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Inland Empire

A Woman In Trouble 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Inland Empire

Director: David Lynch

Starring: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux

This isn't just a weird film. It's a very very spectacular and compelling weird film. And I'm not just saying that. On seeing it you will definitely agree; how could you not when there are primly dressed rabbits talking total rubbish and prostitutes doing the Locomotion? This is not to mention the fact that there is a female killer on the loose, and her weapon of choice is a screwdriver!

From the wacky director of Mulholland Drive comes another twisted tale the insane, following actress, Nikki Grace (Dern). Nikki wins the role of 'Sue' in a melodrama directed by Kingsley, played by the simply remarkable Jeremy Irons. Her co-star, Devon (Theroux), plays opposite her as Billy, and the script requires the characters to flourish into an affair. This is pretty ominous, not only as Nikki's husband is very possessive and will resent the performance, but also for a much darker reason: the script is based on a Polish gypsy folktale, and is a remake of a film that was never finished since the original actors were murdered.

Nikki and Devon, inevitably, actually pursue an affair, and then start to realise that they are combining their on-screen lives with their personal ones. This awareness kicks off a spiral of Nikki's waning sanity. We enter into a world of true weirdness, portrayed particularly through the masterful use of Things become bizarre and uncertain, and she can no longer grasp who she is: Is Nikki playing Sue, or is Sue playing Nikki?

There's no doubt that the plot can feel a little confusing at times, but it's certainly a wild and fascinating ride. This is underlined by the fact that Director David Lynch ensured that there were no production notes; everything was to flow in the crazy directions it wanted. Sure, this man is a complete genius, and definitely makes Inland Empire an absolute must see.

Laura Sparshot

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Autumn Term (35mm)