One theme I don't believe has really been touched upon thus far in the discussion of Mulholland Drive, is the view of Mulholland Drive as a "horror movie."
Clearly I don't mean its a horror movie in the "traditional" sense of say, a "Halloween," "Friday the 13th," or "Hellraiser." Frankly, those movies -- while gross and visually shocking -- don't really "scare" anybody. Rather, it is a film like "The Shining" or even more on point, "Jacob's Ladder." It is a horror movie that delves into subjects much more complex and real and therefore, frightening; the evil in people's hearts, dreams, insanity, death, and the soul.
I can't recall -- with the exception of Kubrick's "The Shining" -- a movie that has more effectively conveyed feelings of suspense, tension you can cut through with a knife, and moments of absolute horror. A feeling that just lingers with you and haunts you -- long after you've turned off the T.V.
A perfect example of this is the recurring corpse. Quite frankly, the more I think about it after reading visitor comments -- I'm not so sure "who" this corpse is or "what" it represents. In fact, I've come to the conclusion, it means different things at different times in the movie.
I see how it seems to represent Diane -- yes -- her physical rotting self after committing suicide. Or perhaps, a representation of her decaying moral state -- the "Dorian Grey" analogy, as has been mentioned. However, I agree with other visitors' observations, that the corpse quite clearly is "Camilla" at other times -- and it was my first impression, that this is in fact, who the corpse was.
One of the more pivotal scenes in the movie is when Rita and Betty find the corpse in the apartment. Rita is absolutely horrified, yet Betty keeps her composure -- to a remarkable, if not unbelievable, degree. Two explanations for this.
First, in Diane's "fantasy," Rita/Camilla is basically seeing herself dead -- her own, decaying corpse lying on that bed. Temporarily shaken out of her "amnesia" she is forced to confront what has happened to herself.
A second explanation is, if we assume the corpse to be Diane, perhaps it is Diane's own wishful thinking; Rita's reaction is Camilla's remorseful and horrified reaction to what she has done to Diane (or rather forced Diane to do to herself).
In either scenario, it is Betty who seems to be the force guiding/forcing her (Rita) to confront the body and accept it. Either way, Betty's actions assist in forcing Rita to come to terms with this harsh reality and suggests "moralistic" tones, rationalization, and and the wishful thinking of her own fantasy -- "See Camilla, what you've brought about (on yourself - on me) -- by your actions."
Either way, the corpse represents "horror." That still, lifeless, decaying corpse, slumped all alone on the bed in that sad, depressing place -- that rotting pumpkin-like face -- it is a truly terrifying scene.
The other issue I think is unclear and needs resolving, is what exactly is the nature of the sequences that are "not reality" -- the first 2/3 of the movie. After reading your piece, I was very comfortably resigned to the fact that this was a fantasy -- a coping mechanism -- an alternative reality, created by Diane in her mind - by her insanity.
However, I've found the visitor's comments, that this "un-reality" is in fact, an after-death dream (identical to "Jacob's Ladder"), to be very convincing.
We know that Diane has lost her grip on reality -- that she is suffering from schizophrenia or some other delusion. For example, when she sees Camilla in her apartment during the "reality" sequence, "Camilla, you've come back!" This and other scenes in the apartment suggest, without a doubt, that Diane is at the brink, she is losing or has lost her mind and is being overcome with fantastic and terrifying mental delusions -- particularly right before she commits suicide.
However, does that mean that the whole first 2/3 of the movie is a window into her fantasy -- the waking alternative reality she's created in her mind, along the lines of the main character's schizophrenia, in "A Beautiful Mind?"
I'm beginning to have my doubts about this. More to the point, I don't think these alternative hypotheses -- insanity vs. dream -- are mutually exclusive. Its not I don't think Diane is crazy, or that it is not a "fantasy" created in her mind, but rather, it is one created in an actual dream or a "dying dream" by an insane person.
