Sunday, 22 March 2015

INLAND EMPIRE



"SHE REMEMBERED THE DAYS THE RAIN CAME DOWN HARDEST"

 

 

THE EXTRAORDINARY GENIUS OF DAVID LYNCH




(DISCLAIMER: YOU ARE ABOUT TO JOIN A VERY SMALL, EXCLUSIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE ... THAT KNOW WHAT THESE DAVID LYNCH FILMS ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT ... IT'S DANGEROUS INFORMATION ... FILM CRITICS AND FILM ACADEMICS MAY WANT TO KILL YOU ... BECAUSE MY ANALYSIS, TURNS CURRENT (AND LONG TIME) SUBJECTIVE "LYNCHIAN" THEORY, COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN ... AND IT WILL BECOME PRETTY OBVIOUS, PARTICULARLY WITH MULHOLLAND DRIVE, TO ANYONE WITH EVEN A MODICUM OF SCREENWRITING OR FILM EDITING KNOWLEDGE, WHICH IS "RIGHT WAY UP" ... THE VALIDITY OF MY ANALYSIS SHOULD BECOME OBVIOUS ... BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS WHATSOEVER, CHECK OUT SOME OF MY "LURKING" FOLLOWERS)



"SPOILER ALERT"



THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF IS: 

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH?



BECAUSE, DESPITE YEARS OF SUBJECTIVE "LYNCHIAN" THEORY ... FROM FILM CRITICS AND ACADEMICS ALIKE ... LYNCH FILMS CAN ACTUALLY BE RATIONALLY AND OBJECTIVELY INTERPRETED - WHICH IS JUST THE WAY LYNCH ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED THEM - (AND WHAT HE HAS SAID ALL ALONG) - IT IS OTHERS WHO HAVE INCORRECTLY LABELLED LYNCH'S FILMS AS SUBJECTIVE "DREAMS" - AS I WILL PROVE



DAVID LYNCH DOESN'T DO DREAMS ... BUT HE DOES DO MOZART
  
LYNCH PROVES (ONCE AGAIN) WHY HE IS THE CLEVEREST WRITER - DIRECTOR ON THE PLANET


"MULHOLLAND DRIVE" AND "INLAND EMPIRE" WILL GO DOWN AS TWO OF THE CLEVEREST SCREENPLAYS IN HISTORY ... PROBABLY THE CLEVEREST SCREENPLAYS IN HISTORY ... IT'S JUST GOING TO TAKE THE WORLD A WHILE TO REALIZE IT ...

 
The links for: LOST HIGHWAY - MULHOLLAND DRIVE - THE PRESTIGE - ENEMY - are on the right - if you think you fully understood these movies ... you may want to think again ...


INLAND EMPIRE

PLISSKEN BOON GOES DOWN CHALLENGER DEEP


Firstly - I have said it before ... and I will say it again ... David Lynch will go down, overall, as the cleverest writer-director in history ... he does not do random ... he does not do dreams ...

... what he does do ... is pure genius - his films are the ones that film students will still be studying in 50 years time ...
(just not as "dreams")



Thank you David Lynch - it doesn't matter that INLAND EMPIRE wasn't a box office blockbuster - it doesn't matter that not that many people have seen it - and that "nobody" gets it - it just matters that you made it - and it exists - because, just like famous artists before you, one day people will get it - and the world will appreciate this stunning masterpiece

(Even laying it all out before them, as I have done in my blog, many non-industry people (directors, producers, film editors, and screenwriters "get it" straight away, particularly with Mulholland Drive - film critics, not so much) still aren't "getting it" - it's a big shock to their system after having been fed so much absolute rubbish about Lynch films for so long - it's going to take a while!)



I wasn't going to start writing up my analysis of INLAND EMPIRE till April, but I know a lot of people are waiting for this, and as (I have now realized) it will take me a few days to actually articulate and complete my analysis of this complex film, I will post a "short" version, and follow it up with my in-depth reasoning in installments




LYNCH DOES

INLAND EMPIRE

INLAND EMPIRE  -  it may disturb you ... it may confuse you ... but once you figure it out ... it becomes a symphony ... by Mozart


On October 9th, 2002 - at 9.47 am - AILEEN WUORNOS was executed at Florida State Prison (I have never seen the movie "Monster" - but I believe there was a controversy over putting a clearly mentally ill woman to death) She was in her 47th year ... before she died ... she had "a damn fine cup of coffee"

On May 27, 1993 - A man named David Lynch was convicted of two horrific murders - he was sentenced to death. Prior to the murders he had voluntarily committed himself to a mental institution, but after two weeks he was discharged with only a prescription for Prozac. He remains on Death Row to this day 

(He was a MARINE - from North Carolina - this is important)

 
In 2006 - A filmmaker named David Lynch made a film ... a comment about the

DEATH PENALTY and MENTAL ILLNESS

... the difference between Europe, and America ...

... he called it ...



"INLAND EMPIRE"


PERFORMANCE ART - He was right - Dern's performance is off the planet

(Ignored by The Academy ... he won't be ignored by history)

INLAND EMPIRE

(short version - this is just a brief overview - I will present detailed evidential conclusions in my full scene by scene analysis)


LYNCH TAKES US ON A "FANTASTIC VOYAGE" ... THROUGH LOST GIRL'S MIND 

AXXON.N IS HER (YOUR) MIND - IT'S EVERYBODY'S "LONGEST RUNNING RADIO PLAY IN HISTORY"

A German woman (LOST GIRL) is in a POLISH asylum. She has murdered two people

INLAND EMPIRE is her story ... in her eyes ...

She married a POLISH man - she became pregnant - but unbeknownst to her, her husband believed he was incapable of fathering children

This obviously caused stress in her marriage - she had a "backstreet" abortion (Poland has very restrictive abortion laws) to try to save her marriage -  the abortion maimed her, leaving her unable to have children - and her husband left her anyway, and began living with another woman

LOST GIRL was forced to become a prostitute to support herself. This caused her such stress she became mentally ill

Blaming her husband, she murdered him at 9:45 pm, and murdered his lover soon after - the "after midnight" reference is to her "escaping" into the next day, - "tomorrow", and blanking out the murders

She was never pregnant - the abortionist lied to her, and gave her a small red coffin with her "son's body" in it

She has resided in a POLISH asylum for the last ten years or so. 

Everyday she sees a psychiatric therapist - everyday THE THERAPIST tries to get her to understand and come to terms with what she has done - but she lives in complete denial ...

She turns today ... into tomorrow ... and "escapes" into fantasies

At the moment she has created a "Hollywood" fantasy ... with herself as her favorite Hollywood actress ... Nicki Grace

As she is being interrogated by THE THERAPIST (THE VISITOR) ... she "escapes" into "tomorrow" - a place where she can "magic" away today ... turning it into a "forgotten" yesterday

At present ... she has effectively turned her Polish situation ... into an American situation ... she is desperately trying to "remake" (rewrite) her destroyed life ... in Hollywood 

Within her latest (American) fantasy world, when interrogated, she will create an "Aileen Wuornos" type fantasy ... where she is the victim

(Aileen Wuornos was also known as Lee Blahovec, and at one stage we see the initials: LB on Laura Dern's hand)

Axxon.N (the longest running radio play in history) is your mind ... it's everybody's mind ... it's everybody's "longest running radio play in history" - it's the "radio" that "talks" to you all the time ...

(Lost Girl is insane ... which is reflected by the "radio play" going on in her mind ... that's why "Inland Empire" is such a weird film ... to understand it, you have to enter her insane world)

The Gramophone is LOST GIRL'S memory (a recording) - it's what she remembers - but just like LOST HIGHWAY - it may not be what actually happened

"INLAND EMPIRE" is LOST GIRL'S mind ... the "Dark Space" Lynch is about to take us on a voyage through ...

