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Gabe

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Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #105 on: March 24, 2005, 01:08:43 AM »
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:shock:

Fernando

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Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #106 on: August 18, 2005, 01:14:25 PM »
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I was just checking some things I have in my pc at home and found a really cool interview of Lynch made at the now defunct site Mr. Showbiz, maybe some of you never got the chance to read it.


Weird is the word from the director of Mulholland Drive.
by Jane Wollman Rusoff


When David Lynch kicked off his career with a one-minute animated movie of six men barfing, who knew he'd become America's premier avant-garde filmmaker? Now the auteur of surreal, often disturbing films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet presents what is perhaps his most cryptic work yet.

Mulholland Drive is a noir mystery about love and murder in Hollywood that Lynch had originally intended as a television pilot. Once ABC turned it down, he reworked it into an erotic thriller, premiered it at Cannes, and took home the festival's Best Director Award. Lynch is quite content to discuss this saga, as well as his other work, but an examination of his personal life is mostly off-limits.

Twice divorced, his companion for the last nine years has been Mary Sweeney, Mulholland Drive's editor and co-producer, with whom he has a nine-year-old boy. His previous marriages resulted in two children, one of whom, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, directed Boxing Helena.

When Mr. Showbiz chatted with Lynch, we found him to be far from weird and eccentric. Instead, he was friendly, upbeat, and more than willing to provide a peek into his singularly creative mind although the conversation can get a little bizarre. After all, this is a guy who went to Bob's Big Boy every day at the same time for seven years straight.

Are you as moody as your films?

No, I'm pretty much always happy.

Then what's up with your movies?

I like to go to different places mentally, but not physically.

Was the lesbianism in Mulholland Drive in the TV pilot?

It's difficult for me to answer that. Some things are implied. It's not good for audiences to focus on what was in one thing and what was in another. Looking back, I feel it's always wanted to be this way. But as to which idea came first, I don't even remember.

Did you audition lots a of actresses for the two key roles in Mulholland Drive?

I pick people by looking at a still photo first. Then I either meet them or see them just talking on video. I never ever ask anybody to read a scene. I get a feeling from looking at their eyes and hearing them talk. Eventually, of course, I meet with them, and that reinforces a feeling or cancels it out. Usually it reinforces it. You have to try to find the right person for that role, and it's just through talking, mainly, that it happens.

How much is Mulholland Drive open to interpretation?

All things are. But for me, [the film] is very specific. But it doesn't do any good for me to say what I think it is. It's so beautiful to see something and make up your own mind as with the films that I love. That's one of the beautiful things about film. It can tell abstractions and allow you to come up with your own meanings.

Which movies do you love?

I was thinking about Fellini's 8-l/2. You can look at that many, many times and get different things from it. It makes some people crazy, but that's what I love.

Mulholland Drive is very surreal, too.

There are some interesting things to think about, but it all does make sense. [However], if anyone can help me figure it out, that would be beautiful. [Laughs]

What is your intention when you make a film? To evoke feelings? To make people think?

The only thing behind it is ideas. I don't know where they come from, but I have a feeling there's an ocean of ideas out there; and sometimes if we're lucky, we catch some and fall in love with them. Then our job is to stay true to that idea and translate it into one medium or another. In this case, it's film.

When you get an idea, do you rush to write it down?

Yes, otherwise you'll forget. Sometimes ideas start with just a little fragment, so that fragment is very precious. It's just something that really gets you excited. It comes with a little piece of electricity. It becomes like a magnet and draws the other pieces of the puzzle, and then you suddenly see a story forming. If you're lucky.

Do you write your ideas down on any old paper at hand?

I put them on little scraps, and then try to keep tabs on them. Sometimes when I'm searching for stuff, I'll just go through the scraps I've saved. You never know if one is going to jump out and the time will be right for it.

Is that what happened with Mulholland Drive?

This movie came in many pieces, and it was a strange route that tricked my mind. It started as a TV pilot, and then it changed. But the only way it could change was with a new influx of ideas. And one night, I sat down and these ideas came to me. That was the most thrilling part because it changed from an open-ended thing to a closed piece.
Originally there were many more things going on that were just threads, which had no end. So everything that we'd done up to then had to be restructured and thought about in a completely different way.

You once said, "Life is very complicated, and so films should be allowed to be, too."

When you go around in the street or in your house, things are one way on the surface, but we feel so much more. Those feelings are captured and worked on by intuition. We don't worry about not understanding everything going on around us. But with films, [people have] this kind of thing where they want to contain everything and have a narrow interpretation. But things can be exciting if there are abstractions. The language of film is so beautiful telling abstractions.

Should I conclude that when you make a movie, the chief goal is getting your story out versus having a big commercial hit?

I would love if people went to see Mulholland Drive in droves. I would love to make a commercial picture, but what's more important is to make a picture you believe in.

