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Inland Empire


Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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I've always liked David Lynch, and considered Mulholland Drive his finest film, but I was spell-bound by Inland Empire with its theme of fragmentation and dispersion of identity.

What have others made of this film?


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 Anonymous
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I am a big David Lynch admirer myself and was waiting for the release of Inland Empire for quite a while only to learn that it wasn't going to the big screen here in Holland. So unfortunately I will have to wait for a while longer until it appears on DVD 🙁


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Michael Staley
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"ErichZann333" wrote:
I am a big David Lynch admirer myself and was waiting for the release of Inland Empire for quite a while only to learn that it wasn't going to the big screen here in Holland. So unfortunately I will have to wait for a while longer until it appears on DVD 🙁

Not too much longer, Erich, since the DVD release is sometime this month. If you look at the ShoutBox, someone is talking about seeing it on DVD, so perhaps it is available now. Try ebay or Google.


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 Anonymous
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Great news! 😀 Thanks for the info Michael.


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 Anonymous
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Haven't yet got to view this one yet, but loved Muholland Drive!! The scene where the "creature" appears in the alley still gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

Nonetheless I found the following quotes by Lynch, regarding Inland Empire, to be rather interesting:

Source being Inland Empire Wikipedia article :

Lynch has been noted to quote from the Aitareya Upanishad when presenting screenings of the digital work:

"We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe."

Lynch : "I’ve never worked on a project in this way before. I don’t know exactly how this thing will finally unfold... This film is very different because I don’t have a script. I write the thing scene by scene and much of it is shot and I don’t have much of a clue where it will end. It’s a risk, but I have this feeling that because all things are unified, this idea over here in that room will somehow relate to that idea over there in the pink room."

B


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Michael Staley
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"djinn888" wrote:
Lynch has been noted to quote from the Aitareya Upanishad when presenting screenings of the digital work:

"We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe."

That's stirring stuff. Is that particular quote from the Upanishad, or is it by Lynch?


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 Anonymous
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From the Upanishad.

B


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Michael Staley
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"djinn888" wrote:
Lynch has been noted to quote from the Aitareya Upanishad when presenting screenings of the digital work: "We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe."

I wonder if he is quoting from another Upanishad. Nothing like this intensely beautiful aphorism occurs in any of the several on-line translations of the Aitareya Upanishad that I have consulted.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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This is from the Svetasvatara, although it is a very augmented and creative translation.

I can't find any info on Lynch mentioning this, Djinn?


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 Anonymous
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"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Not too much longer, Erich, since the DVD release is sometime this month. If you look at the ShoutBox, someone is talking about seeing it on DVD, so perhaps it is available now. Try ebay or Google.

It's out officially on DVD today in the UK. I pre-ordered it from Play.com and they actually sent it on Thursday last week. I think it's the first Lynch dvd to have extras officially sanctioned by him, they're all interviews with him from various places. The most interesting , for me at least, being with french electro-acoustic composer Michel Chion, who also wrote a book on Lynch, and a very nicely shot interview with fellow director Mike Figgis. He mostly says the same things in the interviews, probably because everyone asks him the same questions, but he does talk about TM a fair bit ,how that has effected his work , and how his inner psychic journeying manifests in his films, most obviously in the way that everything is connected on some,not immediately apparent, level with everything else.
I think that if you're going to define the term "thelemite" as someone who strives to manifest their true will, then David Lynch is surely a Mighty Thelemite, as he has been manifesting his true will onto film for 30 odd years, with no regard for trends,fashions or opinions other than his own.
Inland Empire has many similarities with Mullholland Drive, not least the central theme of the disintegration of the self and the interconnectedness of everything, but that's probably what all his films are about.
What a risk it must have been to take a film crew(albeit a small one) and a load of actors over to Poland when he didn't even have a script !


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scarobminor
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What I found interesting about Inland Empire was that it seemed to expand out from itself as if it was bigger than it was. The screen didn't seem large enough to contain the title at the begining with it extending beyond its borders and the action continued while all the various credits were going by at the end.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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I really enjoyed Inland Empire and am planning to watch it again soon as I think that quite a few watchings are required in order to understand it properly. As well as the DVD being actually released today I understand that Prince Charles cinema will be showing it later on this week.

My first impressions on this are that the fragmentary nature of this film is very dream like, to me very suggestive of reincarnation, where each interconnected life caught in similar situations almost repeating the same circumstancesover and over. There are so many levels of repitition in the film, such as the film being made, the personal life of Nikki Grace, the character she played (Susan Blue), the characters (or acters) in the previous make of the film - 47 etc.

Of course there is another level still, that of Laura Derne and her life filming the movie. This is true even to the extent in which (with Lynch writing each script just before the shoot) even she wouldnt have been able to see what the picture was about until Lynch assembled it producing the film. In this sense the film breaks the fourth wall and like the spider web mentioned in the above post enters our world in a manner not unlike "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by Borges

An added level of complexity is also added when it becomes hard to differentiate between reality and fiction. We often see a scene where a characters actions evokes a deep emotional response in us only to see at a crucial point that the camera pans back to show the scene was actually part of the film being made involving the characters character in the deeper film being produced in the movie. The sense of relief when we find our emotions were based on the misleading film rather than perhaps the more real to us actors was palpable. Its strange that we have a fiction describing the making of a deeper level of fiction and that our emotional responses in observing each level of fiction can alter so quickly when the actual level of fiction we are looking at becomes crystalised and we know what we are watching

In many ways I also feel that the interactions portrayed in the film are very similar to how we experience spirit communication. In my activities as a paranormal investigator I have found that spirit communication is very fragmentary and that often we get repeated ideas almost as if the communicant is stuck in a loop. Perhaps this is suggestive of the idea that on death personality diffuses perhaps into a "spirit field" of which incarnation is the compression of an aspect of this field into an individual point or identity. To me this is very suggestive of the words on Nuit and Hadit in Liber Al.