 ... as well as the Polish city of Lodz

(Poland's National Film School - basically the center of European film, and a favorite place of David Lynch)

THE PHANTOM is her conscience

JANEK - is THE CONTROLLER in her mind

LOST GIRL likes to watch TV - cheap, generic sitcoms - and the MARILYN LEVENS SHOW ... where she sees her favorite movie stars interviewed

BTW - the "Rabbits" actually do make sense - they are basically making statements about the movie in random order - "I have a secret" (I can't father children) - "It was red" (the coffin) - "I'm going to find out one day" (that you have another woman) "When will you tell him" (that you're pregnant)

LOST GIRL is about to play out a "remake" of her life ("FOUR SEVEN") across FOUR SOUNDSTAGES at PARAMOUNT - Stage 4, Stage 7, Stage 10, and Stage 32 - it will make a movie ... called INLAND EMPIRE ...

(But instead of "remaking" her life, LOST GIRL is actually trying to "rewrite" her destroyed life)

(But, if you look closely, the Hollywood "sets" are all mixed up)

LOST GIRL'S life adds up to "Four Seven" (47)

SMITHY'S HOUSE - Using screenwriting slang - this becomes: "This's my house"

or "SMITHIES" - "This is me"

"Who's playing SMITHY?" - LOST GIRL

Billy Side - Billy "Dies" (Billy Side actually represents LOST GIRL'S husband)

Doris Side - Doris "Dies" (Doris Side represents her husband's lover)

LOST GIRL kills both of them

The red lampshade - is in the shape of a child's coffin

The "collect call" by one of the prostitutes, and bars on shop windows, indicate LOST GIRL is actually in prison in her latest (American) fantasy, rather than an asylum

This is the "American" part of her (insane) "Inland Empire" fantasy - and in her American "world" her asylum world becomes Death Row - notice the "bars" on the shop windows - and that "someone is trying to kill me"

The end credits soundtrack - "Sinnerman" - this is a reference to all the people on Death Row

THE PROSTITUTES: They are all "in her head" - they are her creations - they are variations of her

(Note: In the closing credits - all the prostitutes have names ending in "i" - they are all "LOST GIRL")

"THE LOCO-MOTION" - speaks for itself - but is basically her "mind" convincing herself to become a prostitute - "you'll get to like it if you give it a chance" ... "it's easy as learning your ABC's" ... "you gotta' swing your hips" ... etc


(FULL SCENE BY SCENE ANALYSIS)

INLAND EMPIRE

DEAD GIANTS WALKING


PART ONE

OPENING SCENES

A black screen ...

A light ... like a searchlight penetrates the black ...



It's like it's coming from a hole in a gramophone record ...



This is our main character ... LOST GIRL ... and the black represents the "dark recesses" of her mind ...

The searchlight slowly illuminates the title - INLAND EMPIRE 
(Lynch has always presented INLAND EMPIRE in capitals)

Then we see an old, moving gramophone record, and a stylus moving on it's surface ... this represents LOST GIRLS memory ... and that at present it is "playing back"




Axxon.N ... "the longest running radio play in history" ...

What's the longest running radio play in history? ... 

Our MIND ... as it talks to us 24/7 - it's the "radio" inside our head ... and it will always be (your) "longest running radio play in history"

... "tonight, continuing from the Baltic region" ... because LOST GIRL resides in the Baltic region ...

"It's a grey winters day in an old hotel" ...

We see a scene of a young prostitute taking a client into a hotel room - their faces blurred, the sound barely audible and in a foreign language ... because we are "seeing" LOST GIRL'S "radio play" from the "outside" - we are listening to (and seeing) her "Axxon.N" - we see a "video" representation of it

(This represents that LOST GIRL has "blanked out" her clients - we later see LOST GIRL burning holes in her underwear with cigarettes to "erase" their "faces" from her memories)

(But this appears to be a "hotel room" she has created for herself, inside her "world" - it seems to be her room in the asylum)

The soundtrack lyrics ... "... on the other side ..."

Then we see a film camera lens ... representing ... we are now "recording live"

LOST GIRL sits on a bed crying ... looking at static on a TV screen ... (note: the green bedspread, and the lamp in static on the TV screen ... with two lights ... these represent the two lives she has taken ... hence her tears...)




We see "Rabbits" - a sort of (disturbing) generic sitcom ... with really annoying canned laughter - this represents LOST GIRL'S "vision" of America and Hollywood - we also see a few seconds of a future scene (on the TV ... her memories (the gramophone "recordings") are effectively playing back (visually on a TV screen) - indicating that this scene (the "live" scene we are watching) is later ... we are about to "flashback" (so we are about to enter Lost Girl's memories (and watch the same "TV screen" she is "projecting" in her mind) ... but remember ... these memories are dangerously unreliable due to her insanity)

(So, effectively, we are now going to be shown a "fantasy remake" of her life - Lost Girl's fantasy memory (not linear) of her life (but played by her favorite Hollywood actress, Nicki Grace) - a period from her believing she is pregnant (ten years or so ago) ... through an "American" fantasy of her imagining herself as her favorite actress Nicki Grace (trying to "remake" (rewrite) her life as a film in Hollywood) ... to a point where she is sitting on her bed in the asylum crying (the present) ... about to meet and merge with her fantasy self (because of her insanity, her "real" life is just as much a fantasy) ... and then her extended fantasy (what happens next) ... in her (insane) world)

(Her "insane" world involves "memories" and "fantasies" of her as both herself, and herself being played (inside a fantasy) by Nicki Grace, desperately trying to "rewrite" her destroyed life - and it is all going on in her insane mind - "Inland Empire")

(The overriding thing you have to remember, throughout the movie, is that she is insane - so her fantasy, and the memories creating her fantasy, inhabit and are emanating from, an insane world - "Inland Empire" - her mind)  

Then we're back to the Rabbits ...



I believe the Rabbits also represent a "dark sitcom" going on in a deep part of LOST GIRL'S mind ... with her husband, and his new lover ... and represents a part of her mind that "she is going to have to deal with"

The Rabbits conversation appears to be nonsensical - but in fact it does make sense within the context of the (later) movie ...

"I am going to find out one day" - about your "other" woman

"When will you tell him?" - that you are pregnant

"Who could have known?" - What LOST GIRL is going to do 

"What time is it?" - the time that LOST GIRL "does her thing"

"I have a secret" - I can't father children

"There have been no calls today" - but there have ... LOST GIRL has been ringing - the "other" woman hasn't been answering and is lying

"I hear someone" - LOST GIRL is after you

"I do not think it will be much longer now" - till LOST GIRL finds out

The male rabbit leaves the room ... into another part of LOST GIRL'S mind ... the room is dark, then lights up, and the male rabbit (completely) disappears - (this represents the male rabbit's death - scenes are not linear in this movie - this is a "room" in LOST GIRL'S mind - the "lit" room is "live")

We see a middle-aged man - JANEK - he represents THE CONTROLLER in LOST GIRL'S mind ...

THE PHANTOM is talking to JANEK - THE PHANTOM represents LOST GIRL'S conscience ...

(The room is "lit" - this is "live")

"You are looking for something?"

"Yes"

"Are you looking to go in?"

"Yes"

"An opening?"

"Looking for an opening ... do you understand?'

"Yes, I understand"

"Do you understand? ... I look for an opening"

"Yes, I completely understand"

"Good" "Good that you understand"

"That's good"

THE CONTROLLER fades out ...

