I’ve Never Walked Out of a Movie Before

Laura Dern and Justin Theroux in Inland  EmpireI just went to see David Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE at the Rafael Film Center, conveniently located a block from my house. This was my Valentine’s present to myself, because I had erroneously told Miguel that I had a class tonight, when it turns out, no, it was cancelled. So he’s at a basketball game. But that’s okay, I have the Rafael to cheer me up, usually.

I walked out because, basically, the movie was freaking me out. There were several times that I had to look away from the screen, particularly during the scene with the woman with the screwdriver in her abdomen. I am sure this scene was a specific component in the film’s complex tapestry, but I left before I’d ever really know for sure.

I am not going to say that this was a bad film, in the classical sense of the word. I thought it seemed very true to life, in a nightmarishly freakish sort of way. There were several moments when I thought I might cry.

And I’ll have you know that I deliberated for a good ten minutes before I finally made my move. And I left when it became apparent that if I ever did make sense of the plot, it would not protect me from the potential emotional scarring.

Basically, it’s about this actress, Nikki Grace, who ever-so-slowly becomes the character she’s portraying in a film currently in production. And somehow, as I read the review at home, I became fixated on the fact that she lives in the desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles. I thought that alone was scary enough. I didn’t know that Lynch could take this so many degrees further.

I know you’re going to say, Tsk, tsk, it’s a a David Lynch movie, what did you expect? Well, the movie’s description on the Rafael website sounded so compelling:

 “A woman in trouble” is David Lynch’s plot summary of his first feature film in five years. Laura Dern stars in INLAND EMPIRE, named for the residential area bordering the desert near Los Angeles, but also a title redolent of dreams, the mind and the imagination.

That’s my problem. I didn’t know what redolent means. So I looked it up. Merriam-Webster on-line says it means:

1: exuding fragrance : aromatic2 a: full of a specified fragrance : scented <air redolent of seaweed> b: evocative, suggestive <a city redolent of antiquity>

I think they meant to say that this movie stinks.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Art, Film, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’ve Never Walked Out of a Movie Before

  1. katiekelly says:

    Dear Cuz M,

    I probably should have not watched INLAND EMPIRE on Valentine’s Day in my already vulnerable state.

    Twin Peaks was one of my most favorite shows. But Lynch made Eraserhead, too? I saw that when I was in Prague and was similarly traumatized. What is wrong with me?!


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