Do you pay attention to what critics say?

No. I would pay attention to constructive criticism, [but] now reviews are fast and furious, and not too deep. So, it's a danger to expose yourself to it.

But when you release a movie, you do expose yourself, don't you?

The movie is finished when it comes out; and after that, you can't control one thing that happens in terms of how well or badly it's going to go over. So it's a very painful process to bring out a film. The beauty is in the work.

What would winning an Oscar mean to you?

When you do your work, you should focus on that and enjoy the doing. As they say, keep your eye on the doughnut, not on the hole. The doughnut is the work.

People find recurring themes in your movies. Why do you like to repeat themes?

It's like women. Some men like brunettes; but once in a while, for some odd reason, they'll fall in love with a blonde or redhead. The ideas I fall in love with might have certain similarities or things that unite them, but that's really not anything to think about. Each movie is its own thing because each is different, even if there are similarities.

But you are fond of writing about death and eroticism.

I like the high and the low. Contrast is a beautiful thing, and you can't just tell a straight line. Always there are curves and ups and downs, and forces opposed. That's what makes stories something to fall in love with.

You used to go to one of the Bob's Big Boy coffee shops in Los Angeles every single day. Do you still go?

For seven years I went every afternoon at 2:30. I'd have a chocolate shake and coffee, and I'd try to catch ideas and write them on napkins. I caught many ideas at Bob's. But one day, I crawled into the trash bin behind Bob's and read the ingredients of what I'd been having, and I had to give it up. I didn't recognize anything! So, now I just make it a once a year thing and have the Big Boy [burger] combo. I love Bob's food!

You appeared in your feature, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and sometimes on the TV series. Do you like to act?

I love to act, but I'm a very bad actor. It's so difficult. It's a great experience for directors to go in front of the camera sometimes. It gives you a whole new appreciation of what actors do.

Who are the directors you admire?

Many, many. But I love Fellini and Bergman and Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick, Jacques Tati.

And your other favorite movies besides 8?

Persona and Hour of the Wolf by Bergman. Rear Window is one of my all-time favorite films. Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, Mon Oncle, Mr. Hulot's Holiday. And every film Stanley Kubrick ever made. And I like Stroszek by Werner Herzog.

I understand you attended art school as a young man. What were your aspirations?

I wanted to be a painter, you bet.

So how did you get into filmmaking?

I was doing a painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and all of a sudden, I saw it move and I heard a sound. I thought, well, that's interesting, how can I make this painting move and have sound [even more]? That led to animating it. I didn't know anything about it, but I rented a camera and built a sculptured screen. I presented the film at the experimental painting and sculpture contest at the end of the school year, 1967.

What did the painting show?

Six men getting sick.

You mean vomiting?

Yes.

That's an unusual subject!

I understand, but that's what it was.

They were being sick, and that was the movement you saw in the painting?

Yes. It took forty-five seconds or so before they did actually get sick. It was building up to that.

I see. Were you, by chance, high at the time?

No, no, no. I've never taken any drugs except marijuana. My friends told me not to take drugs ever. I didn't really like marijuana too much. I've maybe taken it seven times in my whole life. Like, once in a while I've had beets. You know what I mean? But I don't eat too many beets, and I haven't eaten beets for a long time. I like coffee, and I smoke cigarettes.

Do you still paint?

Very bad, crude, really pitiful paintings.

Abstract?

Sometimes. Lately they've been getting little figures in there. It's a personal thing.

What medium do you use?

I paint in mixed media. [Laughs] I use a lot of glue, tile cement, polyester resin, cotton, gauze. Sometimes I set fire to parts of the paintings. I paint outdoors, and the sunlight also helps me because it cooks certain things. Water and fire and dust and smoke are tools of painting.

Do you go to the movies much?

Sometimes when you're in the middle of something, you don't want to go off on another thing. I've been working on an Internet site[davidlynch.com] for two years. We hope to launch soon. The Internet is the future. It's like having your own television and radio stations.

What's planned for your site?

A lot of experiments, a couple of new series in streaming video. The [video] quality of the Internet is pretty bad. But the quality of things influences ideas. So there are some ideas that can be told in bad quality; and in a way, bad quality is extremely beautiful. Like, the early films had their own mood and feeling.

What else will your site have?

I'm going to recycle my comic strip, "The Angriest Dog in the World," and there'll be some of my paintings.

Will Twin Peaks be up?

Probably not. I don't own it. I don't know who owns it anymore. It's a sad thing. It's so complicated. This town is cut up and sewn back together with legal problems.

You must be proud of being an Eagle Scout. It's the only personal item you have on your press kit bio other than being born in Missoula, Montana.

I put being an Eagle Scout on my resume for my father.

What are your memories of being a Scout?

When I was 15, I was asked, because I was an Eagle Scout, to be an usher at the inauguration of President Kennedy. That day was my birthday also. A Secret Service man let me stand right next to him as the limos came out of the gate to the White House. It was something!

