Monday, December 25, 2006


Everyone seems to want to use digital technology to frantically purge their images (moving or not) of grime, unimagined deviations, anything remotely signifying a loss of total control. It's more than encouraging to see how Lynch wields digital dirt: convincingly, beautifully.

Inland Empire
is thoroughly oneiric, isn't simply a window into another world. We try (try!) to understand characters, words, events, and meanings through a thick haze which renders limbs fuzzy, eyes blurry, wounds subconscious.

The haze is omnipresent: sometimes it's easy to forget; other times we can see it spilling forth from the shadows. I suspect that it's more often the technical "failings" of Lynch's Handycam, rather than Lynch's own direction, at work (of course it's inherently both), but the effect can't be shortchanged. We are constantly forced to question our relationship to what is seen.

The silver screen is perhaps why this works so well. We see Inland Empire in traditional filmic terms, because it's projected from a reel onto an enormous panel in a dark auditorium, even though it could easily be video art (Lynch's story-weave is so weird that I'm not sure that one could say it's constructed "like a film" either). I'm excited to watch it reconstitute itself on my television monitor, on my laptop screen.

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