderland".
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:51 am

So, there is word of mouth.


One source could be the phantom. In times when circusses were travelling around. We can`t exactly say what he is telling, but there seems to be a demon-like drawing-power. Maybe like in "Billy", who maybe has the power to make his wife believe that there were nothing going on between him and Sue, had an affair with Sue and can handle the situation without police.

The we see a black and white movie, then we see a digital movie with a celluloid movie inside it.


Do you mean the scratching scene in which Lost Girl describes how to see or do you mean the corridor-scene at the beginning?

Sorry I don`t know Robert Graves and Joseph Campbell. At least not consciously. (I knew that there`s a book about 23.) The White Goddess sounds interesting.

I had never the idea about Alice in Wonderland. IE has a much more serious content I think.

In that old at the street scene the woman behind the woman who says "look at me" reminds me on the mother of the husband of Nicki.
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:54 pm

MichaelPW wrote:
So, there is word of mouth.


One source could be the phantom. In times when circusses were travelling around. We can`t exactly say what he is telling, but there seems to be a demon-like drawing-power. Maybe like in "Billy", who maybe has the power to make his wife believe that there were nothing going on between him and Sue, had an affair with Sue and can handle the situation without police.

Interesting! Yes, a parallel is made between Billy and the Phantom in several places. We hear the same kind of confusion in MTTH when Nikki is talking on the phone and we hear both Devon and either the phantom or Crimp (Machjrzak's voice) answering her at the same time, M.'s in Polish. So she says, "We don't need the police.", then next we see a scene of her being interrogated by the police.

Do you mean the scratching scene in which Lost Girl describes how to see or do you mean the corridor-scene at the beginning?

I meant the scene in the corridor, but both mean the same thing because we see and hear the old record player in both. One seems a continuation of the other. It seems to be the outermost layer of the story. It's an old tale being played on a record player and broadcast on the radio, all this in a black and white movie, etc. So when LG tells Sue how to "see", even though it seems to be a dream, where do dreams come from? Nobody seems to know but in this story maybe that dream came from far beyond Sue's or Nikki's own life. So the story doesn't seem contained in a dream within a dream within a dream or movie within a movie within a movie structure exactly because all of these are fluid and move in and out of one another.
Sorry I don`t know Robert Graves and Joseph Campbell. At least not consciously. (I knew that there`s a book about 23.) The White Goddess sounds interesting.

No doubt that there are similar studies of German tales which I don't know. Another famous one in English is The Golden Bough by James Frazer. These are studies that take hundreds or thousands of folk tales and show that they are all versions of the same idea. It all seems to have started with Karl Jung.

The stories that Joseph Campbell talks about in that book are ones in which a hero goes out of this world and into another one, a magical one, and by solving a problem there, comes back to the world with new powers and knowledge. The examples he gives in the beginning are Alice in Wonderland, who followed the rabbit into a hole, a tale called something like The Princess and the Pond (maybe a Grimm tale?) where a frog talks to her then jumps under the water and she follows him, etc. Always there is a messenger who gives a call to adventure and sometimes the hero accepts the call and sometimes not.
I had never the idea about Alice in Wonderland. IE has a much more serious content I think.

Well IE is the adult version! But the structure could be the same from Nikki's point of view. Visitor #1 would be the call to adventure.
In that old at the street scene the woman behind the woman who says "look at me" reminds me on the mother of the husband of Nicki.

How interesting! I'll watch for that next time! Somehow, many of these people seem to act like rabbits to me. The parents, Freddy, Kingsley, etc. Something about their facial expressions.
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:59 pm

applesnoranges wrote:Nobody seems to know but in this story maybe that dream came from far beyond Sue's or Nikki's own life.


Yes, or from the life of Lost Girl.

applesnoranges wrote:These are studies that take hundreds or thousands of folk tales and show that they are all versions of the same idea.


Do you think that IE does fit in this pattern? What is this idea - do you know? Fear is one of the fundamental emotions. We have the moon in IE. The rabbits could be viewed as a family. We have a happy family in the end. We have different dangers: Loss of son, infertility, curse, phantom, ...

applesnoranges wrote:The stories that Joseph Campbell talks about in that book are ones in which a hero goes out of this world and into another one, a magical one, and by solving a problem there, comes back to the world with new powers and knowledge.


