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What do you guys get from Mulholland Drive?

 
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Joined: 11 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: 08.13.2003 6:10 am    Post subject: What do you guys get from Mulholland Drive? Reply with quote

i saw "Mulholland Drive" yesterday and so far i cant understand the story. Anyone want to make it clear for me Smile
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 08.13.2003 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my (very general) interpretation: The movie begins when Diane Selwyn (Watts) kills herself. I don't think she shoots herself, as we see her do at the end of the movie. I get the impression she might have taken sleeping pills.

As the pills overtake her, she remembers the jitterbug contest she won (the opening of the movie), and begins to re-imagine her Hollywood life in an idealized way.

From this point, the rest of the movie can be seen as a sort of deathdream or a psychogenic fugue, in other words, she slips into an alternate reality, like Fred Madison experienced in "Lost Highway." Because I'm partial to the notion, and be cause it helps explain the portions of the movie that don't directly relate to Diane Selwyn, I'm going to go down the Lost Highway.

Diane's fugue splits her into two people: Betty (Watts) and Rita (Harring). The Betty persona is obvious -- and idealized, unjaded, blissfully naive version of Diane whose potential was limitless when she first came to Hollywood. Rita, on the other hand, is based on Camilla Rhodes (Harring), the woman Diane loves, who left her for someone else. Rita represents the part of Diane that knows all about the trauma of Hollywood, but is saved from disillusionment thanks to amnesia. Rita also allows Diane (as Betty) to possess and control Camilla, who will never leave her and is utterly dependent upon her.

The trouble is, Rita may have amnesia, but somewhere in her mind lies the truth. She recognizes the name Diane on the waitress's nametag, and unwittingly leads Diane's two fugue personas back to her (their?) own corpse in the apartment. This is why Rita freaks out so badly -- her repressed memories are about to break out. In a way, Diane is "more" Rita than Betty. In fact, it's interesting to note that when the two return from the Theater, Betty is the first to disappear. After a certain point, Diane can no loner keep the illusion she's created for herself in tact. (The Theater is the shattering of the Betty/Rita illusion.)

Everything that occurs after The Cowboy "awakens" Diane is reality -- or, at least, a reality closer to the reality where a bitter Diane ordered a hit on Camilla Rhodes. I have to admit I'm a little shaky on this portion of the movie, since it seems like the timeline is completely skewed. (For instance, Diane has the blue key in her apartment before the hitman gives it to her.)

In the end, Diane's downfall is her inability to live with what she's done and who she's become. The two old people, who were with her at the jitterbug contest and at the airport, and who terrorized her in her last moments, represent all those people back home, whom she feels she's betrayed with her failure and her actions. Wanting only to escape her horror and shame, Diane kills herself again.

It seems as though the Theater, which I think of as being called Silencio, contains the stage where Diane's dreams and fantasies are being played out. In Nochimson's "Passion of David Lynch," the author uses the phrase "life as spectacle" to describe Lynch's narratives. Betty and Rita cry when they hear the woman "sing" "Crying Over You" -- affected by her passion and sincerety -- even though they've been told everything they hear is a tape recording -- an illusion. Even so, when the women collapses and the song continues, they both looked surprised.

When the blue haired women at the end speaks the word, "Silencio," she is releasing Diane from her suffering, like Laura Palmer is released from her suffering, through death, in FWWM. Laura becomes an angel, her symbol of peace, while Diane finds peace on stage, where she always wanted to be.

Did that help any or further confuse? Smile
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 08.13.2003 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of what The Night Watchman said, but I differ just a bit on a point or two. And the folks at Salon.com did an excellent analysis, which I highly recommend reading. Of course, when Lynch was asked what the film was about in an interview I saw, he simply said, "It's a love story in the city of dreams."
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 08.13.2003 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holly crap! I read the Salon analysis and, wow, I thought I was the only one who regarded Betty and Rita as the same person! It's reassuring to know I'm not a complete moron. Anywho, I liked the analysis (although the idea that the Betty/Rita part of the narrative is a "masturbatory fantasy" doesn't quite strike me the right way, even though Salon supports this contention rather well). I'm okay with the explanation it gives for the scary man/bum, and I was amused that it was at a loss for an explanation of the blue box (a read it as a conduit between the two realities).
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