Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Round-Up #9

Film review: Inland Empire: David Lynch's latest follows the same style and tone of his last film Mulholland Drive. So if you liked that film, you'll probably like this one. I did, but not without reservations.
The film follows Lynch's new style of filmmaking, which is all atmosphere, all the time. And no plot.
Although Lynch's films have always been surreal and loose when it came to plotting, in Lynch's last two films the plot is almost non-existent. Lynch (who started this film as a freestyle project shot on video, then decided to turn it into a feature) takes us on an audio-visual trip that fascinates, mesmerizes, confuses, and ultimately entertains. The story focuses on an actress making a film that is a remake of another film that was based on a gypsy tale that is supposed to be cursed. Soon after starting work on the film the actress (wonderfully played by Laura Dern) starts to confuse herself with her character, and the line between reality and fiction starts to blur. And oh, there are also human sized talking rabbits that seem to be tied to the whole mystery behind the film and the curse! What did you expect? It's a David Lynch film!
The film, which like any Lynch film is effortlessly atmospheric and heavy on style and foreboding, is so incoherent it feels like a series of vignettes that were stitched together to make a movie, never gelling together just right, which can be a bit irritating at times. But since this is a Lynch film, one of cinema's finest surrealists, it is not a surprise. And Lynch's choice to shoot this on standard definition DV also has its drawbacks as well as its benefits, which all add up to makes this a Lynch film for the new generation, which is a daring decision for a filmmaker in his sixties, especially since he pulls it off for the most part.
Still, one longs for the richly textured, tightly constructed, terrifying films Lynch used to make (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks). But any Lynch is good Lynch, so I am not complaining.

Extra! U Can Dance: This week's Extra! selection is the track U can dance by DJ Hell and featuring vocals by the incomparable Bryan Ferry. This is something else. A dark dance track with some of Ferry's finest vocals in years. A stunner. Listen to it here.

Till next time, keep browsing those shelves.