Critical flaw?

Original Poster
Joined: Jan 2002
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I've been pulling this idea every which way all day long. I (like everyone else, it seems) have been operating under the assumption that the first two hours of MD are based on Diane's fantasy/fever-dream, and she's struggling with some serious inner issues regarding her guilt and personal worth.
But what puzzles me is Diane's adoption of Betty's fictitious identity. She controls Betty, her movements, her mannerisms, and such, but she also experiences the DREAM as Betty. Not to say that she was TRAPPED in Betty's representative body, after all, this was a DREAM, and Diane would obviously be free to move about in her own dream and experience other aspects of the dream-story (the encounter between the Cowboy and the Director, for instance). What damns the whole dream theory (yes, its still a theory, even though its a POPULAR theory) is the beginning scene, when Rita is attacked and almost killed. She's knocked out, walks down the hill into the city, looks bewildered, and so on.
BUT IF DIANA IS PLAYING OUT THE DREAM AS BETTY, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS SCENE? Betty encounters Rita in the shower, and is surprised to see her, as if she has NO IDEA WHERE THIS MYSTERY WOMAN CAME FROM. Furthermore, she embarks on a campaign to help Rita find out what happened to her. If Diane dreamed and observed the botched assassination attempt in the first place, then why is Betty so clueless (until they piece together the details, like a true Hollywood mystery). What bugs me is the inclusion of Rita's first scene.
It could be argued, then, that Diane/Betty KNEW what happened to Rita in the dream before Rita is found in the shower. But Betty acts so, well, like BETTY, clueless, naive, and motivated to unravel the mystery with Rita. It seems that Betty, as channeled by Diane's awareness in the dream, is not ever aware of the accident on Mullholland Drive. Remember the phone call to the police. Betty seems giddy and surprised that, whoa, there WAS an accident. If the accident was actually part of the dream, then how illogical is it that Diane's awareness does not include this event.
And please, no one suggest that Diane DID dream about the accident, and then her subconscious mind blocked it out so Diane as Betty would figure it out later. The human mind is messy and often seems illogical by our standards, but that idea is so ridiculous.
What purpose would this serve if we dreamed about an event, then our minds wiped it from our memories in the next instant WHILE we were dreaming? The human mind does mesh and mess with our memories all of the time, while we wake and while we dream, but it DOES NOT do this like a director does with a reel of film, splicing and cutting until a good story is told. True, our minds will create fantasies all of the time to relax us, help us relieve mental tension and guilt, and keep us inspired and hopeful. But memory suppression does NOT actually occur the way it is suggested to in MD.
We don't just throw out whole dream-scenes and block them from our memory right after they occur (especially a scene as potent and lengthy as Rita's accident).
So where am I going with this? For myself, it raises a number of possibilities. I cannot accept Betty as Diane's dream persona if Betty is obviously not aware of other scenes in the dream that are being shown to us, the audience. After all, it is DIANE'S dream, right, or so we assume?
Maybe Diane is not going about the dream as Betty, but maybe as someone else, or multiple characters. Maybe Diane is viewing the dream as Rita? Was Camilla/Rita's accident an occurrence that happened in the real world, and that's why Betty is unaware of the details (if Diane IS being played by Betty).
If Diane is LUCIDLY playing this fantasy out in her fevered mind, then she would have a certain measure of control over the dream. But one of the precepts on lucid dreaming is that the dreamer is AWARE she is dreaming. I don't think Diane IS aware she is dreaming, as she is plunged into such a surreal nightmare towards the end, beginning with the Silencio scene.