They asked you to be an usher because as an Eagle Scout, you were a fine, upstanding boy?

Yeah. All Eagle Scouts are fine, upstanding boys. When I was real little, the Scouts were a great thing. Then it became very uncool, and I didn't want to stay with it. But I did.

Pubrick

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Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #107 on: August 18, 2005, 02:09:29 PM »
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haha, i love lynch's interviews. i just wanna hug the guy. :shock:

he talks like english is his second language, like a foreigner speaks english. fluent but with limited vocabulary, over-explaining sumtimes, half-explaining others.

anyway, quote highlights:

-And every film Stanley Kubrick ever made.
-you bet.
-and all of a sudden, I saw it move and I heard a sound. I thought, well, that's interesting
-But one day, I crawled into the trash bin behind Bob's and read the ingredients of what I'd been having
-I've never taken any drugs except marijuana.
under the paving stones.

mogwai

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Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #108 on: August 18, 2005, 02:15:03 PM »
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i hope he makes a full length movie of "six men getting sick". the suspense would be unreal! :shock:

NEON MERCURY

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Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #109 on: August 19, 2005, 11:48:42 PM »
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Quote from: Fernando

For seven years I went every afternoon at 2:30. I'd have a chocolate shake and coffee, and I'd try to catch ideas and write them on napkins. I caught many ideas at Bob's. But one day, I crawled into the trash bin behind Bob's and read the ingredients of what I'd been having, and I had to give it up. I didn't recognize anything! So, now I just make it a once a year thing and have the Big Boy [burger] combo. I love Bob's food!



hahaha...that was the funniest shit i have ever read from lynch...oh man.....this guy is the best.........

DBeyond

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #110 on: April 25, 2013, 09:23:36 AM »
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Well I happened to re-watch the film and, basically, I think Lynch really fooled us by a LONG SHOT.

In the end of INLAND EMPIRE, in the mansion with the crippled lady that says "Sweeeeet", LEHarring (Camilla) appears. I always though, isn't that funny ? Because Naomi Watts (Diane) should be there too, or even alone.  I always thought this because of the explanations most people had, that it was all about Diane and etc...

I think Lynch in a way told us: you guys are wrong.

[Please note, this is only my impression of what most people thought about the movie, me included - if for you it was always about Camilla, great, good fortune to you]

It's pretty simple actually and in a way it's in the 10 clues the man gave. He may be a joker but he's always VERY HONEST, I really think he has a strict artistic integrity - which is rare nowadays, I think, I believe.

But lets put this in topics and keep it simple, what I noticed in this watch of the film:

- Rita/Camilla speaks SPANISH. Notice the dinner conversation (in the end of the film) at Adam's House. When they say something in spanish "luigi something" (when referring to the film The Sylvia North Story). Notice that CLub Silencio is SPANISH and that RDRio sings a Roy Orbison song IN SPANISH. Also note the guy from the Hotel, where Adam goes after the pink paint incident, speaks SPANISH "Oye Carnal" (he says) and he also reappears at Club Silencio.

- Lynch said in one of the clues, most people didn't saw this (I think): 6 - Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup.
   The ROBE, notice the ROBE when Betty goes to tell Rita that her Aunt doesn't know her! The ROBE HAS PINK PAINT ON IT!!
  The coffee cup appears at Winkies and at the apartment, but more on this part later. Also notice in the 2nd Restaurant(Pinky's) the GIANT SLOGAN "MADE SPECIAL TO PINKY's" (Lynch does a shot of this, full size, you can't miss this) In fact it appears before the scene where the BLUE VAN appears for the 2nd time, and the sign is saying "FOR PINKY'S ONLY"

- Note that when Rita's sleeping in the beg of the film, beneath the table where aunt Ruth picks up the keys. Is the first appearance of the hobo lady. To me this is Camilla and this is why in the end of the film she lets the "old people loose".

- Notice that Rita, doesn't KNOW who she is.

- Notice that Rita wears a blonde wig and then Look's EXACTLY like Diane/Betty and she ENTERS the Blue Box wearing that wig, and surprise, surprise she wakes up being Diane :)

For me this is evidence that the film is about Camilla (mainly).

Notice also that DEAD PEOPLE don't Dream. So Diane didn't really shot herself, Camilla did AND Diane was so upset/depressed/unbalanced about this that she RELIVED what Camilla went though in way...

So you guys are right, the beg is Diane Dream, in fact everything is Diane S. dream. She never wakes up, she just finds the rabbit hole(blue box) in it.

- That's why the DEAD BODY has a dark dress (like Rita after the accident, running in the street in the beg of the film) and has DARK HAIR.

- The Cowboy is like the Mystery Man in Lost Highway, a walker of worlds (inside the MIND) a sort of conscience if you like.


