Great Films: Mulholland Drive

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The first time I saw David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive was in 2003, as a rental from Blockbuster. I was so absolutely floored by the first viewing of it that I immediately watched it two more times in a row, through 3 in the morning; on the third viewing, drawing a chart on a piece of paper to prove to myself that I “figured it all out.”

It’s a movie that seems to have a more or less standard plot—you know, by even Lynch standards—but suddenly goes way off the rails and becomes a different film. By the end, you have to question every single thing you’ve seen & it fairly demands at least that second viewing. Lynch had a lot of balls to take it as far as he did.

Many people have interpreted Mulholland Drive—both thematically and esoterically—and I feel that without some larger concept to attach my “take” to, it would just be one more meditation on the film written by somebody on the internet. Suffice it to say that (spoilers) this was the movie that made me really understand the concept of every person in a dream or piece of art representing a “part” of oneself. Also: the concept that the world can be seen in a spiritual sense as like a mirror for our own internal processes; and vice-versa.

The new Twin Peaks (“Season 3”) very much operates as a sort of continuation of the some of the themes of Mulholland Drive, down to “multiples” of certain characters and even Naomi Watts making an appearance. I suppose you could do an “alchemical” sort of interpretation of both. Maybe one day I will. Anyway: a recommended film, if you like that sort of mindfuck thing.