There was a minor hullaballoo surrounding the screening of David Lynch’s new movie Inland Empire, so perhaps it was the European premiere or something like that. Then again, maybe not. I did score a free T-shirt out of the deal, whatever the reason.
One thing about staying up to watch the campy movies at midnight, coming home and writing, then getting up in the morning to score the next batch of tickets: there isn’t much time for sleeping. So it was that we arrived at the screening armed with Coca-Cola and sandwiches, mentally preparing ourselves to become one with our seats.
I’m not the biggest David Lynch fan to start with, and this movie did not substantially move my opinion of him in either direction. fuego said it best: “The thing is that he almost makes sense, so you keep watching, thinking it’s about to come together.” Well, that’s not exactly what he said, but it’s close. At the end of this one, something significant has happened, and there are some people who are happier than they were, others not.
I got the feeling at some points, however, that the creative process went something like “Hmm… this part is tedious. Let’s put the actors in rabbit suits so people will be confused rather than bored.” It’s a sort of sleight-of-hand that shifts the blame for not enjoying the film onto the viewer. Instead of saying “I didn’t like it,” people say of Lynch’s movies “I didn’t get it.”
Quite a few people left early, but I lasted to the end. I fought heavy eyelids for a bit, but by the end I was fully engaged. The movie portrays people living multiple, parallel lives, drifting between them in a lost, confused fashion and intersecting each other in interesting ways (for far too long), and at the end you do get a feeling of resolution, even if you’re not sure just what was resolved.
Overall, I’m glad I went and I’m glad I stayed to the end, but it’s not a movie I’m going to go out of my way to see again.
The rest of the day included an Australian comedy with excellently crafted characters called (I think) Lucky Miles. The description sounds like the beginning of an off-color joke. “An Iraqi, a Cambodian, and a Thai are in the Australian outback…” Hijinks ensue, seasoned with moments of drama. Next came a Czech film titled in English Empties, another comedy that did a great job of mixing in drama. The writer/main actor spoke a few words before the show, and said, “I wanted to show that growing older does not make you any better at life.”
Finally, it wouldn’t be a movie day without zombies. fuego and I had been joking about zombie exploitation and labor laws earlier in the week, and now here was a movie that was about that very subject. It is set in a 1950’s-like American Dream town, with shiny cars and white picket fences. And zombies, of course, fitted with special collars that curb their desire to eat human flesh. The zombies provide a docile and cheap labor force. No one has forgotten the Zombie Wars, however, and marksmanship is an important part of the grade-school curriculum. “Remember, always shoot for the head!”
Overall, it was a good day of movie-watchin’. Only two days left, then it’s back to the real world. Whatever that is.