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What the Heck Was Mulholland Drive All About?

Nobody knows. It started out as a pilot for ABC. ABC shelved it. Sixteen months later, Director David Lynch decided to shoot extra scenes and release it as a feature. The movie is stunning to look at on occasion but does not have a coherent story. That's a weakness in Lynch's films - the lack of coherent story. People want their books and movies to have a beginning, middle and end. That's why Lynch's films don't make money. I don't think even David Lynch knows what Mulholland Drive was all about.

JMT writes: This movie was not *intended* to have "a coherent story." (If you want that, go rent the Lynch film in which Richard Farnsworth rides a lawn tractor 2,000 miles to visit his brother, or whatever the hell it was. I didn't see it, but by all accounts, it was an utterly traditional Hollywood movie with a beginning, middle and end.)

Read what Roger Ebert said about Mulholland Drive, as quoted on MrSkin.com:

“The movie is hypnotic; we're drawn along as if one thing leads to another--but nothing leads anywhere, and that's even before the characters start to fracture and recombine like flesh caught in a kaleidoscope. Mulholland Drive isn't like Memento where if you watch it closely enough, you can hope to explain the mystery. There is no explanation. There may not even be a mystery.

"There have been countless dream sequences in the movies, almost all of them conceived with Freudian literalism to show the characters having nightmares about the plot. Mulholland Drive is all dream. There is nothing that is intended to be a waking moment. Like real dreams, it does not explain, does not complete its sequences, lingers over what it finds fascinating, dismisses unpromising plotlines.

"If you want an explanation for the last half hour of the film, think of it as the dreamer rising slowly to consciousness, as threads from the dream fight for space with recent memories from real life, and with fragments of other dreams--old ones and those still in development. This works because Lynch is absolutely uncompromising. He takes what was frustrating in some of his earlier films, and instead of backing away from it, he charges right through.

"Mulholland Drive is said to have been assembled from scenes that he shot for a 1999 ABC television pilot, but no network would air (or understand) this material, and Lynch knew it. He takes his financing where he can find it and directs as fancy dictates. This movie doesn't feel incomplete because it could never be complete--closure is not a goal.

"If you require logic, see something else. Mulholland Drive works directly on the emotions, like music. Individual scenes play well by themselves, as they do in dreams, but they don't connect in a way that makes sense--again, like dreams. The way you know the movie is over is that it ends.”

I think Ebert has it pegged. Plus, the two broads are hot, and the character of the landlord is played by Ann Miller, who was the inspiration for the title of your forthcoming book, "Tonight, They Want You To Fuck Lassie."