SamFZGames

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Re: [img]http://xixax.com/files/jb/mdr/.jpg[/img]
« Reply #111 on: January 20, 2014, 09:06:43 AM »
+1
I guess this a good time to resurrect my theory from C&C, with pictorial support.

DISCLAIMERS:
Do not read this if you haven't seen the movie.
I'm not sure I believe the puzzle can be entirely solved.
I'm not claiming this was Lynch's intention.

So here's the theory:

The dream is Diane's creation, but Rita is having the dream. Betty is Diane's ghost. Her purpose is to fix the mess she helped create before her death... to alleiviate Rita's guilt, put the world back together for her in a manipulated frame, and bring her back to full consciousness.

Diane isn't falling asleep in the first red pillow scene.

She's dying.


Rita falls asleep for the first time.

CUT TO:

Rita's dream begins.

Surreal and almost absurd.

Rita falls asleep again, under Aunt Ruth's kitchen table.


CUT TO:

Rita's dream continues...

...with the Winkie's story, even more surreal.

CUT TO:

Rita, still asleep.


CUT TO:

Mr. Roque introduced.


Up to this point, Rita's visions have been pretty vague, unconnected, and entirely non-poigniant. They must be shaped to mean something.

Enter Betty, precisely when Diane (chronologically) would have killed herself.


After Betty has met Rita and has becomed concerned about her...

...she puts Rita to sleep, placing her hand on her forehead, infusing a dream directly into her head

CUT TO:

Adam Kesher's story begins.


This is the real beginning of Rita's detailed dreams. A completely absurd and overelaborate conspiracy is blamed for Camilla's success, and indirectly, Diane's dejection... when it was really Camilla's fault. History is rewritten, and Rita's guilt is gone.

CUT TO:

Just a reminder, Rita is still sleeping/dreaming...

...and Betty touches her forehead again.

CUT TO:

Mr. Roque's story continues...

...this time with more detail, and a connection to Adam's story & the larger conspiracy.

CUT TO:

The Black Book...

...with reference to the car crash and the conspiracy.

Rita wakes up.

Betty encourages Rita to find her identity.


Betty points out the waitress' name (even saying it slowly and clearly)...

...thus getting Rita to remember the name "Diane."

Betty gets Rita to help her practice her lines in an angry scene...

...deliberately giving Rita a glimpse of Diane.

Adam sees a ghost...

...then agian, he's not really there either.

Betty encourages Rita to fear conspirators.


Rita tries to stop Betty from knocking...

...but you can tell from the look on Betty's face that she knows more than we think.

"I guess you're not Diane Selwin"...

...pushing her further towards an identity.

When Rita sees Diane's body...

...Betty's purpose is not to be shocked, but to support & expose Rita.

Diane holds Rita's hand...

...and Rita starts saying "silencio"...

Diane gives the blue box to Rita...

...(Rita does not discover it.)

Right before Rita opens the box, Betty disappears...

...because she is no longer needed.

As Diane pushes her out...

...Camilla's guilt is obvious.

In some of the last moments of her public life, Diane collects characters.




And finally, Adam's hair changes in the middle of the party scene--



Hey Jeremy, I love this interpretation, though I personally don't think it's the 'correct' one. I believe the most common theory of Diane dreaming of being Betty to escape her guilt for putting a hit out on Camilla is the actual true explanation as there's so much evidence for it in the movie. Your interpretation, however, is super cool, and I like the clues you've used here too, I just think that the clues to the more popular theory are bigger, more prominent and more common.

I'd love to see an amateur editor create a cut which puts Mulholland Drive's events into chronological order.

Psychoalanyst Jaques Lacan (apparently an inspiration to David Lynch, so I've read, I could do with having this confirmed though) once wrote: "Suppose you're dreaming about yourself disguised as your desired self/other and you open a box with a key to find only darkness, your dream will collapse, and you'll wake up to find your real self. That's the situation as it occurs in dreams. But when you're not dreaming, and you open that same box, your psychosis has just killed you.", this works strongly with the theory I subscribe to but this is also really interesting when applied to your idea, considering Rita becomes literally disguised as Betty towards the end of the dream.

To quote the interview above:

Quote
All things are. But for me, [the film] is very specific. But it doesn't do any good for me to say what I think it is. It's so beautiful to see something and make up your own mind as with the films that I love. That's one of the beautiful things about film. It can tell abstractions and allow you to come up with your own meanings.

I think that's the key isn't it, there's nothing to stop us each interpreting it differently, but I personally think that the "Diane is dreaming" explanation is the one that Lynch believes in.

A friend and I talked a lot about Mulholland Drive and came up with a cool explanation for the man behind Winkie's.

