Inland Empire

Director: David Lynch
Year Released: 2006
Rating: 2.0

Lynch's films have always teetered on the fine line between ridiculous patter (Fire Walk with Me, Lost Highway) and brilliant surrealism (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive), and in this dismissal of Hollywood and Los Angeles (the anger carries over from Mulholland Drive) it's sadly the latter: extreme close-ups of grotesque facial expressions, comical juxtapositions, oddball conversations/monologues that are more campy than creepy, and an arbitrary storyline. Now, sometimes Lynch's melding of fragments works, particularly in those pictures that work up to some 'point,' but the core attack here - that (I'm guessing) L.A./Hollywood/America or a place of (false) dreams can lead to some kind of psychic splitting and self-destruction - is easily taken away from the first act. Some material comes from other projects (I've seen Rabbits), and it's a little disappointing that Lynch is basically sampling himself. For the record, I actually like the DV - I know it sounds like some bland contrarian declaration, but if you're going to record glitch and visual decay, that's the equipment to use (if you've seen the Lynch short The Amputee, you'll know he's played around with video before), and there are clips and pieces in here that are bound to stick in the memory long after it's over. Sadly, some of the most dismal material he's shot is in there too, and that is what should be forgotten.