×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lynch invades an ‘Empire’

Digital pic details a mystery

David Lynch is making a new movie with StudioCanal. In fact, he’s already been shooting it under the radar for two years.

Titled “INLAND EMPIRE” (in capitals, though Lynch doesn’t explain why), it stars Laura Dern, along with Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Jeremy Irons and a host of others Lynch won’t specify.

In fact, there’s still very little the enigmatic Lynch is comfortable to reveal about the movie.

“It’s about a woman in trouble, and it’s a mystery, and that’s about all I want to say about it,” he comments diffidently.

The title refers to the bleak residential area on the edge of the desert near L.A. — the antithesis of the tony locale of his last movie “Mulholland Drive.”

Lynch has shot much of his latest film in Poland with local actors, after making friends with the organizers of the Camerimage festival in Lodz. He’s now back shooting in and around Los Angeles.

Even at this relatively advanced stage of production, Lynch is cagey about when it will be finished. But it’s understood that StudioCanal is aiming for a world preem at Cannes next year.

“Making a film is a beautiful mystery,” Lynch says. “You go deep into the wood, and you don’t want to come out of that wood, but the time is coming very soon when I will have to.”

Lynch has financed the production to date from his own resources, with his wife and longtime artistic collaborator Mary Sweeney producing. The budget is unknown.

StudioCanal, which financed “Mulholland Drive” and “The Straight Story,” has come aboard “INLAND EMPIRE” to handle worldwide sales.

Digital convert

What Lynch will reveal — and indeed, waxes lyrical about — is the fact that he’s shooting the movie on digital video.

“I started working in DV for my Web site, and I fell in love with the medium. It’s unbelievable, the freedom and the incredible different possibilities it affords, in shooting and in post-production.”

“For me, there’s no way back to film. I’m done with it,” Lynch says. “I love abstraction. Film is a beautiful medium, but it’s very slow and you don’t get a chance to try a lot of different things. With DV, you get those chances. And in post-production, if you can think it, you can do it.”

DV has clearly given Lynch the freedom from having to clarify his intentions — to financiers, or even to himself — before he starts shooting.

“The explaining of things in words is always a huge problem,” he confesses.

He characterizes the DV production process as a journey of “huge exploration” to discover what his film will be.

“I’m writing as I go,” he says. “I believe in the unity of things. When you have one part, and then a second part that doesn’t relate to that first part, it’s very curious to find that they do relate after all. It’s a most beautiful thing.”

He also believes that it produces a different kind of performances from actors. “When you run out of film, you have to stop and reload, and during that time the heat sometimes goes off. But with this medium you can keep that heat, and it builds, and it’s beautiful to see.”

He says that Dern, in particular, has benefited from this freedom. “She’s the most incredible actress. Some people get roles and do their thing, but some have a lot more inside and don’t usually get the chance to show it.”

As for the quality of the DV image, Lynch says, “It looks different. Some would say it looks bad. But it reminds me of early 35mm, that didn’t have that tight grain. When you have a poor image, there’s lots more room to dream.”

“But I’ve done tests transferring DV to film, and there are all kinds of controls to dial in the look you want.”

More Film

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • Tessa Thompson Nnamdi Asomugha

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha to Star in 'Sylvie'

    Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are set to star in the feature film “Sylvie.” Eugene Ashe has written the screenplay and will direct with production currently underway. The film is described as a love story set in the cool jazz era of New York City in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Sylvie (played by Thompson) meets aspiring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content