Everyone, please question how you could dream certain scenes,
and just lose them from your awareness so quickly. Even if the story is so whacked-out as to not make sense, your mind does not just delete lengthy scenes THAT YOU JUST DREAMED on the fly in order to compose a good narrative, even if your subconscious is in the mood for a good fantasy/mystery.
I'm beginning to question if Diane is dreaming in the first place, or whether or not she's actually in purgatory, a whacked-out schizob*tch, or whatever, I dunno.
Jan 10, 2002 3:29 AM
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Well to me the significance of the first scene is that the purpose of Diane's fantasy is effectively to reverse the real-life situation which seemed to be that she was in awe of Camilla and effectively at her mercy. In the fantasy/dream (which i am assuming is what it was) Diane reinvents Camilla as being dependant on HER. Therefore, the opening sequence establishes her loss of memory more for the character of Rita's sake. Just as you mention Diane "sees" scenes which do not feature her in order to construct a more secure fantasy for herself (ie the director being forced to pick Camilla) she "sees" the scene which explains how Rita loses her memory and therefore becomes dependant on Diane.

Diane constantly uses real-life for inspiration for her fantasy (intentionally or not). For example, it seems likely that most of the dining scene at the end is reality (but not all) and she uses a lot of the people who were there in her fantasty, albeit in reimagined roles. I don't believe the Cowboy was there, however, because just before she sees him the camera blurs which i think signifies a move into fantasy - this is supported by the way that Camilla and Adam laugh so viciously when (almost) announcing their marriage. This part is fantasy, how Diane saw them as laughing at her whereas in reality they probably didn't. Diane uses the reality of the drive up to Mulholland Drive (which she took to get to the party) and seems to be the start of the point where she finally decides to have Camilla killed and reinvents it as the starting point of her own reality instead.

The film, as with Lost Highway, is never as simple as Reality-Fantasy but a constant mix of both, although one is always predominant. Diane is constantly fighting to retain her fantasy, as we see more obviously illustrated in the scene where she masturbates but can't fantasize anything. Inceidentally, i go for the sexual abuse theory elsewhere on these boards and the old people are either her parents or carers who participated in the abuse.
Jan 10, 2002 3:57 AM
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Well Skank, you are just completely wrong about dreams. We do that all the time, that is, lose the thread of the dream and forget (within the dream) what just happened. Last night I left work (in Orange County, CA) parked my car in the middle of New York City, got out and walked on the beach and ended the walk at Disneyland. No problem. At DIsneyland I had no thought about being lost in NY, or all the strange things that occured on the beach. Since, we forget so much of what we dream after we awake (after all we dream for many hours every night) why are you so sure we don't forget pieces of a dream moments after they occur?
Jan 10, 2002 9:22 AM
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That's exactly right, dreams DO do that (mine do, anyway). But the fact is (and think about this) I think "Rita" is a wish fulfillment in a number of ways. The dream starts with the botched assassination attempt of Rita, which, we find out, echoes Dianne's Character assassination at Camilla's party. So the fact is, Diane is dreaming both about the hit she's comissioned, the desire to "be" Camilla, her own desire to stop what she's started (tweo white cars, one of which smashes into the dark limo) and so on. "Rita" is Diane, and Dian'es own denial, and so on. Betty is an almost literal projection, fabrication, mixed with memory. It actually does make "Deam-sense".
Jan 10, 2002 9:34 AM
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Mindtravel, if you say that you dreamt about leaving work, then you ended up in Disneyland and you conveniently FORGOT about your leaving work, how are you able to recall it now? If its a true example, fine, but don't make up a story to bolster an argument.
The only reason why I began this thread goes beack to dream analysis. Freud, like others in the dream field who currently dissect dreams, believes we dream for a reason. Although some of the daily life crap we pull into the dream may be irrelevent, our minds will carry out processes for a reason. Why would you delete certain dream scenes from your awareness right after experiencing them?
Unless this is due to sensory overload or wiping away tramautic memories or events, then this is not repression; it's clinical memory loss, and it just does not happen unless you are loony-toon disturbed or brain-damaged.
If Diane dreamed about the initial scene with Rita, then why does she not show any kind of awareness of it later on in the dream. Betty acts clueless. If we are to follow the dream explanation, then Lynch should have left the scene out.
If, on the other hand, this is a lucid fantasy played out and controlled in Diane's mind (almost as if she were awake), then she definitely WOULD NOT be able to consciously suppress certain "daydreams" she just thought about and experienced.
And besides, I don't think this could possibly be a conscious fantasy AT ALL. It descends into madness and unpleasant revelations for Diane.
Jan 10, 2002 10:28 AM
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Dude, you need to bone up a little on your knowledge of dream interpretation. You've got it half right, but your still applying rational waking logic to the rules of a dream, and, in fact, dreams about guilt and ambition and repression and desire DO play out much in the manner shown in MD. Even the beginning. Try to think "outside the box", to use an apt, MD-relevant metaphor, and you'll see how the beginning is in no way a contradiciton of this.

