Film Micrœview #302: Mulholland Drive (2001)

07.04.2016 § Leave a comment

Rating: Dr. Pepper.

I hesitate even to discuss Richard Kelly’s work on this post, but I did decide to rewatch Mulholland Drive because of his mentioning that it was his favorite film (during a Q&A for Southland Tales). It becomes clearer how direct of an influence on him this film was. Film within film; doubles. Los Angeles. Suicide. Amnesia. Female sexual desire. Smoke machines. Retro musical dance sequences. Puppetmasters.

This is only the second time I’ve seen Mulholland Drive. It’s one of those movies, like maybe Au Hasard Balthazar, where it takes such a huge scoop out of your existence that you can’t even imagine reliving it – needing to or wanting to. I remembered it more as something like the greatest mindfuck of my life. This time around, though, the mental gymnastics, the Wizard of Oz analogs, the world inside-out, all that stuff was just icing on the cake. It reinforced the truth of what was already there, the core of this pyschosexual beast: the most passionate expression of shattered dreams and unrequited desire I have ever experienced.

Kelly babbles, miming Lynch, occasionally accidentally mindfucking, but he has no lust or terror as Lynch has. Lynch cannot help himself. His being overflows. Kelly’s ideas may or may not add up. But Lynch’s transcend the math. The sickening bob of the camera in the diner before the dumpster man. The sudden cut to the shrieking old people. Club Silencio. The profundity of our desperation to delude ourselves, to cope with the gap between the life we want to live and the one we do… this is brought to life in Lynch’s work, in all its tragically beautiful and horrifying splendor. Kelly’s suicide notes are empty threats.



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