The aesthetic potential of self-reflective film: artificiality and alienation in "Inland Empire"
In this thesis I investigate how the film sets in David Lynch’s Inland Empire are used to emphasize the artificiality of the medium, thus (potentially) evoking an alienation effect in the viewer. The self-reflective elements in the scenes that I analyzed expose the artificial nature of the film sets. The similarity with the mise-en-scene of soap operas/sitcoms seems to be crucial to this process. Furthermore, this intertextual relation causes the film to fall outside of the tradition of self-reflective films.Inland Empire is unique in the way in which its film sets affect the viewing experience. The film sets demand to be viewed in context of its subtext. This subtext appears only partially familiar to the viewer, thus evoking an effect of alienation in the viewer. The film sets transcend spatiality and temporality, as they transform the film’s main character’s world, causing the viewer to question the verity of the image.
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