Lynch and his real reality theory

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Joined: Sep 2002
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Mulholland Dr. is an exampel of one of David Lynch's favorite theories that real reality can never be known, as it is hidden behind daily gestures, words etc.

The movie is not a dream in itself, either the first part, the second part or the movie as a whole. The dream theme that is thoroughly stressed, only serves to underline that the movie does not have a conscious level of narration, since the story told necessarily must be non-real in order to express something real.

The movie does not have a main character and she is never seen, either.

The half-rotten corpse found in the bed is the ego/self that has died or been neutralized, figuratively speaking.

The storyline of the movie is simply an abstraction over a psychical condition - a duel or a duet between Camilla/Rita and Betty/Diane. These two figures are part of the same person.

Whether these two figures show the split personality of the main character or the struggle between the id and the superego over the ego may be discussed. I support the first theory, since the character displays clear symptoms of split personality as amnesia, violent tendencies, food disturbances and sleep problems.
Sep 10, 2002 6:28 AM
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ID-ea: You're obviously a Freudian. That is the beauty of Mulholland Drive. Its ability to reach people of all intellectual heights. You analyze a lot, and I love that about MD fans, like I've said before. Although we do not really "jive" too well with our interpretations of the movie, I appreciate your taking the time to post your ideas, nonetheless.
Personally, though, the split-personality theory is just too "realistic" for me. I fail to see MD as such--a realist movie--simply because the love story "fantasy" just had too much of an impact on me, my personal life. I cannot see MD as anything other than a love story simply because I NEED it to be such (i.e. romantic and sexually charged). Although I know what happens in the end, I would just really like to remember the first 2/3 of the movie wherein Betty and Rita were just falling inlove. It's the part I want to replay over and over in my head. It comforts me somehow. Sorry if I am being over cheesy about this but MD just makes me gush like a 12 year old!!!
Sep 10, 2002 7:55 AM
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I like the love story too. And I like the dream analysis because what i see is Betty/Diane, who thinks she is falling in love, and Rita/Camilla, who does not return love. In her dream, Diane, sets up the perfect conditions for a love story. But then even in her dream, love is not realized, I would submit because Diane doesn't know what love is. If you truly loved another person, you could never hurt that person, even if they hurt you. And so, in the dream, Betty says I love you, Rita does not respond. From there the dream goes downhill for Betty - until Rita disappears and she is forced to return to reality. From the psychological standpoint, even in her dream, her mind cannot alter permanentlt the true state of affairs.
Sep 10, 2002 2:11 PM
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Hi ID,
I, too, support the split personality theory...(actually multiple personality). I brought this up on one of the sexual abuse theory threads. I don't know how you feel about that theory, and when I first heard of it I didn't dismiss it, I just didn't really know what relavance it had. Then I got to thinking how many victims of sexual abuse are so traumatized by it they develop multiple personality disorder.

So I think it is possible that we see many different "sides" to Diane throughout this film. The sad, tormented version of Diane at the dinner party,the wicked version of Diane who forces herself on Camilla when she tries to break up w/ her, then arranges her murder.then of course Betty, the Bum behind the diner, Dan, the prostitute, the waitress, Camilla...maybe even blonde Camilla.

What first brought this idea in my head was the very first time I saw it, I thought Diane and Betty were played by 2 different actresses because they looked so different. So I figured maybe David Lynch is literally showing us the different faces of Diane?

Ya know, like the classic 3 faces of Eve.

Or like I said in the other thread, one my all time favorite movies "Sybil".
Sep 10, 2002 6:48 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by StellaBlue


What first brought this idea in my head was the very first time I saw it, I thought Diane and Betty were played by 2 different actresses because they looked so different. So I figured maybe David Lynch is literally showing us the different faces of Diane?

Ya know, like the classic 3 faces of Eve.

Or like I said in the other thread, one my all time favorite movies "Sybil".
[/QUOTE]

Stella - I thought the exact same thing, and was so impressed with Naomi Watts performance because of her ability to play two completely different people that I got on the Internet to find out everything about her and what other films she had been in. I had to keep asking myself, is that the same woman??? I like your theory that DL is showing us the many faces of Diane.
Sep 10, 2002 6:53 PM
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The second time I saw it I still wasnt convinced it was the same actress..it wasnt til I saw it on the credits that I finally beleived it! I agree she was phenomenal. Not many actresses out there could pull something like that off....because it wasnt just make up and costume that made her appear different...it was her posture,voice, mannerisms, etc.
Sep 10, 2002 7:12 PM
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Me too! I had to re-read the credits to make sure it was the same actress. I just could not believe it! Like you said her mannerisms, posture, teeth, hair, everything, just seemed so different, it's very hard to believe it's not two different people.

