Sunday, October 07, 2007

'Inland Empire' ...

Last week Friday, I was watching David Lynch's Inland Empire when my mom called from the emergency room to tell me my father was there. After many stops and starts, I finally finished it, all 2 hours and 59 minutes. What follows is partly what I was writing that night as I watched it, and my thoughts now that I'm done. And let me say upfront that I recognize that we're all entitled to our opinions about art. This is mine.

I thought I might as well continue my Friday Night Movie Freakout (see the post for The Wicker Man below for the first entry in tonight's blogging extravaganza) by popping in David Lynch's latest cinematic experiment.

Let me point out that Lynch's film company is called Absurda. So at least he's in on the joke.

The opening titles of this film are cool. And, as with all Lynch films, if you don't mind the complete cognitive dissociation, it's very pretty to look at. He's a master at choosing locations.

But the "script" is cracking me up.

Let's write a little sample script for David Lynch, shall we? I'm sure he can turn it into a masterpiece.

INT. THE WHITE HOUSE – DAY

John Lennon is the President of the United States. Charo is the Secretary of State. They are sitting on llamas in the Oval Office, wearing white terrycloth bathrobes and bowler hats, drinking Green River and gnawing on turkey legs while Vladimir Lenin sings "I'm a Little Teapot."

JOHN
The boat is red.

CHARO
Why is the air round?

JOHN
Fried chicken is love.

Laura Dern enters, dressed as Swiss Miss.

LAURA
Traffic signs will not fall.

JOHN
My ennui is made of glitter.

My new Internet pal Andy tried watching Inland Empire and gave up. And I should have followed his lead. Except that I want to love David Lynch. I want to crack his code. But methinks there is no code to crack. Lynch's movies seem to have devolved from films to into experiments.

Right after I popped the DVD out of the player, I called up the movie on RottenTomatoes.com, sure that everyone else would have had the same reaction that I did. But no. It received a 68 percent. Sixty-eight percent! SIXTY-EIGHT PERCENT?!

What the hell movie did they see? Or are they of the school that believes, "I didn't understand a damn thing about it. It must be genius!"

No, it's not genius. It's a self-indulgent piece of crap. Did you see it? Would you care to explain to me the family with the large rabbit heads? Or maybe the woman who shows her girlfriends her breasts and then joins them for a dance number to "Do the Locomotion"? Or the Polish mafia?

Credit where it's due, Laura Dern is a spectacular actress. And Peter J. Lucas. Whew! Sign me up! And I love me some Jeremy Irons, no matter what he does. But I nearly shut it off and gave up many times. Why did the man in the yard have a lightbulb in his mouth, socket-end out? What is that supposed to mean? What's that? It's not supposed to mean anything? Then why is it there? And please spare me the existential bullshit that there is no meaning to life. If Lynch wanted to comment on life's banality, why did he put rabbit heads on people? Nothing banal about that.

Remember Twin Peaks? The whole thing was a freakshow, but it all served to answer, "Who killed Laura Palmer?" And I loved Blue Velvet. But after I watched Mulholland Drive, I figured my David Lynch days were over.

Turns out, I was right. I just realized it 2 hours and 59 minutes and nine days too late.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mercurie said...

I think you're right. Lynch is past his prime. His movies still have a good look, but damned if anyone can make heads or tails of them.

8:55 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I agree. That was a wretched waste of three hours.

7:21 PM  

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