I had always seen it as just another way to confirm that, at that point in the film, we're currently in a dream. When they go and look behind the restaurant the only reason the man would truly be there is because we're still in of a dream. I still believe this to be the reason behind the scared man's dialogue and explanation of his recurring dream, and then it coming true, but my friend pointed out that the man lives behind the same restaurant where Diane ordered the hit in real life. Based on this we both came to the conclusion that the man behind Winkie's is Diane's regret/guilt, personified in her dream as an ogre/monster. This is why the scared man "never wants to see that face outside of the dream", why he appears to be sort of "controlling" things, and why it's him who lets the old couple hallucination out of the box at the end. He's the thing she can't escape from.

For one thing, we know that the man behind Winkie's is actually a woman, since 'he' is played by an actress. Considering Lynch doesn't just tend to hire a woman to play a man for no reason, I think this helps to support the idea.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #112 on: January 29, 2014, 12:00:20 PM »
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The "Diane's dream" explanation makes sense at first, but it really breaks down for me when I start to think it through. It seems to leave many more loose ends.

Under this theory, why is so much of the film about Betty helping Rita find her identity? Why does she go through all of that in such a knowing way, giving Rita a few potent glimpses of Diane, pointing out the "Diane" nametag? Is this all misdirection by the film? Why does Betty clearly know so much, if this is just her delusional dream?

I also don't think this "dream" does much of anything to alleviate Diane's guilt. The casting conspiracy etc. shifts blame away from Rita, not Diane. I could be forgetting or missing something, but I'm not aware of anything in the dream that would actually assuage Diane's guilt. Whereas there's a long list of things that would assuage Rita's guilt.

I suppose the "dream" itself (that she's helping Rita etc.) could alleviate Diane's guilt, but there's not much internal detail supporting that sentiment. What is supposedly Diane's dream is filled with so much content that has so little to do with Diane's guilt.

I think we should also consider that "Diane's guilt" is a lot more complex than that. It might even be more heartbrokenness and depression than guilt.

It seems that the real imperative (supported by the bulk of the narrative) is to fix Camilla's broken situation, to right that wrong in a practical and meaningful way.

If it's all Diane's dream, why would Diane disappear at the point of Rita's self-actualization? It would be very hard to convince me that we're still in "Diane's dream" at that point.

Finally, I think I have a problem with just how much of the film is just a dream if you adopt the conventional "Diane's dream" theory. It's kind of silly and, for me, massively less meaningful.

There are just so many problems with it for me. Why is Rita clearly dreaming within it? Rita dreams the Winkie's scene and the first conspiracy scene before Betty even arrives. From that very first time that Rita falls asleep, it's screamingly obvious that this is Rita's dream. And yet Diane's dream envelops all of that? It's just kind of dumb. What content in the film would even be outside of Diane's dream?
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SamFZGames

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #113 on: February 05, 2014, 10:59:27 AM »
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Man, I'm enjoying this.

Please don't think I'm shooting down your interpretation, it's awesome, but if you'll allow me I'd like to point you to the moments which, for me, completely confirm the popular "Diane is dreaming" explanation. I also want to explain why I think this explanation has a HUGE amount of meaning.

I don't know if the timing is the same on the Region A Blu-Ray or Region 1 DVD, but on my Region B Blu-Ray, what I believe to be the most important scene in the film occurs at 1h56. Once everything has fallen apart, and characters have disappeared one after another, and here's where I think it's incredibly revealing.

First off, the movie fades between Diane's room and Betty's room a couple of times. The cowboy walks into Diane's room and says "Time to wake up". While this is happening, watch the way the film fades in and out from black, it almost "blinks". The way it fades in and out of Betty's room to Diane's and the way Diane's room fades in and out from black uncannily resembles the way we gradually open and close our eyes as we wake up from a dream. The repeated knocking at the door woke her up. The glitzy, glammy Hollywood feel of the film totally disappears after this point.

Her neighbour was the cause of the knocking. When she comes in, one of the biggest clues of the movie is shown. Her neighbour reclaims her PIANO ASHTRAY. It's a very unusual ashtray for a reason. So you notice it. She has a quick vision of Camilla being back in the room (she's starting to see things, she's going mad) and after that passes she makes a coffee. "Pay attention to the ashtray, the gown and the coffee cup" was one of Lynch's 10 clues. Once she walks over to the couch, the GOWN becomes a pair of cut-offs, the COFFEE CUP becomes a glass of booze, and the PIANO ASHTRAY is back on the table where it was before. The camera lingers on the all important ashtray, because this is the movie's way of saying "THIS HAPPENED BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM!" From now until the gown and coffee cup return and the ashtray disappears, is what happened before the dream began. Although there are time skips, everything here happens in chronological order.

We witness Diane and Camilla's breakup, Diane's building jealousy, and her hiring of the hitman.

