I feel like Inland Empire is probably David Lynch’s most overlooked film—it amazes how many genuine Lynch fans, who love stuff like Blue Velvet and Mullholand Drive, have put off seeing the film, usually because of its length, it seems, or the fact that it didn’t get a big Hollywood push, or that Lynch shot it himself on digital video. Anyway, I loved the film (my review), and the cathartic dance sequence at the end (set to one of my all-time favorite jams, Nina Simone’s “Sinner Man”) hopefully might entice one or two readers to give the film a fair shot (although the scene stands on its own, of course).
5 thoughts on “David Lynch’s Inland Empire Has the Best Closing Credits in the History of Film”
The dancing during the credits acts as a bit of a catharsis after the intense psychological workout that preceded it.
Hello Mr. Biblioklept,
I do greatly appreciate your response to my comments on Tree of Life, especially what I think to be a very cogent distinction between art and entertainment. First I wanted to link you to a video that seemed to mirror or to some extent imitate Lynch’s closing credits in Inland Empire : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euS2SlC68q8. Next, I am currently reading Gravity’s Rainbow–any suggestions on how to go about tackling that monster?
Thanks for linking to the Caribou vid, which I had not seen—I think it’s definitely a reference to the Lynch sequence.
I don’t know if I have any worthwhile advice on GR—I read it a dozen years ago in college with the assistance of ritalin, which I don’t recommend. I think there are probably “map” sites out there, but I generally avoid stuff like that like the plague. The book, as I recall it, anyway, is quite funny, silly even—I’d say have fun with it, don’t take it too seriously. I think it always ruined books for me when I was younger when I would think, “Oh, this is an important book.” I would forget to laugh; I would forget to challenge the author; I would forget to think.
My favorite Pynchon book is “V,” for what it’s worth.
Love this post for two reasons…!
Agreed—-I think this is Lynch’s best film. It doesn’t have the “iconic” quality of Blue Velvet, and it’s long, and largely non-narrative, so it didn’t find a huge audience—-but fuck that. Really it’s Lynch at both his purest AND most experimental. He uses the abstract and heavily symbolic logic of dreams to weave together all the themes he’s been interested in his whole career (control of women, the seediness beneath any ideal, etc.), and it’s frightening and exhausting in the best way possible. It also contains what I’d say is the finest use of digital cinematography in movies yet.
Gravity’s Rainbow is my all-time favorite book. I’m absolutely crazy about it. My suggestion, honest-to-God? Read it twice. First time around, what stuck me was the scope, the zaniness, drug use, wonderfully paranoid tone, the inventive use of WW2 history in its fiction, etc—-as Biblioklept said, a genuinely fun read. Second time around revealed, for me, the absolutely devastating anger of the book, it’s flawless internal metaphors, and the emotional resonance of his characters (not a trait Pynchon is often associated with, but Michiko Kakutani needs to read more carefully). I slightly disagree with Biblioklept: underneath the humorous aesthetic is a searing rage. It’s a book that’s largely an indictment of the human ego (represented in GR by warmongers of both the Allied and Axis forces but really all authority through the ages) and the way that so many aspects of life—-sex, technology, psychology, childhood—-are made to serve mankind’s insane battle for dominance/control over nature and mortality. There’s so much to say about this book that it’s hard to do quickly and in an organized way. You could very well read it once focusing on fear of death as the primary target of Pynchon’s language and novelistic structure; then read it again to connect the myriad ways that it details the exploitation of children; or the dangerous reconciliation between mysticism and science; or America’s post-WWII continuation of Nazi violence; on and on.
Hope this has been helpful! And I also hope I haven’t plugged my own “reading” of the book too much before you’ve actually had a chance to start it. I definitely don’t mean to come off as too, uh, professorial, or something, cause I’m not an expert, just an admirer.
I just wanted to agree with what you said. I watched the film at the BFI London and people stayed till the very end of the credits and gave the film a standing ovation.
Both screenings were sold out, the cinema was full. People are catching up with Lynch years later, as it is with every true genius.