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Archive for the ‘Mulholland Drive’ Category

Mulholland Drive – review – Film Comment #1

Film Comment – #1 – Mulholland Drive – David Lynch – 2001


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I find David Lynch to be one of the most fascinating human beings on the planet, and each film of his is something that should be savored, reflected upon, and watched multiple times, because each time you do, it gets a little bit better. Two viewers will never interpret the same things from a Lynch film. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lynch himself has often refused to give insight and meanings to his films. He has stated it may mean something completely different to you and that is what film should be about.

“Mulholland Drive” was originally started as a pilot for a television show much like “Twin Peaks”, but TV executives were put off by the first footage Lynch shot. He then decided to turn it into a feature film. Which is his finest since “Blue Velvet”.

The film begins with a woman who is forced out of a car along Mulholland Drive. The car is soon collided into by two racing cars. The woman scurries off into the nite, losing all trace of her memory, with a purse full of cash, and a mysterious blue key. The women soon runs into Betty, in a breakout performance by Naomi Watts, an up and coming actress who is staying at her aunt’s apartment. Betty soon becomes intrigued in the mystery that unfolds intent on helping her new amnesiac friend find out who she is.

There are other completely separate subplots to the main story, following the paranoia of a man in a diner, a director and his cheating girlfriend, and Betty’s own acting dreams. It is an incoherent film that somehow ends up working in the end in its own magical way slipping in and out of what appears to be it’s own universe and timestream. Unlike “Inland Empire” I believe you can actually figure out the main storyline. The film is billed as “A Love Story In the City of Dreams” and if you concentrate on this notion, then you are well on your way to unraveling the mystery.

In 2001 Lynch was robbed of receiving the Oscar for best director, in classic Academy Awards bullshit fashion, losing to Ron Howard and his film A Beautiful Mind. He did however win the award for best director at the Cannes film festival.

I could go on and on about the complexity of this film and my interpretation of it as well. I spent the better half of grad school writing papers on Lynch’s film’s mostly on “Inland Empire”, which I will once again watch and be reviewing next. For me watching a Lynch film is only the first step. His films then invoke this idea of conversing with other viewers about what has transpired, and then deciphering the images through this dialogue. Just as Lynch says everyone will find their own meaning in his films, I find myself finding a completely different interpretation of his films upon every viewing. It has probably been 4 or 5 years since I last saw “Mulholland Drive”, and next to “Inland Empire” I think it is Lynch’s finest film. I originally picked it as the 6th best film of 2001, but after seeing it once again I think it may rank a bit higher if I was to do that list again.

Grade – A+