All of the way downtown: Various subconscious states in MD

Original Poster
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 342
I think what Lynch is doing in MD, is showing us various kinds of subconscience states, i.e.:

a. Dream
b. Hallucinations
c. Memories
d. Sexual fantasies
e. Thoughts of the dying mind

They are more or less different versions of the same story. The real story, however, is untold, so don't bother to look for answers, like that, anyway.

Lynch also discusses which of the states are the more truthful, e.g. dream or memory.


sick imagination
is your wildest wild
(all of the way downtown)
the way below below below
is that such a crime?
way down! can't teach you how to live
they don't have the time
cuz where i'm going to take you
is a state of mind

Duran again, I'm sorry.
Apr 30, 2003 3:13 AM
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I dig this theory like a butter, cheese and saturated fat fanatic digs the Atkins diet.

a. Dream (steak tartare)
b. Hallucinations (cheez wiz)
c. Memories (chocolate fudge)
d. Sexual fantasies (fresh whipped cream)
e. Thoughts of the dying mind (battered butter balls)
May 1, 2003 3:56 AM
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Posts: 462
I just saw Lost Highway. I'll add to your list. There's also the issue about whether to trust what's on tape or film.

In LH, Fred doesn't own a camcorder because he prefers to remember things his own way. (That was my part of my temptation to "hijack the Shining thread"). "Reality" is to stark to seem real.
May 7, 2003 12:38 AM
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unc84steve,

I think it's the old Lynch quote that we don't see the real reality, since it's hidden for us all through life and we mistake it for all those other things, and if we could go there and see it, fear would be out the window.

It's the last statement in Rodley's book.

The subconscious is in a way more real to Lynch than any "real" stuff. That's why he is a genius that has twisted the old shoot-the-idealist theme that Scorsese and Welles and the others did so well back then.
May 7, 2003 8:02 AM
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just some thoughts on the tape vs. film thing:
i figured that it was a critique of sorts on lynch's behalf as far as the origin of the film goes. considering the source: mulholland drive was born as a television pilot but developed into a feature length motion picture (is lynch saying something about the nature and nurturing of ideas and concepts?) or perhaps the relationship between taped for television (not for rebroadcast or reproduction) and filmed for the screen? consider also the audience or the intended goal to be reached (say, the "collective conscience" of the denizens of teeveelandia vs. the film student). basically: did lynch have a particular viewer in mind when making the film? i sometimes think yes and sometimes think totally. there's something kind of... insidious about the way the club silencio scene is orchestrated (quite-literally). we're told "there is no band"... the french word for tape is "bande" which (why?) could correspond to the spanish "banda" and which would also be an allusion to the little magnetittyick strip in a vhs black box or cassette (french for "little case") and which also conjures an image of an orchestra ("il n'y pas une orchestre") or lack thereof. listen: a band of people playing music that's been written. the illusion: it's REELY a recording. is it the image of no actual film strip or magnetic tape existing that's so provocative? we're given a slightly contradictory and disturbing concept when we're reassured again and again and then once more "it's all a tape recording/it's all an illusion." WHAT is the illusion? does it have something to do with the genesis of mulholland drive, its initial trajectory, its current devoted band of scrutinizers, its existence as a film, as a work of art, and as a part of an immutable order which we're happiest calling history? (it's better that way, i hear). one of the qlues/cuestions that lynch divulged concerned WHAT (e.g. an obscure object of desire) was gathered and revealed in club silencio. what indeed? is it the notion of everything being an illusion? is the question relevant to we the viewers or to the characters of the story or to that special no one in particular that lynch didn't have in mind? are these questions lynch's point? (or are they simply manifestations of my sierra bonita complex and the result of my diabolical mulholland urge?) are we supposed to lose sight of immediate and pressing matters for the sake of respecting lynch's narrative style and form in mulholland drive? i say, totally. is lynch being cynical and/or realistic as opposed to the hackneyed idealist that embraces and even nurtures the self, nurtures illusion? is lynch himself being deliberatly and diabolically obscure or is it the relative obscurity of these concepts in modern cinema that he wants us to scrutinize? in the two years since mulholland drive's been released i can't say i've seen as challenging a film (if you can recommend one i may start thinking of you in a different way than i don't now). and i kind of like that and don't at the same time. sure i've enjoyed other films since then, even ones i haven't seen. i've gone back in the catalogue, in history, scoured the libraries, pored over interviews and essays, watched and rewound the tapes... odd, isn't there something wry about the dvd not having chapter stops and existing as a single entity not necessarily backward then foward but as a thing that begins and ends the way a story is told, is bookended by silence and history?... oh, the humanity! right now i'm thinking totally, big time, wry, yeah. but that's cos it's my lunch break and i felt like adding something to this spectacular forum. i think it deserves and has thus far benefited from the staggering amount of input and critique submitted by idealists and cynics and realists and jesters alike. yes, it's my lunch break... or at least it was. :p
May 13, 2003 1:01 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by bellabuddy
"Rita"/Camilla: the camcorder of the Cowboy?

