Just what IS going on in that limo?

Original Poster
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There's no doubt plenty of views have been expressed over this short scene. But not so many from posters here in my time.

What's the concensus? Creepy, strange, malignant freaks or caring, kind, guardians?



Does Irene's companion here look forward at the blue van?





The strange silent laugh and slap on the leg.



A job well done ... ?



What's the feeling?
Dec 9, 2003 1:11 PM
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I have answered to that some time ago:

Irčne and Co are satisfied and they congratulate themselves for what they have done for Diane. They have adopted her after her accident in which she has lost her parents. Since that time she doesn't remember them. Betty thanks Irčne and Co for what they have done for her. Her adoption is symbolized by the journey by plane they have done together. They show their teeth to smile like skulls because they are now dead. The limo is symbolically a hearse.

Where is the problem with my solution?

The only point which needs some care is that that interpretation has a bit changed since the pilote. The script introduces Betty's grandpa and he is still alive in Diane's dream. This has been supressed in the movie.

Btw don't you think the face of the driver is strange? Like a freak?
Dec 9, 2003 4:15 PM
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They are a happy memory of origins: of life itself and 'being alive'. This, of course, is the opposite of suicide. This happy memory is what crashed into the attempted suicide (the limo crash). Now they are another wall (identity) removed from the dreamer, yet they are still travelling with her/him. Since Betty failed to recognize them in this even-further-removed state, and since the script of "los angeles" also didn't jog her memory, that left only the option of them being picked up by the limo. I believe the limos represent hijacked thoughts, or the power of 'mood'. Ed's black book was stolen, I think, just for this type of thing. But there are many more examples, Rebekah's song being perhaps the best one, of being lead by mood or music.

I think the blue box is where the dreamer is still 'sleeping'. Since the dreamer is in a new and fresh identity, the blue box is in movement, which could explain the blue vans we keep seeing. Hmm...one does appear parked at Pink's, doesn't it? Would this fit into this theory?
Dec 9, 2003 5:48 PM
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They just wear safety belts, Diane don't. That's the whole story of MD.
Dec 10, 2003 8:30 AM
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Ah ah ... good point. I hadn't understood that safety belts trick.

You mean that they will go to heaven for their good behavior during their lifes.
This is why they wear safety belts. Its a symbol again.

And of course Diane don't.

Good.
Dec 10, 2003 10:45 AM
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gandalf36I have answered to that some time ago:
You are always VERY sure of yourself Gandalf. Some may say too sure. Anyway.
gandalf36Her adoption is symbolized by the journey by plane they have done together.
So, symbolically speaking, how does the implication that Irene's companion did not make the journey with them fit in with your theory?

To me it seems he picked Irene up at the airport.

And if it we are to take the pair of them as 'kindly' figures, why did Lynch choose to shoot that scene the way he did? It's the first moment of patented Lynch 'surrealism' in the film - to me it is anyway. They are just downright creepy, and contradict the niceties outside the airport. I can not see them as friendly figures at all. If they are laughing, they are laughing at Betty.

Very very creepy.
Dec 10, 2003 12:31 PM
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ID-eaThey just wear safety belts, Diane don't. That's the whole story of MD.
It maybe worth checking the other car rides in this film to see who wears a seat-belt and who doesn't.

*bangs head on desk*

I'd do it myself if I hadn't...

*bang*

lent out...

*bang*

my DVD again.

*bang bang bang*
Dec 10, 2003 12:36 PM
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[QUOTE=blu-riven]You are always VERY sure of yourself Gandalf. Some may say too sure.
[\QUOTE]

Right I am pretty sure of that interpretation. (Sorry to be so borring) It fits well with many other arguments. For example one understands why Diane treats them both as strangers and as parents. It fits with Diane's accident and the fact that Diane's real parents do never appear in her dream. And it gives an explaination of the last scene were Irene and her companion are frightening Diane.

[QUOTE=blu-riven]
Anyway.So, symbolically speaking, how does the implication that Irene's companion did not make the journey with them fit in with your theory?

To me it seems he picked Irene up at the airport.
[\QUOTE]

Well that's a good remark but I still think they have made the journey together. The guy is pulling the luggages and this is probably heavy. Diane has her own luggages and by coutesy the guy is leaving his wife's hand free. He has a good reason to stay a few meters behind Diane and Irene. This is why we don't see him immediatly. Observe that the guy is talking to Betty very kindly as if they have had the time to sympathize. I think you don't have here a real argument in favour of the thesis that the guy wasn't in the plane.

