Pandora's Box, our worst nightmares, et. al

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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 11
Hi everyone! I just saw MD on Sunday on DVD. It was my first time. I didn't expect to like it or "get" it, but it completely floored me and I found the general gist of it pretty understandable. I've read through many of the posts, and thought I'd just add a few things for discussion; I'd like to hear others' thoughts on them and I apologize in advance if they've been discussed already!


The blue box made me think of Pandora's Box. I did a search of "Pandora's Box" to read the myth again (all of the evils of the world were released into the world when Pandora opened the box, but hope remained inside of the box). The part that is interesting is a link to a site called "Pandora's Box" came up and it is a site devoted to information about childhood abuse. I know many of you believe that Diane was a child abuse survivor, so I found this interesting.


Another thing that jumped out at me was the man in the beginning of the film explaining his nightmare to another man (a therapist?). When he actually sees the subject of his dream behind "Winkies", he came face-to-face with "his own worst nightmare". Later, he appears at the cash register when Diane is arranging the hit, and they appeared to notice each other. That was the spot he said the OTHER man appeared in HIS dream. Thoughts? It was as if he was a witness to her crime, and later, in Diane's dream, it is his nightmare he wants the other man to witness.

The other thing that struck me (that I haven't read about here) is the scene where Aunt Ruth returns to the apartment before leaving while Rita is hiding under the table. She scoops up her keys and leaves. The "keys" to what? Obviously, her apartment, but is it symbolic of something?

Just a personal experience that happened to me while watching. In the "Silencio" scene, when the woman was singing "Crying", I totally blanked out and couldn't identify the song, which of course I know. While I am not fluent in Spanish, I also know that "llorando" means "crying", but I blanked out on that too. I could FEEL that the song was one of heartbreak, and watching that scene made me think that it was those feelings elicited in Betty that began to wake her, just as often in dreams feelings of intense emotions awaken us, sometimes in tears! It was her beginning realization, that this beautiful dream was all just an "illusion"; only the heartbreak was real.The only way out she saw was to have Camilla killed. I thought that scene was one of the most powerful (and universally understandable)in the film, and made me believe that the heartbreak that Diane experienced after her break-up with Camilla, compounded with career disappointments, plunged her into a depression with psychotic episodes.


Well, thank you for letting me share my thoughts here, and am eager to see some responses. I'm sure that there is more that would be popping into my mind! This film is indeed UNFORGETTABLE and haunting!
May 22, 2002 4:54 PM
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Joined: Apr 2001
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You've touched on a number of moments in the film that have certainly been the fertile ground for discussion in these parts, so I recommend doing a quick scan through some of the threads here, and return with your own responses to some of the ideas we've bounced around w/r/t the scenes in question. I will respond very briefly to one scene that you reference--the troubled guy in Diane's dream becomes the counter guy in her reality. To put that moment in its proper temporal context, the whole hit man scene in the diner is part of a flashback that Diane is having after she wakes up from her dream (notice how we return to Diane's apt. when the scene is over, and she's still sitting on the couch in the same bathrobe she put on after her neighbour de Rosa roused her from her dream). As a result, it is clear that Diane incorporated the guy at the cash register into her dream, making him the troubled guy at the diner. At an elemental level of self-preservation, she kills him off in her dream, cuz she believes he is a witness to her hiring of a hit man, which means he is a loose end that needs to be tied up. At a different level, the troubled guy represents Diane (remember, dream logic demands that you are either IN every scene in your own dreams, or someone in that scene represents you), cuz he suffers from "this God awful feeling" which certainly would reflect how Diane is feeling in her waking life, and the fact that the troubled guy blames this feeling on some external force may reflect how Diane looks outside of herself for someone to blame for her own miserable life (Hollywood conspiracy of hoods and ethically shady deal-makers keeping her from a successful career in films, duplicitous lover preventing her from a happy life of love).
May 22, 2002 5:46 PM
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Joined: May 2002
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Thank you, Dan. I plan to start with the VERY long thread about sexual abuse. I'm wondering if perhaps the dream serves to illustrate Diane as a sufferer of DID (formerly called Multiple Pesonality Disoder). Aunt Ruth, who knew of the abuse, takes the "keys" to the secret with her when she dies. The man in the diner is Diane in therapy, where her repressed memories emerge. "Betty" is the personality that "acts whatever part is necessary" to survive. "Rita" retreats to amnesia and vulnerability. And "Adam" is the the personality that fights against the manipulation of the "cowboy", the abuser and the abuse but ultimately fails. When he casts "Camilla Rhodes", Betty lets him know with her eyes that he has betrayed "them", and rushes off to "rescue" "Rita". More later! Back to work now!
May 23, 2002 10:34 AM
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Joined: May 2002
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Okie Dokie, just spent some time going through many (certainly not all) of the posts on the sexual abuse thread.

I'm making the decision to just look at the big picture here, or what I think Lynch was trying to present as the big picture(s)-

(1)illusion: what purpose illusions (and denial) serve in our life, the cost of not seeing through the illusions,the pain of SEEING through them, and also, how sometimes it is almost impossible to distinguish illusion from reality;

(2)the loss of one's self through repeated abuse/manipulation/disappointment


I think that POSSIBLY he might be likening the Hollywood Power Broker Machine to child abusers, but I'm not sure that's QUITE fair, as child abuse victims have no choice, but Hollywood wannabes, no matter how naive, choose to come. Perhaps if he was making an analogy, it wasn't about comparing their level of guilt or "scumminess", but the effects on and the feelings of the victims. So much of this film is about the feeling and mood the scenes evoke. That's why for now, I choose not to analyze each and every item that closely. Let's see what happens when I see it again! I'll probably be running back here. begging for more answers!
May 23, 2002 2:56 PM
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