5 Stinky Thoughts on Inland Empire
I hate David Lynch. & then I love David Lynch. But then I...
It's been 20 years since my first experience of the deep palpable physical misery of a 1st screening of a David Lynch film. A Lynch film is the cinematic definition of "discomfit." Then, of course, the obsession kicks in & I only want to watch it all over again. Somehow believing I might be able to unpuzzle it with a second look. Ha. Got me again... The f*cker.
Few contemporary American directors love filming actors more than Lynch. You can see it in the way he frames their faces. It's a worshipful cruelty. And it captures the shocking and surprising contours of an actor's performance in ways almost unique to Lynch. Think of that big sidewalk scene and how Lynch's fascination with each actor's face amplifies gory absurdity into something startling...poetry. The f*cker.
What was with the big bunnies?
Perhaps the most elliptical visual Lu's seen in a good while. For Lulu, the big bunnies were the source of some of the greatest tension in the film. At first I got to thinkin' the big bunny scenes cued some big concept about life & voyeurism & theatricality & rodents...but then I got confused. And toward the end I was just dying -- actually bouncing up and down in my seat -- in anticipation of Laura Dern crashing through that stage right door and then wandering among those big bunny people. (Gawd wouldn't that have been kewl?!?) Not that it would have said anything in particular about what was going on with those f'n bunnies. (What was going on with those bunnies?) And not that it actually happend. Lynch. The f*cker.
The genius is in the casting.
Lynch casts smarter than almost anyone. Tosses seasoned pros in with novices. And he then adds non-actors for spice/spite. And, here, he gets all international on the cast too. And then he puts big stars in voiceover or in background during the marvelous closing credits. (Behind, of all things, a rollicking lipsych number performed by -- truly, if I read the credits correctly -- students from The Debbie Allen Dance Academy.) Who else would do this? The f*cker.
Why doesn't Laura Dern work more?
No. Really. Why?