Beast Banner March 2007
ISSUE #114
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Features

ArrowSchlep Boys
Failing forward in one act

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Britney Budget
Matt Taibbi

ArrowEeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe
Blogger and journalist Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog on the hijacking of democracy and more

ArrowObama
The best BS artist since Slick Willy

Matt Taibbi

ArrowSweet Nothings
Lies my paper told me

Allan Uthman

ArrowMenace in Seat 36F
Based on a True Story

Michael J. Smith

ArrowBEAST gets poetic on dat ass!
Saul Williams schools us on Hip Hop and our choice of lunch

ArrowCelebrity Buttholes Will Be the End of Us
A. Monkey

ArrowThe BEAST Melanin / Electability Index

ArrowThe Truth Spin
Sometimes, honesty really is the best policy

Allan Uthman

ArrowTV Highlights
CBSs Numb3rs signals the end of the end of the American Empire

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Departments
ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Abandoned, Wild Hogs, The Number 23, Zodiac, Reno 911!: Miami, Amazing Grace, Black Snake Moan, Shooter, The Astronaut Farmer, Inland Empire

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
The Pussy of the Christ, How Great We Art, Dumb Shit, PhD, All You Need is Loathe and more

 

Kino Korner

 


The Abandoned | Wild Hogs | The Number 23 | Zodiac
Reno 911!: Miami | Amazing Grace | Black Snake Moan
Shooter | The Astronaut Farmer | Inland Empire


Inland Empire

I haven’t figured out if Man is truly a big, dumb animal that no level of intervention is capable of saving yet. I see and hear things every day that all point to the mammoth stupidity that Man exudes and I see far more drooling, dingleberries and knuckle-dragging than moments of wisdom or brilliance. I am in no way claiming to be the exception to the rule here because I like picking my nose in traffic way too much and it took me 13 years to quit smoking. That should say it all right there. But despite all the monosyllabic communication, clearly bad choices and popularity of Jessica Simpson, I fight a little each day. For as much as I look around and wait for Armageddon there’s that tiny little part of me that is willing to trudge through and fight the stupidity I encounter daily, even with one small gesture.

And one of these instances happened recently when I went to see David Lynch’s new film, Inland Empire. And it being my first time seeing it, let alone my first time in New York City, stimulated beyond all belief, I made No Effort Whatsoever to comprehend, understand or make sense of the film. Because trying to do so would be really, really stupid and I actually am capable of learning from my mistakes. Lynch smooth-talked me a few times before. He throws all this incredible imagery in your face, knowing damn well that you’re going to try to make immediate sense out of it. Once was in 1997 when I saw Lost Highway. The weirdness escalated to a point where all I could do is sit back and watch everything fall down around me like a game of Tetris you can’t possibly hope to win or solve. All I could do was go see it again and take another crack at putting the pieces back together. A few years later the same thing happened with Mulholland Drive. It was completely out there in the last 45 minutes to the point where not even a topless and masturbating Naomi Watts could placate me because I didn’t know what was happening and couldn’t overcome my flagrant rage. It was at this point when I realized that trying to figure out a David Lynch film at this point in his career was like trying to survive basic training at this point in mine. Then I passed out.

Yeah, so, Inland Empire. David Lynch says he gets a lot of his ideas from his dreams and I’m pretty sure that’s all Inland Empire is. It starts off in traditional what the fuck David Lynch fashion after a series of haunting images and the patented bizarre Lynch encounter. Then a story about a remake of a doomed Polish movie starts, then what can be construed as passive-aggressive Hollywood bashing carries us off to about two of the most fucked up hours you will ever spend in your life. An acquaintance of mine described it as a long and incoherent fever dream. We see Laura Dern balance roles of actress, whore, wife and southern trash magnificently. We see the action move from a rabbit family sitcom to a Polish apartment then move on to Los Angeles and what I can only assume is hell and beyond.

If you ask Lynch what it’s about he’ll tell you it’s about a woman in trouble and it’s a mystery. If you’re going to stand even the slightest chance of enjoying Inland Empire you’ve got to completely forget about making any attempts to understand it. If you can appreciate beauty, take the film as 3 hours of moving images and get past the worst possible digital photography that will do said images no justice whatsoever you’ve got a shot. The longer the madness goes on, the scarier it gets. Between having no tangible story and scenes you can’t get your head around, it was like sitting in the most comfortable theater chair ever so far underwater that I couldn’t see sunlight. Compound that with Lynch throwing random frightening imagery at you and that fever dream comment will make a lot of sense real quick.

Before the feature presentation, Justin Theroux, one of the film’s stars, reads a note from Lynch saying that he wishes the viewer a wonderful experience. Inland Empire indeed provides this as ittakes its viewer through a carousel of emotions and leaves them with a feeling of pleasant disorientation. But if you’re not a David Lynch fan you just might feel like you’ve been raped for the last three hours. It could go either way.

 

 

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