"You understand"

THE PHANTOM is looking for a way in ... to the dark recesses of LOST GIRL'S mind - INLAND EMPIRE

We see the male rabbit in the empty room ... (the room is dark - it's a memory - the male rabbit fades out - but not completely - his memory is being "suppressed")

So we have seen a representation of the male rabbit alive, then his death, then his memory being suppressed - (the reason "THE PHANTOM" wants to "go in")

(Scenes are "all over the place" in INLAND EMPIRE - because LOST GIRL'S mind is "all over the place" - she's insane)

SUMMARY: 

LOST GIRL was a prostitute in Poland (we later find out that LOST GIRL is German)

She now resides in an asylum

THE PHANTOM is her conscience ... (not her abuser as some think) 

(Later, we will see THE PHANTOM apparently "beating" LOST GIRL - this is a representation of a conflict between LOST GIRL and her conscience - and does not represent that LOST GIRL was actually physically abused)

(LOST GIRL is actually "generating" her own injuries) -  it represents her "conscience" trying to get through to her - and her resistance)

(Her conscience "beats her up" = she "beats herself up" over her "wrongdoings" - but, for the most part, LOST GIRL is trying to avoid/suppress her conscience)

JANEK is the "overall" controller of her mind ...

LOST GIRL fantasizes about America and Hollywood ...


PART TWO

We see a strange middle-aged woman approaching a strange mansion ...

She knocks on the door ...

A tall attractive woman approaches as her Butler lets the strange woman in ... 

(Note: - the room in the background - you will see this room again)

The strange woman says that she is "a new neighbor" - this is because this is a "new" fantasy

We will find out later that the woman living in the house is Nikki Grace - an actress ...

QUESTION: Why is Nikki Grace's house so "strange"???

ANSWER: Because it is fantasy - LOST GIRL'S fantasy - LOST GIRL is imagining herself as her favorite actress Nikki Grace (just like LOST HIGHWAY) 

The mansion is "strange" because it is LOST GIRL'S Polish / German representation of a "movie star's" home

QUESTION: Who is THE VISITOR???



"The small woods" - represents a part of LOST GIRL'S mind ... (we will later see LOST GIRL'S mind represented as "woods") because THE VISITOR is actually a representation of her THERAPIST probing into her mind ... emerging from the part of her mind that is her conscience or memories (so the THERAPIST is effectively trying to stimulate her conscience / memories... a "small", suppressed, part of her mind)

"The brick house" represents that this part of Lost Girl's mind ... is a "fortress"

(Notice that THE VISITOR (THERAPIST) had to get past a "heavily protected gateway" into the house ... and the butler ... today is a "good" day ... Lost Girl "let her in")


I believe THE VISITOR is trying to get LOST GIRL to confront and accept what she has done ... 

QUESTION: What has LOST GIRL done???

LOST GIRL has actually murdered two people, and resides in an ASYLUM (again, like LOST HIGHWAY) because she is insane ...

We are "living" her fantasy ...



"It's difficult to see from the road" ...  her conscience / memories are hidden away within her mind - LOST GIRL is suppressing them ...

"You have a new role to play I hear?"

THE VISITOR is interested in this "new" fantasy LOST GIRL has created ... (I believe LOST GIRL has been in an asylum for a decade or so - the murders were a long time ago - (the reason will become obvious later)

THE VISITOR interrogates "Nikki" to gauge the level of her "reality"

THE VISITOR asks about marriage and her husband to gauge the level of her denial - then asks whether there is a murder in her screenplay - "Brutal fucking murder"

(NOTE: From the singular ... it may be that LOST GIRL has only committed one murder - her husband never had another woman - LOST GIRL'S paranoia has just created a lover as part of her fantasy world ... but, for the present, I will assume two murders - because, (buried deep) within her mind at least ... Lost Girl has murdered two people)

"A little boy goes out to play ..." - I believe this refers to LOST GIRL'S husband "going out to play (around)" - followed by EVIL - the "reflection" refers to her husband "becoming someone else" (in her mind)

"A little girl goes out to play ... lost in the marketplace (she was a prostitute) ... as if "half-born" (she's "not all there") ... but the way to the Palace (Hollywood ... her "escape" to "rewrite" her life) is actually through the "back alley" (her mind)

"I suppose if it was 9:45 ..." - LOST GIRL murdered her husband at 9:45 pm

"If it was tomorrow, you wouldn't even remember that you owed an unpaid bill" ... - LOST GIRL'S mind is volatile, and she has blanked out killing her husband - her "unpaid bill' - "Actions do have consequences" - they are trying to get LOST GIRL to take responsibility and come to terms with what she has done

"There is the magic" ... because LOST GIRL can "magic" her way into fantasies - making things she doesn't want to remember "disappear" - "tomorrow" she will fantasize her way into a "Hollywood role"

To escape facing her crime (via the interrogation by her therapist), LOST GIRL turns today, into "tomorrow" and "escapes" into fantasies

But her "husband" is lurking ... in the back of her mind - the therapist has had minor success

PART THREE 

THE MARILYN LEVENS SHOW

This is a "real life" show - this is a flashback to a show LOST GIRL has watched - with her favorite actors Nikki Grace and Devon Berk (Note how different Nikki and Devon look in comparison to later scenes - this is the "real" Nikki Grace and Devon Berk - not the "fantasy" versions we see later - but they are still "representations" being generated by LOST GIRL'S mind ... it's just she's "remembering" an episode she actually saw, and "embellishing" it - the people we see talking to Nikki and Devon "after" the show are being "generated" by LOST GIRL)


The MARILYN LEVENS show goes "around the world" (this is the clue that LOST GIRL watches the show in her Polish asylum)

Note: When Nikki Grace gets back from the Marilyn Levens show - she has a different hairstyle - we are now with the "fantasy" Nikki Grace



NOTE: I believe nothing Lynch does is "random" - and that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of Hollywood and cinema - in particular "The Golden Age of Hollywood" - and a passion for European cinema, again, in particular Polish and German cinema

(I think that Lost Girl is "filling in the blanks" in some scenes (such as the dressing room scene) with knowledge she has gleaned about the "real" Nikki Grace and Devon Berk from shows like the Marilyn Levens Show, and typical "gossip" magazines - but I have no doubt that these are actually based on real life actors from the immense encyclopedia of  "The Golden Age of Hollywood" in Lynch's mind)

I believe Lynch's work is influenced by many great directors / actors / films (more on this later) - I found a lot of influences, but could not "tie down" any one particular director / actor / film ...

For instance - I felt Nikki Grace could be "influenced by" Grace Kelly, but I now feel she is a "composite" of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Ava Gardner

Similarly I initially felt Devon Berk was influenced by Clark Gable - but I now feel he is a "composite" of Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, and Jack Nicholson - perhaps even Marlon Brando or Frank Sinatra

I feel that "composites" are an emerging theme of Lynch's work



I think Kingsley Stewart is a "composite" of Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock ("I do love making speeches" - this a reference to a "very short" speech Hitchcock made when receiving an Oscar), and Roman Polanski - all directors who produced major works on Paramount Soundstages 04, 07, 10, and 32 - for instance Citizen Kane was filmed on Stage 32

(I'm no expert on these directors, but just like the composite structure of Mulholland Drive, I believe three of the soundstages (RED, GREEN, BLUE - RGB - just like a TV monitor) will "combine" together, and produce the "overall truth" - WHITE LIGHT (effectively "Lynch's soundstage") - and I suspect there will be influences from each of these directors on each respective "soundstage")

(I think the "composite" characterizations in this film will be subject to discussion for decades - I have never seen "Gone with the Wind" - only famous "snippets" - but I'm certain I saw "Gone with the Wind" references in "Inland Empire")

Jeremy Irons - Played "Kafka" in a film of the same name - and Kafka was believed to have suffered from Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) - "Affected individuals may simultaneously demonstrate a rich, elaborate and exclusive internal fantasy world"

"Citizen Kane" is a "film a clef" - which means a film describing real life - behind a facade of fiction

Orson Welles was also the holder of the most legendary contract in Hollywood history - controversially allowing him full creative control - something that has always hindered the career of David Lynch - a good example is the background to Mulholland Drive - and the subsequent golf club on the table in the Studio boardroom scene - Welles contract also specified that RKO executives would not be allowed to see any footage until Welles chose to show it to them, and that no cuts could be made without Welles approval - a contract without precedent, even today - Welles could develop the film with no interference - choose his own cast and crew, and have right of final cut - a directors "dream"

Welles also used hand-held cameras - unheard of at the time 
(I believe INLAND EMPIRE was filmed with digital "hand-held cameras"?)

