Closing the File on David Lynch

Posted in Moving pictures on March 16th, 2009 by bill

Usually I only write about movies to point people toward the really great ones or to warn them away from the really awful ones. I had hoped that today’s entry would be one of the former, but instead it must be the latter.

After ducking it for two years, I finally summoned the courage to view David Lynch’s most recent film, Inland Empire. I had been afraid of it because a) I worried it would continue the accelerating downward spiral that had afflicted Lynch’s work ever since Wild at Heart, and b) it is a big film, almost three hours long.

But after revisiting Twin Peaks my affection for Lynch was restored to such an extent that I approached Inland Empire with cautious optimism. The cast includes a number of old-timey DL favorites such as Laura Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, Diane Ladd, and Grace Zabriskie, as well as Jeremy Irons and Nastassja Kinski. In interviews, Lynch waxed enthusiastic about the possibilities digital filmmaking had opened up for him, and about the positive impact of transcendental meditation on his creative life. It seemed just possible that Inland Empire would mark a return to form for a filmmaker whose work once brought me a great deal of pleasure.
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