Also, read Carl Jung's work; he was a more evolved interpreter of dreams than Freud.
Jan 10, 2002 11:19 AM
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While I believe that Freud was one of the greatest scientists ever, he did die in 1939. There has been a great deal studied, learned and theorized in the 62 years since then. Freud, for example, had no sleep laboratory. It now seems fairly likely that while some dreams or parts of dreams do reflect Freuds theories, not all do. One of the two biologists (Watson and Crick) who won the Nobel prize (biology) for their discovery of DNA thinks dreams have NO meaning (at least the vast majority of them). I am not saying that Diane's dream has no meaning, but one should avoid a strictly Freudian interpretation. Unless, of course, Lynch specifically (or indirectly) tells us this is a Freudian dream.
Jan 10, 2002 11:42 AM
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You guys, I only bring this up because DREAM RESEARCH IS MY FIELD OF WORK. And yes, I work with dream interpretation and methodology at the university level.
I liked the film, and like many others, I have not been been able to stop dissecting it in my mind over and over again (like a dream you cannot shake, plenty of vivid scenes and details).
I just do not see how Diane could dream about and observe Rita's accident, wipe it from her mind while she is dreaming, and then have her subconscious provide her and Rita with clues that, yes, Rita was indeed in an accident and now Diane's mind is subtly informing her about an event that she just dreamed about.
This has nothing to do with Jung, Freud, whoever. The accident scene is flawed IMO.
Why would the accident be such a surprise to Betty?!?
Jan 10, 2002 1:19 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by skank
I've been pulling this idea every which way all day long. I (like everyone else, it seems) have been operating under the assumption that the first two hours of MD are based on Diane's fantasy/fever-dream, and she's struggling with some serious inner issues regarding her guilt and personal worth.
But what puzzles me is Diane's adoption of Betty's fictitious identity. She controls Betty, her movements, her mannerisms, and such, but she also experiences the DREAM as Betty. Not to say that she was TRAPPED in Betty's representative body, after all, this was a DREAM, and Diane would obviously be free to move about in her own dream and experience other aspects of the dream-story (the encounter between the Cowboy and the Director, for instance). What damns the whole dream theory (yes, its still a theory, even though its a POPULAR theory) is the beginning scene, when Rita is attacked and almost killed. She's knocked out, walks down the hill into the city, looks bewildered, and so on.
BUT IF DIANA IS PLAYING OUT THE DREAM AS BETTY, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS SCENE? Betty encounters Rita in the shower, and is surprised to see her, as if she has NO IDEA WHERE THIS MYSTERY WOMAN CAME FROM. Furthermore, she embarks on a campaign to help Rita find out what happened to her. If Diane dreamed and observed the botched assassination attempt in the first place, then why is Betty so clueless (until they piece together the details, like a true Hollywood mystery). What bugs me is the inclusion of Rita's first scene.
It could be argued, then, that Diane/Betty KNEW what happened to Rita in the dream before Rita is found in the shower. But Betty acts so, well, like BETTY, clueless, naive, and motivated to unravel the mystery with Rita. It seems that Betty, as channeled by Diane's awareness in the dream, is not ever aware of the accident on Mullholland Drive. Remember the phone call to the police. Betty seems giddy and surprised that, whoa, there WAS an accident. If the accident was actually part of the dream, then how illogical is it that Diane's awareness does not include this event.
And please, no one suggest that Diane DID dream about the accident, and then her subconscious mind blocked it out so Diane as Betty would figure it out later. The human mind is messy and often seems illogical by our standards, but that idea is so ridiculous.
What purpose would this serve if we dreamed about an event, then our minds wiped it from our memories in the next instant WHILE we were dreaming? The human mind does mesh and mess with our memories all of the time, while we wake and while we dream, but it DOES NOT do this like a director does with a reel of film, splicing and cutting until a good story is told. True, our minds will create fantasies all of the time to relax us, help us relieve mental tension and guilt, and keep us inspired and hopeful. But memory suppression does NOT actually occur the way it is suggested to in MD.
We don't just throw out whole dream-scenes and block them from our memory right after they occur (especially a scene as potent and lengthy as Rita's accident).
So where am I going with this? For myself, it raises a number of possibilities. I cannot accept Betty as Diane's dream persona if Betty is obviously not aware of other scenes in the dream that are being shown to us, the audience. After all, it is DIANE'S dream, right, or so we assume?
Maybe Diane is not going about the dream as Betty, but maybe as someone else, or multiple characters. Maybe Diane is viewing the dream as Rita? Was Camilla/Rita's accident an occurrence that happened in the real world, and that's why Betty is unaware of the details (if Diane IS being played by Betty).
If Diane is LUCIDLY playing this fantasy out in her fevered mind, then she would have a certain measure of control over the dream. But one of the precepts on lucid dreaming is that the dreamer is AWARE she is dreaming. I don't think Diane IS aware she is dreaming, as she is plunged into such a surreal nightmare towards the end, beginning with the Silencio scene.


