Inland Empire (2006) directed by David Lynch, starring Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Jeremy Irons and Diane Ladd.
I feel like I didn’t watch this, I survived it. I have no idea what’s going on. I have an idea the whole thing may be a sort of near-death hallucination, but that doesn’t even begin to explain it. One of the common interpretations of Mulholland Drive is that the whole story is a fantasy in the mind of a woman in the process of killing herself. Very The Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. The same could be an explanation for this movie, but it’s more confused than that.
Mulholland Drive has two levels, basically, but Inland Empire has many more. If it’s a fantasy, or the brain’s last gasp before dying, it is unclear which variation of reality is the “real” one. Is it the homeless woman bleeding out in the alleyway? She seems the most likely candidate, but it doesn’t quite fit.
This movie is like a math equation where the parentheses are miss-nested, and the levels get confused with one another. Or a bit of HTML with the <open> and </close> tags are paired wrong. The levels bleed through — and not just when you look through a cigarette-burn hole in a piece of silk, and not just when you dream.
There is time travel in this, too, somehow. The woman near the beginning who says “Brutal Fucking Murder” in one of the previous screenshots even sets the movie up, saying she gets confused between yesterday and tomorrow. Laura Dern’s character seems to flip beck and forth, and in and out of the movie world, and, I suspect, is also one of the Rabbits, who, I suspect, are dead people waiting in limbo for something. Godot, perhaps.
Lynch’s red curtains play a role, so otherworld influence is almost certain. Maybe it all makes sense if folded properly, like the fold-in pictures on the back of Mad Magazine. Only, folded through many more dimensions, within the space of the White Lodge.
A Dirty Shame (2004) written and directed by John Waters Starring Tracey Ullman, Selma Blair, Johnny Knoxville, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd, and Mink Stole.
I fell in love with this movie from the first few frames. John Waters always has a view of the weirdness of ordinary people. In that, he’s kind of on par with David Lynch. This film takes on Waters’s beloved Baltimore, and stars Johnny Knoxville as a sexual messianic figure building a benevolent cult of perverts (I use the term lovingly). Each of his 12 followers specializes in one particular fetish, from adult baby to splosh. Tracy Ullman plays the super-uptight 12th apostle, who, after a head injury, becomes a hyper-sexualized “cunnilingus bottom.”
The movie seems at first blush to be ragging on the normals, but Waters clearly loves them just as much as the weirdos, and portrays them with a fondness I find quite endearing. Everybody has some degree of eccentricity, and the normals in this film are not immune.
Toward the end, it becomes a sort of zombie flick, except we’re on the zombies’ side, and instead of zombies, they’re perverts. And their sexiness is contagious.
This is Scix in the back row, bopping heads with David Hasselhoff.