Since you like to talk about Mullholland Drive so much...

Original Poster
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 387
Easy, now...I come in piece. I just finished Mullholland Drive earlier today. Now let me explain myself, I am film student in the state of Maryland. I come from a belief that a movie should make you think, whether it be extensively about the characters or the issues presented in the film but by know means should it make you have to think extensively about what it's about. That's where I come to a crossroads with Mullholland Drive. I prepared myself for this movie because I was familiar with David Lynch's body of work (although I haven't seen all of them). Now in the end I came to several conclusions about this movie...

1) The acting is done in a way to be reminiscent of the film performances of the 1950s, especially the performance of Naomi Watts.

2) This movie does take place in modern California but looks alot like 1950 or early-60s California.

3) The term "There is no sound --- this is just a recording" is key to understanding this movie.

4) There is a common theme of Blue in this movie.

5) The 3rd Act is entirely a dream sequence!

6) the Lesbian encounter between "Rita" and the woman who is helping her find her past sparks the memories of Rita's past.

Now, I'm going to level with you guys and hope this sparks some interesting conversations since you like this movie so much. I didn't like Mullholland Drive. I felt it was a distant movie directed by a director with the intent to make his audience think about something of note but supplied little for the audience to think about. I also find the movie stale looking and a silly attempt to sprak conversation from it's filmmaker about his own muddled and nonsensical ideas and perversions. Now, before you troll me, I want to understand this movie. I haven't TRULY made up my mind about my feelings on the film but I least want to understand it if I were to like it or dislike it. This movie doesn't provide me with that. I just want some thoughts on what your feelings are on the film and your response to it, such as:

1) Who is Camilla Rhodes really?

2) What is in the blue box and what does it mean?

3) What does the HitMan sequence have to do with anything?

4) Why is Robert Forester in the movie for 1 minute and never seen again?

5) Why is the blonde-haired women masterbating and crying towards the end.

6) What does the play scene mean? What does it have to do with anything?

Actually, y'know what? just share your thoughts on anything involving the movie...please :rolleyes:
Jun 26, 2002 3:15 PM
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I'm not usually a dismissive A**hole, but for you I'll make an exception. Firstly, if you "don't like MD", then how can you say you haven't made your mind up about it yet? Secondly, the movie is not silly (looking or otherwise). And thirdly, I'm not going to waste my time rehashing what's been said here about MD and why when you can go ahead and read through the archives yourself if it's that important to you.
Jun 26, 2002 3:59 PM
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uhhhhh, okay ASCOTT! You obviously missed the point. I wasnt here to troll --- I want you to change my mind! Gawd, get a grip! I was being respectful because I know I'm coming onto your turf --- so try to do the same and respect me---breath in, breath out. I already checked around I just want to compare notes iff you catch my drift. JAYSIS! Relax, kid.
Jun 26, 2002 4:14 PM
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Troy, there are dozens of really insightful threads here, which I urge you to sift through (though you might want to start at the end and work your way forward chronologically. That way the various interpretations can unfold before you as they occurred to folks around here. It's quite a magical way to have the movie unfold before your eyes. Also, focus on the threads that have several pages--they often feature some interesting splinter-action, thought-wise). I'd also urge you to read the following articles (my fave remains the Ruch article in The Modern Word:

1. Salon.com-- www.salonmag.com/ent/glow/
2. ?Wrapped in Plastic"--
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mulhollanddrivefanclub/
3. Ruch in ?The Modern World" http://www.themodernword.com/mulholland_drive.html
4. Valin-- http://www.avguide.com/film_music/f...david_lynch.jsp
5. http://www.sensesofcinema.com/conte...and_dreams.html
6. http://www.sensesofcinema.com/conte...nd_amnesia.html
7. http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/a...llanddrive.html
8. http://www.threepennyreview.com/sam...eberg_sp02.html
9. http://www.premiere.com/Premiere/Re...Mulholland.html
10. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ho...ntent_id=868899
11. http://www.rollingstone.com/mv_revi...?mid=%202043199
12. http://www.locusmag.com/2001/Review...e11_MDrive.html
13. http://www.epinions.com/content_41824587396
14. http://www.filmmonthly.com/Video/Ar...llandDrive.html
Jun 26, 2002 5:10 PM
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...nonsensical ideas and perversions.

Wow!

Sometimes it helps to remember that this project started as a TV pilot, the script of which can be found in several places on the web. But don't worry, it won't explain a whole lot and there's much in the feature that wasn't introduced in the pilot and vice versa. For instance, you get the idea from the pilot script that the cops would be a recurring element in the [never made] series.