"On High in Blue Tomorrows" - is a "remake" of LOST GIRL'S life (we will be seeing "parts of "On High in Blue Tomorrows") - note the initials of the screenwriter - L.A

("On High in Blue Tomorrows" = we are looking on - to Sue Blue's (Lost Girl's) "tomorrows" - her fantasies) 

PART FOUR

"On High in Blue Tomorrows"

A "remake" of LOST GIRLS life - it was never finished in POLAND, because LOST GIRL murdered two people - her husband, and her husband's lover - and her life was "interrupted" by mental illness

Devon makes a Forest Gump joke - another clue that this is fantasy

There is a long pause when Kingsley and Freddy sit down - as if they have forgotten their lines

Kingsley says "After the CHARACTERS had been filming for some time, they discovered something ... something INSIDE THE STORY ... the two leads were murdered"

This does not make sense (it's a reference to LOST GIRL'S life) ... and confirms ... we are living a fantasy ...

Why does Kingsley describe the title as a German translation? - this is the clue that LOST GIRL is actually German

In the next scene we see LOST GIRL'S husband introducing her to some Polish people - possibly his parents - and she doesn't speak Polish

SMITHY'S HOUSE -  as an anagram (and using screenwriting slang) - this becomes "This's my house" - LOST GIRL'S house back in Poland

Who is Devon Berk supposed to be?

I think Devon Berk is actually LOST GIRL'S husband - LOST GIRL is representing herself as Nikki Grace / Sue Blue, and her husband as Devon Berk / Billy Side - Devon Berk's wife is actually the "other" woman that LOST GIRL has killed

The characters of Nikki Grace / Sue Blue, and Devon Berk / Billy Side blur together in LOST GIRL'S fantasy - which is really about getting her husband "back" (she is in complete denial about the murders) - and this is her "scenario" for making everything "right" again

Nikki / Devon reading scene 35

I believe this is a conversation after LOST GIRL'S abortion - realizing that he might actually be the father, but not yet knowing about the abortion, Devon is conciliatory - Nikki is "sorry" about having an abortion (for getting rid of his baby) - she tells him to look in the other room - this is where the red coffin is

They are interrupted by a "ghost" - this is another version of Nikki Grace / Sue Blue - from "tomorrow" - a scene being played out on another soundstage - Nikki has wandered on to the "wrong soundstage" - Paramount soundstages are famously "haunted" by ghosts - with many stories, over many decades, of strange occurrences and phantom "footsteps"

"Disappeared, where it's real hard to disappear" - is referring to her mind, and her denial

Notice - when, we see this scene in reverse later, from the "ghost" LOST GIRL'S pov, we see Laura Dern sitting at the table with Devon - Devon gets up to investigate the "ghost" - then we see the table again, and only Kingsley and Freddie are there.

You have to remember we are in LOST GIRL'S mind - she is "clambering" around in the "rooms" of her mind - when she talks of "parking spaces" and "always plenty of room" she is talking about blank spaces in her mind - which she can always readily fill with fantasy - she is generating ALL the characters

When the producer says "there is no evidence" anything bad happened in Poland - it is LOST GIRL once again trying to distance and disassociate herself from the murders - she is in complete denial - and trying to rewrite history

I had "Freddy" pegged as Orson Welles' co-writer on Citizen Kane - Herman J. Mankiewicz - as his behavior is so strange - but his comment about "Gable" being dead doesn't fit - but I do think he is based on someone - possibly a composite including Mankiewicz

Freddy's behavior was another clue that this is all just fantasy

(It is possible that Freddie is another incarnation of LOST GIRL - just as she disassociates herself later with a Japanese character - she may be disassociating herself here from the character that needs to raise money for an abortion and to support herself - he says he is good with animals and "only yesterday" was carrying his own weight - lines that will be repeated by other characters - all being generated by LOST GIRL - she is all the characters - it's inside her mind)

("Ocean of possibilities" ... is her mind ... "I have this damn landlord" ... LOST GIRL is Freddie's "Landlord") 

Devon says he wouldn't do a remake - can you think of any actor who doesn't do remakes? - again, a clue re fantasy

PART FIVE

Devon Berk's wife at the police station

This was an "unreal" scene - everything was strange - especially the policeman's reaction when the woman revealed she'd been stabbed with a screwdriver

This is LOST GIRL trying to distance herself from her husband's murder - her fantasy that her husband's lover killed him, then herself in a murder suicide - she is telling herself (and the Police) she had nothing to do with it, and blaming it on the "other" woman

She is also blaming it on her "conscience" for "hypnotizing" the woman - she wants her conscience "put away"

Note that Doris Side is bandaged - this is after the murders (Doris Side is already dead (and so is Lost Girl's husband) - she has already been stabbed - but Lost Girl is desperately trying to ignore the fact that she has murdered her husband (or anyone) - so she is trying to get Doris Side "put away" before the fact - showing the Police that Doris Side is actually alive - but should be put away)

I think the scene with Freddy asking for money is something to do with LOST GIRL trying to borrow money for her abortion - "only yesterday I was carrying my own weight" - is (I think) a reference to her being not pregnant / then pregnant

The scene where her husband threatens Devon Berk is the good side of her husband threatening the bad side of her husband - his "reflection" - not to play around - LOST GIRL is trying to "rewrite" history

The consequences are "inescapable" because they are the same person

Then there is a joke scene - Lynch is playing Bucky - Kingsley says "You'd know better than me" - this is also a joke about the projectionist instructions Lynch gave when he released MULHOLLAND DRIVE

SMITHY'S House is LOST GIRL'S house - the house she shared with her husband in Poland

Note: When we first see Laura Dern in Smithy's House, her green blouse is an identical match to the carpet - a clue this is "her" house (the incredible detail Lynch goes to!)

The next few scenes highlight her disorientation, and the "blurring" of her "reality" - between the "rooms" of her mind

Nikki has sex with the "evil" side of her husband (his reflection) - the "side" she has lost - trying to get him back and make everything all right again

Then Nikki is in LOST GIRL'S house

Note: We see the green bedspread again

We see her husband going to bed alone - this represents their breakup - she is now on her own


The coffin shaped lamp haunts her

Then she is confronted by the "prostitution" lamp - she realizes that she has an awful choice


Then we meet the prostitutes

The bright red lamp represents prostitution - (a red light area) - she has an awful choice - her husband is now "someone else"

"Look at us and tell us if you've known us before?" - we are just ordinary girls, just like you (we are actually you)

"There was a man I once knew ... I'd let him do anything" - We've all had casual sex with men before for the wrong reasons

"In the bedroom you'll be dreaming ... when you open your eyes ... someone familiar will be there"


This is the prostitutes "talking her into" being a prostitute, and that the sex act will be just like a dream, but afterwards she will still be herself

The prostitutes take her to the street where they ply their trade - but this is also the street where she murdered her husband

Note - LOST GIRL and the prostitutes are dressed inappropriately for the winter conditions - this is part of her mind telling her "she doesn't belong here" - either as a prostitute, or a murderer

