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Mulholland Drive [spoilers]

815165815165 Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay so we just watched this movie the other day, I really enjoyed the first two hours.

Up until the blue box being opened, everything after that (or possibly everything up to that point) appears to be bullshit. What was the point of it? I really don't understand this film and feel I'd have enjoyed it more if it just ended with the blue box being opened.

Can anyone explain what the point of the end was? It didn't have any suspense or interest to me; why should I care about the characters if I know the second part doesn't matter? Or why should I care about them if the first part didn't matter and I don't really know anything about the characters in the second part?

I'm actually annoyed at the person who recommended this film to us.

815165 on

Posts

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Short Answer-Because it's David Lynch
    Shorter Answer- Naomi Watt's boobs!

    I mean, I think a lot of ending is pretty clear cut;

    [
    Spoiler:

    But again, it's a Lynch film, so he just threw a shit ton of other things that really doesn't tie up. Don't bother trying to make sense of it.

    Spoiler:
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    noir_blood wrote: »
    It's a Lynch film. Don't bother trying to make sense of it.

  • 815165815165 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So for future reference are all his films basically a waste of time if you want any form of satisfaction from them as a narrative?

    edit: I kind of feel like the following is going to take place between me and my asshole friend that recommended this bullshit to me
    Spoiler:

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I like David Lynch films, but that almost definately fall into the Theater of the Absurd motif, which is essentially just weirdness for the sake of weirdness. As NB pointed out, you can draw some conclusions from his work, but they are usually nebulous and hard to tie together.

    Just be glad you didn't watch Lost Highway. All the confusion, none of the Namoi Watt's boobs.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    815165 wrote: »
    So for future reference are all his films basically a waste of time if you want any form of satisfaction from them as a narrative?

    Well, I'll argue that there is still a Narrative in Mullholland Drive, and sometimes the getting there is more important than the destination and blah blah blah, but if you don't like Mullholland, which compared to a lot of his other work, is the most coherent, then you probably won't like the man. And I won't like you.

    Seriously. Watch the first season of Twin Peaks.

    Spoiler:
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    He's a Surrealist. Whether you find the absence of coherent narrative a waste of time or not is subjective, but his films are generally considered great by die-hard film enthusiasts.

    If you're interested in Lynch without the... er... Lynch, check out The Straight Story. You get the best aspects of his filmmaking style without the confusion.

  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    I like David Lynch films, but that almost definately fall into the Theater of the Absurd motif, which is essentially just weirdness for the sake of weirdness. As NB pointed out, you can draw some conclusions from his work, but they are usually nebulous and hard to tie together.

    Just be glad you didn't watch Lost Highway. All the confusion, none of the Namoi Watt's boobs.

    You do, however, get to see members of Marilyn Manson acting in a porno...

    sig.gif
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Its been a while since I saw this film. But me and my buddies spent the whole time waiting to see Naomi Watts boobs. This was before she was famous, and we didnt even know we GOT to. We were just 19 year old guys watching a movie where we were hoping to see some boobs. it did not dissapoint in that regards.

    As for the movie, I took it as something where "what" happened wasnt as important as what it was trying to say. I believe if I recall correctly the film was a bit of a metaphore for the film industry. Like a nostalgic look back at old hollywood vs new hollywood. Thats why there were some galmor 20's characters, cowboys and all the stuff that people look back fondly on hollywood for.

    But christ its been forever since ive seen it, and I dont remember 90 percent of it. Those people coming out of the box was super creepy though. That crazy mexican lady with blue hair wailing in the theatre was also insane and disturbing.

