The Color Blue: A Symbol?

Original Poster
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13
As much as I've pondered over the rich symbolism of this movie, there's still one thing that puzzles me:

Why is all that stuff blue?

You know, the blue key, blue box, blue hair on the mysterious woman in Club Silencio, and god knows what else...

Damn, I'm about to break into song here: "I'm blue, da da dee da da dum..."


I'm thinking it has something to do with Diane's "dream" state, since as far as I can tell, the box is something of a portal between fantasy and reality. Still, this is just my interpretation, and certainly not the only valid one.

What do you think all the blueness represents? Do you agree with my take, or do you have a different interpretation to offer?
May 24, 2002 9:37 PM
0 0
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 373
You forgot to mention the blue van. It appears at the beginning, as Rita is crossing the street (Franklin, I believe) and later when the hit man slaps the hooker on the rump and helps her into a blue van.

Lynch is a painter, and his films are all clearly "colour coded." As the portal that connects Diane to (and signifies an impending awakening from) her dream, the blue box also separates her from her fantasy. Blue is a cool colour, and often suggests melancholy, depression ("Am I blue?"), possibly serenity (though Diane's only serenity is in death), and even death (the blue haired lady in Club Silencio).
May 24, 2002 10:31 PM
0 0
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 2659
I think David Lynch could have been making up for the fact that in his film 'Lost Highway' he made a decision not to put much, if any blue in the film. Even though I felt overall that 'Lost Highway' was only a slightly better film than 'Mulholland Drive', I feel possibly if he was making a point of blue, he could have made he very favored red curtains ('Twin Peaks') blue.;)
May 25, 2002 12:33 AM
0 0
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 2566
Just a few sketchy words here -- as I'm not very familiar with this...

In Eastern philosophy, red and blue are sometimes shown as opposites; blue is yang, red is yin (e.g., see the Korean flag and its explanations). The two together equate to a whole. (as Betty + Rita=Diane).

Blue/yang is more feminine, peaceful, etc. Red/yin is more male, active, etc.

For now, I heard that in the dream, Betty wears blue nail polish; Rita wears red. That is, until Club Silencio, where they both have red nail polish on. True?

And can anyone fill in some of the philosophy/symbolism blanks here?
May 25, 2002 5:28 PM
0 0
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 7
You cant forget that there is another blue van that the old couple is following in their limo at the beginning after escorting "Betty" off of the plane.
May 25, 2002 9:41 PM
0 0
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13
Your comments were indeed very helpful. I'll see if I can rent MD again and pay closer attention to those other blue things you mentioned. From what I've read so far, all those colored items couldn't possibly be accidental.

Dave H., I have also heard of the yin/yang theory concerning the colors, and I mostly agree with your comments. I once heard the director's commentary on The Sixth Sense, where M Night Shyamalan noted his use of the color red to symbolize danger and death (or something along those lines). Watching the movie again, this "revelation" didn't do much for me, but I was intrigued by the idea, as it opened another door for me into the creative mind of a director.

All this blue fascination probably wouldn't have bothered me too much in a more mediocre, forgettable film, but MD just floored me from start to finish, so I am intent on figuring out Lynch's tricks. It might help me gain a better appreciation of the film. Once again, thanks for your comments!
May 27, 2002 12:44 AM
0 0
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 233

couple of things I noted tonight on the blue red color business. I viewed the DVD again.

blue red cops lights at the crash scene. (They reflect vividly off of Detectives' faces)

blue red cops lights reflecting off of the street signs while a cop car passed Rita as she is making her way across Franklin.

As Adam looks out over his pool, there is a pink (red) and a baby blue chair.

Adam has the choice of Blue paint or Red (pinkish) paint. He choses the pink paint.

Lorraine slips on a Blue dress, that gets splattered with pink paint.

Others noticed the fingernail polish on Rita being red and on Betty being blue. I had a hard time seeing the Blue Nail polish on Betty.

Of course there are many red haired women, and one blue haired one.

Coco wears a red oriental style dress, all the time!

Cookie wears a red suit when he introduces Rebekah Del Rio.

Just rambling but these colors were distinctive
May 27, 2002 12:55 AM
0 0
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 7
I never noticed Betty's nailpolish being blue, but instead pink to match her pastel colored outfits until somewhere after the 1st lesbian scene. Directly after the scene you'll notice the two holding hands and the pink and red difference is obvious. Hope that helps.
May 27, 2002 5:02 PM
0 0
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 102
It think that in the film blue represents many things, most specifically death. The blue key signals that the hit on Camilla has been completed in the real world. I believe that the blue box is death in the dream because Betty disappears just before Rita unlocks it and gets pulled inside. For a while I wondered why Betty disappears first since it is her dream, but then realized that if she was still present when the box was opened, she would also be pulled it and killed. Therefore, she must exit first in order to live and wake up that morning. I also believe that the hitman has left the blue key for Diane behind Winkies where she sees the bum put the blue box in a paper bag. This sequence has a dreamlike, disoriented feel to it, so Diane might be starting to unravel at this point. I think that the bum actually put something else in the bag, but in Diane's POV it was a blue box. She must sense that the end is near for her, too.


"Don't you think it's a little risky for R and R?" "If I say it's safe to surf this beach, Captain, it's safe to surf this beach."


I'm reading last year's papers
Although I don't know why
Assassins cons and rapers
Might as well die

If you come around
No more pain and no regrets
Watch the sun go brown
Smoking cobalt cigarettes
There's no need to hide
Taking things the easy way
If I stay inside
I might live til Saturday

"King of the World" (Steely Dan)
May 30, 2002 8:55 AM
0 0
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 416
Just a side note (and more support for the sexual abuse theory):

The color blue represented sexual abuse in both Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me and Blue Velvet.

I think the color blue is used for more purposes than just sexual abuse but it's definitely one of them (blue-haired lady, Lorraine's blue dress). Why those two would represent sexual abuse is in other threads but I can say why if anyone is really confused.

The color blue is meant to represent death, sexual abuse, and meloncholy.
May 30, 2002 11:22 AM
0 0
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 14
Did anyone notice that the color of Coco's eye shadow was dark blue
and at the pool party scene Coco's eye shadow was a lighter shade of blue?
Jun 19, 2002 7:21 AM
0 0
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 562
The pink, to me, symbolized "Betty's" need to make everything perfect in her dream. Hence, seeing things through rose colored glasses. The blue, by contrast, would be the hints of reality poking through. The box and its corresponding key were blue and they symbolized the harsh, cold reality of Rita/Camilla's murder.
That's my opinion anyway.
Jul 17, 2002 5:04 PM
0 0
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 342
The colour blue symbolizes the occult to Lynch, cf. Rodleys book.
Oct 22, 2002 5:17 PM
0 0