The film is a puzzle and there are lots of clues in and about it - that's why people like it. Plus, I think the majority opinion is that it was pretty well done cinematically [sp?] speaking.
Jun 27, 2002 5:58 AM
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The film was a failed TV pilot; for a few extra million dollars it was turned into a totally imcomprehensible theatrical movie. If you enjoy a reputation and following as Mr. Lynch does, you have the privilege of passing off your mistakes as profound explorations of the myterious; and your adoring fans will buy it!
Jun 27, 2002 4:47 PM
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TroyJ15,

In your conclusions, I think you've got number 5 backwards. The Third Act (the last 25 minutes of the film) is actually a combination of reality, flashbacks, and hallucinations. The majority of the film (from when the camera goes into the pillow before the credits roll at the beginning until the Cowboy says "Hey, pretty girl, time to wake up") is all Diane's dream.

With regard to your questions, here is what I'll add:

1. Camilla Rhodes is the reality of the dream Rita.

2. The blue box is the interface between the dream and reality and represents in a symbolic and physical way what Diane has done (ordered the hit on Camilla before she has her dream). As hard as Diane may try, reality intrudes into her dream until she can't maintain the fantasy any longer, and Diane (as Betty) disappears and Rita gets sucked into the box. Many have mentioned that it is like Pandora's box.

3. While puzzling, most think that the hitman sequence is Diane's efforts to fantasize that he is inept and will not succeed in the hit, or in his efforts to complete the job (since Rita/Camilla escaped the car crash and the hitman is looking for her).

4. Robert Forester is in the part that was filmed for the TV pilot, so he probably would have had a greater role if the series had been accepted by ABC.

5. The scene with Diane masturbating is a flashback that takes place chronologically immediately after the couch session and throwing Camilla out (notice the tank top she's wearing). She is so upset by Camilla ending the relationship and going after Adam that she can't even masturbate successfully while (probably) thinking about Camilla.

6. I'm not sure what you mean by the play scene. Do you mean the audition scene with Woody Katz? The practice for the audition with Betty and Rita? Club Silencio?

Again, these are just my ideas, and there are plenty of other interpretations on these matters on the other threads. The only other thing I would add is that while watching the film the first time, I too thought Naomi's performance was over the top, but upon realizing that it is a dream, it seems entirely appropriate, since dream characters are often exaggerated.
Jun 27, 2002 5:09 PM
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Wow! Well, the play I was referring to was Club Selencio. My big question now is what does the Club Selencio have to do with anything?

Also, in your opinions does the fact that you have to make up a story for this movie to make sense, does that make it a good movie or a bad movie. I'm assuming for most of you a good movie...

Also to CHRISREQUIEM why would you masterbate to restart a dream? Do you mean that she is living in denial of Camilla Rhodes leaving her and is getting off on the concept of her because Camilla is gone? I'm sorry guys but my eyes are starting to glaze over...more thoughts if you feel like talking...
Jun 28, 2002 8:56 AM
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I believe the movie plays in perfect chronilogical order, except for flashbacks in the last third. The first two thirds are a dream that becomes increasingly unstable, but otherwise plays like most dreams, with the mind trying to make a sensible story out of fleeting images and pieces of reality. We know it is a dream because, after the titles sequence (jitterbug contest), we see a bed and pillow from the point of view of a head collapsing on the pillow and going to sleep. Diane has fallen asleep, and the dream begins.

You have answers above to most of your questions, but with respect to the hitman killing his former friend Ed, I think the key to this scene is that it opens with Ed having just told the hitman a funny story about a car accident. The only car accident we know about is the one Diane dreamed up at the beginning of the dream - and this scene is still part of the dream. So, the funny story is "Rita" was about to be killed, and was saved at the last moment by horrendous car crash. Who would have expected that? Isn't it ironic, the car crash killed the killers - ha ha. Now the Hitman is there because somehow Ed knows that "Rita" lived. The Hitman's job was to get rid of Rita(Camilla in the real world). Ed knows she is alive. Therefore he must die - he is continuing to fill out his purpose, destroy the real Camilla (in the Dream, Ed might have told "Rita" who she really was).

I think the reason for the humorous subsequent sequences is just that david Lynch thought it was funny. It also impresses the idea that the situation (dream and reality for Diane) have gotten out of hand - beyond her control. In reality, detectives are already tracking Diane down, despite her best effort to pull off the perfect murder.

