Filmmaker David Lynch is trying to create an alternative to big-budget films with his latest movie Inland Empire, which was released on DVD on Aug. 14th. The director of Mulholland Dr., Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, and Eraserhead, among others, decided to shoot Inland Empire on a cheap digital camera—and has since vowed to continue making movies this way, and to never return to film. The DVD release marked the first opportunity for many fans to see the film—Lynch chose to distribute Inland Empire himself, and it had an extremely limited run in theaters when released in 2006.
Lynch described the movie to Variety as being “about a woman in trouble, and it’s a mystery, and that’s all I want to say about it.” Writing for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis described Inland Empire is “dark as pitch, as noir, as hate, by turns beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying, the film is also as cracked as Mad magazine, though generally more difficult to parse.”
The two-disk DVD for Inland Empire features a large collection of fascinating scenes that were cut from the movie, said ScreenHead.com. For the DVD, Lynch “dove further into the story to include scenes that enrich the original mystery.” The DVD is also “embellished with a number of extras,” such as interviews with Lynch and Laura Dern, a photo gallery, theatrical trailers, and even footage of Lynch cooking.
Lynch may have been better off leaving out some of the extras on the DVD, said Jürgen Fauth on JurgenFauth.com. “The new scenes offer hints and clues but also confuse matters further.” And some of the movie’s “subconscious pull has been traded for bonus features and the opportunity to pour over individual scenes and fast-forward through others.”
Those who didn’t like Inland Empire in the theater should do themselves a favor and check it out on DVD, said Ed Gonzalez on SlantMagazine.com. “While the image preserves the veracity of the film’s original theatrical presentation, the smaller scale of your television improves its resolution.” Plus, the DVD offers the luxury of repeated viewings, and in turn “new ways of entering” Inland Empire’s “labyrinthine hall of mirrors.”