what now?

Discussion of INLAND EMPIRE

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JFK
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what now?

Postby JFK » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:28 pm

so are we at a dead end with our discussion of this film?
anybody have any new thoughts?
or old ones that were never shared?
i think the small group of us that have hogged this IE board
have all made substantial and insightful posts
id just hate to see it die off like this
when there is still so much to discuss
does anyone concur?
applesnoranges
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Re: what now?

Postby applesnoranges » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:15 pm

I drop in here every once in a while to see if someone has said something, and if so, I usually give an answer, but then the thread blows away in the wind. The poster seems to have vanished.

My view of what is going on in IE is fairly settled by now but I like seeing things other people have noticed that I haven't. I say fairly settled, not completely settled. It still seems to me that there must be at least one description of who killed whom and why that works without loose ends, but I haven't seen it yet so maybe I'm wrong about that.
JFK
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Re: what now?

Postby JFK » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:36 pm

i pretty much agree with you. even when im when im arguing with someone who has a completely different interpetation, i enjoy it not only for the chance to look at someones else's perspective, but also for the chance to look at my perspective differently.
and yes, there are still some details we have yet to hammer out. now, loose ends are a different matter. im inclined to believe at this point that there are parts of IE that have no ONE way of being defined. part of me thinks this is because the film was written as it was shot, so the grand scheme only became apparent later on. but theres also many scenes where either the action or motivation is hidden, and many scenes that have context only in the meta sense. so i dont know. i know i will still continue to pick and probe, or just relax and watch. at least ive got you apples. :)
Carl
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Re: what now?

Postby Carl » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:04 pm

'I'm your Huckleberry.'
We watched IE again last weekend ( we feel we've gotten our money's worth from this DVD, to say the least), so I'm interested, but have also about given up on a Grand-Unified-Theory-Of-Everything.
The latest viewpoint with which I'm playing is that LG is a 'character' in 47, not the lead actress; that the woman on the stairs was the Mustachioed Man's ( the male lead in 47) wife and was herself killed, as in OHIBT, by her intended victim( the first time, the cheated on, wronged wife is killed; the next , in OHIBT, the cheater.)
'It's an old story' and it's the story that must out: the characters are trapped in limbo pending the completion of their story. This includes Mustache, the actor playing whom was killed; LG, the actress, ditto; but not The Phantom( or his avatar or whatever). He's still around.
As in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and that old twilight zone http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Characters_in_Search_of_an_Exit_(The_Twilight_Zone), the characters have emotions and feel that 'something is wrong!', but can not escape the parts they were cast to play.

I have not read or seen the other play( Sartre's No Exit, was one) this TV show referenced ( ie, ripped-off), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Characters_in_Search_of_an_Author
gtg, but I'm still lurking. :)
applesnoranges
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Re: what now?

Postby applesnoranges » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:35 pm

Carl wrote:The latest viewpoint with which I'm playing is that LG is a 'character' in 47, not the lead actress; that the woman on the stairs was the Mustachioed Man's ( the male lead in 47) wife and was herself killed, as in OHIBT, by her intended victim( the first time, the cheated on, wronged wife is killed; the next , in OHIBT, the cheater.)

Would you expand this a little? LG in the hotel room is in especially hysterical tears when she sees Mustache dead on the stairs, but we know that the man she cries for is the one she is united with in the end, played by the same actor who played Mustache. This makes me think that she is not crying for the dead Mustache character on the screen but for the man who played his part and the reason we see Mustache dead is because his actor is dead. So also when we see the dead Theroux character bleeding in the dark: it is as if Billy died with Devon when Piotrek killed him.

So how is LG the 47 character?
Carl
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Re: what now?