Do you remember your dreams? I believe MD is more enjoyable for people who remember their dreams vividly. The first two thirds match form and feeling of some dreams I've had. They start out completely believable - even pedestrian. Then something goes awry - and the dream starts twisting itself to try and hold onto that sense of plausibility. Sometimes the weirder the dream becomes, the harder figures in the dream argue that it is reality. And in Diane's case, she desperately wants anyhing to be true other than what really is true, that she had the object of her love and obsession assasinated. She wants to view herself as good and pure and talented, but her conscience keeps intruding, reminding her that she isn't. This is Club Silencio, hinting at the truth (causing her to tremble uncontrollably), yet kept sinet to the best of her subconscious ability in the dream).

My only problem with this movie is that I think it is very hard tto "get it" with one viewing. The reason I had trouble after the first viewing is I wasn't able to tell for sure that it was the same actress playing Betty and Diane. I wasn't sure that the actress playing Diane wasn't the actress playing the blonde Camilla from the dream casting session. So I was really confused after one viewing (and before reading the credits).

I should have realized the bigining was a dream, however, because of the first Winkies sequence when Lynch essentially told the audience (just as Diane's conscience was telling her) "HEY - THIS IS A DREAM. On second viewing, this is a tremendous movie.
Jun 28, 2002 9:43 AM
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All sortsa interpretations of Club Silencio, but clearly it is intended to operate on several levels. As Diane has crafted a dream that makes us of many of the tropes of classic film genres, such as noir and mystery, she has filled her dream with stock characters and somewhat cliched plot devices. At Club Silencio she is being forced to recognize that her attempts to build her reality around them is illusiory. Movies, like dreams, aren't "real" even though their impact on us can be emotionally devastating (conversely, Diane's reality ain't no dream--it's nightmarish). The same can be said of Diane's attempts to forge a happy, loving relationship between Betty and Rita. She is being forced to recognize (at CS) that this too is illusiory.
Jun 28, 2002 9:49 AM
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Also, in your opinions does the fact that you have to make up a story for this movie to make sense, does that make it a good movie or a bad movie.

Troy,

I really don't understand why you think we are "making up" a story for MD to make sense. While there are certainly many things that cannot be stated with absolute certainty, I believe there are a number of incontrovertible facts:

1. From the scene where the camera goes into the pillow until the Cowboy says "Hey, pretty girl, time to wake up" is a dream, and almost certainly Diane's dream, as we see her awaken to the knocking on the door by Derosa.

2. From the last 25 minutes of the movie, which is primarily reality interspersed with flashbacks, certain things can be understood:

a. Diane is a very depressed and forlorn individual.
b. Diane had a romantic relationship with Camilla, or at the very least, fantasized about such a relationship.
c. Camilla was a fairly successful actress, although probably not entirely due to her talent alone.
d. Diane was an actress, at least at one time, and not particularly successful.
e. Camilla was involved in a romantic relationship with Adam after dumping Diane.
f. Diane hired a hitman to murder Camilla.
g. Detectives are looking for Diane.
h. Diane commits suicide.

From these facts, I don't think it is fair to say we are making up a story - the basic outline is there, and while I have understood more after additional viewings, I understood the basic gist after my first viewing after simply thinking about it for a while. If we were all just making up a story, I don't see how there could be as much agreement as there is on the basics.
Jun 28, 2002 4:12 PM
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<i>Very</i> well said, Stroke

When someone says 'it just makes NO sense, there's NOTHING there' (which i've heard/read oh so often) I automatically assume they MUST have a very low attention span or something. Not to be unkind, but really.



Neely
Jun 28, 2002 9:35 PM
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I think what a lot of people don't understand about David Lynch's films is that he is not trying to make convential movies but to do something different. He deliberately breaks the rules most film makers follow that lead to the all too predictable forms of storytelling we are all familar with. With most directors you can pretty much tell how their film is going to end ten minutes into it. Not so with David Lynch. For some reason people call his work pretensious or self indulgent or disjointed and lacking coherent story lines but it seems to me they are brave and wonderful departures from the mundane norm.

