I know a David Lynch fan who watched Inland Empire last year. He enjoyed it, and though he was boggledâ€”not unusual after seeing a David Lynch movieâ€”he felt that he was just about to get it. Any moment, it would all become clear to him. It was like those tip-of-the-tongue experiences, where you’re trying to summon up a word or a name, and you know that you know it, but it won’t occur to you just then. Then when you stop thinking of it, it pops into your head.
This friend of mine, who does think too much, went to sleep after watching Inland Empire and dreamed that he was watching Inland Empire. Clearly he had stepped into some Lynchian universe. In his dream, he was just about to get the meaning of Inland Empire…and then he woke up. But he couldn’t go back to sleep, so he couldn’t get to the end of the dream. Then he developed hellish insomnia and had to get a prescription for tranquilizers. Coincidence, or the Lynchian multiplication of his interior worlds?
When you watch Inland Empire, this may help. Reading Inland Empire: A Mental Toolbox for Interpreting a Lynch film, by Adam C. Walter in Metaphilm.