    616610-1.png
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Mulholland Drive is one of those movies that I'd love to know how it was pitched to producers. I imagine there was a fair amount of things like:

    *Market research shows that Naomi Watt's boobies are especially appealing to the 18-to-32 year old male demographic.
    *Anyone who wants to try to fathom its illusionary depths will have to pay to see it at least two times.
    *Everyone will be too afraid of being ridiculed as unintelligent to admit that the movie is so intellectually-inaccessible as to be unenjoyable, and thus it will insistently command instant critical acclaim through fear and intimidation.
    *This movie is now the ultimate power in the universe, and I suggest we use it.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    Mulholland Drive is one of those movies that I'd love to know how it was pitched to producers. I imagine there was a fair amount of things like:

    *Market research shows that Naomi Watt's boobies are especially appealing to the 18-to-32 year old male demographic.
    *Anyone who wants to try to fathom its illusionary depths will have to pay to see it at least two times.
    *Everyone will be too afraid of being ridiculed as unintelligent to admit that the movie is so intellectually-inaccessible as to be unenjoyable, and thus it will insistently command instant critical acclaim through fear and intimidation.
    *This movie is now the ultimate power in the universe, and I suggest we use it.

    Heh.

    It was actually first pitched as a pilot for a tv show.

    Spoiler:
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Considering how batshit insane his movies and shows are, Lynch doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting things made.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • DranythDranyth Surf ColoradoRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm with you on this, 815165. I hated this movie. I saw it back when it first came out on DVD, so it certainly isn't clear anymore, I just remember being left with a resounding WTF at the end and decided I didn't like David Lynch movies. I believe I somehow caught the beginning of Lost Highway before I realized it was David Lynch and didn't watch the rest.

    Not my cup of tea.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    Considering how batshit insane his movies and shows are, Lynch doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting things made.

    I know, right? It was a serious question. I have an original 110 page script sitting right here. It's got a logical beginning, middle and end, it follows the general rules and guidelines of continuity of time, it has zero explosions and one car crash and thus would be relatively cheap to produce, and yet I can't get an agent even to agree to read it, let alone represent it. What sort of Satanic pact must David Lynch have entered into to get money invested in his films, and was Christine O'Donnell involved in brokering the deal?

  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2010
    There are a few things going on with Mulholland Drive that make the narrative a little hard to grasp, though I agree that it's one of Lynch's most conventional films in terms of storytelling.

    The first is that most of the film was actually filmed as a pilot for a series, and then when it wasn't greenlit, he decided to write an ending for the narrative. That's why it almost feels like two different halves -- because it was. I don't think he's gone into detail about what his original narrative intentions were, but that's how it came to be during production.

    You have to also understand that Lynch is a surrealist, and his films largely are built on the concept of evoking feeling and emotion in the audience through imagery and sound rather than telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. Mulholland Drive kind of throws a curveball in the way that it gives you a very David Lynch style film (which feel disjointed and surreal, like dreams or nightmares, to begin with) and then builds a narrative where large portions of the film really are (or can be easily interpreted as) a dream.

    Which parts of the film are a dream are up to you. You could certainly interpret the first half of the film as a dream, with the odd way that it's shot combined with the seemingly too-perfect world Naomi Watts seems to be inhabiting, and the character archetypes who seem like they walked directly out of Hollywood backlot. Or was that the reality, and the latter half is a nightmare by someone afraid they might fail? Is the entire thing a dream that sours in the middle into something more sinister? Are the two characters played by Naomi Watts the same person? Are the two characters played by Laura Elena Harring the same person? Do we really know one way or another for sure? Does it even matter in the context of the film?

    Similarly, whether or not the Blue Box is a catalyst for something, a metaphor, or simply a symbolic gesture that provides some kind of closure to the scene is up to you as well. It's really open to interpretation, and you could probably have 15 people watch this movie and have each of them come up with a different interpretation for that scene alone -- it's part of the fun of watching Lynch films.

    Beyond that, there's a ton of other symbolism and metaphor present that Lynch refuses to comment on. Is the entire thing a comment on Hollywood, fame, and vanity? Does your desire to find out what's in the blue box Blue Box represent the characters' struggle to find something themselves that's largely irrelevant, but are so intent on doing so to the point of losing focus on her actions and the present? (i.e., Rita searching for her name and her past). Do the two scenes of 60's pop songs being sung in the middle of the film represent the only true feelings of our main characters, while the intentions laid out in their actual dialog is pointedly cloudy?

