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Inland Empire (2006)

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Drama, Mystery, Thriller |

Inland Empire is a film written, directed and co-produced by David Lynch. The film’s cinematography, editing, score and sound design were also helmed by Lynch, with pieces by a variety of other musicians also featured. Lynch’s longtime collaborator and then-wife Mary Sweeney co-produced the film. The cast includes such Lynch regulars as Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, and Grace Zabriskie, as well as Jeremy Irons, Karolina Gruszka, Peter J. Lucas, Krzysztof Majchrzak, and Julia Ormond. There are also brief appearances by a host of additional actors, including Nastassja Kinski, Laura Harring, Terry Crews, Mary Steenburgen, and William H. Macy. The voices of Harring, Naomi Watts, and Scott Coffey are included in excerpts from Lynch’s 2002 Rabbits online project. The title borrows its name from a metropolitan area in Southern California.

Released with the tagline “A Woman in Trouble”, the film follows the fragmented and nightmarish events surrounding a Hollywood actress (Dern) who begins to take on the personality of a character she plays in a film. An international co-production between the United States, France, and Poland, the film was completed over a three-year period and shot primarily in Los Angeles and Poland. The process marked several firsts for Lynch: the film was shot without a finished screenplay, instead being largely developed on a scene-by-scene basis; and it was shot entirely in low-resolution digital video by Lynch himself using a handheld Sony camcorder rather than traditional film stock.

In a hotel room, a young prostitute, identified in the credits as the “Lost Girl”, cries following an unpleasant encounter with her client while watching a television show about a family of surrealistic anthropomorphic rabbits who speak in cryptic statements and questions. A gramophone plays Axxon N., “the longest-running radio play in history”. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, actress Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) auditions for the lead role in the film On High in Blue Tomorrows. Nikki is visited by a Polish woman (Grace Zabriskie) who claims to be her neighbor. The woman tells Nikki two stories: one of a boy who, looking at his reflection in a mirror, created evil, and another about a girl who, wandering through an alleyway behind a marketplace, “discovers a palace”. The woman predicts that Nikki will get the role, and asks her if her character is married and if the plot involves murder. Nikki denies both, but her neighbor disagrees. The next day, Nikki celebrates having won the role as her husband Piotrek (Peter J. Lucas) watches her.

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch

Stars: Karolina Gruszka, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Grace Zabriskie, Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Jeremy Irons

Cast:

Karolina GruszkaLost Girl
Krzysztof MajchrzakPhantom
Grace ZabriskieVisitor #1
Laura DernNikki Grace / Susan Blue
Jan HenczJanek (as Jan Hench)
Ian AbercrombieHenry the Butler
Karen BairdServant
Bellina LoganLinda
Peter J. LucasPiotrek Krol
Amanda ForemanTracy
Jeremy IronsKingsley Stewart
Justin TherouxDevon Berk / Billy Side
Harry Dean StantonFreddie Howard
Cameron DaddoDevon Berk’s Manager
Jerry StahlDevon Berk’s Agent
John T. Churchill1st A.D. Chuck Ross (as John Churchill)
Phil DeSanti2nd A.D. Tim Hurst
Chamonix Bosch3rd A.D. Sally Irwin
Sara GlaserScript Supervisor Ellen Thomas
Neil DicksonProducer
Diane LaddMarilyn Levens
Edward St. GeorgeHair Stylist
Melissa LowndesMarilyn Levens’ Assistant
Jeremy AlterStage Manager
Marsha LewisMarilyn Levens’ Hair Stylist
William H. MacyAnnouncer
Austin Jack LynchDevon Berk’s Driver (as Austin Lynch)
Jason WeinbergNikki Grace’s Manager
Heidi BivensDevon Berk’s Wardrobe Assistant
Randy JohnsonStudio Security Guard #1
Duncan K. FraserStudio Security Guard #2
Stanislaw Kazimierz CybulskiMr. Zydowicz
Henryka CybulskiMrs. Zydowicz
Julia OrmondDoris Side
Robert Charles HunterDetective Hutchinson
Ewa JerzykowskiHead Manservant
Scott Andrew ResslerCamera Operator (as Scott Ressler)
Emily StofleLanni
Kristen KerrLori
Jordan LaddTerri
Terryn WestbrookChelsi
Jamie EifertSandi
Michelle ReneaKari
Kat TurnerDori (as Kathryn Turner)
Adam ZdunekMan on Street
Erik CraryMr. K
Khai DattoliTammi (as Mikhaila Aaseng)
Wendy RhodesSalli
Stanley KamelKoz Kakawski
Marek ZydowiczGordy
Michal KorolkoCircus Man #1
Kazimierz SuwalaCircus Man #2
Alfredo PonceCircus Man #3
Bryson LangCircus Man #4
Janusz HetmanCircus Man #5
Michal StopowskiCircus Man #6
Dominiya GrudzkaWoman #1
Pawel KubisiakMan #1
Dominika BiernatWoman #1 (voice) (as Dominika Bievnet)
Marcin BrzozowskiMan #1 (voice) (as Brzozowski Marcin)
Scout AlterBilly Side’s Son
Alexi YulishDoctor
Lou BuchignaniBilly Side’s Butler
Mary SteenburgenVisitor #2
Marek SzmigielJanek’s Driver
Leon NiemczykMarek
Józef ZbirógDarek
Marian StanislawskiFranciszek
Charlene HardingRoxi
Suzete BelouinMandi (as Suzette Belouin)
Lisa Dengler-EatonClub Dancer
Gail GreavesBartender
Joseph L. AltrudaBassist (as Joseph Altruda)
Jay P. WorkSaxophonist
William K. McNeilDrummer (as William McNeil)
Carolina CerisolaClub Backstage Girl
Leah MorelliCarolina
Helena ChaseStreet Person #1
Terry CrewsStreet Person #3
NaeStreet Person #2
Kris KaneNikki Grace’s Wardrobe Assistant
Michelle ClarkMake-Up Artist
Brandon ReinhardtSmithy’s Son
Tracy AshtonThe Marine’s Sister
Masuimi MaxNiko
Dominiquie VandenbergTrainyard Worker (as Domeniquie Vandenberg)
Penny HintzTeacher
Nick 13Archaeologist
Keith KjarvalLumberjack
Monique CashLead Dancer
Latrina BolgerDancing Girl #1
Fulani BahatiDancing Girl #2
Ashley CallowayDancing Girl #3
Erynn DickersonDancing Girl #4
Jovonie LeonardDancing Girl #5
Nastassja KinskiThe Lady
Jennifer LockeDancing Girl #6
Laura HarringParty Guest / Jane Rabbit
Scott CoffeyJack Rabbit (voice)
Naomi WattsSuzie Rabbit (voice)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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