Everyone, please question how you could dream certain scenes,
and just lose them from your awareness so quickly. Even if the story is so whacked-out as to not make sense, your mind does not just delete lengthy scenes THAT YOU JUST DREAMED on the fly in order to compose a good narrative, even if your subconscious is in the mood for a good fantasy/mystery.
I'm beginning to question if Diane is dreaming in the first place, or whether or not she's actually in purgatory, a whacked-out schizob*tch, or whatever, I dunno.
[/QUOTE]


#1 The point of the scene where Rita gets in the accident with the limo is this.
A.In reality Diane is driven to the party in that limo, At that party is where she finally realizes that her relationship with Camilla is over it is dead. So the dream starts with the limo ride to signle a rebirth of there new relationship where Diane/Betty is in control not Camilla.
B. The accident occurs for two reasons, one it gives Camilla amnesia so she is dependent on Betty(which is opposite of real life where Diane is dependent on her) and two This is dianes way of dreaming the hit was botched and Camilla is still alive.Remember in reality she is already dead.


#2 your thinking about why Betty acts shocked over Rita's accident and all that, She is in Denial over having her killed. Of course in a dream where you are trying to change everything she is not going to know these things. Plus in her dreamed she has immersed herself into Betty(who is the symbolization of who she wants to be)
Jan 10, 2002 5:06 PM
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Well Skank your expert dream analysis has uncovered some slight flaws in the "dream theory" but your conclusions are completely wrong. Lets call the part of the film commonly refered to as the dream/fantasy part "The story of Rita and Betty". This part starts with the camera moving across a bed with pink sheets and a pillow with a pink case. The camera goes into the pillow simulating someone putting their face into the pillow. The limo scene with Rita follows. The story of Rita and Betty runs until Diane awakens in a bed with the same sheets etc as mentioned above. Betty or Rita are never mentioned outside of this period. Diane was in bed during the story of Rita and Betty. She may have slept the whole time or she may have awaken many times and fantasized between dreams. This may have been just one night or could have stretched out over several days. When Diane awakens characters names and situations are completly changed. This was a dream or combination of dreams and fantasys this is a fact not "theory". To understand the reason the flaws you have uncovered exist you have to read the original screenplay for the TV pilot (which is where the story of Rita and Betty comes from). Reading the screenplay carefully and comparing it to the finished film you will see how Lynch has removed some parts from the pilot, added some parts and changed some parts to make this a dream. In the original pilot the story of Rita and Betty was not a dream thus the reason for the flaws. Instead of starting with the flaws and working backward to disprove it was a dream look at the simple facts: someone goes to bed, the story of R and B is told someone wakes up Rita and Betty no longer exist everyones situation has changed etc. Lynch describes this film as a love story in the land of dreams.
Jan 11, 2002 1:58 AM
