Film: Mulholland Drive

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Film:

Mulholland Drive

Director: David Lynch
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Genres:
Distributor: Universal Studios

Pandora couldn’t resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let’s just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, “a love story in the city of dreams,” Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film’s first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Pandora couldn’t resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let’s just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, “a love story in the city of dreams,” Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film’s first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before we’ve become enthralled by the film’s two main characters: the dazed and sullen femme fatale, Rita (Laura Elena Harring), and the pert blonde just-arrived from Ontario (played exquisitely by Naomi Watts) who decides to help Rita regain her memory. Triggered by a rapturous Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” Lynch’s best film since Blue Velvet splits glowingly into two equally compelling parts. —Fionn Meade

Barnes and Noble

Dreams of Hollywood stardom become nightmares in Mulholland Dr., a masterful psychological thriller from David Lynch. Newcomer Naomi Watts gives a breakout performance as an aspiring young actress whose friendship with a mysterious, voluptuously beautiful brunette amnesiac (Laura Elena Harring) evolves into something much more. The pair’s search for Harring’s identity becomes the film’s main story line, but it’s flanked by several obliquely connected subplots, all set against the backdrop of a Hollywood rife with Lynch’s typically surreal quotient of freaks and weirdos, enigmatic cabals, and obscure conspiracies. The unraveling of the film’s central mystery eventually dissolves the very fabric of screen reality, allowing a dark truth to gradually emerge. It’s all mind-bending, to say the least, and consummately eerie, yet leavened by Lynch’s trademark offbeat humor. Watts is nothing short of perfection: Her young, would-be starlet is sexy, eager to please, vulnerable, and afflicted with the kind of curiosity that kills cats—qualities that make the Sapphic love story at the heart of the film both moving and intensely erotic. Lynch’s longtime collaborator Angelo Badalamenti contributes a haunting score that works in tandem with an unnerving tapestry of aural textures to accentuate the aura of subliminal menace. But it’s the unique structure, in which conventional narrative progression is entirely replaced by dream logic, that the film achieves an almost psychedelic potency. Mulholland Dr. may have echoes of Lynch’s Lost Highway and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me but this modern masterpiece is in a genre all its own. Gregory Baird

Related Works

Album:Mulholland Drive: Original Motion Picture Score

Mulholland Drive: Original Motion Picture Score

Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch

Director David Lynch’s affection for kitschy lounge music and emotionally overwrought mid-century pop has long since proven to be more than trend or irony; indeed, it’s often the uneasy spiritual axis of his films. The soundtrack of Mulholland Dr. turns on the usual Lynchian motifs (the brooding atmosphere of Angelo Badalamenti’s ominous synth-and-orchestra cues tossed with a dash of Lynch’s own off-center compositions), yet manages to evoke a sense of foreboding that’s distinctly its own. Badalamenti leads off with a curve, the nervous orchestra…

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