Do you see parallels in IE? The "blue" rabbit seems to go into another world by magic. (Maybe his secret is the knowing of where the access is; he seems to show Nicki the way.) Nicki seems to have new powers and knowlede in the end. Lost Girl seems to have new powers and knowledge in the end. Nicky solved a problem, but the price is maybe her life.

applesnoranges wrote:The examples he gives in the beginning are Alice in Wonderland, who followed the rabbit into a hole, a tale called something like The Princess and the Pond (maybe a Grimm tale?) where a frog talks to her then jumps under the water and she follows him, etc.


Interesting that Alice followed the rabbit into a hole! I like the end of the "how-to-see-scratching"-scene. And I wonder, whether the "front of house 40" can be regarded as hole. And I wonder, whether turning the silk could have an association to a prostitution-deal. The use of a (lucky?) watch seems to turn back time.

applesnoranges wrote:Visitor #1 would be the call to adventure.


I think two times there is this "Is it...Is it an interesting role?"-thing. It could be viewed as if she were from another dimension. "Re-materializing" in the time of this break.

And Freddy has his experience with dogs and rabbits...:-)
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:56 am

MichaelPW wrote:
applesnoranges wrote:Nobody seems to know but in this story maybe that dream came from far beyond Sue's or Nikki's own life.

Yes, or from the life of Lost Girl.

That seems to be one of the meanings of it for me. LG reached out for help and found it.
applesnoranges wrote:These are studies that take hundreds or thousands of folk tales and show that they are all versions of the same idea.

Do you think that IE does fit in this pattern? What is this idea - do you know? Fear is one of the fundamental emotions. We have the moon in IE. The rabbits could be viewed as a family. We have a happy family in the end. We have different dangers: Loss of son, infertility, curse, phantom, ...
Do you see parallels in IE? The "blue" rabbit seems to go into another world by magic. (Maybe his secret is the knowing of where the access is; he seems to show Nicki the way.) Nicki seems to have new powers and knowlede in the end. Lost Girl seems to have new powers and knowledge in the end. Nicky solved a problem, but the price is maybe her life.

The only part of these mythic structures that I thought related to "the longest running radio show" is that Nikki does into another world, the world of the madness of her character Sue, then accomplishes something (plays Due destroying the phantom), then returns. Only in that way is the story like Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, etc. Within that there is the story that is being told this particular time. I've also seen it mentioned, though this is something I don't know anything about, that Nikki can be regarded as a Bodhisattva, a soul who delays their own reincarnation to a higher plane to help someone else. Seems to fit from what I have read.
I like the end of the "how-to-see-scratching"-scene.

That has me completely puzzled. What I wonder about that is if it represents the Dern charactr's birth but somehow she gives birth to herself. At the beginning Visitor #1 seems to be talking to an unborn soul and telling her what her life could be like or maybe just was like. So I had been thinking that at the end when Dern is happily talking with her again, that she still has not been born. But it has been pointed out that the blue dress she wears on the couch there is the same one in that strange "birth?" scene. So I don't know where to take that next.
And I wonder, whether the "front of house 40" can be regarded as hole

Isn't that number 1358? It seems to be a magic door which only she can open so I'd say that is like the hole that the heros enter in those hero tales.
And I wonder, whether turning the silk could have an association to a prostitution-deal. The use of a (lucky?) watch seems to turn back time.

They don't tell me anything I can put into words yet. I don't know.
I think two times there is this "Is it...Is it an interesting role?"-thing. It could be viewed as if she were from another dimension. "Re-materializing" in the time of this break.

Yes, several things have been said there. One is that if this whole thing is being told on the old record player, sometimes they skip a groove. Something that I noticed is that at the moment she sits down there are some odd digital artifacts around her from the light ... they seem to relate to the image LG saw of her on TV, as if her TV self materialized in the house.
And Freddy has his experience with dogs and rabbits...:-)

:roll:
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:30 pm

Or maybe it is the dream of Smithy. When he`s the husband of Sue we see him asleep as well. Maybe in reality he doesn`t greets his wife, when she comes home and says "hello", but goes from one room to another. Maybe he would like to be the mightiest man of the town. Maybe he watches his wife from the background, when she has new work. Maybe he thinks that he has a way with animals - but in reality he brings no horse to no well and followes "phantoms". Maybe he wears a lucky watch.

