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11 August 2019: Inland Empire

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Inland Empire
David Lynch, 2006, 180 min, 35mm

“It’s an understatement to call Inland Empire Lynch's most experimental film in the nearly 30 years since he completed Eraserhead. Cheap DV has opened the artist’s mental floodgates. Inland Empire is suffused with dread of…what? Sex, in Lynch, is a priori nightmarish. But there's a sense here that film itself is evil. Movies are all about editing and acting, which is to say, visual lies and verbal ones, and Inland Empire insures the that viewer is cognizant of both. Lynch's notion of pure cinema is a matter of tawdry scenarios and disconcerting tonal shifts. Everything in Inland Empire is uncanny, unmoored, and out of joint. The major special effect is the creepy merging of spaces or times. The heroine’s persistent doubling and Lynch's continuous use of “creative geography” reinforce the sense that he assimilated Maya Deren's venerable avant-noir Meshes of the Afternoon at an impressionable age. And like Meshes, Inland Empire has no logic apart from its movie-ness.” – J. Hoberman


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