Why doesn't Diane drive a car?

jro
Original Poster
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 791
Okay, let's stop beating around the bushes and cut to the chase. Ask the question we've all been wondering. Why the bleep DOESN'T Diane drive a car? How come everyone in her dream takes a taxi or a limo? Why does Camilla have to send a car for her to go to the party? Is there any connection with the accident?

It's not at all clear that Betty's car-less state is really necessary. She could have rented a car at the airport. (And what about her fuss over her bags at the airport: what was that all about?) Also, doesn't Aunt Ruth own a car? And if she does, why does she let Betty stay in her apartment but not allow her at least minimal use of the car? Furthermore, why the unnecessary scene of the woman having her bags carried out to a car at the Sierra Bonita Apartments? Surely David Lynch could not have been oblivious to the fact that he was emphasizing this oddity of the movie.
Jun 7, 2004 5:19 PM
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Yes jro, i agree with you about diane, I think the cab matched betty well, if she flew, my belief is betty/diane was very young (in her teens) when she arrived and being car less then makes sense. coco saying "so u rolled in here from canada" infers she drove, but all the things diane says at the party are lies, distortions or half truths IMO. I agree that in the MD present Diane would have had a car. We only see her leave once and a car was sent. It was "right outside her house". What were the circumstances that called for a car to be sent? Cars are sent all over LA to pick up people like actors and actresses to take them to work even tho they have a garage full of cars. was diane an actress? was she working?
Jun 7, 2004 9:22 PM
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This is an important and revelatory point.
I had noticed in the past that there was only one cellphone in MD and now you point out that Betty doesn't drive.
Of course Canadians may drive less than Americans - I don't know; but I think it would be unusual for someone of Betty's age not to be able to drive.

What I really think happened is that Camilla died in a car crash while Diane was driving. It's possible that Diane was on her mobile phone at the time.

This would make a lot of sense; Freudian censor stuff and all that.
Jun 7, 2004 10:47 PM
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jro
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richdubbyaYes jro, i agree with you about diane, I think the cab matched betty well, if she flew, my belief is betty/diane was very young (in her teens) when she arrived and being car less then makes sense. coco saying "so u rolled in here from canada" infers she drove, but all the things diane says at the party are lies, distortions or half truths IMO. I agree that in the MD present Diane would have had a car. We only see her leave once and a car was sent. It was "right outside her house". What were the circumstances that called for a car to be sent? Cars are sent all over LA to pick up people like actors and actresses to take them to work even tho they have a garage full of cars. was diane an actress? was she working?
Diane may or may not have a car at the present, but it is a bit odd that her dream has her taking taxis everywhere. She is portrayed as a pretty low-level actress for whom studios wouldn't be sending taxis, certainly not on a regular basis. You would normally think that someone of approximately Betty's age who had arrived in LA would get a car. And if she came to LA from Ontario as a teen, something the movie never suggests, what was she doing for money?

Incidentally, two movies that are regarded as influences on MD --Sunset Boulevard and Three Women-- involve people who don't have cars. But neither has MD's repeated taxi trips, so it's hard to see these influences as the complete explanation, though one shouldn't rule out a desire to give the movie a more Hitchcock look and feel.

On a slightly different note, it is worth emphasizing the oddity of the three scenes in which a man is seen carrying a woman's baggage or loading a car's trunk. In the first scene with Aunt Ruth, the cabbie falls forward into the trunk because of the weight of the luggage. In the second scene with Betty, she is unaccountably unaware of the fact that the cabbie has picked up the luggage directly behind her and is standing only a few feet away and so she reacts with alarm: hardly a realistic touch. The third scene at the Sierra Bonita Apartments is peculiar partly because it is unnecessary to the plot and partly because it again causes alarm in Betty for no apparent reason. Somehow carrying baggage and loading trunks has a significance in MD, whether distinct from the perennial taxi rides or not.
Jun 8, 2004 4:08 AM
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Just a small note on the fact that Diane does not drive to the party:

Maybe she enjoys a drink or two.