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I think skank has created a contridiction that doesn't exist. I'm not a dream expert like skank but in my dreams I am either present as MYSELF (i.e an active participant) or as simply an uninvolved OBSERVER. Diane definately is not HERSELF in this dream. Otherwise (to continue skank's line of reasoning) then I have to ask: How come Diane doesn't recognize herself(Betty)?. How could she forget herself? Diane is functioning in this dream (until the Silencio scene) as strictly an OBSERVER. Betty is a fabrication created by the dreaming Diane. One representing an idealized vision of Diane but definately NOT the real Diane. Therefore the dreaming Diane can impart any traits or knowledge(or in this case lack of knowledge) to that character. The OBSERVER function is further proved out by many scenes (the 2 guys at Winkies, the hit gone wrong,etc) that Betty and Rita are not involved in.
Oct 17, 2002 5:32 PM
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Well said Dirk. You utterly closed this thread.
Oct 22, 2002 12:04 AM
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First, this is an interesting thread ... with good points made by several posters (even when they appear/are conflicting).

To me it is a given that the movie is flawed. How could a TV series that is wrapped up as a movie not be somewhat flawed? However, in those flaws lies a brilliant gem of a movie.

One needs to accept some premises to enjoy and find worth within a movie. For example, I just rewatched Vertigo. Even Hitch has commented on plot elements that he has trouble with. Let's take the general premise:

[spoiler] A man concocts a wild scheme that involves a detailed and highly risky way of killing his wife - that involves an outside accompanist, much preparation, highly speculative ways to get everyone to the same location, and to speculate on how it will play out etc. All of this when there are much easier and better ways to murder your wife. [/spoiler]

So you need to take a leap of faith (or not) that there is still value and strong worth to the film/story. I think the same can be said for MD. Dark Wind makes a case for Diane being the observer in the dream. I noticed that Lynch uses a (through-the-eyes) camera P.O.V. as Betty first explores Aunt Ruth's apartment. So, I would ask, when you dream and are the Observer do you become the character's eyes?

This for me, is just an example of flaws/contradictions of these lines of questions. It does not represent a critical flaw that I can't move past - to answer the original poster's question.
Oct 22, 2002 10:19 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ctyankee
So you need to take a leap of faith (or not) that there is still value and strong worth to the film/story. I think the same can be said for MD. Dark Wind makes a case for Diane being the observer in the dream. I noticed that Lynch uses a (through-the-eyes) camera P.O.V. as Betty first explores Aunt Ruth's apartment. So, I would ask, when you dream and are the Observer do you become the character's eyes?[/QUOTE]

Maybe it's just me, but in my dreams I have (on a few occasions that I can remember) moved from the passive "observer" POV into the eyes of other people present in the dream. We can assume that "Betty" did not see Rita's accident on Mulholland Dr. -- the passive observer (part of Diane's subconscious) did. Diane's subconscious is, of course, the controlling force behind everyone in her dream/fantasy. It's reasonable to assume that, yes, Diane most deeply identifies with Betty, the person she wishes she was, and that many of the scenes in her dream/fantasy are played out through Betty's eyes, even though Betty has no knowledge of all the things the passive "observer" has witnessed. So, frankly, I can't see this a flaw in the dream/fantasy theory.
Oct 22, 2002 2:37 PM
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The "dream" theory doesn't necessarily mean literally a dream. Diane is probably going in between a groggy fantasy/dream/delusion/hallucination/recollection. Do we really need to get specific about exactly which one at which time? And her POV is sometimes one of the characters (Betty, Rita, Dan) and other times a passive observer. Sometimes a little of both at once (e.g. winky's scene).

