I purchased “Inland Empire” on digital versatile disc, because I’m an enourmous David Lynch fan and it’s one of those movies that needs to be watched over and over and over, as new things are revealed upon each viewing.
It’s a nice DVD release, though the cover art looks like the sort of photocopied Taiwanese bootleg that you’d buy at a comic convention (think “Twin Peaks” Season 2’s art, but even worse). It’s really interesting to watch the movie on DVD vs. the theater, since it was originally shot on DVD. Watching a 35mm print in the theater was a completely different experience, aesthetically speaking, as a lot of the aliasiing/artifacting of the low-light DV footage vanished into the grain and flicker of 35mm film. At home, watching the direct-digital transfer, it’s completely different - it’s cleaner in many places, but it artifacts like crazy in many of the darker scenes. I much preferred the look of the 35mm print - combining the low-grade DV with film made it something completely unique-looking, whereas the straight DV has more of a “student film” look to it. Just think of it as Lynch’s Dogme 95 flick; it practically is.
I think that Inland Empire is Lynch’s best film to date, truly the apotheosis of his career and everything he’s been working towards. It’s also incredibly difficult and near-impenetrable at first; I’ve watched it 5 times now, and I’m ready to watch it about 5 more because I feel like I learn new things, notice new things, and see new things each time I watch it.
The extras are equal parts banal (Lynch teaching you how to cook quinoa, a ballerina dancing for 15 minutes) and totally awesome (Lynch talking to the camera about the entire process of making the film, from inspiration to the shooting to the editing and music, an entirely new 80-minute film made up of the extras and leftover footage).