Not that I am suggesting that there were ghosts or other spirits in the film - although maybe this also is hinted at in places. In the beginning when the film is being discussed to the two leading actors, a sound prompts the leading actor to investigate it. Later on in the film we see Nikki observing the chase from her perspective - but isnt she in the other room with the director? This blurring of locality is very interesting especially from an esoteric perspective and rather suggestive of Bohm's ideas of an implicate order.

The rabbits were interesting. Observant viewers would have noticed that there was canned laughter throughout the sketches. However the laughter made no sense and was certainly not within the context of what the rabbits were actually doing. Does this suggest that there is a another meta-context in which the rabbits exist where the humour would actually make sense. Were they perhaps even an interpretation of the primary characters as seen from a different perspective?

I'm sure I will have more to say when I have rewatched this.

cheers Paolo


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Michael Staley
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Dear Paolo,

Thanks for your thoughtful analysis of this film. Subsequent viewings lend more coherence to the film.

"David Lynch" wrote:
We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe.

Whatever the origin of this quote (and thanks, Monsieur Klaw, for pinpointing it) it is profoundly stirring on a multitude of levels. It also brings to mind a quote from Grant's Against the Light, cast in the mode of a Victorian novelist:

"Kenneth Grant" wrote:
Have you ever considered, dear Reader, that every time you awaken from the dreams of night or of the day, the forces set in motion by the characters and events that occurred therein do not cease abruptly with your change of consciousness to daytime or to nighttime. No, indeed, those creatures of your dream world, set in motion by impulses you no longer own, contrive to expend their energies until their impulse subsides, or until, dear Reader, you sleep again and take up a further chapter in the destiny of your creations which are - all of them - only and entirely yourself.

It also brings to mind the delicious and suggestive analogy that manifestation is akin to a play wherein there is the one actor, Brahma, playing all the parts. However, he is so immersed in each part that he has forgotten temporarily that he is the one actor.


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 Anonymous
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93

with its theme of fragmentation and dispersion of identity.

On that note I'd suggest Momento, The Machinist and Spider...all good films dealing with the concepts of fragmentation and identity dispersion...

I have yet to see Inland Empire...sooner rather than later after reading this thread..

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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David Lynch is by far my favourite director and Mulholland Drive has always been the film for me, but I do think that Inland Empire has a chance of at least joining it up on that pedestal...or maybe even taking it's place.

I've only had the chance to see it once so far but I'll be repeating the experience this Wednesday and I think the DVD may well be part of my birthday gifts later this week 😀

Further viewings are always needed to truly appreciate the complexity of his films and once understood (at least on some level) they're needed just to relive the moment.


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 Anonymous
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Michael Staley
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That's gorgeous, djinn. Thanks for posting it.


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 Anonymous
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Thanks for this link 'Djinn'.

Funny, your username reminds me of an entertaining line from the film, which is something to the effect of "do you fancy a gin?", "what, the one with a G or a J?"

Sorry, can't remember the exact line as my 3rd viewing hasn't happened yet (I beg forgiveness!), but will when I get the DVD...

I've no intention of writing to the person who wrote this review but this 'quote' does not occur within the mentioned Upanishad. 😯


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 Anonymous
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93

Thought I'd do some on line research until I get a chance to see this. Here's an interesting review by the New York Times: http://movies2.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/movies/06empi.html


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 Anonymous
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I haven't seen these films. I will soon remedy that (thanks for the tip).I have had a quick look around, both Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire are available from Amazon, for those interested.

Richard


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kidneyhawk
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Richard-

We JUST got our copy on DVD, thanks to the recent talk and enthusiasm. I found that the "Wow" moments all occured for me AFTER seeing it-in my car, office etc. As if the movie were a "download" and the "program" (no pun intended) starts running when done.

Paolo-

My impression of the rabbits was the same. I believe it's after the "Mother Rabbit" asks "What time is it?" that the canned laughter opens.

Of course, it's 9:45, "Past Midnight" and so on-all at once...the rabbits aren't laughing. It's the Watcher whose organic life is outside of the "script." The canned laughter is creepy in the Rabbit sequences...the Hessean "Sinister." But the "Sinister" is only such from ONE perspective...the woman watching the film ("You know what whores do...?") begins her observatory, unfolding "viewing" with tears and it ends in joy, the whole "fragmentation" of the film culminating with integration of all the diverse elements, a breakdown-purification-and union of the "elements." Watching Inland Empire is like watching and partaking in Alchemy, an Alchemy of Transpersonal Enlightenment.

I think I may have loved it..."after midnight."

Kyle


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 Anonymous
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I agree with everyone a great metaphorical movie with a lot left over to ponder. He is unique and brave in the industry. My understanding is he used "Off the Shelf" equipment (final cut studio - for editing etc.) and his own money to make it so he controlled the project all the way through. I'm trying to remember exactly what he said but I think he said he did the whole thing in under three months operating out of his house with NO studio input or financial help. Something like that anyway.

He was on NPR radio a few months back and I'm pretty sure he said it cost him $100K only to make excluding salaries which the actors took as a cut of profits.

With the digital cameras technology & editing software available today making movies is a lot easier and I do love youtube's spin on cutting out the big boys and being able to self publish.

David lynch is also one of the best pickers of music in movies along with Tarrantino, Ritchie, Coppola, Scorcese, Sergio Leone & Neil Jordan.

p.s
my favorite movie period is "The Good Thief". I F@*king love that movie because it's about facing your demons, transforming, beating the odds and getting the girl !!!
Nick Nolte is the greatest wild man ever especially when he goes into his "Chaos Theory" speech. A great, great movie...


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