Evidence for the dying dream? I believe if you accept this whole sequence is a dying dream -- a moment in what seems like an eternity, in which a person's life flashes before their eyes -- then we know why the thunderclap at the cabaret seems to have such an effect on Betty. I've read one suggestion, that (in a real dream), she envisions the gunshot that kills Rita/Camilla. Nonsense. If this were the case, why would Rita be completely unaffected by it, while Betty practically goes into convulsions and shortly thereafter, disappears.
And what about Aunt Ruth? After Rita opens the box with the key and looks in, we are sucked in and all are gone. Ruth appears. I find this scene similar to the scene Kubrik inserted at the end of "The Shining." As we pan closer and closer to an old picture on the wall at the Overland, we realize Jack Nicholson is standing with a group, in the portrait. What does it mean? Everything -- and nothing. A nice touch however and very effective, but totally open to whatever interpretation you give it. Nothing more.
I just read your review of Mulholland Drive and thought that it was excellent. I know it is quite a bit after you wrote this essay and so may have no interest in still receiving mail regarding it but I have two comments for you. I have only seen the film once on dvd and was actually imbibing in whiskey throughout so my memory of it is not spectacular but I still have a couple of comments to make in addition to your review.
One is that you point out Billy Ray Cyrus is in the film but you do not take note of what he is specifically famous for, namely, the song "Achy Breaky Heart." If you read the lyrics of that song it matches the plot of the movie very well:
You can tell the world you never was my girl.
You can burn my clothes when I'm gone.
Or you can tell your friends just what a fool I've been
and laugh and joke about me on the phone.
Or you can tell my arms go back to the farm.
You can tell my feet to hit the floor.
Or you can tell my lips to tell my fingertips
they won't be reaching out for you no more.
But don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart.
I just don't think he'd understand.
And if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart,
He might blow up and kill this man.
You can tell your ma I moved to Arkansas.
You can tell your dog to bite my leg.
Or tell your brother Clff
whose fist can tell my lip.
He never really liked me anyway.
Or tell your Aunt Louise.
Tell anything you please.
Myself already knows I'm not okay.
Or you can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind.
It might be walking out on me to day.
When you read them it will be obvious how much it describes what is going on as regards humiliating rejection and revenge, as well as a disjunct between the heart and the mind or, rather, the inability to control painful emotions except by losing rationality and acting out violently. It is known as a simple, sugary pop song yet is really anything but thematically.
Secondly, no one seems to reflect seriously on the morality of Lynch's films. I believe this is because we have become unaccustomed to serious moral discourse (who takes morality seriously these days?) and we concomitantly tend to project our own moral evaluations onto the world. What I want to suggest is that Lynch's humanism is a fundamentally Christian humanism rather than a modern, individualist, secular/atheistic type humanism. This is evident in the two "normal" films he has done, The Elephant Man and The Straight Story. The latter is especially replete with Christian symbolism and humanist themes. Some examples are guilt from personal sinfulness (rather than a societal imposed guilt as understood in modern thought such as Freud), the communal or societal impact of our moral failings (contra individualism), the importance of traditional familial relationships (again contra individualism but also counter to contemporary sexual licentiousness), and the theme of reconciliation (as against the common modernist trope of narcissistic alienation, either real or self-imposed). Many more could be listed. When you look at his fantastical films the themes I mention above from his straight films are prominent by their absence, or rather by the characters of those films being unreflective of these issues and the resulting chaos of their moral character. Just one example is the role of familial relationships in his fantastic films. An obvious example is Wild at Heart with the broken families and maniacal mom, or the subject of your review, Mulholland Drive, with the old couple as a possible vision of Diane's parents as well as the problem of her aunt, is she dead or just on a trip? The only person in the film that is represented as having a familial relationship to anyone is the director's mother and so Diane's reaction to this maternal figure's pity is very significant.