I think the cigarette burning holes in the silk represents the prostitutes erasing the memory of their clients - the watch seems to hypnotize them "to forget" or fantasize it away

(Prostitutes usually charge by the hour - so each client or "face" she is "erasing" is an hour of her life - hence the watch hands "spin" around fast - erasing many clients) 

Then we see a scene with LOST GIRL (Nikki) in bed with her husband - facing away from each other - this represents the divide post the abortion - then we see her cooking him breakfast, but clearly suffering the effects of the abortion

We see her husband going into the "other" room - he now knows about the abortion 

Then we see LOST GIRL'S conscience, THE PHANTOM, "beating her up" - this is inter-cut with a strange scene where Lynch is trying to confuse us - and succeeding  - LOST GIRL'S husband with a mustache, indicating a later time to when we have seen him earlier, and a woman with her back towards us, speaking Japanese - she says she can't give him children - and that she "will never let him have her" - I think this is a representation of LOST GIRL, acknowledging that she can not give him children (because of the abortion maiming her), but saying she will never let him have his mistress - this is after the abortion, and after LOST GIRL'S husband has realized that he may indeed have been the father of the aborted baby (which never really was) - he is about to die at the hands of LOST GIRL

(The Japanese woman is LOST GIRL representing herself as "someone else" - "as far removed from herself" as possible - her "killer" side is "someone else" - hence the comment "I'm not who you think I am" - and one of the prostitutes (actually LOST GIRL) saying "Who is she?" (It's not me ... I'm not the killer)

(Later we will see an "abusive" row between Lost Girl and her husband ... when he tells her he (believes he) cannot father children (so she must have been unfaithful in his eyes) and throws her to the ground ... (a scene typical of such a situation) ... He too says "I'm not who you think I am" ... This is Lost Girl telling herself that it's "not my (lovely) husband" doing this ... it's "someone else" ... her husband has become someone else in her eyes ... an "evil reflection")

Her husband stands in the street waiting for someone - possibly his lover - and a passerby asks the time - 9:45pm

Then we see the rabbits - and a lit match - bathed in red light - the "red mist" in the dark part of LOST GIRL'S mind - a fire is now lit

We see LOST GIRL (as a rabbit) with two lights - representing that she is going to kill two people - then the male rabbit flickers in and out - then disappears - he (her husband) is now dead - the mistress still remains, but her time is limited too

Then we see a strange scene with the male rabbit sitting down in some sort of  "Appeals" office - I think this represents that LOST GIRL sees this as all her husband's fault - and she is putting him "in the chair" first

LOST GIRL climbs 47 stairs (in "Inland Empire" "everything" adds up to 47 - the clue is Pomona) and enters the "Appeals" office (this could represent an attorney, a court-appointed psychiatrist assessing her mental state prior to trial, or even a trial judge) - (I think the "A" stands for "Appeals" - we had an "A" in Mulholland Drive" as well - both movies also reference "3pm" at some point) - her first words "I don't really understand what I'm doing here" - indicating her denial

This is the beginning of her Aileen Wuornos type "fantasy" - where everything is embellished

"It's an old story" represents she is just using stereotypes to describe her "embellished fantasy"

"A man I once knew" - a line from the prostitutes scene - an inference to having sex with men for the wrong reasons, or having casual sex - Lost Girl has a lot of "men she once knew" due to her prostitution - and this again mirrors the Aileen Wuornos situation - and alludes to her stereotypical embellishment and denial

"He was planning something with me in mind" (so I killed him first)

"When I get mad, I really get mad" - this is explaining away her violence

"I gouged a man's eye out when I was fifteen - he was trying to rape me" - my violence is justified - I have always been a victim

This is all just fantasy - every so often she makes a statement that is so embellished, it's obviously fantasy

(I believe Lynch wanted this to be about MENTAL ILLNESS, rather than ABUSE - so there is no "real" evidence of abuse in the movie - just the fantasies/embellishments of a mentally ill woman who doesn't really understand the processes she is caught up in)

(Which is my understanding of what happened to Aileen Wournos - a mentally ill woman with a very muddled understanding of her situation - was, rightly or wrongly, executed)

Then we see LOST GIRL in her house with her "prostitute friends" - the co-ordination represents that they are all versions of her

There's an "in like Flynn" reference - we had a Clark Gable reference earlier - this is why I think that Devon (her husband) is a composite of several actors - there was a reference to a "devilish smile" (Flynn was from Tasmania) - and a "wolf" - Jack Nicholson starred in a movie called "Wolf" - and is a well known Hollywood "wolf" when it comes to women

LOST GIRL tells her husband she's pregnant (these scenes are not in a linear order) - goes down like a lead balloon 

Then the prostitutes are dancing in a darkened room - what's the projection playing on the wall? - looks like a representation of the neurons inside a brain to me

LOST GIRL tries to contact her husband  - we see this played out in the rabbits "sitcom"

Again, LOST GIRL tells her embellished fantasy to THE APPEALS ATTORNEY

"... crowbar ...... door splinters into a thousand pieces ..." etc

THE APPEALS ATTORNEY asks LOST GIRL if she was seeing another man ... and she describes "screwing men for drinks" - but I believe this is complete embellishment - her fantasy within a fantasy - there isn't any evidence that she was unfaithful (at this stage) - I think this is about her being a prostitute ... screwing men for what she needs ... survival

"Chemical factory ... affected everybody ... nobody could think straight" - is this a reference to drugs? 

Does LOST GIRL use drugs to blank everything out? - is she talking about her medication in the asylum?

(I have visited a male asylum (serious offenders - rapists, murderers etc but deemed insane or diminished responsibility) as part of Rotaract (the "Governor" was a Rotarian, and felt they did not have enough contact with the outside world - particularly females ... it was not a good call ... one of the inmates asked one of our females if he could get closer to her ... when she replied "How close?" ... he said "Skin to skin" in a voice that would have chilled Hannibal Lecter ... we only went once!) ... and, indeed, all patients were given medication at meal times ... (it was (extremely) surprising just how close it was to "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" - all the pool tables were damaged and threadbare, a row of toilets behind the pool tables had all the doors removed, and half a dozen inmates sat in complete darkness in a small (30 - 40 seat?) theater closed off with a heavy curtain (and, to my utter disbelief, they were watching a very famous horror/slasher movie) ... and they were all a little "spaced out" (their eyes the biggest giveaway) ... some living in a fantasy world - I had dinner with "Wolfman" - who continuously passed me penciled notes, and asked me to give them to his mother (Shutter Island?) ... and another fellow who had traveled all over the world ... and was like a very knowledgeable "Mastermind" contestant)

"Little girl sees the end of the world ... you know ... like they say" - again, just generic stereotypical descriptions (This reminded me of a scene from "Terminator II")

PART SIX

We see LOST GIRL and her husband hosting some sort of BBQ for circus people - this is LOST GIRL'S "alibi" - that her husband was lured away to join the circus - again a stereotypical situation

(UPDATE: I have since read that Aileen Wuornos "was good with animals", loved BBQs, and met two "carnies" that tried to entice her, and her girlfriend Ty, to join the circus)

She sees her husband with ketchup all over his shirt - representing when she stabbed him

This scene represents her fluctuating mind, and her brief periods of lucidity, where she recalls, and is confronted with what she has done

We see her climbing stairs with the murder weapon - a screwdriver - in her hand - it's dark and vague because her recollection is dim - she is fighting to suppress it

We again see the back of the Japanese speaking part of her mind - this is the part of her mind that is urging her to kill

Then we see the body of her husband's lover

Then LOST GIRL "meets" her conscience, THE PHANTOM, in the street, and he tells her that someone has been murdered (her husband) - she is trying to separate herself from, and avoid, her conscience