Postby Carl » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:48 pm

The idea I was playing with( lol, a couple weeks ago: time to see it again, soon as my wife and I can make some time.):
LG can not be the actress that made the old 47; she would be too old for the final reunion. This reunion has, as a further evidence of it's unreality, a son they ( as far as we know) never had. If she is the character, though, she exists in a universe of 'fiction', the only place for these doomed figures where such reconciliaton, reunion and rejoicing can be.As Sue says, 'I lost a lot of years.' Perhaps, Sue , at the end, realizes that she, like LG is a 'character' in someone elses movie and feels that us character gotta stick together.
It seemed to me that at various points in IE the 'characters' realize ( as in the stuff I cited above) that they are, in fact, not 'free agents', that 'something's going on' and that they are, in effect, 'halfs', played by 'actors', bound ( though not totally) by the 'plot' or 'fate'.
Note: this would imply that those who refer to the 'half-born' are not characters, but real, such as Piotrek's father and the two Visitors.
Note: I see no reason why there can not be multiple levels of regression here, into inner ( or higher or lower) planes of reality. After all, we have a 'movie-within-a-movie' as the outermost wrapper ( or is it?), already, containing the other levels.
'Big fleas have little fleas,
upon their backs to bite'em.
These little fleas have lesser fleas
and so ad infiitum.'
**Laughing-at-myself: I'm writing my current 'Woman In Trouble' rant and will paste it in here when it's complete, sos I don't have to think on my feet or whatever.
I suppose that latter type of thinking is what makes this hodge-podge film so weird and charming, when it works ( which, for me, is all but the ending) like jazz.
JFK
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Re: what now?

Postby JFK » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:42 pm

carl, how does the ending not work for you?
also, why do the polish scenes have to be part of "47"
as explictly said by kingsley it was german and called "vier-seiben"
(and remember "47" is the room of the rabbits, i think its significence lies there)
i still contend that LG, mustache man, TWIW, and the phantom
are 'characters' in the old polish gypsy tale, as kingsley mentioned it, not actors in the film within the film with in the film
hence, LG crying at mustache man's death is real sadness, real loss
one more thing carl, you touched on some points i had posted awhile ago
namely that the people(dern, lucas, gruzka) gain the consciousness that they are actors as the film plays out. from that logic, calling the reunion scene at the end unreal is semantically wrong. IE technically is unreal. it is a film, a fiction. and i see the actors gradully becoming aware of that fact. as to the sun, wasnt it previously mentioned that as parallel plot points between sue blue/smithy and LG/phantom, both women are savagely beaten resulting in miscarrage? certainly the screwdriver stabbings which happen at about where the uterus is located is another hint.
what do you think?
Carl
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Re: what now?

Postby Carl » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:25 pm

That they were both beaten, possibly, resulting in miscarriage, is an excellent point. I'll mull it over.
Also, interesting about the screwdriver-wound location ( and just maybe why it's the wielder, not only the victim, that also bears it, as in the police station). It's like 'the old wound...the one that does not heal' in Arthurian romance.
Fuck, it just hit me: maybe this bizzare screwdriver attack relates to a self-induced abortion. That would truly tie some things together while complicationg others. It would go some way toward explaining the sense of overwhelming guilt so manifest in the affect of Sue. Adultery, even with it's awful consequences, seems not sufficient.
*I use '4 7' and 'Vier Sieben' interchangeably.
**Ix-nay on the 'old gypsy tale' for the old Polish scenes. They are too modern in set and costume by half. I see them as either ' 4 7' or the lives of the actors that were making that cursed film.
... or both. :lol:
JFK
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Re: what now?

Postby JFK » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:53 pm

Carl wrote:: maybe this bizzare screwdriver attack relates to a self-induced abortion. That would truly tie some things together while complicationg others. It would go some way toward explaining the sense of overwhelming guilt so manifest in the affect of Sue. Adultery, even with it's awful consequences, seems not sufficient.
thats what i was trying to get at
*I use '4 7' and 'Vier Sieben' interchangeably.
but if what youre calling 4/7 is vier sieben, wouldnt the production be german, not polish