This second issue of a moral point to Lynch's films is of course obvious in Mulholland Drive as regards the seduction and degradation of its characters as well as the self destruction that follows. I need to go ahead and purchase the DVD so I can do some critical viewing such as you have done but one image I remember from the film has never been mentioned in anything I have read and that is a Catholic icon on a wall in the background of a scene. I cannot recall the scene as my specific recollections are hazy, again given the whiskey I was drinking at the time. Anyway, your article hardly mentions any background props (the exception being the general look of some rooms such as the one that Mr. Roque appears in.) Since David Lynch is a master of the cinematic art I suspect that he is well in control of the mise-en-scene and that therefore every piece of set decoration is important. So, back to my main point, at some junction there is a scene in a room where I think Betty is talking to someone (cannot remember the details at all) and behind the actors on the wall clearly in frame -- I think in the middle of the frame actually -- but slightly out of focus is an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The general background of this icon is that it is revered by Latin American Catholics in particular as it reflects a vision by a Mexican Indian youth named Juan Diego (who was recently canonized) of the Virgin Mary in 1531. It is claimed to have miraculous powers (not surprising for a religious icon) and the basilica in Mexico City which houses the original painting is the most visted Marian Shrine in the world. There are a slew of reasons why this image in particular could be important on a theological level but I will just make mention of one theme. What I find most interesting is that in December of 1999 (the original script for Mulholland Drive was completed in January of 1999) John Paul II declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the protectress of the lives of innocent children, in particular the unborn. You note the theme of lost innocence as well as images of maternity and so I cannot believe that this icon's presence was purely an accident of set design. I do not mean to put more weight on this icon than it can handle as regards its significance in the film but use it only as an illustration of what I believe is a general interest on the part of Lynch for moral discourse of a basically Christian stamp.
I have been somewhat loath to send this email since suggesting that someone could be taking Christian morality or themes seriously is practically anathema these days. I think the assumption is that to do so is "evangelical" in some way. However, since you are writing for a literary website I think you may find this angle helpful; especially if my sneaking suspicion that Lynch is influenced by a Catholic sensibility is correct. Catholic authors (at least the best) are generally rather subtle in their weaving of Christian elements in their stories, for example, Evelyn Waugh or J.R.R. Tolkein. A far cry from the more evangelical style of books such as those of the Left Behind series. Probably the best literary comparison could be made between Tolkein's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. Tolkein's writing is commonly recognized to be imbued with Catholic themes yet it can be read practically oblivious to this fact whereas Lewis is much more obvious in his appropriation of Christian metaphors as befits his more evangelical, apologetic bent.
I was fortunate to have found your excellent summary and analysis of Mulholland Drive on the Internet. I especially liked reading the other visitor's opinions, some of which seem to be right on. I had only seen the film once when I read your synopsis. After watching the movie again, I have some alternative interpretations of this challenging Lynch puzzle.
There were several scenes in the movie that were not discussed at length, but which I believe may be significant to the structure of the film, such as the reaction of the two women to the corpse, the neighbor the women approached just before discovering the corpse, the fact that Camilla has a Spanish accent during the "real" confrontation in which she tries to provide an explanation to Diane following the kissing scene on the set between the director and Camilla, and the dialogue between Diane and Camilla prior to the line where Camilla states that "we shouldn't do this anymore."
The crux of my theory is that in reality there never was a sexual relationship between Diane and Camilla. That they were friends is obvious, and that makes it all the more complicated. As Camilla's career took off and Diane's did not, perhaps some distance and jealously grew between them that they both regretted, especially Betty/Diane, who fell in love with Rita/Camilla, but was never able to consummate the relationship. This explains the strange dialogue prior to the "breakup" line. Rita said "...you drive me wild," which is an unlikely prelude to "we shouldn't do this anymore." This is another dream/delusion sequence that Lynch uses to throw us off the trail because it is in the "real" portion of the movie.
My belief is that the only "real" portions of the movie occur inside Diane's Sierra Bonita apartment, usually when she is wearing the dingy, white terry cloth robe. Although virtually every commentator assumes that the last third of the movie is the "real" portion, the events leading to the plot to kill Camilla is really the bad dream portion of a good dream/bad dream dichotomy developed by Lynch. Unable to express her feelings, or come to come to terms with her feelings of loss, jealousy and possession, Diane believes that her only choice is to kill Rita psychologically.