The "carnies" arrive at the BBQ - it's all strange and surreal - representing danger - this "fantasy" is after she has killed her husband - the conflict and disorientation in her mind is obvious - she is formulating her "alibi" - "these carnies are strange and dangerous people" - and her husband has "chosen" to go off with them

(Note: Her husband says he is good with animals ... we hear this two or three times throughout the movie ... from different characters ... this is Lost Girl "projecting" her husband ... and is a clue she is "formulating" her "alibi" ... her husband is already dead ... it is also a clue that Lost Girl is "formulating" all the characters ... particularly Freddie)

Then LOST GIRL explains to THE APPEALS ATTORNEY that this is all somehow connected to THE PHANTOM - she is trying to discredit her conscience, and pass "him" off to her husband's situation

She describes THE PHANTOM as "a Marine from North Carolina" - (a very subtle reference to an actual prisoner on DEATH ROW - she wants THE PHANTOM on DEATH ROW) - then embellishes it with "a sister with one leg ... she killed three kids in the first grade" - I understand "first grade" in the US is the first year out of kindergarten - six year olds - a (very) highly improbable situation - but LOST GIRL is desperately trying to discredit her conscience

PART SEVEN

LOST GIRL goes to Billy Side's house - a fantasy she has created that actually represents her husband with his lover - she has recreated him in her "Hollywood" fantasy - trying to get him back

NOTE: She is now dressed in red - I believe Lynch's use of the three primary colors (RGB - red, green, blue) represents different soundstages - and that each "composite" scene, combined, makes up the "whole" - just as it does in a TV or computer screen - the individual colors all represent fantasy - combining to form "white light" - "everything" - the full picture - the real, "reality" that INLAND EMPIRE is actually (subtly) showing us (the "white light" that we saw in the opening scene - the "searchlight" trying to pierce the dark INLAND EMPIRE of her mind)

(There is a 3 dimensional thing going on - just like in Mulholland Drive)

Note: LOST GIRL has a key to this house - it's her fantasy - but we briefly see some sort of ancient control board - and one flashing red light - something has "malfunctioned"

We see Billy Side's wife and son, with a doctor - this is the son that her husband would have fathered with his lover (in her mind - because she "knows" her husband can actually father children - she believed she actually was pregnant, and knows she hadn't been unfaithful) - the son that she couldn't give him - but she visualizes this child as "sickly" - he belongs to Doris Side, her rival for her husband's affections

LOST GIRL says "I thought you were gone" - in her fuddled mind, she has "removed" Billy's wife - she is supposed to be "locked up" for murder because LOST GIRL "framed" her - but her insanity is playing tricks on her (in her denial she is ignoring the fact that it was her husband (as well as his lover) that was murdered though - hence the flashing red light on the circuit board - her fantasy at this point is all messed up)

Then we see THE PHANTOM hypnotizing Billy Side's wife in the bar mentioned earlier - this is LOST GIRL having another attempt at framing the wife and removing her from the "picture" - in her fantasy, LOST GIRL is inserting "terrible thoughts" into Doris Side's mind - maybe that Billy has been unfaithful - that LOST GIRL (Nikki / Sue) is pregnant to Billy

Then we are in a car going through a forest - JANEK (THE CONTROLLER) and LOST GIRL'S husband - LOST GIRL is taking her husband to a metal shed in the forest - this represents the "backstreet" abortion clinic (which was probably her neighbor Gordy Crimp's garage) - she is showing her husband "what he has done" - what he is responsible for - the man driving the car is a big "thug" - her husband is being "muscled" into confronting what "he has done"


The plastic cup of coffee being thrown and landing upright is a clear indication that this scene is fantasy

It also represents a memory, or guilt (note that the cup is red ... the same color as the coffin) ... it is being thrown away ... but it lands upright and sits there ... as a haunting reminder ... trying to "throw it away" has been unsuccessful ... no one - Lost Girl - her husband - or Gordy ... is being allowed to escape the memory or "guilt" of "throwing away" the baby (but Lost Girl represents Gordy's "guilt" as a small cup as opposed to the bigger "lampshade" coffin that haunts her)

(Gordy throws the red cup like a drug dealer slyly trying to throw his drugs into a drain as the Police pull up to question him ... but the baggy lands on the footpath in full incriminating view)

Gordy says "He (the baby) mumbled something about (going to) INLAND EMPIRE" (LOST GIRL'S mind) - there never was a baby

I believe Gordy is - Gordy Crimp - the neighbor carried out the "abortion" - with a screwdriver

Then we have another VISITOR - another part of LOST GIRL'S mind - but this time the visitor has been sent by LOST GIRL - and the "court-martial" in her mind - to accuse her husband - this time the "unpaid bill" is the baby's life - LOST GIRL blames her husband for the abortion

The visitor wears a woolen glove and a watch - does this represent the "glove" the abortionist wore to carry out the abortion, and how it felt - and does the watch represent that she stole her husband's watch to pay for the abortion - because we see her husband wearing a different watch - is this his "good" watch? - the watch seems to represent "something of meaning and value" - the value of a baby's life? - as well as a "timeline"

(The watch also shows us that this visitor is also just another version of Lost Girl ... this is her accusation against her husband)

We see a lot of clocks - time seems to be an important reference - does she lose track of time? - or is she actually keeping track of time? - does she believe The Phantom uses a watch to hypnotize her?

Do the prostitutes steal watches off clients?

We see LOST GIRL visit the neighbor's - THE PHANTOM appears from behind a tree with a light-bulb in his mouth

I now believe Crimp is LOST GIRL'S pimp - and the light-bulb in THE PHANTOM'S mouth represents prostitution, as it is the "prostitution" lamp we then see in "flashback" (to my mind "Crimp" = "pimp" is a bit too obvious, and "on the nose", and why I didn't go for it in the first place - but I now think that is what it represents)

(The Phantom (her conscience) is confronting her about both the abortion and her prostitution - things that she, ultimately, is trying to "suppress")


LOST GIRL picks up a screwdriver, and retreats - I think this represents she is, again, trying to "rewrite" history - she is taking the screwdriver "away" from the neighbor so he can't use it (so the abortion didn't happen in her mind) - it also represents her anger at being forced to become a prostitute (the PHANTOM is reminding her, with the "prostitution" bulb in his mouth) and she is arming herself with the murder weapon (the screwdriver kills all three victims - and, ultimately, LOST GIRL)

So - it would appear the timeline is - LOST GIRL thinks she's pregnant - tells her husband - husband is not happy, possibly leaves her - LOST GIRL goes to neighbor's for help to save her marriage - "Crimp" arranges abortion, (and later becomes LOST GIRL'S pimp) - husband comes back to house to pick up some stuff, conciliatory - LOST GIRL tells him she is sorry, and to "look in the other room" - where red coffin is - husband stays, but they sleep back to back - eventually he leaves her again - Lost Girl is forced to become a prostitute to survive

We see a "court-martial" in LOST GIRL'S mind - JANEK brings her husband - LOST GIRL is his accuser, but she can't bear to face him (because somewhere in her mind, she knows he's dead) - they ask him if he works for the one she speaks of (THE PHANTOM) - he answers the questions as she wants him to - it's her fantasy - then they give him a gun to shoot THE PHANTOM (and himself) - (when we saw her husbands body, it looked like he had a bullet-hole in his head - LOST GIRL is always looking to distance herself from responsibility - she possibly stabbed him in the head with the screwdriver, as well as the abdomen - but that would be different to her "BBQ" recollection)

(This is after the deaths - LOST GIRL wants her husband (whose death she is in denial about) to kill THE PHANTOM, but she is also possibly projecting that her husband killed himself - she is continuously creating alibis for herself - her mind is extremely volatile)

The "horse taken to the well" ... refers to "but we cannot make it drink" - LOST GIRL'S husband must see the error of his ways and shoot himself (you have to "see" this through LOST GIRL'S (insane) eyes)

"Right away ... it's past midnight" - because LOST GIRL turns "today" into "tomorrow", and she wants this resolved, so she can "rewrite" history "tomorrow" - LOST GIRL fades out into "tomorrows" fantasy ... where everything is going to be "alright" ... and her "sitcom" will be back to "normal" again ....

