Ouch...

Discussion of INLAND EMPIRE

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worthit
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Ouch...

Postby worthit » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:14 pm

I bought Inland Empire from amazon.com and watched it the other day. I've been a fan of DL since 1990 and I own everything he's ever directed. I love 99% of it too, but this time I was disapointed. I really hate to say that about a DL film, but I really didn't like this one.

I found it too long and boring and I didn't care about the characters or the plot. And I found it to be rather ugly and unappealing because of the use of DV cameras.

Now...I have only seen it once, so I guess I should give it a couple more tries, but I really don't want to. It's just too long. I'm a fan of lots of 3+ hour movies, but not this one. Damn...I was really looking forward to IE, and I actually feel bad about saying this.

I knew from the start that the plot wasn't going to be obvious, so it's not that I'm missing continuity. I love MD and LH because of that, but this time it was just too much. It's like DL finally got permission to do whatever he wants and the result is like a kid in a candystore. He's gone crazy with every tool he can come across and he hasn't limited himself in any way.

I'm terribly sorry, mr. Lynch. I will always be a fan of your work and your way of thinking, but I didn't like Inland Empire very much. I'm not sorry because the movie wasn't good, but I'm sorry I didn't like it. Even though I really wanted to.

Enough rambling, it's 1:15 am, so I'm going to bed
cubist
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Re: Ouch...

Postby cubist » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:22 am

worthit wrote:I bought Inland Empire from amazon.com and watched it the other day. I've been a fan of DL since 1990 and I own everything he's ever directed. I love 99% of it too, but this time I was disapointed. I really hate to say that about a DL film, but I really didn't like this one.

I found it too long and boring and I didn't care about the characters or the plot. And I found it to be rather ugly and unappealing because of the use of DV cameras.

Now...I have only seen it once, so I guess I should give it a couple more tries, but I really don't want to. It's just too long. I'm a fan of lots of 3+ hour movies, but not this one. Damn...I was really looking forward to IE, and I actually feel bad about saying this.

I knew from the start that the plot wasn't going to be obvious, so it's not that I'm missing continuity. I love MD and LH because of that, but this time it was just too much. It's like DL finally got permission to do whatever he wants and the result is like a kid in a candystore. He's gone crazy with every tool he can come across and he hasn't limited himself in any way.

I'm terribly sorry, mr. Lynch. I will always be a fan of your work and your way of thinking, but I didn't like Inland Empire very much. I'm not sorry because the movie wasn't good, but I'm sorry I didn't like it. Even though I really wanted to.

Enough rambling, it's 1:15 am, so I'm going to bed


If you don't like it, you don't like it! I'm halfway through a second viewing - its length is certainly daunting and I see what you mean in some ways. I don't have a problem with the DV so it is always a pleasure to look at & Dern's acting is fabulous. But the film does seem a bit obscure sometimes & some of the characters (Lost Girl in particular) do not engage me at all yet- so i don't care too much about them. It's not good for a movie if you don't care about the chracters! I prefer More Things That Happened at the moment.
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Postby shemsha » Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:22 am

It pains me to agree.
I won't say I don't like it at all but I will say that I enjoyed MD and LH much much more and I was a bit disappointed from it.
Like you I watched it only one time and I plan to watch it again soon (this time hopefully with hebrew subtitles since it comes out on DVD in Israel).
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...