Sending the car could also be Camilla's way of not taking "no" for an answer, and accepting no excuses from Diane on whether she will attend or not.
Jun 8, 2004 11:34 AM
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jro
Joined: Apr 2004
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blu-rivenJust a small note on the fact that Diane does not drive to the party:

Maybe she enjoys a drink or two.

Not on the basis of anything you see. She's perfectly sober at the party. And, even though she looks wasted when we see her wake up, she hasn't got a hangover.
Jun 8, 2004 11:54 AM
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jroNot on the basis of anything you see.
Unlike, say, the overwhelming evidence that she uses drugs.

Sorry... couldn't resist. ;)
Jun 8, 2004 12:00 PM
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jro
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blu-rivenUnlike, say, the overwhelming evidence that she uses drugs.

Sorry... couldn't resist. ;)
I don't know that the evidence that she uses drugs is overwhelming, but you can make a case for it. Look at the way she acts when she wakes up, for instance. But she's not hung over.
Jun 8, 2004 12:04 PM
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jro
Joined: Apr 2004
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Offramp
What I really think happened is that Camilla died in a car crash while Diane was driving. It's possible that Diane was on her mobile phone at the time.

This would make a lot of sense; Freudian censor stuff and all that.
That thought has also crossed my mind, though I wouldn't go so far as to call it my preferred solution. Certainly it has at least one thing going for it: it is more immediately consistent with the significance of Mulholland Drive than most theories are.

BTW, I was thinking the same thing about the lack of mobile phones only yesterday when I started this thread. Even though it's only in a dream, it's kind of annoying that Betty and Rita would have had a tough time getting back to their apartment from either the Sierra Bonita Apartments or the Club Silencio without one from which to call a taxi.
Jun 8, 2004 1:44 PM
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jro
Joined: Apr 2004
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Rochas Redux
Also, call-girls benefit from a driver/minder when working call-outs, and sometimes develop interesting relationships along the way...

Diane doesn't really come across as a call girl, though, despite the occasional occurrence of a slightly underdressed woman riding in a limo or a prostitute. For one thing, you would expect a call girl to have a cell phone or at least to be a little easier to get hold of than she seems to be. Nor does Diane have a submissive or anxious-to-please air about her, and her phone answering message is hardly that of someone who is interested in cultivating personal relationships. She seems someone who doesn't care all that much what people think of her, at least in her everyday dealings. And why would a call girl have a gun in her drawer?
Jun 9, 2004 8:13 AM
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jro
Joined: Apr 2004
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Rochas ReduxNo offence j, but did we see the same movie, and (um) do you get out much?

I'm subscribed to the thread if that's what your second question is asking. I do spend a lot of time in front of the computer, TBH, but I put in several miles a day on foot.

What do you mean, did we see the same movie? What are you asking about?

If you mean the party scene (with regard to my comment about Diane not caring), I view that as a non-existent event. I don't doubt that Diane once cared what people thought, but she seems to have given up that habit some time ago, if her interaction with her neighbor is anything to go by.

And no, I don't believe Diane was, er, "working" the party, any more than I believe that Camilla would really kiss her current girl friend right in front of her husband-to-be, far less her mother-in-law-to-be, or that Diane would have a cup with SOS on it or that everyone would suddenly start speaking Spanish, for Pete's sake. Sheesh.
Jun 9, 2004 10:20 AM
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jro
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Rochas ReduxI guess this is where I say something like 'no comment...'
You didn't make a comment last time, or at least not one that meant anything.

Rochas, I admire your writing. And I'm sorry; I hadn't meant to get into the question of whether the party is or isn't real, although I happen to believe that Diane just dreamed it. But, as for the idea that Diane is a call girl, well, it's interesting, but there are a few questions that can be asked about it:

(1) What does it solve or answer? No one questions Diane's presence at the party.

(2) What is the basis for thinking that Diane is a call girl anyway, except that she has to be earning money somehow?

(3) If Diane is a call girl at Adam's and Camilla's party, shouldn't she be behaving a little more, well, professionally? And doesn't Adam know she's a call girl? And if he does, isn't it a bit odd that he chooses to seat her directly across from his mother?
Jun 10, 2004 5:10 AM
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jroYou didn't make a comment last time, or at least not one that meant anything.

