"I like pancakes"

Discussion of INLAND EMPIRE

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nodnarb
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"I like pancakes"

Postby nodnarb » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:44 pm

Does anyone have any clue who or what the person could be that is sitting across from Laura Dern in her monologue scenes?
After awhile I just thought he was a technical device to be able to splice cuts in her takes....
Dern was putting so much into her performance, but the cutaways to the guy in the glasses just started to bother me.
Why such a blank slate of counter-shot?
Is it supposed to be absurdist humour?

Thoughts?
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Red Room
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Re: "I like pancakes"

Postby Red Room » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:59 am

nodnarb wrote:Does anyone have any clue who or what the person could be that is sitting across from Laura Dern in her monologue scenes?
After awhile I just thought he was a technical device to be able to splice cuts in her takes....
Dern was putting so much into her performance, but the cutaways to the guy in the glasses just started to bother me.
Why such a blank slate of counter-shot?
Is it supposed to be absurdist humour?

Thoughts?

As far as it's possible to be sure of anything in INLAND EMPIRE, my understanding is that he is Jack Rabbit. We clearly see him positioning himself behind the desk whilst still in rabbit-form...

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biotron
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Postby biotron » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:05 am

off the top of my head (will need to re-watch), Jack Rabbit places a screwdriver down on the table, and sits in Dern's position - muddying the issue somewhat.

"i like pancakes" is certainly a moment of inappropriate comedy, i laughed out loud. i'm yet to see a plausible explanation of what Mr K represents, given that he appears to be situated fairly centrally, and despite appearing to be a useless shrink, clearly informs a higher authority (confirming the remark made by one of the Polish seance crew's comment about taking the horse to the well, for instance).

phone connections / telegraph wires are fascinating in Lynch's work - signalling a link to other worlds, a hierarchy of power, or serving to perpetuate paranoia. in this respect, Mr K slightly resembles the hotel owner / Silencio MC in MD, being in league with "higher agencies" and "facilitating" events in a location of critical importance to the outcome of the "woman in trouble"'s life / understanding of her situation.

he seems - at the end - to be either an usher or the manager of the cinema. there are reams of associations that could be made here. i also think he simply provides a necessary functional role in relieving the screen of Dern's pained facial contortions during the overlong monologue sequences.

i need to watch this again soon, 5 months is too long a gap to be able to talk with clarity about these issues...
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Postby Christian1989 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:39 am

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Postby harmolodic » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:00 pm

biotron wrote:off the top of my head (will need to re-watch), Jack Rabbit places a screwdriver down on the table, and sits in Dern's position - muddying the issue somewhat.


This is the case. It's not so clear at all that he's Jack Rabbit.
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Postby Red Room » Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:19 pm

harmolodic wrote:
biotron wrote:off the top of my head (will need to re-watch), Jack Rabbit places a screwdriver down on the table, and sits in Dern's position - muddying the issue somewhat.


This is the case. It's not so clear at all that he's Jack Rabbit.

Sure, which is why I said "as far as it's possible to be sure of anything in INLAND EMPIRE, my understanding is that he is Jack Rabbit"...

It's my understanding of the scene. I don't present it as hard fact, but then I would challenge anyone to know exactly what is or isn't 'fact' within this particular story. :wink:

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Postby harmolodic » Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:42 am

I'm not challenging your assertion that it's Jack Rabbit so much as your statement that "We clearly see him positioning himself behind the desk whilst still in rabbit-form...". In fact, he does NOT sit where crooked glasses guy sits. He sits where the Dern character sits...

Red Room wrote:
harmolodic wrote:
biotron wrote:off the top of my head (will need to re-watch), Jack Rabbit places a screwdriver down on the table, and sits in Dern's position - muddying the issue somewhat.


This is the case. It's not so clear at all that he's Jack Rabbit.

Sure, which is why I said "as far as it's possible to be sure of anything in INLAND EMPIRE, my understanding is that he is Jack Rabbit"...

It's my understanding of the scene. I don't present it as hard fact, but then I would challenge anyone to know exactly what is or isn't 'fact' within this particular story. :wink:

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dcsch
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Postby dcsch » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:51 pm

When I see these scenes I am always reminded of the ever
watchful eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg from The Great Gatsby watching over the vally of ashes that is our lives.

