Inroads to Inland #1: Zabriskie point
I’d like to take issue with the people who call Lynch’s work ‘surreal.’ Surrealists abhor sentiment and sentimentality; I suspect Mr. Lynch is a deeply sentimental man. Sentimentality is dripping from nearly everything he’s done: the longing for family (Eraserhead), unconditional love (Wild at Heart), acceptance (Mulholland Dr.). If we’ve got to toss labels around, I think he belongs somewhere in Symbolism or Expressionism.
Since I’m incapable of writing a review (there’s too much going on in the movie), an informal (and probably half-baked) series of Inland Empire posts may be the best bet. For starters, let’s go to the beginning of the film. The actress having coffee with Laura Dern is Grace Zabriskie (above). She played Laura Palmer’s haunted mom in Twin Peaks and hobbled around on club foot and cane in Wild at Heart ("Fuck me, Reggie!"). I think it’s interesting that Inland’s labyrinthine plot kicks off from Zabriskie’s point, when she motions to Dern to look across the room.