Inland Empire - Criterion Edition

Inland Empire - Criterion Edition

My preorder for David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” arrived this week and I unwrapped and watched it at first chance.

Evidently, this project was born out of a 70 minute monologue David pitched to Laura after seeing her walking down the street - what?! David said she did it basically in one take aside from him needing to change tapes in the camera. Later, he developed the idea more and added onto it until we got this film.

One thing that really struck me during the conversation with Laura Dern, she says she was asking David for direction and he said “you’re a woman in trouble” and she just knew exactly what that meant. Is that something women can see and respond to in each other? Is it something they understand innately? Why do we live in that world?

Anyway, the film is a bit unconventional so I’d imagine some people will be turned off by it, but I found it fascinating. I couldn’t say more than that until I’ve digested it more, but it may take a second viewing.

The two disc Criterion Collection edition features a new video and audio transfer supervised by David Lynch. I’m not clear how that works if it was shot on DV. I’d be interested in seeing how that process works.

Edit: We found out! David Lynch's restoration workflow for Inland Empire

The first disc features just the 180 minute film with newly done subtitles. And the second disc is actually loaded with extras. It features:

  • Newly recorded discussion between Laura “Tidbit” Dern and Kyle “Kale” Maclachlan
  • Lynch (one)
  • Lynch 2
  • Ballerina
  • More Things That Happened

The features were cool in my opinion. I like seeing interesting people work their craft - and Lynch is pretty far out. I will say, I am really disappointed that none of the special features have subtitles, not even the newly recorded discussion that Criterion did. Such an omission is like a black mark, especially on a Criterion Collection edition. Oh well… overall it was great.