Wed, May 18|
Melissa Anderson presents: David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE (2006)
A newly remastered version of the avant-garde epic, introduced by Melissa Anderson on occasion of her new monograph from Fireflies Press.
May 18, 2022, 7:30 PM
Los Angeles, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
directed by David Lynch
2006, U.S., 179m, DCP
Introduced by writer Melissa Anderson, author of INLAND EMPIRE (Fireflies Press), followed by a book signing
David Lynch’s tenth movie—which he has claimed to be his final feature—is also his most inuitive and defiantly avant-garde film, and one of the most significant digital works of the new millennium. Featuring an unforgettably intense performance by Laura Dern, the film was developed out of Lynch’s early-2000s web-short experiments and a 14-page monologue written for Dern, only to expand into a dense, nightmarish web of intrigue, with déjà vu encounters and nefarious doppelgängers appearing within and beyond a cursed Hollywood studio system. Shot piecemeal over the course of a year before Lynch self-distributed it in 2006, INLAND EMPIRE uses the freedom and harshness of digital video to exploit blown-out, muddy images and freakish close-ups, while featuring some of the most haunting original music of his career (by Lynch and Chrysta Bell). Emotional and absorbing, this cinematic mise-en-âbyme is still as unclassifiable as it was when first released.
Mezzanine and Acropolis Cinema co-present a special screening of Lynch’s newly remastered epic on occasion of Melissa Anderson’s monograph on the film—part of Fireflies Press’s Decadent Editions, which cover essential works of world cinema from the first decade of the 2000s. Copies of the book INLAND EMPIRE, including a limited number signed by Melissa Anderson, will be available to purchase after the screening.
In English and Polish with English subtitles
New 4K remaster supervised by David Lynch
“Running three hours, Inland Empire, both visually and thematically, evokes constant dread. Lynch shot it himself, using a Sony camcorder, on muddy, smudgy digital video, a lo-res format that mirrors the movie’s begrimed protagonist and her increasingly tenuous grip on reality. The film is the color of night terrors. Yet despite its overwhelming gloom, Inland Empire mesmerizes, its pull resulting from the thrills of watching a well-known performer, one long affiliated with this particular director, transform, stretch herself into terrified, terrifying characters. Dern’s long, Modigliani-like face has never been more elastic; her mouth becomes a maw, a portal to an annihilating abyss.” -Melissa Anderson
“[Lynch’s] best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead (1978)... This 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001) as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot... The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum
“[The film] is distinguished by Laura Dern’s bravura performance, which strikes every emotional chord. The result is arguably Lynch’s greatest achievement, finding freedom in the form of video and television while maintaining the sensorial erotics of cinema.” –Rebecca Cleman
Melissa Anderson is the film editor of 4Columns, where she is also a regular contributor. From November 2015 until September 2017, she was the senior film critic for the Village Voice. She writes frequently for Artforum and Bookforum.