Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

David Lynch. Directing a STORY! :)

Nonetheless, the scars from having sat through all three hours of Inland Empire a coupla' months back still haven't completely healed, and maybe never will. As a result, watching this much earlier work of his this morning, I found that I could never quite trust it until the very end to resolve its tale in a satisfactory manner.

Ironic, given that the story is reasonably straightforward, and the way Lynch introduces us to the characters proves that he does know how to do regular storytelling as well, if only he can stop drowning it all in his regular weirdness.

But who would honestly want him to do that? Lynch goes to so much trouble over every scene. He's known not just for his images, but his eerie sounds too, and there are several places in this when the two can be found working together. In a regular film it's usually the soundtrack that makes you feel a particular way. Here the picture alone can do it, not that it's ever left to.

The movie opens by drawing you in with lots of bright, happy, contrasty colours, not unlike the colours you find on children's toys. Hey, this looks like a nice film, I'll watch this. By the time we've slid into the dark underworld of Lumberton however, Lynch has sneakily replaced those early joyful hues with much more subtle tones.

The film's weakness is its sexual content and swearing, which carries the usual pretentious air of student filmmakers trying very hard to look worldly. Unfortunately it almost always makes them look like students. David Lynch therefore, 40 when he shot this, really should have known better.

As is usually the case with Lynch though, his confidence, his patience, and his uncompromisingly personal approach to his work make his productions ones that you wouldn't want to change a single thing about. Of the few I've seen, his films have been so unmistakably his.

Jeffrey walks through the darkness, and in the distance we can make-out the echoing hoot of a steam train's horn. Brrrrrrr, rabbits.

Nope, still not over Inland Empire...


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