But I like the fact that this guy is not as dispassionate a viewer of reality. I disagree that the line "I like pancakes" was a bit of inappropriate humor - it was a perfect statement - in the moment, without pretense, and focused. It balances everything Derns character was saying - she was speaking from her perspective which needed no comment or reply - just has his statement that he likes pancakes needs no comment or reply.
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Postby Teopeaks » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:10 am

I don't recall this line actually, can someone tell me when it is exactly in the movie? Maybe my version does not have it.
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Postby dcsch » Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:10 am

The "I like pancakes" line is actually in the "More Things That Happened" piece on the DVD extras disk.

Which makes me wonder how much of that extra stuff - and other things on his member web site (Rabbits, AxxonN, Nae -"Where are the bannas? - No, You don't belong here!", etc..) he wants the viewers of Inland Empire to bring to their experience of the film. For his other films he has resisted having anything else "from the outside" be brought into the world of the film - commentaries, dvd extras, etc. But with this film there seems to be much more blurring of those realities.

It is almost as if Lynch is acknowledging that his work lives in a broader context than the world they create within themselves - not that he would have denied that in the past.
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Postby applesnoranges » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:18 am

I've seen a good amount of discussion about where Jack Rabbit sits and so have gone back to watch it to check. I'm convinced that he sits in Dern's place. Lost Girl is the only one who sees the rabbits and occasionally Jack Rabbit leaves the room to do things that seem to serve her cause of becoming liberated from her state of being lost.

It seems to me that the monolog woman in different segments is coming from different characters, but in that case she comes from Jack Rabbit who comes from Lost Girl. The last segment in the feature seems to come from LG. Mr. K. ends his phone call with, I believe, "Czerwone" which translated on line as "red". It was what was said at the séance by one of the rabbit-men and LG is the one who heard it. When the monolog woman hears that, she makes a quick escape because she knows she has a fast approaching date with destiny.

We saw Gruszka and Dern each climb those same stairs with a screwdriver, so somehow Dern has to correct Gruszka's mistake so she can be freed. Gruszka cries out for help, the wise men hear her and hold a séance so she can materialize and contact Piotrek, they give him the gun that he needs to plan in the drawer so Sue can find it and use it, after which LG is free. Whether they were rabbits coming from LG first and then became the psychics or vice versa I can't tell, not just yet anyway.

That's the story line that I see happening at this time.
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Postby MichaelPW » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:18 am

Maybe he`s someone like a psychoanalyst. She could have been sent from a doctor ("Don`t know what I shall here", "It hurts my pride"). The way he looks through his glasses remind me on "three-eyed". He investigates the facts. He shows her a way in the theater. Maybe he "wrote" "LB" ("you don`t love Billy"?) on her hand. But how many times does the phone ring? I don`t know at the moment (4 times?). And what does the A mean?
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Postby applesnoranges » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:26 pm

MichaelPW wrote: Maybe he "wrote" "LB" ("you don`t love Billy"?) on her hand. But how many times does the phone ring? I don`t know at the moment (4 times?). And what does the A mean?


4 and 7 are all through the movie. He doesn't budge until it rings the 4th time, then he gets up and answers it after the 6th ring. I can't put my finger on what it means but somehow he didn't let it reach 7 (contrast to the street girls who snap their fingers with her on the 4th snap and then she goes on to 7 before pulling out the screwdriver)

I think the most important thing to notice about the LB is that it is on her hand when she is there with him, but then on that 7th snap outside, it begins to fade. Looking at how it goes from the time she gets outside on, in every scene, no matter what is happening, we don't get to see the back of her right hand. We don't see it until she hugs Kingsley and he calls her Nikki ... and the hand is clean.

