If Blue Velvet is David Lynch’s Dubliners, and Mulholland Drive his Ulysses, then Inland Empire is undoubtedly his Finnegan’s Wake. It’s huge, incomprehensible, and many people will hate it. I think that it’s some kind of masterpiece that I will probably never watch again. Laura Dern gives the best performance of her career, but she spends a good part of the movie looking horrified for reasons we never quite grasp, and doing that thing with her mouth that makes her look like a Peanuts character. You’ve probably heard about the bunnies. No, I don’t know what’s up with the bunnies. But as you should be able to read certain parts from the Wake without taking in the whole, there is at least one scene you should see from Inland Empire, because it is freakin’ awesome. Lynch has a penchant for transforming well-known pop songs. After Blue Velvet, you cannot hear Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” the same way ever again, and here Lynch does the same with Little Eva’s “The Locomotion”. (In the end credits he also uses Nina Simone’s great version of “Sinnerman” which would work a lot better if the Thomas Crowne Affair had not already used it.)
June 2, 2009
The only scene you need to see from “Inland Empire”
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