Postby eyeboogers » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:07 am

Hmmmm....There is as much of a clear and thrilling plot in "INLAND EMPIRE" than there are in any other Lynch film. The plot "Mulholland drive" was very spelled out to the point where that got to be agonizing in a "Yes i get it already, move on" way, but still certain audience members felt they didn't get anything coherent out of it.
"INLAND EMPIRE" is more challenging, not because of the story but because of the story structure and I can see why people can get lost in it. I think the problem is that people (and the film, and the films tagline in particular) focus too much on Laura Derns character. It's not really about her at all, it's about what she get's caught up in. Watch it again and this time focus on the "4-7"/"On high in blue tomorrows"/"Axxon N"/"Cursed gipsy folktale" = these are all one and the same, storyline and that should help evertything fall into place.
It's not the case that Lynch got a bunch of new toys and went amok, it's rather the case of him finding out what can be done without them.
I agree that the story structure of I.E could use a slight tune-up (such as the inclusion of the "would you like to buy a watch" scene into the film, which is very much a key scene.) but i would hate for the solution to the mysteries to be spoonfed to you the way they were in "Mulholland Dr." people have this expectation that for a film to be good it has to lull you into a near vegatable state, it didn't use to be that way. A film should DEMAND your attention, it should be engaging.
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Re: ...

Postby cubist » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:38 am

eyeboogers wrote:Hmmmm....There is as much of a clear and thrilling plot in "INLAND EMPIRE" than there are in any other Lynch film. The plot "Mulholland drive" was very spelled out to the point where that got to be agonizing in a "Yes i get it already, move on" way, but still certain audience members felt they didn't get anything coherent out of it.
"INLAND EMPIRE" is more challenging, not because of the story but because of the story structure and I can see why people can get lost in it. I think the problem is that people (and the film, and the films tagline in particular) focus too much on Laura Derns character. It's not really about her at all, it's about what she get's caught up in. Watch it again and this time focus on the "4-7"/"On high in blue tomorrows"/"Axxon N"/"Cursed gipsy folktale" = these are all one and the same, storyline and that should help evertything fall into place.
It's not the case that Lynch got a bunch of new toys and went amok, it's rather the case of him finding out what can be done without them.
I agree that the story structure of I.E could use a slight tune-up (such as the inclusion of the "would you like to buy a watch" scene into the film, which is very much a key scene.) but i would hate for the solution to the mysteries to be spoonfed to you the way they were in "Mulholland Dr." people have this expectation that for a film to be good it has to lull you into a near vegatable state, it didn't use to be that way. A film should DEMAND your attention, it should be engaging.


THanks for the advice regarding focusing on the 4-7"/"On high in blue tomorrows"/"Axxon N"/"Cursed gipsy folktale" axis. Will certainly do that. Totally agree about the lost watch scene - it is crucial and I really can't fathom why it didn't make final cut. My main problem at the moment is that I cannot emotionally engage with several key characters - and that doesn't happen very often for me in a Lynch film. Specifically Lost Girl and the various "Piotrek" characters.

It's probably not a good idea to watch the film in two halves which is how my second view is panning out!

On another angle I find it impossible not to equate room 47 with the black lodge of twin Peaks and the rabbits as similar entities to the ones above the convenience store. For me The Phantom is Killer Bob in another guise.
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Re: ...

Postby Robin Davies » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:44 pm

eyeboogers wrote:Hmmmm....There is as much of a clear and thrilling plot in "INLAND EMPIRE" than there are in any other Lynch film.

It sounds like you have a theory about how the plot fits together. Care to share it? I've seen the movie four times and, though I can make some connections, I'm still largely baffled. And, unlike MULHOLLAND DRIVE, a consensus interpretation of INLAND EMPIRE doesn't seem to have emerged.
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worthit
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Postby worthit » Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:13 am

I am slightly disappointed in Mulholland Dr too (not so much as Inland Empire though), because of the things you say there. I think the story of MD is much too spelled out, but in IE, it's spelled out much too little. If you know what I mean. I think that Twin Peaks and Lost Highway have the perfect balance there, and that's what I love about David Lynch. I don't understand everything that's going on in either TP or LH, but I understand enough to like them. MD is too easy to understand and IE is too difficult. Even if I got some theory about IE fed to me by spoon, I'm not sure I'm gonna like it anyway. I still feel it's too long and "ugly" because of the DV cameras.

The acting is top notch though. As usual in a DL film. He's still my favorite artist of all time. And he always will be.
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Postby Fall_of_Sophia » Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:22 am

I still feel it's too long and "ugly" because of the DV cameras.



