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directed by David Lynch
Have you ever said Yes to a single joy? O my friends,
then you said Yes too to all woe. All things are
entangled, ensnared, enamored; if ever you wanted one
thing twice, if ever you said, "You please me, happiness!
Abide, moment!" then you wanted all back. All anew,
all eternally, all entangled, ensnared, enamored--oh,
then you loved the world. Eternal ones, love it
eternally and evermore; and to woe too, you say: go, but
return! For all joy wants -- eternity.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Lynchnet.com Mulholland Drive Page
It's mesmerizing, it's hypnotic, it's beautiful, and it's goddamn confusing, even more so because of all those double roles played by same actors and same characters played by multiple actors. The exact relationship between these Doppelgangers are intentionally ambiguous, but simply put, they are meant to be physically different yet spiritually the same. If they are viewed as continuation of previous characters, story becomes circular and linear simultaenously. But then, it doesn't really make sense to try to make sense of fantasia, does it? Mood reigns supreme here, that of inescapable circle of betrayal, corruption, and despair. Hopefully, images in this site may add to your enjoyment of the film.
(By the way, I am not suggesting that Mulholland Dr espouses Nietzsche's doctrine of Eternal Recurrence; the central idea of this philosophy has nothing to do with the film, but there are many ideas that can apply here and I can only assume that David Lynch was aware of this philosophy.)
For the simplicity's sake, I'll divide the film into two main parts and call them Bizarro World A and Bizarro World B, which may be an alternate reality, another version of master reality, or whatever you like. Betty Elms in Bizarro World A, from Deep River, Ontario, wins jitterbug contest and dreams of Hollywood glamor. We learn later that Diane Selwyn in Bizarro World B has exactly the same background.
An accident at Mulholland Dr. that unlocks mystery. Who is she, or does it matter? I bet her last name is McGuffin
Dan: Well, it's the second one that I've had, but there're both the same. They start out that I'm in here, except that it's not day or night. It's kind of half-night you know. But it looks just like this, except for the daylight. And I'm scared like I can't tell you. Of all people, you're standing right over there, by that counter. You're in both dreams. I get even more scared when I see how scared you are and then I realize what it is, there's a man in back of this place, creating this fear. He's the one that's doing it. I can see him through the wall. I can see his face. I hope that I will never have to see that face ever outside of a dream. That's it.
The man that's doing it (D'oh, I thought it was woman.), or dues ex machina?
Irene: Now, remember I'll be watching for you on the big screen.
They look mischievously happy about something.
She happens to go to 1612 Havenhurst, which just happens to be open, just when Betty's aunt is leaving.
The dark-haired woman assumes name of Rita.
The disappearance of lead actress requires new replacement. Camilla Rhodes is the girl.
M. Darcy: I think you're going to enjoy your espresso this time... I've been doing quite a bit of research knowing how hard you are to please... this one comes highly recommended.
Mr. Roque: Yes?
Ray: Shut everything down ... Is that something that...do you want us to shut everything down?
That's unheard of ... an accident like that ... who coulda foreseen that.
. . .
Joe: So, there it is ... Ed's famous black book.
Ed: Yeah, the history of the world in phone numbers.
Rita: I'm not. I don't know what my name is. I don't know who I am!!
Betty: This is your purse. Your name must be in your purse. . . . You want to know, don't you?
Rita: I ... yes, but ... I ...
They find $125,000 in cash and a strange blue key.
Betty: No Grandpa, you wouldn't believe it.
It's more beautiful than I ever
dreamed ... No, she left me a lot of food.
The refrigerator's full ... Aunt Ruthie
said she'd call me when she got
settled... it was real smooth. I sat next
to a lady who gave up her first class
seat to a boy with a broken leg. She was
so nice to me. She invited me to her
house sometime. It's in Bel Air which is
a place where people have a lot of
money... I will. Everybody's telling me
to be careful, but I sure love it here.
Diane the waitress at the Winkies reminds Rita of Diane Selwyn. I'm not sure about the exact relationship between the two, but they apparently go to the same hairdresser. Diane in Bizarro World A reappears as Betty the waitress in Bizarro World B, who happens to go to the sam hairdresser as Betty in Bizarro World A.
Louis Bonner: Someone is in trouble. Who are you? Why are you in Ruth's apartment?
Betty: I'm her niece. She's letting me stay here. My name is Betty.
Louis: No it isn't. That's not it. That's not what she said. Something bad's happening. Where's Ruth?
Coco Lenoix, the landlady, reappears in Bizarro World B as a mother of a director who was Adam Kesher the director in Bizarro World A.
Cowboy: Now, you will see me one more time if you do good. You'll see me two more times if you do bad. Good Night.