Inland Empire is the 2006 film staring Laura Dern and Jeremy Irons, the film follows on much the same from Mulholland Drive, as a self-referential piece dealing with Psychological Fugure.
"We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it. We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream. This is true for the entire universe." - David Lynch.
Inland Empire is an internationally co-produced 2006 film written and directed by David Lynch. The feature took two-and-a-half years to complete, and was Lynch's first film to have been shot entirely in standard definition digital video. The film is a co-production of France, Poland and the United States. It premiered in Italy at the Venice Film Festival on 6 September 2006. The film tells the story of an actress (Laura Dern) whose world becomes nightmarish and surreal when she starts to take on the personality of a character she plays in a film.
The cast includes Lynch’s acting regulars; such as Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, and Grace Zabriskie. The voices of Laura Elena Harring, Naomi Watts and Scott Coffey are included in excerpts from Lynch's Rabbits website project.
Lynch shot Inland Empire without a complete screenplay. Instead, he handed each actor several pages of freshly written dialogue each day. In a 2005 interview, he described his feelings about the shooting process:
"I've never worked on a project in this way before. I don’t know exactly how this thing will finally unfold... This film is very different because I don’t have a script. I write the thing scene by scene and much of it is shot and I don’t have much of a clue where it will end. It’s a risk, but I have this feeling that because all things are unified, this idea over here in that room will somehow relate to that idea over there in the pink room."
In an NPR interview, Laura Dern recounted a conversation she had with one of the movie's new producers. He asked if Lynch was joking when he requested a one-legged woman, a monkey and a lumberjack by 3:15. "Yeah, you're on a David Lynch movie, dude," Dern replied. "Sit back and enjoy the ride." Dern reported that by 4 p.m. they were shooting with the requested individuals.
Interviewed at the Venice Film Festival, Laura Dern admitted that she didn't know what Inland Empire was about or the role she was playing, but hoped that seeing the film's premiere at the festival would help her "learn more." Justin Theroux has also stated that he "couldn't possibly tell you what the film's about, and at this point I don't know that David Lynch could. It's become sort of a pastime—Laura [Dern] and I sit around on set trying to figure out what's going on.”
During a conversation between David Lynch and Laura Dern, Dern mentioned that her husband was from the Inland Empire (an area east of Los Angeles County, including Riverside and San Bernadino County). Lynch confesses he stopped listening to what she was saying because he loved the sound of the words "Inland Empire", and finally decided on these words as the title of his movie because "I like the word inland. And I like the word
When asked about Inland Empire, Lynch responded that it is "about a woman in trouble, and it's a mystery, and that's all I want to say about it."
Inland Empire' was named the second-best film of 2007 (tied with two others) by Cahiers du cinéma, and listed among Sight & Sound's "thirty best films of the 2000s", as well as The Guardian's "10 most underrated movies of the decade".