Got to disagree. I think it contains some of his most arresting and beautiful images e.g. the red smudge that becomes Laura Dern's lips, then face being made up. How quickly he mastered the form and made it his own. The sign of a true artist.
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Postby Chip Rock » Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:14 am

I have to say that I agree with alot of the comments made here.
I couldn't possibly say that I didn't enjoy INLAND EMPIRE -
there are so many fantastic shots, beautiful sounds and images, and so on.
I mean, of course there are! It's a Lynch film!
At the end of the day though the main feeling I was stuck with after
watching the film for the first time was one of dissapointment.
Perhaps it is because I am such a huge fan of the previous two films?
I'm not sure I fully understand the actual story, but then that doesn't
bother me too much. I think it is that there is so much going on I don't
find myself being sucked into a strange and exciting new world.
Instead, I find myself spinning wildly catching mere glimpses of a variety
of different worlds that I have no chance to become involved in.
Saying that, I've only watched it twice so far - I'm more that willing to
give it a few more goes and perhaps my opinion might change.
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Postby zachary_mayo » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:01 pm

Worthit, there really needed a topic like this one here.

I totally agree with you on INLAND EMPIRE.

I went to see INLAND EMPIRE in a theater in France last winter, with these two ideas in mind :

1 : IE is approx. 3 hours long : perfect; the longer, the better

2 : I will go see it at least 3 times in a theater (that's what i do since Fire Walk With Me. I even remember, the day I saw FWWM for the first time, I stayed in the theater, and watched it two times in a row).

Needless to say, 3 hours was too much this time, and I never saw it again. The fact is, I didn't want to see it again (and if i had wanted to, it would have been difficult, since - for the first time, to my knowledge - a Lynch movie didn't attract the french audience, and didn't stay more than two weeks in theaters, though the critics were unanimous : people (like Telerama - french will understand here -) that hated him at the time of FWWM, considered IE was a masterpiece.

I think IE would have been nice to discover as it was first intended : several episodes (aXxon N) for davidlynch.com

I bought the DVD on amazon, because I'm curious about the deleted scenes (this is so new to Lynch DVDs), and him cooking quinoa.

I felt a terrible desillusion when I went to see IE. I found it was as ugly as Darkened room (except Darkened Room was only 15 minutes long).

And I'm not a big fan of Rabbits either. I never could watch the 8 episodes together, though they're not so long after all.

Since David Lynch uses DV, i find his work less interesting (though I really love Boat).

To be more specific, my first big desillusion with Lynch was Room to dream. Awful souvenir.

The day the postman gave me this DVD was a beautiful day, and couldn't begin in a cooler way. I didn't work that day, so I could watch the DVD right away. And this beautiful morning turned to a big desillusion : what was that ??? The images were awful, and the sound was not even synchronized. And the quality of it all... Was IE going to look like that ???
Impossible, I thought.

The day I went to see IE, I was so disappointed it DID look like that.

Big desillusion.

Ouch, like you said.
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Postby marchug » Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:07 pm

i went to see it at the theater and, well, liked it. my wife did not. she thought it was missing all the beautiful lush moments that, for her, make watching a lynch film great. i thought about it for a while after and then thought of maybe going to see it again. i didn't.

now it is out on dvd and while reading this post i realized that i don't own it. i am a huge lynch fan and have bought everything of his pretty much on the day that it comes out. i knew when it was coming out. i thought of going to buy it. i just, well, haven't gotten around to it. i live in new york so it's not anything to do with it being hard to find. reading this post is making me realize that i must not really care. i guess i just didn't like it so much either.

i mean, it was creepy, funny, very lynch, and i felt that the low quality of the dv added a texture to the movie that was essential to it. i just think that it felt dull and boring at points...

i will get around to buying it and watch it again. give it another go and see what happens...
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Postby Asterisk » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:58 am

I thought it was beautiful to look at, entrancing to watch, and the time just flew by. But I guess that's just me! I'm looking forward to the second viewing now.

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