It seems exceedingly unlikely to me that Camilla would intentionally humiliate her friend in such a callous manner. The kiss between Camilla and the blond actress is also a delusion or dream fragment reflecting Betty/Diane's jealousy rather than an actual event. How often do women announce an engagement and then proceed to kissing other women on the mouth? I'm not from California, but that scene strikes me as exceedingly odd. Further support for the theory that Diane and Camilla were not lovers is the simple fact that women generally don't like to keep jilted lovers hanging around and don't invite them to engagement parties. Intuitively, a more likely response would be an attempt to "erase" the other person so as not to be confronted by the obvious pain inflicted on the jilted lover, which, ironically, is precisely the reaction Diane had toward Camilla.
Incorporating the visitor comment that the dream occurs simultaneously with Diane's death, this explains why Rita is not merely horrified by the discovering of the body, but also heartbroken. Diane is imagining Camilla's reaction to the death of her friend, to whom she is close and perhaps realizes her role in Diane's death. This is the tragic aspect of death, that we do not realize how important a person is to us until they are gone, or in this case a reversal -- Camilla probably didn't realize how important she was to Diane until after Diane was dead. Parenthetically, the corpse viewed by Rita and Betty is clearly wearing different clothes from Diane at the time she kills herself. The corpse is wearing a skirt of dark color. Diane was wearing the dingy white robe.
As further support to my theory that the delusions and dreaming don't stop in the "real" sequence, Rita/Camilla sports a Spanish accent when she was pleading with Diane at her apartment door following the kissing scene with the director. If one assumes that accents don't come and go, we must assume that if the Rita in the dream state did not have an accent, then the scenes in which she does have an accent must be the "real" scenes, of which there was only one -- the short heated scene that occurred at Diane's apartment when Diane screamed "...its not easy for me!" We assume they are arguing from the basis of a romantic relationship, but they easily could have been arguing about the film role that Diane lost to Camilla. In the process of idolizing Rita/Camilla, who in reality appears to have been of Hispanic ethnicity, Rita stripped away the Spanish accent in her dream sequences, which is virtually every scene Rita/Camilla appearance in the movie.
Another loose end was the unidentified neighbor who the two women first encounter at Sierra Bonita. When they ask her if she is Diane, there is an unusually long pause, as if she is trying to decide how much information to share, or how to explain their relationship. I theorize that the neighbor was Diane's actual lover, and possibly a prototype of Camilla. Its entirely possible that Rita/Camilla is an delusional version of this rather homely woman, and that Rita/Camilla never existed at all. Lynch may be playing with the idea here that infatuation leads us to see what we want to see in the object of our desire rather than what is really there. Perhaps Camilla was a delusion that represented the Hollywood career that Diane hoped to have but was never realized.
Even a straightforward reading of the film bears out the possibility that the "hit" never occurred. The hit man stated that once the money is turned over to him, "it's a done deal." However, we never see Diane hand over the money, which leaves open the possibility that she never went through with ordering the hit. That leaves the source of her self-loathing undefined and completely organic.
Club Silenco strikes me as a transitory place between life and death, similar to the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. Notably, the song is "Crying," a song which reflects the despair of loss as well as any. And its in Spanish, which is consistent with the real or delusional "actual" Camilla. Betty/Diane reconciles her feelings here, and as you note, reality starts to leak through the dream, which ultimately leads to her meltdown.
Lynch's work is easily categorized more as a work of art than a film because it is open to so many interpretations. Its entirely possible that Lynch never had a chance to finish the work based on its history as a possible TV mini-series. Fire Walk with Me, the film based on the Twin Peaks series, was much more tied together in a holistic way, perhaps because Lynch had a chance to work out the kinks in the mini-series (or vice versa, I'm not sure which came first). In any event, the "unfinished" nature of the film with its multiple loose ends nonetheless makes for an interesting puzzle.
I just read your analysis of Mulholland Drive, and am very happy to say it helped me organize my thoughts on the particulars in the movie.
