Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cultural film exchange part 2

Well, as expected, my friend was not so taken by INLAND EMPIRE…

He even went as far as writing his own 1 star review for Amazon. To counter it, I have also written my own Amazon review.

Both review are repeated below:

My friends review:

“As films go I like to be entertained!

I must admit I am not a David Lynch expert in that I have not seen any other of his films. So does this not entitle me to my opinion?

When people write reviews it is generally on their type of film (this was not mine) so some may say I should not write a review.

Well here goes:

The camera man was probably a drunk who was dragged off the street and given a camcorder. It was like watching a war documentary, where the camera is wobbling about, trying to keep up. Then the next thing, it is right in the actors face at a weird angle, thats when it stays in focus.
I know that some would say "This is art in a film making way..." but for me, the average film watcher it was unbearable.

I generally will stick it out with a film, believing it will get better.

Well I stuck it out for 1:45hrs and then just had to switch it off. My wife gave up way before that. The film actually lasts 3hrs so I have read, I do not know how anybody can endure this film for as long as that!”

My review:

“INLAND EMPIRE is not a conventional film. If you go into the film expecting this, then you will likely come out of the experience either bewildered or angered (or a combination of both).

Most films lead you by the hand as you watch them. Generally they will tell you something if going to happen, show something happening, then explain why this has happened. The sign of a truly great film, is one which makes you as the viewer do some of the work. INLAND EMPIRE takes this to the extreme. It is beyond a doubt one of the most challenging films out there (although Eraserhead probably beats it to the punch). While the first hour of the film is generally easy to follow, it is the final two hours which throw you into a bizarre of mixed plotlines and images.

It feels like David Lynch has poured out his creative soul into this film. The freedom of digital film has allowed him to stretch his canvas much wider than he has been able to do previously. While the plot of the film may forever remain a mystery and forever be open to interpretation, the themes are all too apparent, especially as the film nears the climax. It would seem that this, like Muholland Drive which proceeded it, is ultimately a commentary by David Lynch into the way that HOLLYWOOD (notice the matching capitals between HOLLYWOOD and INLAND EMPIRE) treats women. This is aided by a remarkable performance by Laura Dern, who has never been better.

I have watched this film twice, and I’m certain that I will watch it many more times. Even then I doubt I’ll be able to unravel all of its mysteries. It is a challenging film yes, but also one of the most refreshing films I have seen in years. Definitely not for everyone, but there is really nothing quite like it!”

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