I must say, the basic Freudian categories of <i>wish-fulfillment</i> (imagining what we hope for, e.g. Camilla isn't dead; Camilla loves me back) and <i>anxiety-dream</i> (e.g. O'my'god the cops are on to me; how come I never get acting parts) seem quite prominent, so I'm not sure your exact issue. Put that together with the post-Freudian concept of "splitting" and you've got the tools you need to figure this sucker out.

jk
Oct 25, 2002 8:35 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by jkandell
The "dream" theory doesn't necessarily mean literally a dream. Diane is probably going in between a groggy fantasy/dream/delusion/hallucination/recollection. Do we really need to get specific about exactly which one at which time? And her POV is sometimes one of the characters (Betty, Rita, Dan) and other times a passive observer. Sometimes a little of both at once (e.g. winky's scene).

I must say, the basic Freudian categories of <i>wish-fulfillment</i> (imagining what we hope for, e.g. Camilla isn't dead; Camilla loves me back) and <i>anxiety-dream</i> (e.g. O'my'god the cops are on to me; how come I never get acting parts) seem quite prominent, so I'm not sure your exact issue. Put that together with the post-Freudian concept of "splitting" and you've got the tools you need to figure this sucker out.

jk
[/QUOTE]

First, welcome back to the fray.

I assume you are addressing me as you mention the P.O.V. stuff.

Do we have to get specific? I guess my answer is ... it depends. Do I think that we need to know what state the person is in to analyze it ... well since we probably are never going to really know I guess the question is moot.

I do think there is a significant difference between dreaming as if you are that person and being an observer? Yes, I do. Do I think there is a significant difference between dreaming this and a waking state or a recollection or a groggy fantasy? I would like to know. What do you think? If someone is actually in a dream and seeing that dream as if the camera is their eyes (which I've never done) then I have no point of reference to comment on their viewpoint. And you are correct, Dan also gets a "through the eyes" P.O.V. So I'll ask the question of you ..

When you dream and are the Observer do you become the character's eyes?

Waking or dosing off to sleep are very interesting times to me. Lynch mentions that some of his most creative moments are when he is nodding off to sleep. I have had the same thing happen to me but most definitely my most creative period is just as I'm waking up.

Some other questions. When dreaming does someone change from observer to "eyes of the person" within the same dream? If so, will they then change to the "eyes of another person" within that same dream?
Oct 25, 2002 1:14 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by jkandell
The "dream" theory doesn't necessarily mean literally a dream. Diane is probably going in between a groggy fantasy/dream/delusion/hallucination/recollection. Do we really need to get specific about exactly which one at which time? And her POV is sometimes one of the characters (Betty, Rita, Dan) and other times a passive observer. Sometimes a little of both at once (e.g. winky's scene).

I must say, the basic Freudian categories of <i>wish-fulfillment</i> (imagining what we hope for, e.g. Camilla isn't dead; Camilla loves me back) and <i>anxiety-dream</i> (e.g. O'my'god the cops are on to me; how come I never get acting parts) seem quite prominent, so I'm not sure your exact issue. Put that together with the post-Freudian concept of "splitting" and you've got the tools you need to figure this sucker out.

jk
[/QUOTE]

this is good. the fact that someone's admitted that the dream may not be a literal dream is refreshing. and the mention of "splitting", i admit, is VERY refreshing. because when i think about it, there's a key divergence that has mentioned by many in this forum. the path that's taken when the car stops on mulholland drive.