But from the point of view of Diane's dream, it probably means that she was prefering Irene to his companion.


blu-riven
And if it we are to take the pair of them as 'kindly' figures, why did Lynch choose to shoot that scene the way he did? It's the first moment of patented Lynch 'surrealism' in the film - to me it is anyway. They are just downright creepy, and contradict the niceties outside the airport. I can not see them as friendly figures at all. If they are laughing, they are laughing at Betty.

Very very creepy.
To me if Lynch wanted them to show their teeth and smile as skulls, it explains why it seems creepy because one doesn't understand immediatly why they behave so. To me it is only a way to remind the fact that they are now dead and that Diane is alone. They do not really laugh at Betty/Diane.

As Id-ea says, the fact that they wear their safety belts means they are good people, ready to go to heaven.

This comment has been added later: but the ugly face of the driver may contredict that POV (some kind of devil?) ... I recognize that there is something to think about here...
Dec 10, 2003 3:51 PM
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The mood/music turns creepier, I don't think the old folks do. If the thought of them was hijacked from the dreamer it would make sense that the hijackers would as soon as possible try to attach their own mood to it and steer it in the direction they wanted it to go. It's like with the phone: diane (or whomever that truly was) answers expecting to hear the good voice of...???...the hairy armed man perhaps? (or of the doctor? Have we all seen Blackout?) Instead she hears Camilla. This is a switching of identities/mood of the telephone by those who stole the book. She accepts it anyway, just like she will accept the old people under the door but will not admit those, or possibly the one, knocking on the door.
Dec 10, 2003 5:58 PM
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But to me the face of the driver of the limo seems creepy. Look in the glass. Where is his nose? ...

I am not even sure that the back of the head we see corresponds to the face in the glass.

For people who live in LA: where are they going? Are they still in the airport area?
Dec 10, 2003 11:43 PM
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gandalf36Ah ah ... good point. I hadn't understood that safety belts trick.

You mean that they will go to heaven for their good behavior during their lifes.
This is why they wear safety belts. Its a symbol again.

And of course Diane don't.

Good.


Heaven ?? Now, what has that got to do with it ?

I don't recall using such six-letter-words.
Dec 11, 2003 5:55 AM
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gandalf36...Diane has her own luggages...
No she doesn't. Neither of them do. Not til they get outside. Look again.

I can't really imagine people trying to get down that escalator with a whole load of bags. But... who knows?

Humour me. How would it fit in if he hadn't made the trip?

gandalf36For people who live in LA: where are they going? Are they still in the airport area?
Somebody confirmed this a while ago (TristanLove?). The shot of the limo that we assume they are in is right outside LAX. The twirly things are the giveaway, apparently.

The cut telephone conversation between Betty and her Grandpa makes reference to meeting Irene on the plane.

Betty says she lives in Bel Air. But the relevance of that in the feature is of course questionable.
Dec 11, 2003 11:12 AM
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bellabuddyThe mood/music turns creepier, I don't think the old folks do. If the thought of them was hijacked from the dreamer it would make sense that the hijackers would as soon as possible try to attach their own mood to it and steer it in the direction they wanted it to go.
Interesting.

But is/are the hijacker(s)?

Us? Me?

Again, the scene is so bloody ambiguous maybe the viewer does 'hijack' it. At least in the sense of applying their own emotions to what is not a blank canvas, but at least one open to interpretation. The loop between abstract art and the viewer that Lynch talks about. Each feeding the other.

The viewer creating the art.

Action and reaction.
Dec 11, 2003 11:19 AM
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bellabuddyThe mood/music turns creepier, I don't think the old folks do. If the thought of them was hijacked from the dreamer it would make sense that the hijackers would as soon as possible try to attach their own mood to it and steer it in the direction they wanted it to go.
Interesting.

But who is/are the hijacker(s)?

Us? Me?

Again, the scene is so bloody ambiguous maybe the viewer does 'hijack' it. At least in the sense of applying their own emotions to what is not a blank canvas, but at least one open to interpretation. The loop between abstract art and the viewer that Lynch talks about. Each feeding the other.

The viewer creating the art.

