The Trippy Dream Factory of David Lynch

From The New York Times:

Irons_1 Mr. Lynch revisits the bewitched boulevard in the extraordinary, savagely uncompromised “Inland Empire,” his first feature in five years, his first shot in video and one of the few films I’ve seen this year that deserves to be called art. 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. I’m still trying to figure out what the giant talking rabbits — which seem to be living in Ralph Kramden’s apartment, as redesigned by Edward Hopper — have to do with the weepy Polish woman who may be a whore or merely lost or, because this is a David Lynch film (after all), probably both.

As the Good Witch of the North says, it’s always best to start at the beginning and, so, once upon a time, an actress, Nikki Grace (a dazzling, fearless Laura Dern), receives a stranger (Grace Zabriskie, hilarious, unsettling) into her home. The unnamed visitor, a new neighbor with bulging eyes and an East European accent, engages in some gossip (“I hear you have a new role”) before delivering two brief parables that hint at the weirdness to follow. When the boy went out into the world to play, the stranger says, evil was born and followed the boy. When the girl went out to play, though, she got lost in the marketplace, which pretty much sums up what happens to most pretty actresses in Hollywood.

More here.