Now, it's often said that every face a person sees in a dream is a face they've seen before in real life, though not necessarily given to that same person in the dream. Also, as we all know, Dreams are often formed from your recent memories, things you've seen and thought about a lot recently manifest in your dreams, the things that are "on your mind". See, during this flashback, we see all of the faces, images and events that influence her dream. I won't go into it too far because there are SO MANY things here which get translated into dream elements, but I can give a few good examples.

  • Many of the faces she sees in the restaurant become the characters in her dream, the film makes a point even of things like a cowboy walking past, and it shows Diane looking around at people
  • She sees the name Betty at Winkie's, and does a double take, an "I like that name" moment
  • She hands Camilla's photo to the hitman and says "THIS IS THE GIRL", the words which then repeatedly coming up in her dream, the words which haunt her for the rest of her (very short) life.
  • The hitman uses a blue key as his signifier. "What's it open?", Diane asks, amusing the hitman. She's curious as to why he chooses a blue key and so she starts imagining things for it to open.


Diane gives the money her aunt left to her to the hitman (hence why she had to switch apartments with her neighbour due to having no money). The deed is done, and the man behind winkies, Diane's regret, the darkest side of herself, her version of Lost Highway's mystery man, is created, holding this imaginary device. Notice the red light here, which seems to be associated with the mind in a lot of Lynch's stuff, so I think this is inside of her head at that moment. He sends the little old couple out to get her, I think they're a vision based on her madness, they showed up at the beginning as talent show judges, so I think she sort of blames them for setting her expectations to high and getting her into this whole mess by urging her to go to Hollywood, so her crazed hallucinations take on their form.

Also, notice that in the bag with the blue box there is some meat and a loose ringpull. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing meat means death, and a loose ringpull could mean that something has been opened and can't be closed again.

Next thing we see, the blue key is on the table (it's done, no turning back), the PIANO ASHTRAY IS GONE, the COFFEE CUP is back, and Diane is wearing the GOWN. This means the flashback is over and we're back to present day. Diane looks distraught, the key is there, she knows it's been done. The knocking starts up at the door again. Possibly the two detectives mentioned earlier. She's going mad and seeing things again. The old people are haunting her (the appearance of Camilla for a brief moment earlier established that she's hallucinating) and she ends it all. A quick glare from the man behind Winkies, "you did this to yourself". Her last thoughts are of her and Rita/her version of Camilla together in the spotlight, all she ever wanted.

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I also don't think this "dream" does much of anything to alleviate Diane's guilt. The casting conspiracy etc. shifts blame away from Rita, not Diane. I could be forgetting or missing something, but I'm not aware of anything in the dream that would actually assuage Diane's guilt. Whereas there's a long list of things that would assuage Rita's guilt.
The casting conspiracy is Diane's excuse for why she doesn't get any roles but one "Camilla Rhodes" keeps getting them. She sees Angelo Badalamenti's character glare at her in the restaurant before the dream occurs (and he just has this "mafia" look to him. Just from looking at him you think "mafia" although that's likely not the case) around the same time she tells Coco that the director "didn't think so much of [her]". She's not ready to admit she's not a good enough actress (hence why in her dream/fantasy she blows people's minds with her acting), so her subconscious pieces together an excuse.

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I suppose the "dream" itself (that she's helping Rita etc.) could alleviate Diane's guilt, but there's not much internal detail supporting that sentiment. What is supposedly Diane's dream is filled with so much content that has so little to do with Diane's guilt.
No guilt is being alleviated as such. Diane's regret is slowly coming after her (in the form of the man behind Winkies), her dream is full of denial and excuses, the man behind Winkies and Club Silencio are her guilt taking form in the dream coming after her, having been shoved into a corner. Dreams often work like this, where a repressed emotion or memory becomes personified and comes to haunt you or tell you the truth.

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I think we should also consider that "Diane's guilt" is a lot more complex than that. It might even be more heartbrokenness and depression than guilt.
Completely agreed, much of the dream comes from her broken heart, and her desire to "own" and "control" Camilla (this is why I didn't answer your first question, I'm dealing with that one in here also). This is why, in her dream/fantasy, Camilla ("Rita") is lost, weak, and needs her. She wants Camilla to need her the way she needs Camilla. Camilla was having fun, but Diane loved Camilla deeply.