Rochas, I admire your writing. And I'm sorry; I hadn't meant to get into the question of whether the party is or isn't real, although I happen to believe that Diane just dreamed it. But, as for the idea that Diane is a call girl, well, it's interesting, but there are a few questions that can be asked about it:

(1) What does it solve or answer? No one questions Diane's presence at the party.

(2) What is the basis for thinking that Diane is a call girl anyway, except that she has to be earning money somehow?

(3) If Diane is a call girl at Adam's and Camilla's party, shouldn't she be behaving a little more, well, professionally? And doesn't Adam know she's a call girl? And if he does, isn't it a bit odd that he chooses to seat her directly across from his mother?

I enjoy different viewpoints to MD and subtopics within them.

I've already written about the car issue in another thread so I'm done with that.

As to the whole idea of prostitution in Hollywood:

Where some woman that does it for money is called a prostitute:

While some woman that does it for money on screen is called a porn star

While some woman that marries a rich producer is called a wife

While some woman that gets some guy to pay for her apartment is called an inspiring actress

While some woman that 'does' someone is called a bit actress

While some actress that says yes to the "right people" is called a star.

Is not the key difference between Laney, Diane and Camilla the level they are suited for? Is that not the reality of Hollywood?

One could easily see Diane as a bit actress. But bit actresses that are 'out-of-favor' can find themselves on a lower tier quite quickly.

If one believes that a relationship with Camilla is not a dream, you could view it as Diane did Camilla.

Adam smokes like a chimney, Camilla? Seen smoking only once, she doesn't have her own cigarettes borrowing one of Adam's. I don't believe we see Diane smoke. Yet, we see a cigarette filled ashtray in her apartment with one of the butts with red lipstick. Seems like Lynch might be leaving a clue that Diane not just did Camilla, but did both Adam and Camilla ... I think there is a useful French term for this ...

As for positioning Diane in front of Adam's mother ... it is not hard to envision Coco as quite a handful as a mother. Might it be Adam's idea of delicious irony?
Jun 10, 2004 7:45 AM
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jro
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ctyankee Yet, we see a cigarette filled ashtray in her apartment with one of the butts with red lipstick.
We have different explanations for that. I see it as Diane having had a smoking roommate who only wore lipstick when she went out. Also, if Diane uses her apartment for "professional" activities, it is remarkable that she has allowed three weeks to go by without finishing her unpacking.

ctyankee
Seems like Lynch might be leaving a clue that Diane not just did Camilla, but did both Adam and Camilla ... I think there is a useful French term for this ...
There is no hint that Diane really cares about Adam except in that one glance in her dream. Adam's demeanor at the party hardly suggests it, and the scene on the set with Camilla suggests it even less so. Anyway, if Adam and Camilla both found Diane so appealing that they wanted to have sex with her and even share her with each other, it's a bit odd that they both lost interest at the same time.

ctyankee
As for positioning Diane in front of Adam's mother ... it is not hard to envision Coco as quite a handful as a mother. Might it be Adam's idea of delicious irony?
Coco may be a handful, but she seems to have Adam firmly in the palm of her hand, judging by the long-suffering way in which he bows and agrees when she says "Let's eat. I'm starving." I'm not going to go tossing around words like "Mama's boy" or anything, but Adam clearly respects his mother, which makes the party scene extremely incongruous.
Jun 10, 2004 8:12 AM
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jro
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OfframpThis would make a lot of sense; Freudian censor stuff and all that.
Incidentally, Offramp (and not to stir up the heated debate over whether Diane's car is or isn't a more suitable topic for this board than Sophie Moreau, a difficult choice indeed), I should have said earlier that I really like your idea that all this is somehow Freudian, which, to be truthful, hadn't occurred to me. (It could just be David Lynch aiming for a more Hitchcock mood, but maybe not.)
Jun 11, 2004 8:47 AM
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I think that Diane doesn't drive because she doesn't have her driving license anymore since she has been involved into a car accident after a race. Her friend Ed is still in prison because of that.

Where and how did that accident happen is transposed into her dream. She has run away after the accident and given anonymous phone calls the day after to know if people have been killed or injured.

