Inland Empire by David Lynch (USA, 2006, 179 min.). 35mm.

Join us for a special presentation of Inland Empire, screened on David Lynch’s own 35mm print. Before the show, grab a drink at Taste Café and enjoy the nocturnal surf rock sounds of Volcano Kings, starting at 6:15 pm.

Lynch’s follow-up to Mulholland Drive (2001) stars Laura Dern as Nikki Grace, a married actress working on a Hollywood film about a love affair in the American South. Nicki soon becomes involved with her (also married) co-star (Justin Theroux) and the two rapidly lose track of the line between reality and cinematic fantasy. Their director (Jeremy Irons) confesses that the film they are shooting was in production once before, but dropped due to horrific events on set. Dern’s powerhouse performance makes a fitting finale for the retrospective.

Watch the trailer

Interpreting the Film

When it comes to David Lynch’s more cryptic films like Inland Empire and Mulholland Drive, viewers are in two distinct camps: those who look for definitive meaning in the narrative, and those who favor a less analytic, more emotional experience. Some of us fall between the two, fluctuating between detective and dreamer as we watch.

If you are inclined to sleuth for meaning in Inland Empire, Jeremy Blackman’s in-depth analysis offers intelligent theories about Lynch’s intentions.

For those who prefer a more emotional experience, Jim Emerson’s poetic review offers useful tools for navigating the film, without narrative clues or spoilers.


Ticket Information

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975 ($6 processing fee applies); to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

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