Action and reaction.
Dec 11, 2003 11:20 AM
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That idea is interesting to me, too. But my feeling is that ALL of the black limos are a version of what I described. Adam even tries to smash one of these "thoughts". These thoughts are trying to be corralled or 'brooker-ed' someplace.

But today, thanks to this interesting conversation we have been having here, I think I can describe more precisely where I feel all of the limos (at least the limos, maybe everything else too) are heading. They are heading to the same place Alvin was heading: "a real party state".

"Don't make it real until it gets real."
Dec 11, 2003 4:49 PM
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Blu-riven:

a) yes in the escalator Betty with Irene doesn't have her luggages. But that's normal because you have to go to some place and wait to get them back. So I think that that scene simply happens before Betty has got them back.

b) I don't know where is Irene's companion at that moment and he could be somewhere waiting for Irene's luggages. To me it still isn't enough to prove that he wasn't in the plane with Betty and Irene. Nor the fact that in the pilot script Betty does only talk to her grandpa about a woman she has met in the plane. But I agree it might leave some doubt.

c) I have written a thread where I explain why Diane forgets sometimes her luggages in her dream. It might be connected to point a) too.

d) there is a strange guy just behind Betty and Irene in the escalator ('before welcome to LA'). He has no hand in his handle. Does he represent a thief?

e) I admit that if Irene's companion was not in the plane it would be some problem for my interpretation of the symbolic journey they have done with Betty. But Irene's companion is with Diane at the jitterbug contest, and I see no reason to believe that he only picked up Irene at the airport. He was probably at Deep River with Irene and Diane.

Id-ea:
if my interpretation is correct Irene and Co are dead and either they will go to hell or to heaven. The strange driver's face may be a bad presage but their smiles of satisfaction show too that they are confident to where they go. It could be creepy but I don't think so. Their safety belts is more or less representative of their good behavior... I believe that they are happy of what they have done during their lives and I don't think that they laugh at Betty.
Dec 11, 2003 5:22 PM
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gandalf36I don't know where is Irene's companion at that moment and he could be somewhere waiting for Irene's luggages. To me it still isn't enough to prove that he wasn't in the plane with Betty and Irene. Nor the fact that in the pilot script Betty does only talk to her grandpa about a woman she has met in the plane. But I agree it might leave some doubt.
And the doubt to me is ALL important.

What was your first impression of this scene? Did you honestly see them as friendly figures? Or has the analysis and subsequent sanitization made you see it that way?
Dec 13, 2003 5:57 PM
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To me MD is not perfect from that point of view: there are a few details in the movie which have an intuitive meaning at first sight, but only after a long analysis you understand that Lynch had associated to them very different ideas.

These two old people is an example of how overcrypted details may confuse the viewer. Many people do not like to be confused. Lynch says that we are free to choose our own interpretations or even to follow our "first impressions" that you talk about, but from my pov it is only a polite suggestion to avoid frustrated viewers to keep a bad opinion of the movie. People who understand Mulholland drive as a puzzle to be decyphered won't care about that little lie because they know they are in a research process and that they may not have the good solution yet. Personaly I don't stay to my first impressions if I find a plausible interpretation which contradicts them.

There are three points which may explain why Irene's companion does not appear from the begining on the screen. a) Diane has had a more affective relationship with Irene, her adoptive mother than with her companion. b) Diane doesn't want to dream about luggages until she has a good reason to do it. So the guy is not there at first. c) Lynch wanted to introduce an element of surprise by making appear a third character much after the two first ones. (But this was my first impression...).

From the dramatic point of view, one understands at the end that Diane is definitively alone and that her (dead) adoptive parents aren't even a support in the last moments of her life. Her mind is so disturbed that her adoptive parents return to what they were to her the first time she met them: terrifying strangers who want to capture her, as the two detectives attempt to do...

The important point about Irene and Co is that they probably were not bad people in Diane's real life. Their creepy smiles are not as threatening as they seem. But I concead that the problem of the driver's face remains. I don't like it.
Dec 14, 2003 1:46 AM
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Additional, from:

'1001 Dreams. An illustrated guide to dreams and their meanings' (Jack Altman)

[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]"Teeth:
A broad, almost menacing display of teeth may advise a degree of caution in embracing someone who is making overtures of friendship."[/font]


I rest my case. If Lynch wasn't aware of this meaning then I'll eat my hat.
Jan 6, 2004 10:54 AM
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...10-gallon cowboy hat of course... ;)
Jan 6, 2004 11:20 AM
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