I believe that there is deeper meaning to the characters of the cowboy and the mysterious man behind the glass in a wheelchair. To me they represent the forces of good and evil. If you'll notice the cowboy lives way up at the top of a canyon, or at least met by Adam there, i.e. heaven. And the wheelchair man is met at an assumed basement type floor in a building accessed only by elevator, i.e. hell. The cowboy's lines are most instrumental in understanding this interpretation at one point he says "I'm driving the buggy here . . ." and tells Adam that if he'll play nice he can ride along. Perhaps with this he means not just controlling the conversation, but controlling his life, such as the singer moving her mouth to the words in Club Silencio, Adam is moving along to the cowboy's orders. Or so he thinks. When the cowboy makes note of appearing 2 more times for bad and 1 for good, I don't believe he is speaking directly to Adam, since Adam never sees him again, that we are aware of. But that the cowboy will appear in Diane's dream or alter reality (will be discussed in my next point) and this is somehow Diane's way of saying that Adam picked the wrong girl for the part. Camilla Rhodes instead of "Betty." We are to assume this since the cowboy appears additionally twice in the movie, 1 to wake Diane; 2 passes by the real Camilla at the party. Well where does the monster fit in . . . I think it's somewhere between good and evil, mainly neutrality. Just a force of nature, mostly I consider it cause and effect, as well as action versus inaction.
I have also been considering that this "dream" may be in fact an alternative reality, and that the two main characters happen to randomly switch bodies. The two men at the diner, obviously very close and personal, are perhaps betty and Rita, or any other pseudonym, and they are just continuing their fantasies as one big dream. The "psychic" man says "I hope I never see that face outside of a dream." well then he is probably in the dream itself which is in the same place as all his other dreams. I also note the lack of reaction to his friend/psychiatrist to the monster. As his friend falls to the ground he is not remotely repulsed at the disgusting nature of the monster as most would be. Also I note that upon the immediate "death" of this man we are taken to a sleeping Rita who awakens, and I would remind you that this scene starts as Rita goes to sleep. So it would be possible that this is a dream within a dream or an alternate reality which co-exists at the same time as the one we consider real. Thus making the tunnel between the two either dying or dreaming. I think since we deny the concept of plural realities existing it is too difficult for us to understand even in a film setting.
My first deep confusion in reflecting on the movie is the function of showing a previous job of the hitman. Who I assume is working for the man in the wheelchair. I think this was used mainly to suggest the faulty nature of the hitman, and Diane's hoping that he had not killed Camilla, something to ease her conscience. Also I am confused by the change of lampshades by Diane's bed the only thing I could think was that one belonged to the woman who used to live in the apartment. Why does the hitman want to know about a new girl on the street, why look for Camilla for a different job than the one you already did. This is why I think Camilla survived or at least did in Diane's reality, because the hitman wouldn't need to check up on a dead person. Or perhaps he was looking for a different girl with a different name in a parallel reality for the mob that wants the girl with the pearl earrings. I am also troubled by the police investigators finding what appears to be the blue key, and asking each other about it. How did the key appear in Rita's purse if it is actually held by the police. This helps me to understand the box and key as a means of escape and perhaps the false sense of control.
Since the end of the movie is so much like the beginning it seems like it would repeat itself but with the two women switching roles. But I have often thought that their personalities are switched between one another in Diane's alternate universe. Since she is dependent upon Camilla for sex/love then she makes Camilla dependent on her to find out who she is. I think there's also a different explanation for the beginning and end of the film That bright glow on Diane's face is like that of what we assume heaven to be. It could be that she actually lives another life in which she is betty, after killing herself as she was Diane. And in this life comes upon her soul mate in a different form. That idea is just a thought, I have yet to organize my support for that.
There is also the problem of the final line. The "silencio" uttered by Camilla as she is half asleep and half awake send them to a club where we later see a blue haired woman repeat "silencio." I think this is in the aspect of "no hay banda" a fact about the performance. That the actors produce no real sound, that it's all a recording. As well we are all set in our paths, and controlled by the proverbial records we must lip-sync to. Just Lynch reminding us we are all victims of fate. However the cowboy gives us the message that our attitudes affect what kinds of lives we have. And that how we deal with or perceive things can change the general outcomes. Which provides another way of looking at this story. Rather than a dream sequence/reality it's possible that the story is of two different possibilities occurring simultaneously, with the names and relations change so as not to confuse the ever living crap out of the viewer.
