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Inland Empire (Bilingual) [Import]

Laura Dern , Jeremy Irons , David Lynch    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 36.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Inland Empire (Bilingual) [Import] + Lost Highway (Full Screen) + Mulholland Drive
Price For All Three: CDN$ 51.99

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Though Inland Empire's three hours of befuddling abstraction could try the patience of the most devoted David Lynch fan, its aim to reinvigorate the Lynch-ian symbolic order is ambitious, not to mention visually arresting. The director's archetypes recognizable from previous movies once again construct the film's inherent logic, but with a new twist. Sets vibrate between the contemporary and a 1950s alternate universe crammed with dim lamps, long hallways, mysterious doors, sparsely furnished rooms and, this time, a vortex/apartment/sitcom set where rabbit-masked humans dwell, and a Polish town where women are abused and killed. Instead of speaking backwards, mystic soothsayers and criminals speak Polish. Filmed on video, the film's look has the sinister, frightening feel of a Mark Savage film or a bootlegged snuff movie. Constant close-ups, both in and out of focus, make Inland Empire feel as if a stalker covertly filmed it. A straightforward, hokey plot unravels during the first third of Inland Empire to ground the viewer before a dive off the deep end. Actor Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) is cast as Susan Blue, an adulterous white trash Southerner, in a film that mimics too closely her actual life with an overbearingly jealous and dangerous husband. When Nikki and co-star Devon (Justin Theroux) learn that the cursed film project was earlier abandoned when its stars were murdered, the pair lose their grasp of reality. Nikki suffers a schizophrenic identity switch to Sue that lasts until nearly the film's end. Suspense builds as Nikki's alter ego sleuths her way through surreal situations to discover her killer, culminating in Sue's gnarly death on set. Sue's actions drag on because any sign of a narrative thread disappears due to idiosyncratic editing. Non-sensical scenes still captivate, however, such as when Sue stumbles onto the soundstage where she finds Nikki (herself) rehearsing for Sue's part. In this meta-film about identity slippage, Dern's multiple characters remind one of how a victim can become the hunter in their fight for survival. Lynch's portrayal of Nikki/Sue's increasing paranoia is, in its own confusion, utterly realistic. Laura Dern has created her own Lady Macbeth, undone by her guilt over infidelity. Even though Inland Empire is too long and too random, Laura Dern's performance coupled with Lynch's video experiments make it magical. --Trinie Dalton

More Films from David Lynch

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Mulholland Drive

Blue Velvet

Stills from Inland Empire (click for larger image)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inland Empire and Life - Open Your Eyes and Mind Jan. 12 2008
You will have your eyes wide open from start to finish. You will enjoy the rich, texturized experience, unless you are shallow and need all the answers, right here, right now. Really, do you need all the answers? This a beautiful film, and thus a piece of artwork. Lynch is a painter, and here again we see his art. He refuses to do "commentaries" because he believes you should be able to understand a film in your own way.

This film has so much, that it can be difficult to watch. You can see yourself, and also your other self that may have been, or perhaps in another universe. There is more to our world that what our small philosophies can imagine. Time and space are not handed to you on a silver platter with a clock and a ruler in this film; Lynch's mind works differently, thank goodness, and we can move beyond the straight lines and dumb plotlines of TV and other movies that have become blockbusters (the rabbits in Inland Empire seem to epitomize this mentality). I enjoyed this film much more the second time I watched it, and I am looking forward to seeing it again, for I see something new and amazing in it, that stirs me every time I see it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compartmentalization Jan. 18 2011
By D. Hook
The only word that comes to mind as I watch this flick over and over again is 'compartmentalization'. If you look at what's happening to music and film stars these days it's obvious that something is going in with their minds. The music and entertainment field in general is ruled by over-controlling mind-numbing back room psychos who take their instructions from the execs who suck the life out of anyone remotely resembling talent. This movie is about how an actor's mind is compartmentalized, broken up and then reassembled into a Hollywood drone to be easily controlled and manipulated by handlers who take delight in ripping people's minds apart, milking the money and numbing the mind of the audience. I think Lynch has taken this flick to absurd(a) heights following Mulholland Drive which I think is a better picture and a more understandable version (for the audience) of Hollywood as a pig farm of actors, directors and the corporate execs who control everything. When the mind is broken up into pieces and reassembled to 'fit the part' - this is where Hollywood becomes pure evil. See Black Swan for another version of an actor's mind manipulated by the dark forces of an entertainment industry that has sold its soul to the devil - literally. Lynch couldn't come straight out and tell anyone in the public what's behind Hollywood but if you watch this movie you'll see exactly what happens. The real story is just a tad below the surface of the images.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lynch's Surrealist Gem Sept. 29 2007
By mrsardo
This movie has no real narrative structure, from what I can make of it.
The film's an art piece for the adventurous viewer.
It's not the best work Lynch has done- Mulholland Drive is still his masterpiece as far as I'm concerned.
But this film is something special, that's for sure.
Let's hope Lynch doesn't retire any time soon...
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Inland Empire is one of the most fascinating, sophisticated, frightening, bizarre, allegorical, psychological horror films ever made. Not that IE--as well as Lost Highway & Mulholland Drive--need to be watched consecutively, it's good to start w/LH to plant Lynch's grand landscape into your mind. These films will challenge you to THINK about what they are showing you...they will not take you down some literal path. After viewing, find Lynch fans to discuss them & watch them over & over...the density of content just requires multiple viewings. Also, if you like watching highly skilled actors engaged in some of their best performances, this trilogy is highly recommended; namely, Laura Dern, Grace Zabriskie, Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Bill Pullman, Robert Loggia, Laura Harring, Balthazar Getty, Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton, Patricia Arquette...even Billy-Ray Cyrus & Richard Pryor!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 11 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
crazy a$$ movie love David Lynch!
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