BTW - I just saw a photo and article about her in the entertainment section of the NY Times about her new film she is working on. She plays a pregnant woman. I haven't read the whole thing, I was so annoyed to see that Madonna and Guy Ritchie were on the front page of the section - those two egomaniacs both seem to feel that Lina Wertmuller's Swept Away (1974) needed to be remade and are remaking it and the Times devoted pages and pages to an interview with both of them. AS IF, I mean who the f u c k cares what Madonna has to say about her pretenses at having the ability to act a complex role? Anyway, I would have much rather seen Naomi and her work there but she was relegated to several pages into the section and the section was so huge with all the reviews on new fall movies that I haven't had a chance to read through it but will do and report back. (Sorry, just had to vent - I am VERY sick of Madonna, I was a fan of hers in the 1980s in terms of her music, but now IMHO I think she is WAY overexposed and has been for some time. She is NEVER going to even come close to Watts, or even Laura Herring for that matter, in terms of acting ability and I just get so peeved that more deserving and talented actors don't get the recognition they deserve.)
Sep 10, 2002 7:34 PM
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well i am glad you got that off your chest. i hope you feel better now!
I agree, madonna needs to stick to singin' and dancin'.
Sep 11, 2002 3:25 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by sphygmo
Personally, though, the split-personality theory is just too "realistic" for me. [/QUOTE]
I feel exactly the same way.......

I will never be able to embrace a <i>strictly</i> 'psychological' interpretation of Mulholland Drive. While I value all of the interpretations that are based exclusively on Diane's psyche, I always find there's something 'lacking' in explanations that only deal with the psychological aspects of the film........

I think some of you will know what I mean when I say it feels like there's something 'more' going on than a mere 'psychological event' here.......although it hasn't gotten as much discussion, I think one could argue that there are elements of the 'paranormal' at play here too. I have yet to 'successfully' integrate this aspect into the broader psychological framework (to my own satisfaction), but it still feels like a strictly psychological interpretation does NOT account for/explain <i>everything</i> in the film.

There is something in MD that 'feels' related to the entity known as 'Bob' and the regularly appearing, omen-bearing 'giant' in <B>Twin Peaks</B>.......something touching on powers or forces OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES.

I know I'm not expressing this very articulately (it's hard, but do any of you 'sense' this in MD too?
Sep 11, 2002 3:51 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Neely O'Hara

There is something in MD that 'feels' related to the entity known as 'Bob' and the regularly appearing, omen-bearing 'giant' in <B>Twin Peaks</B>.......something touching on powers or forces OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES.

I know I'm not expressing this very articulately (it's hard, but do any of you 'sense' this in MD too?
[/QUOTE]

I agree with you Neely. It's just that sense of something more, something perhaps supernatural, that keeps me coming back to the film and this board regularly. I don't know myself exactly what it is but hope to find the spark someday here. I truly believe there is a bigger picture that we're missing. Something that goes above and beyond the split personality theory, love story, dream theories. I also think this would have been revealed had the story been picked up as a serialized television program. The bum behind Winkies and the Dan/Herb scene seem to be hints that there is more going on here.

Sorry to babble on without offering any real answer here but maybe someday I'll figure this thing out. Until then, I'm going to enjoy the search.
Sep 11, 2002 11:22 AM
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I do get a supernatural sense from Mulholland Drive, but to me it isn't a Bob-type entity. With Bob, there's a sense of how people can have more than one person inside of them -- sort of a multiple personality thing. In Mulholland Drive, I was reminded more of how one soul can permeate multiple people. How to put it in words? Maybe there are only a limited number of souls to go around. So you may share your soul with someone else. There is a sense in which Betty/Diane seem to be every beautiful woman, the movie star (Rita/Camilla) that she dreams of being but also a waitress or even a whore in the street....Does this make sense? Maybe not. It's difficult to put into words, it is more of a sensation. It is somewhat along the lines of Jane Roberts' idea that you may be living more than one of your reincarnations at a time.
Sep 11, 2002 2:03 PM
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Oh don't get me wrong..I don't think the split personality thing explains everything..not at all. I absolutely agree there is some supernatural stuff going on as well. There's a little bit of everything..that is why I love it.
Sep 11, 2002 2:10 PM
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Why does any one interpretation have to be the correct one, or any two alternatives have to be the frame within which analysis is made? The only definite in the reality Lynch has created is that the scenes must be watched in a certain order. But the movie falls in and out of levels of realism, genres, styles, etc. with fantastic facility. The movie seems constructed in such a way (a trait seemingly shared by most movies, though to varying degrees) that each vignette and quite possibly each scene in the movie is an archetype representative of everything, many somethings and nothing simultaneously.
Sep 11, 2002 7:50 PM
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very well put.
That's sorta what I was getting at in saying there is a little bit of everything. But you were right on in saying sometimes its nothing!
(Does that make sense?!)
Sep 12, 2002 3:25 AM
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I had originally attributed those ideas to you and a few others, but my computer kept crashing and the final message was posted in a rush and in less than impeccable form. Sorry about that!

And yes, I'm pretty sure you're right on in saying that "nothing" can be as valid a meaning to a movie or part of a movie as any other-- otherwise we all may have wasted a lot of time watching Seinfeld reruns!
Sep 12, 2002 5:22 AM
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sure ya did. lol
Sep 12, 2002 2:27 PM
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Although our sensations and humanity give rise to varying degrees of certainty about 'reality,' we can never be certain that what we know to be true, is.

And yet, we can communicate this feeling to others, and somehow still be surprised that we are not alone in our doubt.

But, is empathy also an illusion?
Sep 16, 2002 3:36 AM
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Winona, forever.
Sep 16, 2002 10:36 PM
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Sep 17, 2002 6:59 AM
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"Although our sensations and humanity give rise to varying degrees of certainty about 'reality,' we can never be certain that what we know to be true, is."

Rochas, are you "sure" about that? ;)
Sep 17, 2002 7:23 AM
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