Anyway, I enjoyed the hell out of your page, hope my thoughts make sense I've been up for a few days, sorry if not 100% coherent.
I enjoyed your review and found it very helpful and thought-provoking. I had an additional thought about the movie regarding the blue keys and blue box. Could it be that David Lynch was making a reference to the Bluebeard story (particularly as referenced by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes in the book, Women Who Run With the Wolves.) My recollection of Estes' interpretation of this fairy tale is that a woman marries a man with a Bluebeard, despite the fact that her intuition is telling her that there is something not quite right about him (as symbolized by his blue beard). Bluebeard tells his yound bride that she can have access to all the rooms in the castle with the exception of one room. The yound bride ultimately gets the key to this room and finds it to be full of corpses (of dead wives, presumably). Estes writes about how Bluebeard represents the natural predator who inhabits all women's psyches -- a force that can take over when women let go of their intuitive powers. It seems that like the bride in Bluebeard, many of the MD characters let go of intuition to engage in fantasy. Diane continues to engage in fantasy with Camilla, despite all the messages that Camilla gives her suggesting that she does not care about maintaining the integrity of their relationship. Similarly, Camilla seems to not attend to the predatory dangers that exist within Diane. When Rita unlocks the box with the blue key, the more predatory nature of both women unfolds and the fantasy falls away. Similarly, as the bride of Bluebeard unlocks the forbiden room in the castle, the predatory nature of Bluebeard is revealed and her fantasy of their marriage dissentegrates.
It also seems that the young man with the spooky dreams would like to disconnect from the evil his intuition has discovered through his dreams. When he makes the assumption that this dream info is symbolic and not real, and he seeks out confirmation of this theory, he learns that he was mistaken. Perhaps, if he had given credence to his intuition, he would not have gone to that particular Winkies and put himself at risk.
Finally, the woman with the blue hair in the end may also be be a reference to Bluebeard in that she has blue hair and is calling for silence. Perhaps she is commenting on the silencing of intuition. Certainly, the whole club scene seems to be commenting on our eager willingness to disengage for instinct and information regarding deceipt because we naturally want to engage in the fantasy.
I am totally speculating on the above and it could be from left field -- but hey, it's fun to wonder.
Thanks again to you and to the other contributors for your interesting thoughts.
I enjoyed your article and found it to be a well developed assessment. It is refreshing especially when message boards about the film tend to end up with people calling each other "retard" just because someone has a different theory. What I like about the film is that to a point I see it as a cinematic Rorshach test -- people see what they want to in some of the more abstract characters, i.e. the monster, the blue-haired woman, and even Betty/Diane.
So here a few notes from what my scarred psyche saw. I believe the Club Silencio is some sort of purgatory...a place for lost souls, in Diane's mind. It is there, as you pointed out, that Betty/Diane and Camilla/Rita are together, holding each other. I believe that the dream sequence is a death flash as Diane passes to whatever realm. And she wants her fantasy to end with she and Camilla holding each other for all eternity, two lost souls (Diane because she orchestrated the death of her lover and Camilla for spurning her lover.)
I also have to point out that aside from the common assessment that Camilla is indeed dead, which you intuitively pointed out, it is also an assumption that the attempted hit took place in the limo/ car crash. I think that the limo is just Diane's own manifestation because it was that fatal limo that took her to the party that was her ultimate undoing. In her mind, she sees Camilla meeting her demise/ salvation (mirroring Diane's own ride -- the salvation of Camilla's flirtatious nature walk and the destruction of her engagement to Adam) in the same limo.
I like the idea of the Cowboy as similar to the Virgil character from Dante's Inferno. He is a guide for Diane, waking her up, in her own Inferno and, in her dream, he is a guide for Adam as he faces his own personal Hell.
