|01.24.07||Paramount|| AFS presents Inland Empire at the Paramount theater with special guest David Lynch. Lynch came out to thunderous applause and introduced a short vocal improvisation by local singer Christa Bell, who was very beautiful and wore an elegant gown and made reverberating tones for about a minute. And then David Lynch says "and now... Inland Empire."|
Skipping forward, the ending Q&A was great. I love the way Lynch speaks and it was a pleasure to see him do it in front of me. I love how he uses this hand gesture of wiggling fingers to symbolize pretty much everything he talks about. Whether that means everything in life can be symbolized by waving fingers on a hand or that he only talks about things that make sense that way is a mystery. Still, I loved it. It was great. He talked about catching big ideas and loving them and opening up your concioussness to the vast ocean that engulfs you in blinding waves of bliss. And he said the Lost Highway DVD is color-corrected and timed and ready to go but Universal is sitting on it because they don't think it'll sell. Some people gushed on and on when they had a chance to ask the man a question... Lynch was very polite and nice and had a tear in the right elbow of his suit. Still, in a black suit and black skinny tie, he looked very classy.
And then there's the movie. The beginning title is stunning. The movie is three hours long, and the closest I could make out to a plot was also my interpretation of Mulholland Drive. I'm sure there's a great Laura Dern performance here... but it's all over the place that I had no clue what to guage it on.
Unfortunately. I'm finding that my tastes don't align very well with experimental film. When there's elements of the abstract and surreal inserted into a standard narrative structure, I go apeshit. I think that's why I'm so in love with Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet... it's the standard mystery story with these perverse surreal weird-ass underbelly elements around the edges, creeping in at night when there's not enough light to keep it away. The whole ride that Kyle Machlaclan takes with Frank is some of the best stuff cinema has to offer I think, but i feel that way because it's surrounded by normalcy. It's Kyle falling into the hidden world, almost another dimension that co-exists in secrecy with all the 9-5-ers and stay at home moms. But a whole movie of that shit? That affects me very differently.
Here, it's three hours of organic journey through rough emotion and circumstance. Things happen, or don't. It kind of fits together but not really. What's more, I don't think it's even a puzzle to figure out (an aspect I didn't really like with Mulholland Drive. I hated that the DVD had "hints" on how to figure it out). It's a work I can respect and admire but not really enjoy. I think it's really really great that Lynch made this movie - he seems very happy like a painter with a direct connection between the canvas and his subconciouss - and I have no doubt that it's cinema as art, but it's just too much for me. I really loved certain segments and visuals and aspects and moments, but for me they don't come together at all. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm having a very similar reaction as when I saw Un Chien Andalou. Except that was like a third the running time as this.
It's definitely an experience though, certainly unlike any other new movie I saw this year, and I can't honestly say I hated it or anything like that. It's just too much for me.