**Ix-nay on the 'old gypsy tale' for the old Polish scenes. They are too modern in set and costume by half. I see them as either ' 4 7' or the lives of the actors that were making that cursed film.
... or both. :lol:


but when is there any indication that those are film sets? at least in the begining with nikki we saw the behind the camera productions and such. but not a single one during the polish scenes. and as for its age, it looks to be in the time period of 1920-1940. i think thats old enough. remember LG watches the action in poland from her hotel room, trapped apparently by the phantoms curse. i dont think the age of the actor makes any diffence. they are not aging in a linear way. and metaphysical things are taking place one after the other(i.e. jack rabbit appearing to janek and the phantom in the beginning etc.). i dont see what makes the polish parts "4/7". it just doesnt jibe with me.
Carl
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Re: what now?

Postby Carl » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:39 pm

I meant, the sets and costumes in IE, in those scenes, whatever they are intended to represent, are too modern for old gypsy stuff.
When I first saw IE for the 2nd time, I figured, right, these scenes are from 4 7. Then, I watched it some more and thought ( with some nudging from my wife), ' Okay, they're the actors that made 4 7' and their spouses.'
Gusses-for-grabs, now. Beyond what I've Posted, I have no special ideas as to which.

Also, LG watches TV, ect. Now, a 'cut-off' fictional character, who really is just an idea in someone's mind, might keep up with tech, but not a stranded, unaging actress.
LG is an idea in WHOSE mind, just?
Nikki's? Whoever wrote the script ( I forget) for OHIBT? Piotrek ( who plays Smithy?)
Maybe that's what ART is: a shared idea in more than one mind.
JFK
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Re: what now?

Postby JFK » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:52 pm

Carl wrote:I meant, the sets and costumes in IE, in those scenes, whatever they are intended to represent, are too modern for old gypsy stuff.
When I first saw IE for the 2nd time, I figured, right, these scenes are from 4 7. Then, I watched it some more and thought ( with some nudging from my wife), ' Okay, they're the actors that made 4 7' and their spouses.'
Gusses-for-grabs, now. Beyond what I've Posted, I have no special ideas as to which.

im not sure that we're defining "old gypsy stuff" the same way. i think the clothes and the added effect of a red filter on the camera lend those scenes and older air. i dont know, i dont see how that disqualifies it from being the old folk tale. as a matter of fact, i think youre forgetting something important in that the phantom being involved can only make it the old cursed story. he has cursed LG, and intends to look for Nikki, who comes to a point being chased by the phantom where she becomes LB.

Also, LG watches TV, ect. Now, a 'cut-off' fictional character, who really is just an idea in someone's mind, might keep up with tech, but not a stranded, unaging actress.
LG is an idea in WHOSE mind, just?
Nikki's? Whoever wrote the script ( I forget) for OHIBT? Piotrek ( who plays Smithy?)
Maybe that's what ART is: a shared idea in more than one mind.


or maybe its not in someone's head, maybe its really happening. or so the song says. of course i dont consider LG "a 'cut-off' fictional character, who really is just an idea in someone's mind, might keep up with tech, but not a stranded, unaging actress"
and remember that TV is not there at first. watch the first wide shot after the "i'm afraid" lines. it too has metaphysical ends and means. beyond 4/7, and beyond OHIBT.
applesnoranges
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Re: what now?

Postby applesnoranges » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:25 am

In the first scene, with Man 1 and Woman 1, there is no TV but there is a lamp. In the scene with Lost Girl, there is a TV but no lamp. But the reflection of the lamp is there on her TV screen.
JFK
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Re: what now?

Postby JFK » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:26 am

applesnoranges wrote:In the first scene, with Man 1 and Woman 1, there is no TV but there is a lamp. In the scene with Lost Girl, there is a TV but no lamp. But the reflection of the lamp is there on her TV screen.


during the first few seconds that LG is shown, there is a lamp, but no TV. only after a cut does the TV appear. i never understood why people base their LG character analysis on the existence of the TV. i mean, sure it is a plot device, but it isnt there at first, and then it is, as if LG summonded it. this is why i disagree with the idea that all of IE is what she watched on the TV. i believe theres more at work there. i also noticed the lamp disappearing, but i never noticed the glare issue, which is interesting. i will have to check that out. and what about at the end, when dern shows up in the apartment, is the lamp back? we know the TV is there because of the feedback loop that is shown(and is one of my favorite shots in the film(altho i have about 200 favorite shots))
but what about the lamp?
Carl
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Re: what now?