Yes, that could be with this Bodhisattva. At least till the point where she stands in room 47. In the last scene it seems somehow as if she had learned something from Visitor 1.

applesnoranges wrote:Isn't that number 1358?


I mean the house Nikki is showed by the other women in Poland. There seems to be a passage-opportunity. And it seems that it is the place where Lost Girl feels someone.

One is that if this whole thing is being told on the old record player, sometimes they skip a groove.


That`s an interesting idea! But I think that this old record player hasn`t such an important meaning - I assume that it is more a style mean.

Something that I noticed is that at the moment she sits down there are some odd digital artifacts around her from the light ... they seem to relate to the image LG saw of her on TV, as if her TV self materialized in the house.


Haven`t seen these before. Will look for those next time.
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:35 pm

I'm starting to watch again and probably say more when I get through it.
MichaelPW wrote:Or maybe it is the dream of Smithy. When he`s the husband of Sue we see him asleep as well. Maybe in reality he doesn`t greets his wife, when she comes home and says "hello", but goes from one room to another. Maybe he would like to be the mightiest man of the town. Maybe he watches his wife from the background, when she has new work. Maybe he thinks that he has a way with animals - but in reality he brings no horse to no well and followes "phantoms". Maybe he wears a lucky watch.

I guess it could always be anyone; we could assume this or that. But it's a question of what feels right. I think that Mulholland Dr. is composed of multiple views of the characters and in that movie they are all women; the men are only a subject of conversation. So I'm going on that assumption with IE for now too. I can see how the phantom might dream his way in, but I think the most meaning will come from concentrating on the women.
Yes, that could be with this Bodhisattva. At least till the point where she stands in room 47. In the last scene it seems somehow as if she had learned something from Visitor 1.

I once studied the work of a psychotherapist named Helmut Kaiser, whose view was that the patients did not feel "behind their words". The goal of therapy, he said, was for the candidates to become "behind their words". In room 47 Nikki is not accompanied by words, but she seems that way, behind her actions maybe.
applesnoranges wrote:Isn't that number 1358?


I mean the house Nikki is showed by the other women in Poland. There seems to be a passage-opportunity. And it seems that it is the place where Lost Girl feels someone.

Oh, that's one I missed. I'll pay attention this time.
That`s an interesting idea! But I think that this old record player hasn`t such an important meaning - I assume that it is more a style mean.

It keeps recurring, mostly its sound. As Nikki as Sue zeros in for the kill, we hear it louder and louder. It seems to represent the Inland Empire itself.
Something that I noticed is that at the moment she sits down there are some odd digital artifacts around her from the light ... they seem to relate to the image LG saw of her on TV, as if her TV self materialized in the house.


Haven`t seen these before. Will look for those next time.

I have mentioned this before in other forums and usually people don't see it. I just watched it frame by frame maximum zoom. It is when she says the words, "I've been going around meeting our new neighbors." It is too pronounced to be an accident. Little pixels like on a jpeg that has been saved too many times. He seems to have degenerated the video image in that moment to get that effect, to make her seem unreal in that instant.

Well, I'll watch a bit more of it....
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:11 am

I feel now that Nikki "awakes" "on the record player". But does she know Lost Girl in this moment? It seems that she is also a little bit surprised. Is Lost Girl the familiar one? Maybe Lost Girl "was" Nikki in an earlier life. Moreover it seems that Nikki and Lost Girl seek their familiar one throughout the whole movie when asking "Look at me and tell me if you`ve seen me before".

In MD I think the passion with which the protagonist plays her role leads to a disaster in her life. In IE I think the surroundings change. So Nikki thinks she is Nikki, but people see Sue in her.

With regard to this Helmut Kaiser maybe "Nikki" wants to feel "behind her identity" again. Perhaps her identity is "Lost Girl". Mourning about her dead son. With OHIBT she stands in the middle. Kingsley says something like "your coming back". And one of the Devon people sayy something like "endanger the performance of Nikki".