I bet that where that accident happened is linked to 'Sergeant Baxter' to which Betty talks by phone and to the origin of the newspaper that Betty reads at the Winkie's...

I have looked for a 'Baxter' street or hospital at Deep River or at LA but I haven't found any yet. Maybe you will be more lucky than I. ;)
Jun 11, 2004 11:52 AM
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jro
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gandalf36I think that Diane doesn't drive because she doesn't have her driving license anymore since she has been involved into a car accident after a race. Her friend Ed is still in prison because of that.

Where and how did that accident happen is a transposition of her dream. She has run away after the accident and given anonymous phone calls the day after to know if people have been killed or injured.

I bet that where that accident happened is linked to 'Sergeant Baxter' to which Betty talks by phone and to the origin of the newspaper that Betty reads at the Winkie's...

I have looked for a 'Baxter' street or hospital at Deep River or at LA but I haven't found any yet. Maybe you will be more lucky than I. ;)
For me it's kind of a toss-up. Did Diane lose her license as a result of some kind of infraction or accident (which is what I'd been thinking), or does she still drive but for some reason is suppressing that, as Offramp's Freudian idea suggests? Of course then you still have to ask what the basis of that suppression is. You and Offramp seem to be in agreement that it's all about a real accident, and I won't say you're wrong. But I still find those luggage carrying scenes to be odd, because all three of them show some kind of accident or stress, even if only in a minor way.

Once again, of course, there's always the caveat that Betty has just gotten to LA, but still... The dream shows her as a spunky, resourceful kind of girl, not necessarily the way Diane was of course, and you'd think someone like that would just rent a car, no sweat, at least while she's sorting things out and until she can get something permanent. It'd sure come in handy with all those impromptu detective-style investigations. ;)

BTW, how do you see your accident fitting in with the plot as a whole?

Not to keep it a deep dark secret, but one idea that I've considered --and I'm certainly not insisting that it's the correct answer, because I honestly haven't made up my mind-- is that Diane may have disposed of Camilla's body. (Although I don't see Diane as having killed Camilla, but that's admittedly just my own idea.) That would make this kind of a Rear Window-ish scenario. But I would be the first one to admit that that is just a wild guess, and that some kind of accident scenario is a more obvious interpretation. And, of course, the idea that this is all about the disposal of a body might be fit into some other view of Camilla's death.

The car driving evidence is pretty tenuous anyway, and it's open to all kinds of interpretations, all of which would be interesting to read.
Jun 11, 2004 12:09 PM
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In another style I have written myself a thread called 'my luggages!!!'

However, you make me think that that guy carrying Ruth's heavy luggages may be linked in Diane's mind to the idea that she herself has had to carry something very heavy...

Camilla's body hidden in a trunk?
Ruth's coffin?

Why is Lynch's *last clue* about Ruth anyway? (My favourite answer is about Ruth's ghost who is supposed to be in Louise Bonner's flat. Has Louise Bonner got the inheritage Diane was expecting to obtain?)

If i was convinced that Diane could have assassinated her aunt to get her inheritage, I could imagine that it is Ruth's body itself hidden in the big luggage... but Diane doesn't look like a serial killer (in the movie at least, Diane's character in the pilote could have been imagined differently) and I think that something linked to Ruth would be near the bum for he represents Diane's own culpability.
Jun 11, 2004 12:56 PM
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Oups you have changed your post as I was writing mine. Yes we have had the same idea of Camilla's or Ruth's body hidden in a trunk... as in Rear Window.
Jun 11, 2004 1:03 PM
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jro
Joined: Apr 2004
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gandalf36Oups you have changed your post as I was writing mine. Yes we have had the same idea of Camilla's or Ruth's body hidden in a trunk... as in Rear Window.
The old dog poo in the courtyard trick ;) Yes, there are many MD clues in Rear Window, methinks.

Personally, I'm inclined to think that, if there's a body in a trunk, it is likelier to be Camilla's than Aunt Ruth's because the movie is about her death. Of course, my own view of her death makes it easier to see it that way.
Jun 11, 2004 4:49 PM
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