Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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Finally an update, and a review of Inland Empire to boot

I'm here at work on Saturday night. This is unusual, but not an option right now. It's fine. I'm not wasting company time by posting here because I'm scanning very large documents into my PC. Do you have any idea how much downtime I have while I'm scanning? The answer is lots. Lots and lots and lots.

Anyway, since I'm speaking of work, I may as well tell you that the horrible temp is gone. Yeah, I'm not sure what happened. She just didn't turn up one day, and I've learned that one simply doesn't ask where the temp went if one doesn't want to hear lies. The only thing I know for sure is that for the last week, I've been able to work more or less uninterrupted. You have no idea how good that feels. I might be less happy about it if I thought she'd been fired and needed this job to support herself, but in the hours that she spent bothering me, I learned a great deal about her personal life, and she told me that she was just returning to the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom for 25 years. She's still married, her husband can still support her, and I'm sure she can learn to play bridge.

I also have a new boss. His name is Opie, and he finds that fact considerably less humorous than you do. Things are pretty pleasant so far, though, and I'm optimistic.

Anyway, this afternoon evil_jim and I saw David Lynch's Inland Empire, which is still playing at the Orpheum, in case you want to go see it. Folks, I wish I could tell you that I loved it and that I got it, but I didn't. No surprise there -- a lot of David Lynch movies are hard to "get" the first time, but I think time will reveal Inland Empire to be an impenetrable fortress of metaphors so abstract as to be impossible to piece together. The only plot description I can give you is the same as the film's tagline: it's about "A woman in trouble". People will have theories and some of their insights will be correct, but Inland Empire reminded me of the much more accessible (to me, anyway) Eraserhead, on which Lynch has famously said no interpretation he has ever heard matched his own.

Think about that for a second.

David Lynch refuses to explain his films because on the grounds that each individual viewer should draw his or her conclusions instead. However gracious that statement may be (he is, after all, inviting criticism of his work), it basically translates to "I'm running on auto-pilot, and I'm not sure what I'm making here." Sometimes when Lynch does this, it works, it's great, and you can see why he has such a reputation as an artist. Other times he produces, well, Inland Empire and Rabbits, parts of which are edited into Inland Empire.

Rabbits is a series of nine short films which are only available (as far a I know) on Lynch's website. It's presented as a sitcom complete with laugh track, but it's really just a bunch of people dressed as rabbits having a very tense conversation for fifty minutes. The feel of Rabbits is oppressive and watching it makes one uncomfortable, and sometimes -- when I'm in the right mood -- I actually watch it for enjoyment. I have to be in the right mood, and I think that in a different mood I'd have enjoyed Inland Empire, but my overall opinion would be the same. Some people think there's a key in Rabbits to interpret it, but I don't think there is, and that's not an intrinsically bad thing. Rabbits and Inland Empire are what David Lynch does when he's making a film using his own money. They are as close as he can get to presenting his purest vision, unfiltered by the constraints of studio production.

I'm the sort of person who thinks editors and producers tend to ruin art by watering it down, but never in a million years would I get rid of them. David Lynch has produced some of my favorite movies, but I really like him better when his financiers are breathing down his neck.
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