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It seems that the real imperative (supported by the bulk of the narrative) is to fix Camilla's broken situation, to right that wrong in a practical and meaningful way.
I agree, but for me, there's good reason why this would be the case in Diane's dream. Here are a few things I have always taken from this film regarding why some of the sub-plots happen:

  • In the dream, the hitman is terrible at his job. He completely screws up an assassination, leaving a huge mess. I saw this as Diane unconsciously hoping that perhaps he won't/didn't succeed in killing Camilla
  • In reality, the director is the one who is taking her beloved Camilla away from her. In the dream, he goes through the worst day of his life. Getting what Diane has decided he deserves
  • Dan sits at Winkies, terrified of the thing living behind there. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is where Diane made her decision that lead to all of this, and it's the centre-point of everything. The phrase "This is the girl", the blue key, the name Betty, everything hinges on what happened at Winkie's, and so, inside of her mind, something horrible is there, which she hopes she never sees again. The memory of what she has done, the guilt, the regret, the fear. It's right there at Winkie's. Having the man Dan dreams about actually appear there is also a good way of establishing that this is, indeed, inside of a dream

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If it's all Diane's dream, why would Diane disappear at the point of Rita's self-actualization? It would be very hard to convince me that we're still in "Diane's dream" at that point.
Don't forget that Rita then also disappears, leaving only Aunt Ruth to walk in to an empty room. At this point Rita also is wearing the blonde wig, she's become a part of Betty/Diane. Also, consider this quote from psychiatrist Jaques Lacan:

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Suppose you're dreaming about yourself disguised as your desired self/other and you open a box with a key to find only darkness, your dream will collapse, and you'll wake up to find your real self.

Interestingly that lends a bit towards your theory too, since ina way Rita is "disguised" as Betty at that point, but Betty is Diane "disguised" as her desired self, and Rita is her "disguised" as her desired other. I wonder if perhaps in putting on Betty's wig etc., her "disguise" is actually coming off.

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Finally, I think I have a problem with just how much of the film is just a dream if you adopt the conventional "Diane's dream" theory. It's kind of silly and, for me, massively less meaningful.
See, for me, the dream gives the film SO much meaning. It's not Dallas, the dream is in the form a real life dream would be. A dream in the real world shapes from a person's desires, experiences and innermost being. Through this dream, we get to learn who Diane is on the inside, who she wishes to be, what she desires and who she would be if the universe would allow her. We get to know the character more intimately than any character I can think of in any other movie, and we get to see just how much she adores and needs Camilla, that although her acting career is everything to her, once "Rita" shows up, she just obsesses over her, getting to know her and find out who she is. Camilla is all she ever wanted. Although her relationship with Camilla in the real world was somewhat one-sided, in the dream we get to see just how in love with her she is, and it makes the truth all the more heartbreaking, I often well up at the end of the film ever since I concluded that this was it's story.

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What content in the film would even be outside of Diane's dream?
Everything between the PoV shot of the pillow and "Hey pretty girl, time to wake up" is the dream/fantasy, everything else is for real, but as I mentioned above, everything from the point where the coffee cup and robe vanish and the ashtray reappears, to the point where the ashtray is gone again and the cup and robe return, is set BEFORE the dream begins. It's actually pretty linear, it's all chronological except for one linear flashback at the end there.

I want to answer a few more of your questions but I need to find the time to, lol.

Imagine an edit of the movie where the flashback I mentioned above is moved to before the title (but after the jitterbug contest opening), but everything else is in the same order. In fact, if you get the time, watch everything after the ashtray reappears up until the blue key on the table, then rewind the film and watch it from the beginning, and then when the ashtray reappears this time, skip to when the blue key is on the table, that's what I strongly believe to be the chronological order of the film. Watch it that way and it makes one hell of a lot of sense.

Pubrick

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #114 on: February 05, 2014, 09:50:03 PM »
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All I know is I'm definitely not on Jenkins SamFZGames side.
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jenkins

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #115 on: February 06, 2014, 04:41:02 AM »
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lol. SamFZGames, nice to meet you. pubrick is appreciating your thorough response and thoughtful reply, which is sweet of him. he's framing it within his eternal battle against me and referencing a totally dissimilar conversation. why? idk. off topic for sure, but eternal is eternal. there's way less bullshit from many other people here and i'm glad you've arrived. def good mul dr chat. feel free to nonlynch around too
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Pubrick

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #116 on: February 06, 2014, 10:57:12 AM »
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Don't be so paranoid. I was just making a reference to something I'd said before and using the quote to make it clear. It's been long established that you have no sense of humour so you can rest assured that you are the last person I have in mind when posting. Even the original quote above was aimed at everyone but you.

I'm genuinely on this dude's side. He just posted the most lucid explanation for mully d that I've ever seen. I'm interested to see how JB responds. I thought he was the authority on lynch so to me it's like if someone came in and properly schooled me on Kubrick. I'd feel.. inadequate.

But that's not entirely the same thing because Kubrick was not so obsessed with making his audience piece together the "real" narrative in such a literal chronological sense. The significance of his films do not hinge on getting the scenes in the "right" order. Even something as blatantly dreamlike as EWS allows the viewer to ponder the mysteries of the film (and indeed life itself) without ever having to worry about a definitive dream/not dream dichotomy.

