A week after it opened at a downtown arthouse theater in New York, Inland Empire, David Lynch’s maddeningly difficult three-hour opus, is still selling out the house at nearly every show—a testament both to the loyalty of Lynch’s cult and to the heartening notion that real art cinema, the kind that refuses to suck up to its audience with anything so prosaic as a story, is not dead yet. (Though the self-distributed film will be shown theatrically only in very limited release, the film is expected to be out on DVD next summer.)
Inland Empire is inland, all right—it travels so deep into its creator’s brain that the rest of us poor saps are stranded there without a map, like the kids in The Blair Witch Project. But Lynch’s brain is a fascinating place to get lost in, full of red velvet curtains, vague foreboding, Polish prostitutes, and giant bunnies (more on those later).
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