This weekend I watched Inland Empire, Akira and Mad Max.
Inland Empire (2006)
Inland Empire is a David Lynch movie. In fact, as far as I can tell, it's a David Lynch movie about David Lynch. There's all kinds of interpretations of this movie, and I get why - it's even more cryptic than Mulholland Drive, and it has nothing even close to resembling a traditional narrative. At first glance, it seems to be a series of scenes where things happen. But, to me, this is a movie about David Lynch's career in Hollywood - the praise, the rejection, and probably an unhealthy amount of self doubt. I also feel that this movie is made with the intention of mocking his audience - the film almost feels intentionally prohibitive in terms of analysis. He reuses a lot of symbolism and iconography from previous works here, and much of the cast is made up of people that have appeared in his works before. But at the same time, there seems to be quite a few red herrings - scenes deliberately built to make you stop overthinking the events of the film. It's a fascinating documentary, but completely obtuse and almost unenjoyable (it physically drains you - I really got the vibe that Lynch was trying to beat the audience over the head saying, "stop it! stop trying to overanalyze everything I make! it's much simpler than you realize!").
If you're a fan of David Lynch or you enjoy being abused by a movie, this one's fantastic. If you fell asleep during Mulholland Drive, please go see Planes.
[Edit: I forgot to mention... I suspect this movie re-uses material written for the Mulholland Drive TV series that was never made. The whole thing revolves around film and Hollywood, and the three main actors from that movie are in prominent roles here.]
Ohhhhhhh man. Am I very glad I impulse-bought this movie. Not only did I get it for a reasonable price ($22 used, which is about $10 less than it goes for on eBay), but it quickly became one of my favourite films - probably one of my Top 3 animu films. I still don't even know what to make of this movie - I think it has some deeper spiritual purpose to it, but I just enjoyed the incredible artwork and tight pacing. This is absolutely one of those movies people ought to see before they die - it's wonderful. And knowing there's more going on in this movie than what's obvious just rustles my jimmies.
Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max was boring. This is yet another movie (in the same room as The Godfather, Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, etc.) that has a world-class reputation yet completely and utterly bored me. Much like the other movies I listed, my reaction was, "That's it?" I mean, it had some great things going for it - the Australian locations the movie was shot in look great, and it's fairly succinct in its pacing... But it's boring. I want to call these movies McDonald's movies - they're super popular, and lots of people like them, but then you watch them and you feel emotionless and empty, like you just wasted your time and money.