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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modernist, Jungian etc., 16 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Mulholland Drive - Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
This special edition of Mulholland Drive is probably not going to offer much to hard-core Mulholland Drivinians but to people who are not in possession of a dvd version of this dandy film this is a must buy.
The new features are not so enlightening in the end, the interviews are not very insightful and the actors are somewhat gushing in their reverence of Lynch without really articulating anything of particular interest.

Still, it is the film that is the point. I like this film very much, I'm not sure if it really makes sense but I don't think it is necessarily supposed to. From the interviews with Lynch on this special edition dvd it is not clear that he has or had a clear vision of what this film is about - it appears to have been an organic process that is more or less open to cohesive interpretation.

I don't think clarity or coherence is necessarily a weakness however, as Watts suggests in her interview, adult viewers, generally, don't want to be spoon-fed the plot details - it is much more satisfying to work out what is going on and be able to offer various different assessments of what that is. Ultimately such a film is liable to tell us something of our own fears and stage of development in life as we attempt to apprehend a thread.

The central themes revolve around identity, self-delusion, lack of control. We aspire to become something better and beyond what we are and often delude ourselves into thinking that we can become more than we in reality can be. The character(s) of Betty/Diane is in an amalgam of a dream, hallucination or delusional state but it might also be seen that all the characters are figments of a dream/illusion that is not being dreamt by anyone in particular - in this film the unreality particularly pertains to the Hollywood dream factory, but it could equally apply, albeit in generally less strong measure, to all walks of life.
People change and exchange roles all the time, we move to different places, different work environments, different situations and we attempt to fit in or to impose ourselves on our new situations. A measure of how successful we are in fitting in relates to the extent to which we identify to a bigger perspective at the expense of individuality. Constraints on such success are often beyond our control, we rationalize our existence and lie a little to ourselves in order to fit in to the new 'objectified' world that we perceive that is ultimately illusory...the 'wahn' - an emergent higher order perception that exists only within the confounds of the particular environment.
Sometimes things happen that break us out of this 'wahn', this illusion, and we become self-aware - that is we perceive how different we are and in what ways we do not fit in... our perception of the illusory world becomes internalized and we thus have, and simultaneously question, our individual identity.
The characters in Mulholland Drive, at different stages in the film, exhibit loss of such individual identity. 'Rita' does not know who she is but aptly labels herself with the first name of a famous actress, her confident character Camilla Rhodes in the latter third of the film is really just a product manufactured by Hollywood, she has found her place at the expense of her sense of self. Betty is a confident and independent character aspiring to be a part of the Hollywood dream. When, in the latter third, she becomes Diane, it is not clear if her life as Betty was a dream or perhaps a somewhat glossed sense of herself as confident newby apt to fit into Hollywood but whose ultimate frustration at not being accepted by Hollywood led to pained internalized perception of the world - Diane possibly being a new name that she chooses in order to fit in but without success. Adam Kescher fits in by accepting his lack of identity in the film project over which he thought he originally had some control - he becomes another product of Hollywood who loses interest in artistic integrity as an expression of individual identity. His sense of self becomes occluded in the 'wahn', individual reality drowned by an externalized bigger re-presentation of the world imposed by the Hollywood dream factory and commercial interests.
Essentially we see dreams and aspirations of fitting into some bigger picture soaking up individual identity and control.

This is how I identify with the film. I think it is one thread but I don't pretend to offer a definitive interpretation of a film which probably does not yield this. The use of music and cinematography speaks to us at the level of the subconscious: the strangely spooky black monster, the clairvoyant woman, the club silencio - all evocative and seemingly demonstrative of our fears relating to lack of both self-knowledge or and 'external reality'.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 May 2008 14:06:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 May 2008 14:08:21 BDT
* says:
Mulholland Drive is quite different from most Lynch films in that it actually DOES give a single interpretation, one that is very clear & fits all the pieces together, once you can spot the "clues"....
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