The three members of the "court-martial" fade into the Rabbits ... because this is really happening in "Room 47" - the dark sitcom in her mind

Note: The three candles (2 + 1) on the table - they look very much like the lights LOST GIRL "Rabbit" was holding when the "lit match" and "red mist" took hold in Room 47 - and represent three deaths - the baby (LOST GIRL believes there was a baby), and the two murders - there is also another clue re the candles - the picture on the wall



Lost Girl blames her husband for all three deaths (including his own) ... and her prostitution ... indicated by the lamp 


We see the Rabbits - then LOST GIRL sitting on a porch in heavy rain and thunder - I found a comment about Aileen Wuornos - "She remembered which days the rain came down hardest"


PART EIGHT

We see LOST GIRL on the street with her prostitute posse - and the disintegration of her mind as she is stalked by Doris Side (DEATH is stalking her (she is now on "DEATH ROW"), REVENGE for her "crime" - but in her mind she is still "framing" Doris Side and not taking responsibility for her "unpaid debt")

The payphone scene is a clue she is in an institution (American prison - notice the bars on the shop windows - she is on "DEATH ROW") - then we see her as a prostitute in Poland - when she is becoming mentally ill - but again, all the prostitutes are just versions of her

LOST GIRL takes refuge in a nightclub ("someone is going to fuckin' kill me" (this is DEATH ROW) (the queue into the nightclub represents the appeals process... because of the question marks regarding her mental state she is able to jump the queue) - she is being stalked by Doris Side with a screwdriver - a "lifesaving hand" "ushers" her into the office of THE APPEALS ATTORNEY (this could be an Attorney, an appeals Judge, or a court-appointed psychiatrist assessing her mental state - the earlier VISITOR to the mansion is her asylum based THERAPIST ... effectively ... she is now with her (Death Row) prison therapist) 

"After my son died ... I went into a bad time"

"I was watching everything go around me while I was standing in the middle"

I found another comment about Aileen Wuornos - "A whole circus that went around, and around, and around"

A phone rings, and THE APPEALS ATTORNEY answers it 

"I don't think it will be much longer now" - he thinks they are getting through to her - she is beginning to confront her demons

"Horse to the well" is used again ... they can "show" her ... but, ultimately, LOST GIRL is the one that will chose her destiny

"He's around here somewhere" refers to her husband - she is beginning to "see" what she has done

But LOST GIRL does choose her destiny - she rejects her therapy ... and "runs" ... back into (another part) of her fantasy

Note: We see the initials on her hand (although unreadable at this point) and she carries the screwdriver in her hand (a killer) and heads for the "EXIT" door - this is her giving up the "appeals" process (as Aileen Wournos did) - she now knows she's a killer and accepts her fate - Death - although it is her insane, muddled understanding of the whole situation (just like Aileen Wuornos) that is being portrayed

She goes back to her prostitute "buddies"

Doris Side is still stalking her - and takes the screwdriver and stabs LOST GIRL - this is, effectively, LOST GIRL being put to death (in her American fantasy) - (but is also a kind of suicide - she has given up the appeals process) which she, again, is blaming on Doris Side

(Lynch is portraying her "American" death as "Revenge" - a comment on the DEATH PENALTY)

LOST GIRL, symbolically, staggers down a Hollywood street, over Walk of Fame stars  

(Aileen Wuornos was pronounced dead 17 minutes after her lethal injection ... also - Wuornos, her attorney, and some investigators into the case ... all sold movie rights to her story within two weeks of her being arrested)

Lost Girl comes to rest amidst some homeless people - there is a discussion about Pomona - and about a girl "with a hole in her vagina" - this is a reference to LOST GIRL, and the damage done by the abortion (maybe Lynch felt he hadn't given us enough clues about the abortion - but I got the lampshade reference to a child's coffin the moment I saw it)

There is a reference to "Mulholland Drive" - "Rita" wore a blonde wig, looked just like a movie star, and had girls fall in love with her

LOST GIRL dies - she has been "put to death" ... (her American fantasy version) only the totally insane (Polish) version remains ... she really is LOST GIRL

(The blood she vomits could represent a form of repentance - all her "guilt" comes out)  

"CUT" - the "remake" is complete ... American (remake) LOST GIRL is dead ...

LOST GIRL wanders off in a trance-like (I would like to say "fuge") state ... she removes her robe, representing that the Nikki Grace fantasy is now over ... LOST GIRL doesn't really seem to have an identity at this point ... she really is a "lost" soul ...

LOST GIRL "watches" her life from within a "dark theater" - (just as she told THE APPEALS ATTORNEY) - there's this cyclic "double mirror effect" going on ...

LOST GIRL goes up the stairs ... and through an Axxon.N door ... into (another part of) her mind ... and into her (Polish) house ... a sort of refuge compared to her American "fantasy", which has ended with her "death"

(Axxon.N doors represent her going into "other parts" of her mind)

She opens a drawer, poignantly beneath the coffin-shaped lamp, and takes out the gun she gave her husband ... 

LOST GIRL has decided her destiny ... we see the initials of a killer on her hand ... she knows the truth now ... but LOST GIRL has a solution ... she is going to rid herself of the thorn in her side once and for all ... 

She is going to kill her conscience ... the one that keeps hounding her ... stalking her ... the one that blames her for this ... THE PHANTOM ... she is still looking for escape ...

LOST GIRL enters the darkest recesses of her mind ... to kill THE PHANTOM ... the one that is haunting her ...

(note the clock ... it's after midnight ...)


LOST GIRL kills THE PHANTOM

The "real" LOST GIRL, and the fantasy LOST GIRL merge, now inside the TV - again, with a "double-mirror" effect going on ... 


LOST GIRL is still looking to escape her past ... and with her conscience now "gone", she can ... she runs from her room in the asylum ... downstairs ... and escapes into a new fantasy ... she symbolically shuts the door behind her as she enters ... SMITHY'S HOUSE ... her house ... into a new fantasy with no conscience or past "reality" to haunt her ... a "life" where her husband didn't leave her ... she didn't kill anybody ... she didn't have an abortion ... a "life" where she has a ten year old son ... 

LOST GIRL'S "reality" was sitting on her bed in the asylum watching TV ... and living a fantasy as Nikki Grace ... reliving her life ... trying to rewrite history ... and she may have succeeded ...


LOST GIRL has actually swapped places with the now identity-less Nikki Grace version of herself ... she has entered into a "new" fantasy world as her "old self", with her husband and her son (to escape the past she has given them new names) ... and put her Nikki Grace (now identity-less) version into a virtual asylum

It's an identity-less version of LOST GIRL that now looks out from the TV sitcom in room 47 (the "real" life (LOST GIRL) has become the fantasy, and the "fantasy" life (LOST GIRL /Laura Dern) has become the "reality" (of the asylum) ... the rabbits are gone ... the red - green - blue all merges into "white light" ... the fantasy version of LOST GIRL is now the one left in the "reality" of a "virtual asylum" ...  

THE VISITOR realizes that they have lost ... LOST GIRL is to remain "lost" forever ... in her fantasy world ... in the dark recesses of her mind ... INLAND EMPIRE ...