To answer question as to why a crazy woman would have a gun, I think perhaps Diane bought the gun with the purpose of killing Camilla herself, perhaps she even invisioned something similar to Adam's finding wife, except played out with Adam and Camilla as the adulterous lovers and both of them ending up riddled with bullets (the paint in Adam's thread of the dream). But in the long run she knew she couldn't do it. She knew that her love for Camilla would overcome or perhaps she was afraid Camilla would dupe her as Diane believed she duped so many others, so she called in the hit to make sure the job was done. Or perhaps in her frenzied state she believed that it wasn't real if she didn't pull the trigger. That is until the key turned up.
I'm sure future viewings will bring about some other great epiphany, most likely one that discounts everything I have just said, but isn't that the joy of Lynch?
Hi, thanks for helping me get my head round Mulholland Drive.
I have one point which doesn't seem to have been raised. When we first encounter diane's bed as she falls asleep at the beginning, the yellow blanket is "made" on the bed. When we see the dead body at no17 the yellow blanket is crumpled at the bottom of the bed. When diane shoots herself, the blanket is folded over the end of the bed. This implies to me that the unseen head hitting the pillow at the beginning can not be Diane shooting herself and that the "fantasy" is a dream as opposed to dying moments, possibly the night before she kills herself. As though she has a night of guilt fueled dreams and her conscience (in the form of her Grandma & Grandad???) drives her to suicide.
It's just that i really noticed the blanket because my Grandma has one just like it!
the comment of the movie is excelent. i think the same in all ways... but there is some personal impressions of the film that i want to add:
the only real encounter at winkie's is between diane and the killer. the first time, where we saw to dan and their psychotherapist, it is dreamt, and not real like i read here. (we know it easily: there is an incoherence, typical of the dreams: when they getting up the table has over it some food, and later the table is empty). in her dreams, diane makes a self-divided of your mind in several facets of its life and personality, being this represented by different people and characters, created from real people or objects; examples:
Dan embodies the fear of diane of facing with her "evil, diabolical, macabre part" that is embodied by a monster, which is the place where she went to look for the key, with a lot of fear to find it, since that implied that she was a murderess. it is very undoubtedly what is the blue box: when the camera enters to the same one, it makes it with an acceleration and an identical sound to which happens when it enters to the club silence (where the blue also prevails), since what represents that club is the illusion, the magic, the feeling, the yearnings to believe. a "personal version" of the club silence is the blue box that not alone it represents the same kind of thing. But still: she took that image of a real blue box that is next to the gun with which she suicide. it is a simple and small box, of those of the type to keep some jewel. it is next to their bed, among the things wanted by her, and in their dream she became a box that represents their illusions.
Diane in their dream there is an important situation two times: losses of jewels. once in the crash, where after the accident the police finds a gun and a jewel (are the same two element near to her bed ????); another time is when adams is betrayed by love: their reaction is go to look for the jewels to "destroy" its with pink paint. what is the reality that generated these dreamt passages? the question could be answered by another question: how a poor girl is able to gather so much money in cash to kill to camilla? selling a jewel that she had. and this jewel was also a memory of their distant time of illusion. what did the blue box empty, joint to their illusion, magic, yearnings and internally their pride?: the camilla murder; represented by the blue key that is the one that opens up in the dream and it shows the emptyness of the box, the loss of that it represents; it is for that reason that in their dream they appear two elements together: the money of the murder and the key, that is to say, two faces of the interior of the real blue box: the money for the sale of the interior, and the key in reference to their empty.