    I really didn't even begin to scratch the surface of the thematic ambiguity of the film, but you probably get the point. The whole idea is to provoke questions and evoke feelings and thoughts. Film isn't always about telling a story from beginning to end, just as literature, art, or even video games aren't always 100% driven by narrative either. If you were intrigued by the box, felt empathy for Rita as she struggled to exist without truly knowing who she is, and felt scared or uneasy during the scenes such as the diner or Club Silencio, the film did its job.

  • rocketshipreadyrocketshipready Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There was a list of "hints" that came with the DVD, and on the Wikipedia page
    1. Pay particular attention in the beginning of the film: At least two clues are revealed before the credits.
    2. Notice appearances of the red lampshade.
    3. Can you hear the title of the film that Adam Kesher is auditioning actresses for? Is it mentioned again?
    4. An accident is a terrible event — notice the location of the accident.
    5. Who gives a key, and why?
    6. Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup.
    7. What is felt, realized, and gathered at the Club Silencio?
    8. Did talent alone help Camilla?
    9. Note the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkie's.
    10. Where is Aunt Ruth?

  • Can_CalyxCan_Calyx Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Monoxide wrote: »
    There are a few things going on with Mulholland Drive that make the narrative a little hard to grasp, though I agree that it's one of Lynch's most conventional films in terms of storytelling.

    The first is that most of the film was actually filmed as a pilot for a series, and then when it wasn't greenlit, he decided to write an ending for the narrative. That's why it almost feels like two different halves -- because it was. I don't think he's gone into detail about what his original narrative intentions were, but that's how it came to be during production.

    You have to also understand that Lynch is a surrealist, and his films largely are built on the concept of evoking feeling and emotion in the audience through imagery and sound rather than telling a story with a beginning, middle and end. Mulholland Drive kind of throws a curveball in the way that it gives you a very David Lynch style film (which feel disjointed and surreal, like dreams or nightmares, to begin with) and then builds a narrative where large portions of the film really are (or can be easily interpreted as) a dream.

    Which parts of the film are a dream are up to you. You could certainly interpret the first half of the film as a dream, with the odd way that it's shot combined with the seemingly too-perfect world Naomi Watts seems to be inhabiting, and the character archetypes who seem like they walked directly out of Hollywood backlot. Or was that the reality, and the latter half is a nightmare by someone afraid they might fail? Is the entire thing a dream that sours in the middle into something more sinister? Are the two characters played by Naomi Watts the same person? Are the two characters played by Laura Elena Harring the same person? Do we really know one way or another for sure? Does it even matter in the context of the film?

    Similarly, whether or not the Blue Box is a catalyst for something, a metaphor, or simply a symbolic gesture that provides some kind of closure to the scene is up to you as well. It's really open to interpretation, and you could probably have 15 people watch this movie and have each of them come up with a different interpretation for that scene alone -- it's part of the fun of watching Lynch films.

    Beyond that, there's a ton of other symbolism and metaphor present that Lynch refuses to comment on. Is the entire thing a comment on Hollywood, fame, and vanity? Does your desire to find out what's in the blue box Blue Box represent the characters' struggle to find something themselves that's largely irrelevant, but are so intent on doing so to the point of losing focus on her actions and the present? (i.e., Rita searching for her name and her past). Do the two scenes of 60's pop songs being sung in the middle of the film represent the only true feelings of our main characters, while the intentions laid out in their actual dialog is pointedly cloudy?

    I really didn't even begin to scratch the surface of the thematic ambiguity of the film, but you probably get the point. The whole idea is to provoke questions and evoke feelings and thoughts. Film isn't always about telling a story from beginning to end, just as literature, art, or even video games aren't always 100% driven by narrative either. If you were intrigued by the box, felt empathy for Rita as she struggled to exist without truly knowing who she is, and felt scared or uneasy during the scenes such as the diner or Club Silencio, the film did its job.

    I actually cite Mulholland Dr. as one of my favorite films, mostly due to it eliciting the effect you described in this post. So I'm just going to quote you as my response.

    Those Days Different.
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