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[Movies] Mulholland Drive just fucked up my brain.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Milo, Nov 1, 2002.

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  1. Milo

    Milo New Member

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    I finally, finally got around to seeing David Lynch's film, Mulholland Drive and I wanted to pop in here and see what everyone else thought of the movie.

    I was blown away. In fact, I'm going to watch it for a second time after this post. There's just so much there to see and think through. Little clues and tidbits left by Lynch that begs for more than one viewing. It is a meaty steak of depthnosity. Loose ends, red herrings, motives... all that good shit that's fun to overanalyze once the movie's over.

    But before I start to ramble, I'd like to watch the movie again as well as see if anyone else here is interested in discussing the movie; dissecting it with me. Stuff like, "What was the blue box?" or "What was the deal with that troll behind Winkies?"
     
  2. Deadly Bread

    Deadly Bread New Member

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    That movie is God to me*. You have to watch it twice to get it at all, but it's all basically summed up by silencio. I could discuss it for hours, so I'll just wait and see what you have to say first.





    *May only be really awesome
     
  3. carlstar

    carlstar New Member

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    blue

    Its the blue key. Well thats when it goes from fantasy to reality or so i believe.

    Good film though and i bet the lesbian scene was done because Dave wanted to see two fine looking ladies getting all steamy together.
     
  4. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    You know, if Milo has said "lesbians" in his first post, I might've taken more interest.
     
  5. Milo

    Milo New Member

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    You're gonna have to expand on that later, DB, cause the whole "silencio/crying/Club Silencio" is one of the things I'm not so sure about. I'm not sure how it ties into the whole thing, I mean.

    After watching the movie once - I never did see it a second time, though I plan to - I felt that I basically got it. Namely that the whole first couple hours of the movie was Diane/Betty's idealized dream. Her attempt to make a cliched Hollywood story out of her hiring a hitman to kill Camilla.

    Anyway, before I go any farther, I'm warning that this post is going to be a little disjointed. Try to stick with me, I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts on the movie.

    Diane - The character we see in the end of the movie is the one the whole thing centers around. She came to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a big star. Things didn't turn out so fairy-tale for her, though. She became a bit player and a prostitute, losing out on her "one shot to stardom" to Camilla, her sometime lover and an actress on her way to the top via her talent or the casting couch, we're never sure which.

    After going to the party where Adam and Camilla announce that they're going to be wed, Diane makes the decision to kill her. She goes to Winkies and meets up with the hitman, pays him the $50,000 (or however much it was in reality) to do the job. The hitman shows Diane the blue key that he'll give her, which signifies that the deed has been done - Camilla is dead. Later on when Diane is masturbating, right before she kills herself, we see this blue key on her table, so we know that she has confirmation of what she's done. Blah blah blah, the old people come through the crack in the door and freak her out, she runs to her bedroom to grab the gun in her nightstand (right next to the blue box, btw), and BLAMMO, she's dead.

    Rewind back to the beginning of the movie where we see/hear a gasp and a body hitting the bed. This must have been the seconds following Diane's suicide, right? The next two hours of the movie are Diane's death fantasy. Of her trying to both rid herself of guilt and justify her actions.

    In Diane's dream, she's Betty (in reality, the girl that worked in the diner). She comes to live in an idealized version of Hollywood where all the apartments are ivy covered and people are just swell. In this dream world, Camilla/Rita escaped the hitman that night and lost her memory, ultimately coming to stay with Betty. In this dreamworld, Camilla/Rita is helpless and dependant on Betty and Betty's love for her is returned in spades rather than scorned. We get a glimpse of Camilla/Rita's non-existent acting talent while she helps Betty rehearse lines for an audition which she absolutely NAILS (one of the great parts of the movie, imo). So here we have in this dreamland, Betty posseses amazing acting ability which has directors and casting agents literally jumping for joy. The only reason she misses out on the leading role in Adam's movie is because of a sinister Mafia plot, which I have to believe is a nod to the Godfather. That's how she justifies her real life failures. It's not her fault, it's something/someone else. In real life, it was Camilla seducing the director. In her fantasy, it was the mob controlling the movie.

    Ok, so far so good, things are making sense up to this point. We're treated to a comic interlude showing the supposed ineptness of the hitman, again, Diane/Betty trying absolve herself of some guilt by thinking that maybe the hitman wasn't able to carry out the hit because he was so comically bad at it. There's the bit with the Nervous Young Man and his Psychotherapist at Winkies, and the old troll living behind the diner, the keeper of the Blue Box.