Diane has all the time a hoop in her ears. But there are a scene where she lost it for ever: in the change from the dinner at adam´s party to the winkies with the hit man.
in the club silence a person appears with a blue wig that is not but that the monster's other face, that is to say, the dreamed representation of the other diane fasceta: the creative and illusory with hopes and artistic yearnings; this alone imagen takes place inside the club, since never it could be represented in the life a consummation of these feelings.
when adams full with painting the jewels choose a color: pink. (Pink is this the name of the bar where the killer was talking with a prostitute (possible diane contact with the killer?). In the movie, there are only one scene with color pink: the casting of the adams film dreamt by diane, where the 50s looked movie had pink dresses, for example with the fake camilla rhodes...
the policemen are looking for her. it is evident that the killer left clues, or it accused her somebody that listened and saw everything, for example, the winkies witness, but it is clear that the killer didn't work cleanly: she is pursued. and sorry that fellow has been the one that killed her, because his little capacity left it in evidence.
it is for that reason that to the killer is presented as not very professional: in the scene where it kills at three instead of one and he makes sound alarms: the hitman is a beginner. he doesn't have contacts neither work. for that reason it takes out him the notebook: to achieve the contacts of the true one. this is counting him a case where there was an incredible crash, etc, what means that he didn't have to kill somebody and it was made of money without working. this makes laugh a lot to the other one. in some moment he counts that anecdote like own, to achieve the same effect of having an occupation gag, and for that reason she dreams of a crash and with the doubt that it is real, seeing their impericia.
well... why the brown cups of the winkies are exactly the same of the home real diane´s cups? like this item, the filme has a lot of non-important elements mixed with little important things...
Great great website. David Lynch is a cunning old fox. He has created a film about frustrated desires which has created frustrated desires in filmgoers trying to solve its mysteries. Here are my two cents, though probably wrong and definitely incomplete.
The first part of the movie is Diane's dream. It is framed by her POV falling into the pillow, signifying she is about to fall asleep, and the cowbay telling her it's time to wake up, signifying...well she's about to wake up. Zooming through the opened box thematically should signify something more than just moving from one dream to another. The jitterbug sequence at the start is probably a preceding dream in the same night's disturbed sleep yet there is no zooming through boxes here.
The consistent theme running through this dream is that it represents her desires, frustrated by what she has done.
The scared man in the diner is Diane. The psychiatrist represents the hitman. The place settings are the same. Both share the same demon. Diane uses this setup to distance (and protect) herself from what she has done while still recollecting it, and rationalise the murder as a form of therapy for her emotional ills. Diane's psyche is constantly telling her that this strategy wont work. It manifests in this sequence by the scared man dying without being protected by the psychiatrist. The sequence also serves to fill the audience with a sense of dread for what is about to unfold. It also signals that a key to interpreting the movie is that identities may swap but the person remains the same.
This also creates symmetry between the second and penultimate sequences of the movie (not counting the jitterbug). There is symmetry between the first and last sequences (falling into the bed) as well. In fact there might be some symmetry between the third (Diane arriving at LA) and third from last sequence (the party), one representing Diane's hopes, the other representing Diane's hopes crushed.
The key looks different in the dream part of the movie compared to the latter part simply because it is a dream and everyday objects can take on different appearances in dreams. Again it creates distance for Diane from what she has done. The key in the "real" portion appearing means Camilla is dead.
The fact that Diane has moved apartment in real life to escape the police means the dream must have taken place after Camilla was murdered.
Mulholland Drive is one of the most vivid representations of the psychological interior of a character I have ever seen, read or heard. For example, when Diane shows Camilla the body, there are several desires manifesting simultaeneously. Assuming the body represents both Diane and Camilla, there is "look what you drove me to do to you", "I want to hurt myself", "I want to hurt you", "I want to protect you and love you" and probably others. The part where the dwarf ordered production to close down felt like Diane's psyche telling her her dream of being a star was over with the film serving as a metaphor for this particular dream. It was also an effective depiction of Diane's paranoid state. Fire Walk with Me is another film depicting a vivid psychological interior (of Laura Palmer).
The Club Silencio sequence felt as if it was occurring in the theatre where I watched it live, with the MC addressing both Diane and the audience.
The structure of the movie is consistent with the emotional state of the main protagonist. Fantasy, flashbacks and hallucinations imply mental illness.
Mulholland Drive is one of the saddest and most moving unrequited love stories I've seen. It is a great film about Hollywood. It is a great film about films. It is a great mystery. It is a work of art. Thank you David.
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20 March 2003