in diane's dream "rita" descends from the path and stumbles into the fantasy world of "betty". the reality is that diane was led by camilla in an ascent to adam's house where she's thoroughly humiliated and belittled. and i also saw this "ascent" as an eerie parallel to something that ayn rand (yes ayn rand) once said about marilyn monroe (the patron saint of all aspiring ingenues!). something about struggling and struggling to reach the top (something diane does with the help of camilla's "shortcut"), hoping to leave the ugliness of reality behind and to "reach the sunlight" but instead finding "a limitless swamp of malice". and i believe that eulogy by rand also concluded on a somber note suggesting that marilyn monroe had no way to escape the nightmare except by taking herself out of it and how anyone that would have wanted to deny marilyn her happiness was to blame for her death...

anyway. i still think the film is about people's desire to hurt or exploit someone else if it's somehow proven to be advantageous. this suspicion is confirmed (by me) when at the dinner party diane glances at adam and camilla and they've got impassive, sneering grins on their faces while diane's struggling to keep it together. they've successfully wrecked her, they know it, they don't feel her pain, and they're glad they don't. poor diane...
Oct 27, 2002 8:19 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by civilsavage
this is good. the fact that someone's admitted that the dream may not be a literal dream is refreshing.[/QUOTE]
I totally agree

The '2/3 Dream' theory/view is just a <i>little</i> too taken for granted IMO (not 'here' in particular, everywhere i think).............it has always felt like there is 'more' than just this straightforward interpretation of the 'realities' in the film.
Oct 27, 2002 8:33 PM
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I think the dream was about multiple personalites.

Diane was insane, and the insanity had taken over. So Diane used the dream, a temporary form of insanity, to actualize a multiple-personality psychosis to counter her real insanity. By polarizing herself into the mobsters on one hand and Betty on the other, Diane was able to extricate the older, saner version of her true self. However this only worked within the dream and what Diane came up with was a dream version of how she used to be. Diane also utilized the same psychosis to manufacture Rita, a blank-slate sort of Camilla in dream version, as well as Adam, the ideal director. The personalities were not aware of each other, nor was Diane aware that she was a multiple. Diane did not have much of a personality in the dream other than half of a dead body. Diane functioned mainly through Betty, as a kind of twin, whom she sometimes made suggestions to and otherwise manipulated behind the scenes.
Nov 5, 2002 10:49 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by civilsavage
i also saw this "ascent" as an eerie parallel to something that ayn rand (yes ayn rand) once said about marilyn monroe (the patron saint of all aspiring ingenues!). something about struggling and struggling to reach the top (something diane does with the help of camilla's "shortcut"), hoping to leave the ugliness of reality behind and to "reach the sunlight" but instead finding "a limitless swamp of malice".[/quote]

I hate to endorse anything Rand said, but that quotation about Marilyn certainly does apply to Diane in the movie.

[quote]i still think the film is about people's desire to hurt or exploit someone else if it's somehow proven to be advantageous. this suspicion is confirmed (by me) when at the dinner party diane glances at adam and camilla and they've got impassive, sneering grins on their faces while diane's struggling to keep it together. they've successfully wrecked her, they know it, they don't feel her pain, and they're glad they don't. poor diane...[/QUOTE]

The problem is, given her psychosis at the time, we don't know how hurtful Camilla and Adam actually are in actuality at the party scene and how much Diane is projecting onto them. The images we see at the pool party scene do not embody the level of fantasy of the Betty-Rita scenes, but they are still laden with Diane's mental illness.

I don't disagree with your view, taken broadly. But for me the movie is about how a corrupt and immoral Hollywood system ends up getting internalized in a person of weak resilience, how it takes a naive young waif and spits her out. I guess for me the Bum is the key symbol of the movie.

jk
Nov 6, 2002 6:35 AM
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