Modern Mondays: Mulholland Dr. (2001)

David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. has been over analyzed and written about ad nauseam since it’s 2001 debut so I’m hesitant to add to the cacophony of noise surrounding the film. But I will mention that it is one of my favorite films of the last 10 years and it’s also the movie that brought me back to Lynch although we’ve always had an uneasy relationship. For whatever reason, I’ve often found his work hollow and heavy-handed. I lost interest in Lynch after Twin Peaks (1990-91) and Wild at Heart (1990), which left me completely cold but since it’s release, Mulholland Dr. has remained one of my favorite Lynch films along with The Elephant Man (1980) and to a lessor degree, Blue Velvet (1986).

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Mulholland Dr. should be available from most DVD sellers and renters.

Modern Mondays is an ongoing project here at Cinebeats where I share a few thoughts or lengthy rants and raves about my favorite films produced during the last decade. Films previously mentioned on Modern Mondays include:

The Left Bank (2008)
Love Songs (2007)
Bright Future (2003)
Control (2007)
The Quiet American (2001)
A History of Violence (2005)
This Is England (2007)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Innocence (2004)

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8 thoughts on “Modern Mondays: Mulholland Dr. (2001)

  1. Chuck says:

    It has stuck with me now for several years; specific Lynchian scenes that, well only David Lynch could do. The smoke ove the bed at the end; amazing.

  2. hchin says:

    Lynch the public person is great, too.
    I got a chance to hear Lynch speak and answer q&a’s at a local Barnes and Noble awhile ago, when he was promoting his book on spiritualism and creativity— very pleasant person, extremely down to earth. I forget the book’s title, but it was pretty interesting about his creative process and what he gets out of it. I admit that I’m not as crazy about his films that don’t really have a story by the time you get to the end…. but I get more why he doesn’t seem to care if there is one or not. Anyhow, enjoy reading the site as always-!

  3. AR says:

    I wouldn’t say I love Mulholland Drive, but I do like it and found it interesting. And it continues to spark debates between me and my boyfriend, who pretty much hates the movie.

  4. Kimberly Lindbergs says:

    Chuck – It does have some amazing scenes and I like how Lynch brings them all together. I think the film has one of his most interesting narratives.

    hchin – I think the David Lynch book you’re thinking about is Catching the Big Fish, where he discusses his interest in transcendental meditation and how it effects the creative process. I’m curious about the book but I haven’t read it. He’s an interesting guy and I always enjoy interviews with him since he seems to have no problem speaking his mind.

    AR – In many ways I see Mulholland Dr. as a continuation of many of the ideas he was playing with in Blue Velvet so I suspect that’s probably why I enjoy it so much. Lynch seems to divide a lot of people and he gets a lot of attention, but I’m always curious about what he’s up to even when I don’t find the results all that interesting. I personally have problems with some of the actors he uses (Laura Dern and Bill Pullman come to mind) so I tend to respond negatively to them in that regard. It seems sort of silly and petty, and I have hard time explaining my reasons, but if a film features an actor that bugs me I often loose interest in a film rather quickly.

  5. Steve Langton says:

    One of my absolute favourite films, and simply brimming with memorable scenes and imagery. Normally, if a film blows me away I’m scared to view it again for some time in case a second viewing diminishes the initial experience. Broke my own rule on this one (as I did for Three Colours:Red) and went to see it 4 times at the cinema.
    Although I can appreciate Lynch’s take on DVD chapters for his films, this is a great one to dip into on occasions when I need a Mulholland ‘fix’ and don’t have time to view the film from start to finish.
    Favourite moments? Love the “Crying Over You” scene, and “Sixteen Reasons” is just 24 carat gold.

    Have you seen Inland Empire, Kimberly? I rate this as almost as large an achievement as MD.

  6. Kimberly Lindbergs says:

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Steve! It’s a great film.

    I have seen Inland Empire, but I didn’t care for it as much as MD. As I mentioned above, for one reason or another I have problems with Laura Dern and I can’t really explain why. She’s just not an actress I care for (maybe she reminds of someone I know and don’t like?) so she dampened my enjoyment of Inland Empire. It’s kind of strange since I like her dad a lot. I do want to give IE another look though.

  7. Steve Langton says:

    Know exactly what you mean, Kimberly. I often find the presence of actors I don’t much care for can impact on my enjoyment of a film. I’m not really a big fan of Dern but, for me, she seems to come alive when Lynch directs her and I get the same buzz when Ferrara directs Chris Walken or when Scorsese got his hooks into De Niro. I’m sure we all have actors who we immediately associate with directors.
    Didn’t think to mention it previously, but that’s a great selection of stills you chose for MD. I can hear the soundtrack as I look at them. Thanks.

  8. Scott Brothers says:

    Mulholland Drive along with Lost Highway (which shares many similar ideas on doppelgangers, alternate narratives/universes) are two of my favorite Lynch films, although they were not always so. I enjoyed Lost Highway enough, but wasn’t struck by it like I was when I first saw Blue Velvet. A few years later when Mulholland Drive came out my response was pretty much the same. I had also been following the history of the film so I knew that it was originally a one-hour pilot developed for ABC which the network declined to accept. Once Lynch got the rights back he shot more footage and expanded it into a movie. I think my knowledge of this clouded my initial response which was that the first hour was amazing and the second half not as engaging. It was only after talking to a friend at length about the film, his impressions of it, what he thought the ending meant, how it related to the rest of the story etc., that I rented and watched it with fresh eyes. I’ve watched it many times since then, and I have grown to love this movie, and I see new things each time. This prompted me to see Lost Highway again, and again and again, each time admiring it more.

    Unlike Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, both of which stuck me immediately, I think I needed more time warming up to Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway; the narratives that turn into themselves again and again, the endings that are really not endings but beginnings, they seemed more challenging, in the same way that Eraserhead and Inland Empire could be challenging. I needed to talk about them at length with other friends that are Lynch fans, dissect them attempt to find solutions, or not.

    In the end Mulholland Drive, might be the most heart breaking of Lynch’s films. It is a tragic love story at its heart, offering stunning, mesmerizing visuals that stay with you for days and weeks after.

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