Sunday, December 20, 2015
Written one scene at a time and shot piecemeal over a period of three years on a consumer-grade digital-video camera, Inland Empire is a work shaped by the conditions of its creation. The film, filled with disparate segments and parallel worlds, begins when actress Nikki Grace (Laura Dern), in her cavernous Hollywood mansion, receives a visit from a new neighbor (Grace Zabriskie) who foretells the film’s grave, free-falling identity crisis to follow. Inland Empire oozes, miasma-like, across continents—one minute we are in sunny California, the next in snowy Old World Poland—awash with the narrow range of colors and murky contrast of digital video. Some have read Lynch’s tenth feature as a companion piece to Mulholland Drive, but in truth it is a singular and immersive work that sustains and amplifies the Lynchian sensation of dread to proportions never before felt. An NYFF42 selection.