Nov 18, 2022·edited Nov 18, 2022Liked by Anna Rettberg

Your interpretation dissolved the problems I had with the movie. The ending felt too exaggerated, especially with the hitman storyline. But if you read it as being as artificial as the first part it makes much more sense. I also like your interpretation of the director being the garbage monster, without that I thought the whole monster thing was a little bit weightless.

What I really liked about the movie is the cluster of similar-looking actresses, like they are all variations or possible versions of the character. So the split personality idea is not just explored with literal mirror reflections but is pervasive throughout the whole movie. Also, I like how it never feels didactic, per example the kissing scene between Betty and Rita can be read as Narcissus kissing his reflection, but Lynch didn't make that overtly on the nose by using two blonds. I think he stroke a nice balance there, the scene still works as a romance as well.

For Hitchcock's influence, you can see it on the way Lynch frames the shots and how long he holds them. It's very similar. The way I see it, he internalized his language and pushed it further. One thing I noticed is for all the kissing scenes, the sound design is much better than what Hitchcock would have done and the actors look more comfortable so the scenes feel more deliberate. But I mean Hitchcock movies were done in the 50s so the context was different. To compare Lynch and Hitchcock's filming styles, you can look at how the camera glides to frame details. Like at the end when the camera moves from the key to Betty's face, that's the kind of shot Hitchock would have done.

Also about Kubrick and Lynch, I think there are interinfluences between them. Kubrick already used more abstract music and sound design in "2001: A Space Odyssey", but he pushed further in "The Shining" and I'm pretty sure it's because of "Eraserhead". They are both incredibly good with sound design and music. There's an interview on Mulholland Drive with the composer which I think shows very well the thought process behind the audio: https://youtu.be/OBtAxC0DKio?t=476

One other thing to mention, I really like the dance sequence at the beginning. It may not look like much, but this kind of editing would have been difficult to do without a software like final cut. I don't know for sure but I would guess that it was a way for him to play around with new technology. I think it's very creative. There's a lot of dancing in his movies in general and it always relates to the thematics one way or the other. Here the copy-pasting of multiple couples foreshadows the theme of multiple identities and is maybe a metaphor for the genericity of Hollywood... I love the way he starts the film with something open-ended like that.

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The part about similar-looking actresses is particularly pronounced, given that one actress goes from looking distinct to looking the same when she cuts her hair and dies it blond!

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I read somewhere the poster is a composite image of both actresses. I can't see it myself but it's plausible. Everything is uncanny like this in the whole movie, it's very strange.

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deletedNov 18, 2022·edited Nov 18, 2022
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Nov 18, 2022·edited Nov 18, 2022

Do you know 3 Women by Altman? I saw it a while back, the themes are similar to Mulholland Drive. I thought it could interest you, it's less known but I thought it was pretty good.

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