I could understand if StudioCanal (co-producer and international sales agent for Inland Empire) wanted to pull the film out of a festival because they were nervous about negative buzz hurting its distribution chances and total box office take. However, that's not the case at the Sitges Film Festival in Catalonia, as Empire was pulled from the fest lineup by StudioCanal for fear people may like it too much. Oh yes, you heard that right.
See, David Lynch's new film is not only three hours long, but it's also one of the strangest films this writer has ever seen. The best way to describe it would be to say it involves a cursed movie, prostitutes and a bunch of Polish folks ... with a dance number or two thrown in. Surreal? Yes. Easy to follow along? No way. Though, since Sitges is a huge fantasy film festival in Europe, StudioCanal felt the film would play so well among hardcore Lynch fans, it would make it that much harder to persuade Lynch to cut down the pic's running time which, honestly, desperately needs some trimming.
Regarding distribution for the film, Lynch hinted at a possible deal while speaking at a press conference at the New York Film Festival this past Friday. When asked whether Inland Empire had secured some sort of distribution, Lynch replied (with a sly smile on his face), "Technically, no." Stay tuned to Cinematical for my NYFF review of Inland Empire later this week.