    This is where the wheels come off for me. I sort of "get it" but the whole thing doesn't fit together into a neat little package. What is with Club Silencio? The very last thing in the whole movie was the singer whispering "silencio", then the credits roll. What does this club represent? It's where the girls first find the blue box. During the set at the club, a big deal is made that appearances and reality have nothing to do with one another. Diane has a weird shaking fit right before she reaches down and finds the Blue Box on the seat next to her. Help me put these pieces together so they make sense.

    Another thing is the Psychic Nerd Boy with Eyebrows of Doom, his Psychotherapist, and the Troll Behind Winkies. An interesting theory I've heard about these three is that they represent Diane. The Mental Nerdbrow is her Ego, the Psychotherapist is her Super Ego, and the Troll is her Id. Any thoughts on that? It sounded plausible to me when I first read it, but then I'm not sure how this "rule of threes" would apply to the rest of the movie. Since the dream is all in Diane's (dying and bullet ridden) head anyway, it's reasonable to say that all the characters represent her in one way or another in the same sense that during any dream, the characters are all just parts of the dreamer.

    Well, I'm starting to confuse myself again. I'm going to go watch the movie a second time. I'll be back with more thoughts. Hopefully carlstar and DB haven't given up on this thread yet, because this movie is definitely worth some discussion.

    Lastly, I'm surprised that only two other people on this board have seen this movie. I thought for sure that Windmills and maybe tzehoong would have something to say.

    EDIT - And as if this post wasn't long enough, I'll add this to the discussion:

    What do you make of the ten clues that David Lynch gave to unlock the movie:
     
  6. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    I was going to show how incredibly intelligent I am by explaining here how it all makes sense to me. However, I haven't seen the movie (you bastards are making me want to see it though), so it would've just been a copy and paste of this:

    ---------------
    While I believe that "Mulholland Drive" was an excellent film and offered some of the best visual imagery of the year, there is no doubt that it left me with many questions and few answers upon my first viewing. Since it was released on DVD last week, I thought I would devote a column to (hopefully) untying many of David Lynch's knots. Many people on the web have already attempted to do this, I know, but this time the director's own "clues" will be dissected. They can be found inside the DVD box, and are as follows:

    I will try to explain each clue as best I can, but remember, I am confident there are dozens of different explanations -- which are probably all different from the one intended by Mr. Lynch. So with that in mind...

    1. Pay attention in the beginning of the film: at least 2 clues are revealed before the credits.
    I would be pretty hard to predict that the few minutes before the opening credits would be so crucial the first time seeing the film, but they are. And there are probably 3 clues, not just 2. But before I divulge them, let me cover the surrounding plot premise for anyone who was really lost.

    The first two hours of the film are, in a sense, a fantasy. They are a dream created by Betty (actually Diane) to rationalize more horrific events in her life, which we see in the last act of the film. In reality, Diane came to LA from Canada in search of fame. During an audition, she met and fell in love with Camilla (Rita in the dream), who ended up getting the part, marrying the director, and becoming wealthy and famous. Feeling jealous and scorned, Diane takes a hit out on her girlfriend -- but feels so racked with guilt and remorse that she ends up killing herself as well. But right before she dies, she imagines a saner world (the first part of the film) where Rita is the helpless one (from amnesia), where Betty is a decent actress (the fantastic audition), where the mob causes her to lose a movie role (through no fault of her own), and where Lynch serves up several jabs at the Hollywood lifestyle.

    Now the clues. We see a jitterbug dancers in a Gap commercial-esque sequences that appears to have no initial relevance. We later learn that Betty/Diane came to LA after winning a jitterbug contest in Deep River, Ontario. To make this point more blunt, a semi-clue revealed at the same time is a superimposition of Betty with a crown on at the end of the sequence. The other clue is hard to make out if you aren't paying very close attention. A woman writhing under bed covers is briefly shown; this is Diane imagining her fantasy moments before the suicide.

    For the purposes of this discussion, I will refer to Betty/Diane (played by Naomi Watts) as Betty when referring to her in the dream and as Diane when referring to her in reality. Ditto for Rita/Camilla (Laura Harring).

    2. Notice appearances of the red lampshade.
    I looked hard and didn't pick out many noticeable red lampshades. Even if I had, I can't imagine what their significance would be. But I am fairly confident that near the end of the film, when Camilla calls Diance to meet her at the mansion, she is lit by light within a red lampshade. A still image of this scene is also on the cover of the video/DVD box. I can only assume that a red lampshade symbolizes passion, heat, or intensity -- and it is at the subsequent dinner party where Diance becomes enraged enough to later want Camilla killed.