LOST GIRL has effectively escaped the asylum ... her "unpaid bill" will never be paid ... she has left a "virtual" LOST GIRL in her place ...

We see "virtual" LOST GIRL sitting demurely in her new "virtual asylum" ... vacant, but at peace ...

(I get an impression that there is a "mobius strip" sort of thing going on "after midnight" - THE VISITOR comes every day to try to find out what "new role" LOST GIRL is playing - but this doesn't quite fit with the son being ten years old - although I think the watches and clocks also represent that she is aware of the passing of time - hence her son is now ten years old)


(THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN  "MULHOLLAND DRIVE", "INLAND EMPIRE", AND "ENEMY" ARE INCREDIBLE - IT BEGS THE QUESTION - DOES JAVIER GULLON REALLY EXIST ... OR IS HE JUST A PSEUDONYM OF DAVID LYNCH?)



THE END CREDITS


The end credits represent that fantasy LOST GIRL is "immersed" in her fantasy world "asylum" ... all her fantasy elements now come together in "her world" ... even the one-legged "sister"

She's obviously a fan of Nastassja Kinski (another clue she is German) and Laura Harring ("wore a blonde wig and girls fell in love with her") - (Harring is also known as Countess von Bismark-Schonhausen) 

I believe the soundtrack - "Sinnerman" is a reference to all the people on Death Row for similar crimes

What a movie - what a soundtrack ... and what a performance by Laura Dern ...


NOTES / QUESTIONS

I had problems with the very first "On High in Blue Tomorrows" scene ...

Sue Blue talks of having a husband, and that Billy has been with his wife "since he was a little boy"

(I don't really get the impression that LOST GIRL and her husband have left respective spouses for each other prior to their marriage, but this is a possibility)

I think this may be LOST GIRL "filling in the blanks" with her version of an affair the real-life Nikki Grace and Devon Berk had while filming a movie

(Remember - the whole "On High in Blue Tomorrows" fantasy has been set up by LOST GIRL to "get her husband back" ... she is trying to rewrite history SINCE he left her - and she may be embellishing her "fantasy" of her life - the life she is trying desperately to "rewrite" - by "filling in the blanks" with her knowledge of the "real" Nikki Grace and Devon Berk)

Also, the nineteen year old niece with an "ancient voice" perplexes me - nineteen year old nieces don't have ancient voices ... this must be some cryptic reference to something in "real life" ... 

Freddy Howard also interests me ... I am sure there is a bit more to this character

The words "whore" and "daddy" appear within the name Freddy Howard, but this still doesn't explain much ... 

Freddy talks of "an ocean of possibilities" ... this may refer to the mind ... and "this damn landlord" (LOST GIRL is Freddy's "landlord" - she disassociates herself from having to beg to get the money for her abortion ... LOST GIRL in turn has her own "landlord" - her pimp)

Ultimately ... all the characters are being generated by LOST GIRL ... they all reflect her "projections"





INFLUENCES


INLAND EMPIRE disturbed me - I didn't like the opening scenes with the blurred faces - I didn't like the Rabbits with the horrible canned laughter, I didn't like The Phantom, or the awful distorted faces when he was shot, and I didn't like the mansion and many "bleak" scenes .... until I realized that the things that disturbed me about this movie .... were the biggest clues to understanding it



DAVID LYNCH

I am not a movie buff, or a cinephile - I watch 1 - 2 movies a month if I'm lucky 

What has became obvious since analyzing Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway - is that Lynch is a genius - what becomes obvious when you attempt to analyze INLAND EMPIRE ... is the depth of that genius

The man appears to have an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema - Hollywood, the Golden Age of Hollywood in particular, and world cinema such as Polish and German cinema - and an inordinate ability to work it's influence subtly into his films

I kept finding what I thought were references / influences, only for them to lead down an endless labyrinth of rabbit holes, cross referenced to other references and influences - and it soon became obvious that Lynch's mind cleverly and effortlessly molds things together like Play Dough - and "composite" is the only way to describe the influences you find in his films 

("MULHOLLAND DRIVE" is an absolute monster - it's complexity is scary, and grows exponentially the deeper you delve into it - but each step you solve is packed away like a block-chain - and you slowly ascend Everest, base-camp to base-camp ...

"LOST HIGHWAY" is far more ambiguous - you can never quite close any block-chain ... they have all bled together into some form of shape-shifting mirage ...

"INLAND EMPIRE" is like going down Challenger Deep ... you have no idea how deep it goes ... where you are actually going ... or whether you'll make it back to the surface in one piece ... it is certainly Lynch's weirdest and deepest proposition since "ERASERHEAD")

I don't find randomness in his work - I find extraordinary genius - each cinematic element cleverly presented and woven into a rich tapestry

While analyzing Inland Empire - using Google to try to find these influences, and a pathway into his mind - the same movies / directors / actors came up time and time again - Welles, Wajda, Weber, Fellini, Hitchcock, Polanski, Dietrich, Swanson, Negri, Garbo, De Havilland, Gardner - to name just a few - but nothing would "stick" - they floated around you like jellyfish in an ocean of "stickiness", brushing against you and briefly stinging you - but then another one would be there taking it's place

At one stage I came across a game called Zelda - the original version of which originated in the 80's I believe - and I immediately dismissed it as being way off track - yet a couple of days later, on YouTube, I found a video about how David Lynch has influenced 17 games - including Zelda - it has come full circle - and it was mind blowing

What has also become obvious, is David Lynch's relationship with Hollywood, and why there was a golf club on the boardroom table in Mulholland Drive - and why, sadly, he hasn't been the prolific filmmaker we would have liked him to be

Many books have been written on David Lynch and his movies ... and to my mind, there are still many more to come

It's been a real privilege to attempt to unlock his movies, and I have enjoyed every second of it 

The first couple of times I watched INLAND EMPIRE, it disturbed me .... the third time I watched it, it blew me away .... it's like you bought a large painting at a flea market, and it keeps intriguing you with it's ugliness .... you keep looking at it more and more closely .... you turn it upside down .... and suddenly you realize it's a Rembrandt .... and you can't take your eyes off it ....

David Lynch is a great filmmaker, a great musician, and a great artist .... but, one day, his tombstone will simply say .... 


 .... THANK YOU DAVID LYNCH ....

(One day ... when David Lynch, eventually, does "pop his clogs" ... I'm sure ... his last word will be ... whispered ... "Redheads") 


I believe there are many influences in this film

Here's just a few

Polish director Andrzej Wajda - particularly his film : "Everything for Sale" - which was dedicated to "the Polish James Dean" - Zbigniew Cybulski - Wajda's "go-to" actor - who was killed in an accident prior to "Everything for Sale" - is it just a co-incidence that there are two actors in INLAND EMPIRE with the surname Cybulski?
(his parents?)

Director Lois Weber - described as "the most important female film director the American film industry has known" - "American cinema's first genuine auteur" (an absolutely amazing writer / director / actor whether male or female to my mind)

The film - "Diary of a Lost Girl" 1929 - as well as the actress who starred in it - Louise Brooks (as well as the original book by German author Margarete Bohme)

German expressionist films of the 1920's in general, which often had themes of mental illness

Stanley Kubrick 

Roman Polanski

Alfred Hitchcock

Orson Welles

(I couldn't help but notice what seems to be a Norma Desmond reference - Lynch associated Norma Desmond with the color blue in "Mulholland Drive" - someone else trying to change her life with a "Hollywood role")

(Norma Desmond was also mentally ill - take a look at the extraordinary similarities in the marketing for these films - it is no coincidence) 


 


I have had to take a break from my blog for 8 months - I am resuming my analysis of this movie anytime soon ... and I expect it to give up many more secrets .....



Thank you for reading ...