Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Image, The Film-Maker, His Cow, And Her Cheese [INLAND EMPIRE]

"Without cheese there wouldn't be an INLAND EMPIRE." [Short Video]

[The two guys who made/accidentally-captured this 2-minute video - of Lynch in a suitably bizarre "performance art" promotion of his latest film on a Hollywood sidewalk - sound like the two guys from the Black-Book office scene/massacre in Lynch's Mulholland Dr ...].

Since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last September, this DV-shot, 3-hour oneiric epic has been rhizomatically percolating ever so slowly but surely.

"EVEN by David Lynch’s weird standards his latest thriller is an exasperating stretch. For three chilly hours we shadow a small cast of artists and prostitutes as their identities are deliberately blurred in one of the most impenetrable films ever made ... The character played by Jeremy Irons is trying to shoot a psychological drama about love and terror in some sort of crazy labyrinth but there’s something deeply wrong with his script. "

"David Lynch's latest opus is a Russian doll of a film with stories inside stories inside stories. But coming in at three hours long, made in Poland and Hollywood, the digitally-shot film is inspired and incomprehensible by turns ... Laura Dern (who also co-produced) stars as an actress who has just landed a part in a new film. What the producers have neglected to tell her is that the movie is a remake and that the two original leads were murdered. Now, history looks set to repeat itself. "

"There is a very clean divide in Mulholland Drive between a woman's dreams and waking life, but the walls between the two are completely dissolved in the more fragmentary Inland Empire, Lynch's most self-reflexive creation to date. The director has vowed never to work on film again, and for this, his first feature shot on digital video, he lobs a cherry bomb at his entire canon, recording the jagged remnants that resonate from the blast as they slide and dissipate into the swirl of his projector beam. Some may call it a toilet, but I like to think of it as a splendiferous whirlpool of wonders. "

"You may ask what the film's stream of non sequiturs, anecdotes, clues, doublings, folktales, and psychotic episodes mean. We could say nothing and declare that Inland Empire doesn't so much fall into the abyss as it resides in it, telegraphing dizzying sounds and visions from its drowned world toward the outside, which should suffice as an explanation if you've learned to respect the fact that Lynch carves his films much closer to where our id resides than anyone has ever dared. Lynch, more honestly than Godard, embraces the dark and dingy contours of the DV format ..."

Can't wait ...

See also this excellent review over at American Stranger.


Blogger Aleph said...

I'm going to take a shot Lynch's enigmatic "cheese is made from milk" comment.

I'm going to approach it by taking some conventional associations with milk and cheese. Milk is pure, clean, innoncent (in a sense). While cheese is rotten, smelly, a kind of corrupted milk. So to say that cheese is made from milk is to point out that corruption comes from purity, a very common theme throughout Lynch's work.

In the (viral) video Lynch is seen with a cow, the source of milk and cheese, and thus of purity and corruption, in a similar way to Lynch, who is the source of these elements via his film. This connection is further highlighted by putting the "innocent" animal in the middle of decadent Hollywood. So once again purity and corruption are juxtaposed, as they are in Lynch's wearing of a white shirt (the color of milk, or purity), and yet Lynch is the source of the nightmarish world revealed in his films.

Finally, I haven't seen Inland Empire yet, but juxtaposing Laura Dern's image on the billboard in the viral video with that of Lynch and the cow and Hollywood could be seen to indicate that she plays a similar role in the film. The meeting place of purity and corruption. Much like she did in Wild at Heart.

All of this is just a guess, and maybe Inland Empire itself will provide some more insight in this phrase.

6:01 AM  

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