Difficult to say if it`s an "accident" or not. There is a window behind her with sun falling in. On the other side there are so many possibilties and tools these times...
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:35 pm

MichaelPW wrote:I feel now that Nikki "awakes" "on the record player". But does she know Lost Girl in this moment? It seems that she is also a little bit surprised. Is Lost Girl the familiar one? Maybe Lost Girl "was" Nikki in an earlier life. Moreover it seems that Nikki and Lost Girl seek their familiar one throughout the whole movie when asking "Look at me and tell me if you`ve seen me before".

I can't tell who the Dern character is here but it seems to be taking place in the dream of Sue (in the striped top, in Smithy's house) because that is who burns a hole in the silk later. What it looks like to me is that in the movie contact is made by Lost Girl with Nikki's character, Sue. But I'm not sure that the one talking to her is Lost Girl; maybe another character played by Gruszka. She seems different from Lost Girl.
In MD I think the passion with which the protagonist plays her role leads to a disaster in her life. In IE I think the surroundings change. So Nikki thinks she is Nikki, but people see Sue in her.

I think this is also true in MD. How someone appears, Adam for example, depends on who is seeing him.
Kingsley says something like "your coming back". And one of the Devon people say something like "endanger the performance of Nikki".

She does seem to be a new soul seeking incarnation. I think that is the producer speaking to Devon. Devon doesn't know if the story of the curse on 4 7 was true or something Kingsley invented. Kingsley and Freddy look like they are playing some trick in that scene at the table.
Difficult to say if it`s an "accident" or not. There is a window behind her with sun falling in. On the other side there are so many possibilties and tools these times...

I think it doesn't matter; it's just that it makes her seem ephemeral in that scene and it works to disorient and hypnotize the audience.
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:39 pm

applesnoranges wrote:I can't tell who the Dern character is here but it seems to be taking place in the dream of Sue (in the striped top, in Smithy's house) because that is who burns a hole in the silk later.


I think that Sue is primarily in the scenes in the beginning of the movie in which Billy seduces her. The rest of the movie is primarily about Nikki who dies during the shooting of OHIBT. Also when we hear "Billy" and "Sue" during the "Don`t you remember anything?"-scene, this already is about Nikki and Devon and not about Sue and Billy anymore. The curse seems to be that the roles become reality. I only see the fading of the green costume behind her in the room which can indicate the fading of the role one more time. I see the striped costume the first time on the street. For me this is Nikki in a kind of sleep. A deep level of consciousness. A little bit later she gets further information about how to see.

But I'm not sure that the one talking to her is Lost Girl; maybe another character played by Gruszka.


It can be in a deep level of consciousness (where we have more unity as David Lynch says). So Nikki and Lost Girl meet on a deep level of consciousness as familiar ones. And probably there isn`t fear on a deep level - so maybe Lost Girl is in a kind of sleep here, too.

btw - what does the French subtitles say? Is there an Uri as a second character besides Gordy?

MichaelPW wrote:Kingsley says something like "your coming back". And one of the Devon people say something like "endanger the performance of Nikki".


It seems that Nikki went through a hard time before the making of OHIBT. Maybe because she lost her son.

applesnoranges wrote:Kingsley and Freddy look like they are playing some trick in that scene at the table.


It`s how the police-man says: "Hypnotized?!" Like "Of course we don`t believe in things like hypnosis, curses and so on..."
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:04 am

Maybe it would help if you would just describe this Nikki story. You tell parts of it but I can't see how the whole thing goes together. How is it that Nikki has lost a son, dies in the making of OHIBT, etc.?

As I see it, Visitor #1 points to the couch and causes her to see the story of Nikki. Nikki only exists within Visitor #1's story.

But what is this story you are seeing?
MichaelPW
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Postby MichaelPW » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:58 am

applesnoranges wrote:As I see it, Visitor #1 points to the couch and causes her to see the story of Nikki. Nikki only exists within Visitor #1's story.