    3. Can you hear the title of the film that Adam is auditioning actresses for? It is mentioned again?
    The title of the film is "The Sylvia North Story." Again, I did not remember hearing this multiple times in the film. I also did some internet research and there is no real person named Syliva North so this must be one of the real unsolveable mysteries of "Mulholland Drive."

    4. An accident is a terrible event... notice the location of the accident.
    This appears to be a real easy clue that Lynch is handing us. The accident occurs on "Mulholland Drive," a windy, mountainside road that travels from the San Fernando Valley down into Greater LA and Hollywood. Metaphorically, the road to fame is long, twisty, and dark with danger around every corner -- evidenced by the violent car wreck that begins the film.

    Mulholland Drive is also a popular scenic route. Built in 1924, it was sometimes referred to as the "road to the studios." The road to stardom is indeed what our blonde protagonist was in search for throughout the movie.

    5. Who gives a key, and why?
    In one of the final scenes of the film, the man that Diane hires to kill Camilla gives her a blue key -- which she is confused by. It confused me as well. What I can make out is that the unlocking of Rita's mysterious box by a key is the segway between the dream and reality. Likewise, the audience is initially pulled into the cube, and then taken out. Pandora's Box -- a gateway to evil and the truthful but terrible things Diane has done -- has been opened. The audience will no longer be surrounded by Diane's fantasy but by actual events which took place.

    Perhaps the hitman gave Diane the key because his actions (attempting to murder Camilla) are a gateway to her evil. She wants something horrible done, and is allowing it to occur. Hence, she is being handed a "key" to a darker side of her personality that eventually takes control.

    6. Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup.
    I am almost sure that these are the items Diane's neighbor left behind when the two switched apartments. Remember at the end of the film when she picks them up and remarks that "two detectives came by looking for you." Obviously, the authorities had learned of the hit Diane had paid for, but had come to the wrong apartment.

    But back to the objects. In the fantasy portion of the film, Betty and Rita had also stumbled upon the wrong apartment. When they snuck into the right one, they saw a decomposing body in bed -- Diane envisioning what would ultimately happen after the dream played itself out. She was imagining her own death, and a more innocent figment of her personality (Betty) was horrified at what she had discovered. The robe, ashtray, and coffee cup were simple signs that what was being seen in the dream had a link to reality.

    7. What is felt, realized and gathered at the club Silencio?
    The 'Silencio' sequence occurred just before we left Diane's imagination and viewed the real events of her life. This timing was very appropriate, as the unknowing audience was about to be shown that everything it had witnessed for the past two hours was, in fact, a fantasy of the Betty/Diane character. And what better place to end the dream than at a strange nightclub where everything you see and hear is not to be believed. We are told several times by the ringmaster that it's all fake. Don't believe what you see. Even the Spanish performance of Roy Orbison's "Crying" (probably the most chilling scene of the movie) had me convinced that the woman was actually singing. Not so. This whole charade -- the acts at the club and the film's events up to that point -- were warped creations (by Diane) and not real.

    8. Did talent alone help Camilla?
    To answer this question, we must acknowledge that there are two Camillas. There is the real Camilla, who takes the form of Rita in the fantasy, and some random actress Camilla, who takes the part in "The Sylvia North Story" that Betty auditioned for. Keep in mind that when we dream, we often incorporate random pieces of our everyday lives into our imaginations, even if they have no significance. Thus the cowboy whom Diane actually only sees momentarily from a distance makes a large showing in her dream. Additionally, the name Camilla finds a place in the fantasy, albeit on a different character.

    The real Camilla might have gotten the role Diane wanted due to talent, although Diance clearly feels that she did so by sleeping with the director. The Camilla of the film's first portion (a blonde Betty lookalike) received the part becuase the mob wanted it that way. Remember the director throwing a fit at the board meeting? He didn't want Camilla in his movie, but higher powers (the bald wheelchair man) did.

    Diane used this false belief as a rationalization for why she never became famous in real life. Instead of properly blaming herself, she blames the mob, the cowboy, and the bald wheelchair man for casting her aside. It wasn't her fault, it was everybody else's. In her mind she was perfect, but couldn't control the malicious acts of the others.

    9. Notice the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkie's.
    One of the beginning scenes with two men discussing nightmares and then finding a dirty homeless man behind a dumpster is an allegory of the entire film. The nervous man describes his dream and then confronts it, only to discover that it is indeed true -- there was a "monster" at the back of the restaurant. The same is true for Diane; her extended fantasy gradually segues into horror before reality hits.