Then she sees the scene of Sue reaching into the drawer, follows Mr. K., and finds her way to that drawer herself ... and the LB is back! Before following Mr. K. she threw off her blue robe, which we know belongs to Nikki, to play the part of Sue again, at which point the LB returns. Then when she approaches Lost Girl, we see that it is gone again.
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Postby MichaelPW » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:04 am

He doesn't budge until it rings the 4th time, then he gets up and answers it after the 6th ring. I can't put my finger on what it means but somehow he didn't let it reach 7 (contrast to the street girls who snap their fingers with her on the 4th snap and then she goes on to 7 before pulling out the screwdriver)


We maybe can see this as getting control over the phone on stage 4. On stage 7 he is controlled by the one on the other side of the phone. He maybe reports about the mental state of his patient. He is supervised. After stage 7 in the snap-scene there`s absolute loss of control - about the weapon, about life. Maybe we haven`t a seventh ring, because he`s congruent in intention with the one on the other side. Also Lost Girl seems to be out of control in "7". "Piotrek" gets control about the weapon in "4". "Dern" gets mental help in "4". Lost Girl sees control in the center of 9.45. "Information-man" is out of control at "7".

the most important thing to notice about the LB


Didn`t see it in the snap-scene so far. Think that we see it the first time on stage 7 when she`s there with him. Yes, it isn`t there when Kingsley hugs her. Think that it is important that the LB is crossed and assume that this means something like "not".

She is called Nikki. But is she actually Nikki here? Something happened - we see no social agreement here with Kingsley. We don`t see something like "Oh, thanks Kingsley". She leaves in that blue robe and the music is like "something unbelievable happened". Where was she? In the land of death surrounded by Pomona (=47=harmony=neutralization?)? In the land having something to do with "SaSaSa"? In Inland Empire? No more blue tomorrows? Perhaps blue for a while. Then getting help. Seeing in the scene what is to do in the future. Seeing in the scene what she learned. She says goodbye to blue. Maybe the message is "love blue not". We also have a blue scene somewhere else...
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Postby applesnoranges » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:32 pm

MichaelPW wrote:Didn`t see it in the snap-scene so far. Think that we see it the first time on stage 7 when she`s there with him. Yes, it isn`t there when Kingsley hugs her. Think that it is important that the LB is crossed and assume that this means something like "not".

It is not very clear and is only visible for a frame or two so you have to watch the seventh snap frame by frame. But what I see is a very dim version of the LB with no cross line. I don't know what the cross line means but here's what I think is happening:

She is terrified and desperate and freaked out about seeing the Ormand character. Then, suddenly, she's not scared and seems to be having a good time. She snaps her fingers and on the 4th snap and only that one, the street girls snap with her. How can that be? That would not happen in real life with no reason. So as I see it, she realizes that none of this is real and then is no longer afraid. It's like being in a dream and suddenly realizing that you are dreaming and so you can control the dream. So she controls the street girls to snap with her. When she sees that, she is no longer afraid of death. If you watch the scene where Doris or whoever takes the screwdriver from her to stab her, she does not wrestle it away from her; very clearly the Dern character hands it to her as she passes. This is not an artifact of IE; if Lynch did not want it there, it would not be there.
She is called Nikki. But is she actually Nikki here? Something happened - we see no social agreement here with Kingsley. We don`t see something like "Oh, thanks Kingsley".

I've seen it suggested that another way of looking at it is that Sue really dies and realizes that she is still conscious. So the world she sees after death looks just like the one she just left, but then she realizes that she can do things she could not do before, change the world. So the world she sees then is one in which she did not really die but was only in a movie played by Nikki.

At the moment of her death there is a scene cut and we see her expression has changed to a peaceful one. It could be at that moment that she begins seeing herself that way because it is in an afterlife state.

If I could rephrase question you bring up"”why then is this Nikki not like the chirpy, happy Nikki we saw in Kingsley's office?"”I don't know, but it's a good thing to keep in mind that she is different.
She leaves in that blue robe and the music is like "something unbelievable happened". Where was she? In the land of death surrounded by Pomona (=47=harmony=neutralization?)? In the land having something to do with "SaSaSa"? In Inland Empire? No more blue tomorrows? Perhaps blue for a while. Then getting help. Seeing in the scene what is to do in the future. Seeing in the scene what she learned. She says goodbye to blue. Maybe the message is "love blue not". We also have a blue scene somewhere else...

I don't know but she is different, more powerful, because she then goes on to rid the story of the phantom and Lost Girl is free. There are still a lot of blank spots to come to an understanding of. What do you mean by: "In the land of death surrounded by Pomona (=47=harmony=neutralization?)?" What is "SaSaSa"?

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