The Bum: the camcorder of Mr. Roque?


Was Alice the camcorder? Recording the secrets within Fred's little dark planet of his sexuality? Or recording the secret games played with the "ever new" forbidden fruit in the ancient memory of that lush foliage?
[/QUOTE]

BELLA BELLA!!!! MAGNIFICO!!!!

keep in mind as well:

-the thread started about the possible parallels betweeen cronenberg and lynch (which i think is the direction mulholland drive theorists and crackpot crankers will inevitably go, analysis by comparison and contrast that is). AN AMBITIOUS IF NOT BRILLIANT ENTERPRISE. both cronenberg and lynch seem to have a "thing" about technology, its effects on the mind, technocracy, humanity in the throes of the electric age, and the like.

-the references in mulholland drive about "seeing".

-similar themes in lynch's previous work.

because it's quite apparent that lynch like cronenberg may have had his (worthwhile) time in the spotlight as a kind of provocateur and champion of the grotesque but has matured quite organically into an artist that simultaneously uses and criticises the media he employs to TELL A STORY.

because if anything, morality in the universes of lynch and cronenberg are at once very abstract and very explicit. the observations in this forum that lynchian logic is contradictory if not deliberately polemical is quite appropriate.

needless to say, i've been developing a taste for films made almost intentionally for adult audiences... which isn't saying a lot but if you feel me you feel me and i can feel you feeling me.
May 16, 2003 10:19 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by civilsavage
there's something kind of... insidious about the way the club silencio scene is orchestrated (quite-literally). we're told "there is no band"... the french word for tape is "bande" which (why?) could correspond to the spanish "banda" and which would also be an allusion to the little magnetittyick strip in a vhs black box or cassette (french for "little case") [/QUOTE]

Very interesting.
In fact, the potential of your reading in this detail goes far beyond the teeveeland vs. film student thing you tie it to.
I'm interested in the Silencio scene as yu may have seen in the essay I posted.
May 22, 2003 7:20 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by civilsavage
we're given a slightly contradictory and disturbing concept when we're reassured again and again and then once more "it's all a tape recording/it's all an illusion." WHAT is the illusion? does it have something to do with the genesis of mulholland drive, its initial trajectory, its current devoted band of scrutinizers, its existence as a film, as a work of art, and as a part of an immutable order which we're happiest calling history? (it's better that way, i hear). one of the qlues/cuestions that lynch divulged concerned WHAT (e.g. an obscure object of desire) was gathered and revealed in club silencio. what indeed? is it the notion of everything being an illusion? [/QUOTE]

I think you're in the right direction, but it goes far beyond a self referentiality which points to the obvious fact that we the viewer are watching only a recording. Consider the fact that the scene enacts a collision between mechanically reproduced representation (tape)and premodern representation (performance, theatre) by producing a performance that is prerecorded.

Prerecording is the key trope and it points to important shifts in representation today. In fact, that the motif used is 'the band' so to speak, points to a specific historical moment- ie the contemporary postmodern moment where global media and archivization are the norm. This seems more likely, to me, than your conjecture that what Lynch is concerned with is transcendental- that things are for all time "everything being an illusion."

Interesting stuff though
May 22, 2003 7:30 PM
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yeaow... i think the scene in club silencio is diane's desperation afloat and revealing that she's got a grasp on some languages (prolly cos yeah she's thinkin about fleeing the country) and is running out of junk to occupy her mind with while she sleeps/tries to hide. the devil talks like the devil but also like a "teach yourself _______" tape recording... maybe diane's listening to these tapes in her sleep? the way the devil's standing at the side of the stage when rita and betty enter the theatre: he looks like an inanimate marionette (echoed by rebekah's subsequent dropping to the floor, her voice an illusion and her presence a performance, A CHARADE). the simplicity of the blue cube brings everything (visually) back to "the truth" in the dream by reintroducing the colour by the qube's qolor (the blue trine in the theatre: doņa silencio's hair, the qube, and the devil's smokescreen, all manifestations of mystery in diane's dream). immediately it sets off the drive to "unlock the mystery". but of course betty disappears before it happens (we see her and then we don't see her) and rita keeps it simple (silences, questions, fear) as she sticks the key in the kube's hole and sees what there is to see.

oy... i don't like this forum's grip on me... it makes me feel like i've REALLY got nothing else to do on a friday at work all by my selfdom... and that's scary...
May 23, 2003 10:38 AM
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