At lot of the negative criticism of David Lynch's movies reminds me of comments by art establishment I've read when the impressionists were revolutionizing the art world, and again when people were resisting the modern and post modern art movements. Let's just hope it doesn't take a hundred years for people to realize what a genius Lynch is.
Jun 29, 2002 1:10 AM
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It won't take a 100 years. Lynch's greatest films are already being recognized as supreme achievements in the medium--look at how many critic's associations named Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive one of, if not THE, best movie(s) of the year. The real question is whether or not he'll ever achievement mainstream fame. That, I have serious doubts about. However, not too many people ever bought a poetry anthology by W. B. Yeats or T.S. Eliot. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. Doesn't make any of 'em any lesser the artist.
Jun 29, 2002 8:23 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by 27Bstroke6
Troy,

I really don't understand why you think we are "making up" a story for MD to make sense. While there are certainly many things that cannot be stated with absolute certainty, I believe there are a number of incontrovertible facts:


From these facts, I don't think it is fair to say we are making up a story - the basic outline is there, and while I have understood more after additional viewings, I understood the basic gist after my first viewing after simply thinking about it for a while. If we were all just making up a story, I don't see how there could be as much agreement as there is on the basics.
[/QUOTE]

Okay...maybe It's the words that I am using or maybe, it's just you guys are reading into what I'm saying completely wrong. First AsCOTT jumps down my throat and now this misunderstanding between me and BStroke. My comments are not meant to knock on the film or those who enjoyed it(well maybe some but definitely not the part about making the story up). I guess what I should have said is Do you think that the fact that you have to piece the story together yourself and fill in the blanks makes it a good movie or a bad movie. Also, there is no TRUE certainty that this film was a dream because as far as I can tell even David Lynch has kept mum about what this film means. I find you guys explanations very intrigue and it has caused me to appreciate the film a bit more (my final verdict is still up in the air though). And maybe when people don't understand the movie it's not because they have a "low attention span" but maybe because they are not used to a film being made this way. Quite frankly my biggest gripe with the film is that you spend all this time trying to find out who wanted to kill Camilla and then by the film's end you are told "yeah it was her Lesbian lover but was it a dream or not?" To me a whodunnit should give you a solid answer especially one that is over 2 hours long. I'm sorry but most movies are not made like this film was --- that doesn't make it bad but that doesn't make the people who see it and don't get it idiots either. I think that anyone who attempts to sit down and experience a David Lynch film should be given a gold star just for trying...Sorry. That was a rant but that's how I see it. It's an unconventional movie in which the storytelling is thrown around to spark conversation --- 99% of the movies made in and outside Hollywood follow a formula of storytelling. This movie doesnt follow that formula --- when all movies follow an A-Z style of filmmaking and this movie goes B-Z-A people are not going react as you all have. It's a given --- dont assume that if someone doesn't get it that they have ADD.
Jul 1, 2002 2:27 PM
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"When someone says 'it just makes NO sense, there's NOTHING there' (which i've heard/read oh so often) I automatically assume they MUST have a very low attention span or something. Not to be unkind, but really."

As P.T. Barnum is reputed to have said, "There's a sucker born every minute".
Jul 1, 2002 3:26 PM
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I don't think MD is a "Who-dunnit". As a who-dunnit, it stinks. There is no real detective or investigation. It has the feel of film noir in the "detective work" Betty/Diane tries in the beginning, but that is pretty silly (Diane giggles after making the anonymous call the police). In her dream/fantasy, she is just playing at being a detective.

This is a mood piece, told by and about an unstable mind. It follows a descentinto maddness, and since the insane person is telling the story, it can't "make sense (ever read the tell-tale heart by Poe?). I think the openning scene of a pillow rising to meet the narrator's head is a pretty clear clue the next thing you see is a dream. The scene where Dan explains why he brought "you" here is to describe a dream he's had twice is a clue too.

Now, I agree, Lynch could have started MD the way Risky Business starts, with the narrator saying "The Dream is always the same." I admit, I didn't get it until second viewing. I think it's its own genre - puzzle movies that give you clues that you aren't likely to catch until a second viewing. Also in this genre are Sixth Sense and Memento. They are similar to Who-dunnits in that there is a mystery to solve, but in a Who-dunnit, the narrator is trying to solve the same puzzle the audience is. In a puzzle movie, the narrator is generally part of the mystery, unreliable therefore, and often not helpful in solving the puzzle. It's just a different kind of movie - if someone doesn't like it, that's fine. I think they are a fun challenge.

This all said, I do think Lynch over does it with red herrings, pieces to the puzzle that never definitely fit anywhere and may be there just for mood or simply because Lynch likes them. But there are worse crimes by a Director than occasional self-indulgence.
Jul 1, 2002 3:28 PM
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"There is no sound --- this is just a recording"

Can someone explain this line?
Jul 2, 2002 6:24 PM
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We purposefully delude ourselves in order to believe that something is real (eg) movies, musical recordings, another's love, when it is not.
Jul 2, 2002 9:27 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by TroyJ15
Easy, now...I come in piece.[/QUOTE]

Troy, you may come in piece--but, with some folks here, you may leave in pieces.

jk
Jul 3, 2002 3:53 AM
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