anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Mulholland Drive

After re-watching Mulholland Drive 15 or 16 years since watching it for the first time (albeit heavily censored a la Singapore's censorship guidelines), I cannot help but wonder what my 15-year-old self saw in it that made her call it one of her favourite films. Don't get me wrong; I didn't think it was terrible. In fact, I thought it was brilliant. But it is also a massive mind-fuck, and I get it, mostly; I'm just really curious what my vastly younger self thought of it. She probably liked it for its effective blurring of the line between reality and illusion, how things are not as they seem, and the surrealism that shrouds the movie.

And of course, she would have thought that it would have been edgy and cool to say that Mulholland Drive was one of her favourite movies.

But it is, I think. Oddly enough, I barely remembered most of the scenes, except the 'silencio' bit and the creepy theatre. I didn't even remember the twist. I had a hazy impression of it - its surrealistic suspense, mostly. In any event, re-watching it has reinforced its status as one of my favourite films. It tells a coherent story in a haphazard non-liner form, one that requires some putting together pieces of the story when everything has been revealed. It is provocative, and thought-provoking, and there multiple layers of meaning to the film. There is the obvious one on the surface: what actually happened? But this seemingly simple question does not have an easy answer, for the ending can be interpreted in at leat two ways. Did Diane go through with the hit on Camilla or did she not? If she did, did the first three-quarters of the movie actually happen, or was it all in her head? If she did not, then it would seem that the first three-quarters of the movie was all imagined. But deeper still: who were Betty and Rita? I am inclined towards the interpretation that Betty is Diane's fantasy self, and Rita is her idealised version of Camilla - the damsel in distress who needs her, who loves her, unlike Camilla in reality who is cruel and unkind. But even deeper: what does the abject dichotomy between Betty and Diane say about, first, Hollywood and failed ambitions; second, love and failed relationships; and third, this human drive to the ambitious, and the bitter disappointment when it fails? And of course, there is a whole theme on dreams, illusion, and reality. I am too tired to think about that right now.

What a wonderful film. I'm so happy I went to see it.


I walked home in the cold listening to Fiona Apple's 'I Know'. The cool air on my face, the quiet of the night, the stars glinting in the sky, seemingly shining brighter in First and Second Courts of Magdalene, and Fiona's beautiful, husky voice, singing her melancholic melody - I felt really happy, calm, at ease.
Tags: movies, music

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