    We see this scary bum again near the film's end as he "unleashes" the elderly couple who preoceed to "attack" Diane. The couple, representing innocence, are chasing a woman who has committed a vile act. Her innocence has been lost, violently discharged within the evil dream (represented by the man behind Winkie's) that comprises most of the film.

    10. Where is Aunt Ruth?
    We are told at the outset that she went to film a movie in Canda and is letting Betty stay at her apartment. After she leaves we don't see her again until the movie's second hour when the dream ends. I'm not quite sure where we are supposed to think she is... Perhaps locked in a hotel room somewhere trying to solve the rest of the mysteries surrounding "Mulholland Drive" -- Why did the crazy woman knock on Betty and Rita's door? Who is Sylvia North? What is with the cowboy's cryptic message? And why did Betty leave on the top level of LAX when arrivals are on the bottom?

    I hope this analysis has been helpful in unlocking the film. I'm sure I'm not alone in eagerly anticipating David Lynch's next mobius strip.
    ---------------

    Of course, I could've just linked to the website: http://www.geocities.com/sftola400/mulhollanddrive.html but I was jealous by Milo's long post about the movie, and decided to reply with something even longer, in a lame attempt to masturbate my ego.
     
  7. Milo

    Milo New Member

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    Great post, DU, even if it wasn't yours. I have a few comments on what that dude said regarding Lynch's clues. Oh yeah, and watch the movie, lazy. It's good, trust me.

    I have my finger on this one, but I'm not sure what the significance is... yet. The two appearances of the lampshade, as far as I can tell after 1 viewing, is once in the strange green room with the fat headed dwarf mafia boss in the wheelchair, and again towards the end right before Diane kills herself.

    I don't know about it "representing passion, heat, or intensity." It's plausible I guess, but I didn't interpret it in this way. Rather, I thought the red lampshade was more of a device to tie events in the dreamworld to those in reality. If you (not DU since he didn't even see the movie - bastard) remember, the fathead dwarven mafia wheelchair boss places a call after he learns that Kercher is going to cast Camilla. This phone call sets off a chain of "relay" calls, the end of which goes unanswered. Now the next time we see a red lampshade, it's sitting right by Diane's phone, which is ringing AND which she does not answer. Hmmmm.... What could this mean?

    I like this interpretation. However, when the clue is taken more literally, the accident not only takes place on Mulholland Drive, it also happens to take place right behind the director's house, which we find out in the latter part of the movie. Is there some significance to this?

    Eh... more on this later. I'm fucking hungry right now.
     
  8. carlstar

    carlstar New Member

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    bitches and fired tomatoes

    I only flipped through DU thing but yeah. It is pretty much what i was thinking.

    The 'silanceo' theatre thing i'm sure is an out pouring of emotions and with the host saying something like 'It's all make believe' is her realising what has happened is a dream and it's time to face the truth. Maybe her emotions are make believe now and she no longer cares for thingy (dark hair. Probably not though). That could explain the shaking but i think the shaking is just that the dream is coming to an end and she is "Meeting her homeless guy' or the truth if you will. I like it how dark haired girl just seems to go missing when she gets the key.

    As for the characters in the dream. I don't think that who is playing them is really important as they are just people she saw that day or week and the mind retains the most recent images. Like the cowboy, she only just shes his hat but then there is the dwarf (erif klaw htiw em), I'm thinking it's because it's something she knows nothing about so has the mysterious dwarf in the wheel chair as the strange and wonderful underworld.


    On an issue away fom the topic. Blondie was quite the bitch in reality compared to her sweet dream self. Hmmmm maybe she sees her self as a sweet down to earth girl that is a great actor. That is quite possibly a dig at actors in hollywood and the whole industry, considering David dosn't really like them and they don't like him so much.


    Old people or grandparents even, i'm thinking innocence of youth. Stole the freakin show and i pry i never meet them in my house.
     
  9. Rat Keeng

    Rat Keeng New Member

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    I'm not gonna read through any of this, i plan on seeing the movie myself, wouldn't want any spoilers. I skimmed through the posts and caught the words "lesbian" and "scene", so it sounds like a good movie.


    On a totally, but not completely, unrelated note, i just watched The Transporter. May just be one of the best movies i've seen this year. Could be my closet obsession with Jason Statham makes me biased, paired with the fact that Luc Besson directed it, but god damn. I recommend you watch this movie, if only for the badass asskicking.
     
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