That's even one of the major points of that film. No dream is just a dream and no reality is the whole truth. And how does this relate to cinema? No definitive narrative is ever the whole point of a movie.
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03

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #117 on: February 06, 2014, 11:27:00 AM »
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cmon jenkins, pubrick does that quote thing a lot, and has been for years.
anyway, amazing interpretation, where you at jeremy

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #118 on: February 06, 2014, 03:51:02 PM »
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I thought he was the authority on lynch so to me it's like if someone came in and properly schooled me on Kubrick. I'd feel.. inadequate.

Ah, Pubrick...

I don't feel like it's a competition, or that someone has to be crowned "the authority." I posted that 10 years ago this month and have never revisited it. I directed SamFZGames to this thread, essentially saying check this out because it could be wrong, but I don't quite buy the popular interpretation, so help me out. Also, SamFZGames is the most polite Lynch fan ever, so there's definitely nothing resembling antagonism here.

Please don't think I'm shooting down your interpretation, it's awesome, but if you'll allow me I'd like to point you to the moments which, for me, completely confirm the popular "Diane is dreaming" explanation. I also want to explain why I think this explanation has a HUGE amount of meaning.

No worries, as I've said I've always been open to being convinced, especially on Mulholland Drive. Your explanation is persuasive and clearly laid out and supported, and pretty much right away I'm willing to accept almost all of it.  :yabbse-thumbup:

I get now that Diane's dream is more complex than just alleviating guilt. And that the casting conspiracy is just an excuse for her inadequacy or lack of connectedness. Kind of makes the casting conspiracy less interesting, but that's okay.

But overall, I think your interpretation opens more avenues of meaning, and I think I'll like the film even more now!

I think I still have some issues, though.

If Adam Kesher's bad day is Diane's way of spiting him in her dream, why is he such a sympathetic character? (Or is that just me?)

The big one: Why does Rita appear to be having the conspiracy dream? She even appears to dream the Winkie's scene before that. The way it cuts back and forth between her sleeping and those scenes, we're clearly supposed to think it's her dream, and even that Diane is helping her have this dream. Is that just Lynch's joke, an epic misdirect within Diane's dream? I'm not finding any meaning in Diane dreaming that Rita is dreaming the Winkie's and conspiracy dreams. (But there's probably something there.) This is such a central part of the movie that I feel like it needs to be resolved.

It also feels now like Rita/Camilla plays such a shockingly small role, since for nearly all of the film she's simply a reimagined character in Diane's fantasy. She doesn't have much purpose or agency except to express Diane's desires.

Also, why does Diane show Rita all of those dark things and try to push her toward these troubling realities? Wouldn't Diane in this scenario want to hide these things from Rita or push her along a different, more picturesque path? Rita's whole journey seems to be about revealing to her the darkness of reality, not really about learning to appreciate Diane.
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SamFZGames

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Re: Mulholland Dr. Explanation?
« Reply #119 on: February 07, 2014, 11:22:14 AM »
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Seems this topic is more active than the Inland Empire one! :D

Thanks for the welcome and all the responses, and I'll probably "non-Lynch" a little too, truth be told, I found this place whilst googling trying to find some good discussion of Inland Empire. :)

So let's see...

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If Adam Kesher's bad day is Diane's way of spiting him in her dream, why is he such a sympathetic character? (Or is that just me?)

Hm, question is, is he sympathetic, or just pathetic? Notice how in the dream version of the auditions, he stares longingly at Betty, like he wanted to cast her but has been forced to cast Camilla Rhodes instead by the mafia.

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The big one: Why does Rita appear to be having the conspiracy dream? She even appears to dream the Winkie's scene before that. The way it cuts back and forth between her sleeping and those scenes, we're clearly supposed to think it's her dream, and even that Diane is helping her have this dream. Is that just Lynch's joke, an epic misdirect within Diane's dream? I'm not finding any meaning in Diane dreaming that Rita is dreaming the Winkie's and conspiracy dreams. (But there's probably something there.) This is such a central part of the movie that I feel like it needs to be resolved.

I'll have to watch through the movie again. To be honest I had never seen it as Rita dreaming since the transition was a direct cut, and the mafia conspiracy continues to happen whilst she's awake. I had seen the shots of Rita sleeping to hint at the "theme" of somebody being asleep, I didn't really think of it as her dreaming until I read your interpretation above. It's particularly interesting that she seems to be asleep while all the particularly weird/surreal stuff is occurring, it almost makes you wonder about Inception-styled "layers", to quote Edgar Allan Poe, "Is all that we see and all that we seem, but a dream within a dream?". That does make things a little more complicated than they need to be though. I had always seen it as "these things are going on whilst Rita sleeps".

I'll go through the film again and take a look at those shots though, because for the most part I'm really confident about my interpretation of MD, not that I believe Lynch isn't open to interpretation or that I'd impose my theories on other people, but I feel pretty adamant about MD because everything works for me with this theory, and I feel like the pillow at the beginning of the film is the "Charles Foster Kane's sled" moment that brings it all full circle (in a repeat viewing). It also makes the film very moving.

 

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