Inland Empire (2007)

In Inland Empire, which is also a massive region of land with nebulous boundaries east of Los Angeles (just saying), married actress Nikki Grace wins a part in a film opposite known philanderer Devon Burk. On the first day on set, director Kingsley Stewart tells them he has just found out the script is actually a remake of a German film called 47, which was never finished because the two leads were murdered. Nikki’s husband Piotrek is controlling and jealous, and he threatens Devon, but Nikki and Devon start an affair anyway. Then shit gets weird.

There are multiples stories unfolding, in Los Angeles and in Poland, in Vikki’s real life, in the film they are making, and in the apparently cursed film they are remaking, which Vikki seems to move in and out of. It quickly becomes clear we can’t know for sure where we are, and there is the extra quality of the DV camera Lynch used, whose grainy, home video picture and poor sound quality constantly reminds us we are watching Lynch make a film.

It’s an unusual and meta experience to say the least, but after three hours, as the end credits roll, I find I’m crying, because of the joyful music, yes, and because I’m exhausted, definitely, and because this is probably David Lynch’s last film, and it’s the end of my David Lynch project, but the biggest reason I think is that if it’s possible for someone to make Inland Empire, this ridiculous, epic, surreal, sometimes dull, sometimes exhilarating, contradictory, confusing, experimental art film, then honestly, and this is quite an insight after a month of Lynch’s work, and probably what I was hoping to realise, anything is fucking possible.