Postby Carl » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:04 pm

More and more, I tend to see IE as being,to a great extent, what LG sees on her TV.
However, note that we first see LG, herself, through the superimposed lens of a camera. So, there is indeed more to IE than what she sees.
There's no real rason to think that LG is tapped in that Lost Room; it may be a refuge for her.
The notion, in some review ( forget which,GOOGLE) that LG has either turned a trick or just been seduced (hypnotized, if you will) and is sitting there,in a nice hotel room, crying, regretting her infidelity, watching daytime TV, with it's sit-coms, re-makes and 'continuing stories', is very attractive. At the end, she has experienced the catharsis what soap do bring( all that Polish Poem sappy music) and runs home to Smithy and son. Surely, each detail of the crap she sees is overlayed by emotionally charged images of her own life, real family and lovers.

**After the searchlight-like projection we see that displays 'INLAND EMPIRE', we hear, not a radio play, but a recording of a radio play.' ...reflection and evil was born...'
Reflections are reversed, left-to-right, and there is a certain amount of reversal in the two situations in OHIBT viz a vis 4 7( if those scenes are, indeed, from 4 7 or in relation to the actor's lives that made it, if not.)
An example: the infertility reversal. The woman can not give him children, in the one and Smithy can not father children, in the other. Maybe, though, that's part of the curse: to have inflicted upon oneself the harm one does another.
***I'm trying ( b'times, of course) to reconstruct:
1)the plot to 4 7;
2)the plot to OHIBT;
3)the 'old Gypsy tale' upon which they are ultimately based.
I figure there may ( or of course, may not) be more to the last than
' A little boy...variant;a little girl...'
applesnoranges
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Re: what now?

Postby applesnoranges » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:09 am

JFK wrote:during the first few seconds that LG is shown, there is a lamp, but no TV. only after a cut does the TV appear.

I don't think so; I just looked again. The b/w scenes are of Woman #1. The last one we see of her is too close in to see if the lamp is there, but anyway we know it was from the previous scenes and nothing has changed. She's sitting there with her top down and some straps dangling across her legs. Then we see the color shot of LG through the lens. I don't see the point of saying there is no TV just because it isn't in that first shot of her. She's sitting on what looks like a green bed over to the left of the couch so the TV would have to be on the right wall where she's looking. When we see it, we see the reflection of the lamp, in color of course. We get a better look at it when the rabbits appear.

Something that was in a previous story, the story of Man 1 and Woman #1, Axxon N according to the narrator, is seen as a reflection in the story of LG but without the object being there. I think it's fair to say that it's not there because we see that corner of the room when the TV appears, and the satellite dish outside. In any case, if it were in the room with her, it would have to be beside her somewhere near to be reflected so she could see it.

The meaning I see here is that throughout IE we see various renditions of the curse. The lamp just blends the first story that we saw a moment of with the LG story (as does the song). Each time we see something again, it is a little different. In the end we see Dern sitting in blue on that couch or one enough like it to relate the scenes, but unlike the first two protagonists, she is now contented.

and what about at the end, when dern shows up in the apartment, is the lamp back? we know the TV is there because of the feedback loop that is shown(and is one of my favorite shots in the film(altho i have about 200 favorite shots)) but what about the lamp?

That's interesting. I'd say that it is. There is a lamp beside her to the right and earlier we saw the lamp reflected on the right side of her screen. It is so bright that it doesn't look identical but it does seem to be the same lamp. If it was there in the first scene and we didn't see it, then it would be hard to account for why everything looks so dark around her.

I think it's all set up that way so that we can see the elements moving through the film without object constancy.

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