In the credits we have the names in order of appearance. This suggests that woman #1 is Lost Girl and the woman who is visited by Visitor #1 is Nikki Grace. I wonder about the "I will stay just close by for the case you want something" a bit, but this could be something Nikki Grace wants from her staff. It seems that Visitor #1 is a rabbit. That is suggested by her kind of walk in the beginning of the scene I think. She uses magic that will give Nikki the role of Sue. That role will lead to Nikki`s death which in turn leads to the freeing of Lost Girl. Ok, maybe Nikki dreams this sequence. So the rabbit entered her dream. But that she gets the role is real. And that is done by the use of magic by the rabbits. That could explain Nikki`s face expression in room 4 7: "I know this couch, because I saw it in my dream."
applesnoranges
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Postby applesnoranges » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:26 pm

MichaelPW wrote:In the credits we have the names in order of appearance. This suggests that woman #1 is Lost Girl and the woman who is visited by Visitor #1 is Nikki Grace. I wonder about the "I will stay just close by for the case you want something" a bit, but this could be something Nikki Grace wants from her staff. It seems that Visitor #1 is a rabbit. That is suggested by her kind of walk in the beginning of the scene I think. She uses magic that will give Nikki the role of Sue. That role will lead to Nikki`s death which in turn leads to the freeing of Lost Girl. Ok, maybe Nikki dreams this sequence. So the rabbit entered her dream. But that she gets the role is real. And that is done by the use of magic by the rabbits. That could explain Nikki`s face expression in room 4 7: "I know this couch, because I saw it in my dream."

All these things could be ways of seeing it. I've also wondered about V1 as a rabbit but I have thought there is not quite enough of a hint. But it does work because she knows the story and so does the rabbit; it links Gruszka and Dern. So maybe so.

But her getting the part as real ... well, as the producer said to Devon, "Stories are stories...." I think there is no real in that sense in David Lynch; only what people perceive as real. I think we see different people's perceptions. Magic done by the rabbits and being put in a hypnotic trance by Visitor #1 seem very similar to me.

But I don't see how Nikki could have seen the rabbit room. It seems to me that this was only seen by Lost Girl until Nikki entered the Inland Empire in which the parts of the story are all rooms that can be traveled between. (btw there is a short shot in MTTH after the conversation with Dern and Kinski of the hallway in the hotel room and the rabbit walking slowly across the hall. Then he slowly walks across the stairway that leads to Mr. K. All these parts of the story can be traversed by the rabbit even though the other characters think that they are trapped in one reality or another.)
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Postby MichaelPW » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:53 am

I wonder now whether there is a connection between the floating arm and the arm monolog woman saw on the picture. In general the arm represents magic I think.

But her getting the part as real ... well, as the producer said to Devon, "Stories are stories...." I think there is no real in that sense in David Lynch; only what people perceive as real. I think we see different people's perceptions. Magic done by the rabbits and being put in a hypnotic trance by Visitor #1 seem very similar to me.


Of course reality is a wide field. But I see Nikki Grace getting the part as an anchor in what we are confronted with day by day (within the movie IE). There is a real significance in "getting the part" - as is in MD. It`s a point where interweaving between reality and fiction can begin. One difference between magic and hypnosis is that hypnosis is scientifically more widely accepted as a valid method than is magic. Indeed, magic probably is only accepted in an "occult scene". Magic is the means by which the law "actions have consequences" could be set out of control. It seems that Nikki Grace is a poor woman with the need for saving some money and with dreams in which she lives in luxurious houses. And we have have a second anchor with that there was a lead who played in 4 7 and who was killed (now being in a deeper level within the unified field maybe). It seems that the rabbits are within the unified field, as well (of course). And it seems that the rabbit enters Nikki`s dream and put the law out of control (even time has no meaning for the rabbits). Normally she wouldn`t get the part, at all. But the rabbit make it possible. When Nikki snaps she gets her own thoughts back in control. That we have the deep musically gong is hard evidence to me that we have magic here and not the beginning of the mental state of being hypnotized. The phantom is the hypnotizer - not one of the rabbits.

But I don't see how Nikki could have seen the rabbit room.


It seems that this room represents a "part of the unified field". And - according to David Lynch - there is "familiarity". People know it. Maybe this explains her face-expression.

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