In another provocative moment, David Lynch came to Austin the other night to screen his new film Inland Empire at the glorious Paramount Theatre courtesy of the Austin Film Society. It was a perfect Austin evening. The Paramount was the consummate venue to unspool this 3-hour opus full of grand old palaces and lost glamour. It was exciting to feel it chocked full to the brim, even the obstructed view seats sold. The wonderful Austin film audience turning out in droves to welcome this film great.
John and I had caught the film earlier this year at a New York Film Festival press screening, early in the morning, with a handful of enthusiastic cineastes. To some, it was glorious. I was a bit lost, searching for a shred of narrative. The elements familiar, certainly Lynchian. But the whole outside my "aha" grasp. (I've come to see Michel Gondry's magical The Science of Sleep as the perfect comparison film. See it and you'll see why. And if not, email me and ask.)
Nonetheless it was beyond exciting to be a part of the group to bring him here. John accompanied him on stage for the Q&A and was, as always, superb in that role. Lynch was Lynchian. His interview and stage persona the mix of "gee whiz life is beautiful, hmm I love coffee and TM", we've come to expect. The polar opposite to his filmic created dread and violence.
For those of you intrigued or thoroughly confused, the most interesting review of Inland Empire I've come across is by Jim Emerson, the editor for RogerEbert.com. I also recommend Ann Power's take on Lynch's subsequent appearence with Donovan in the L.A Times.