Mulholland Drive Revisited

I don’t have many personal rules in life, but Mulholland Drive leaves me wanting to break my rule about leaving the film alone and not wanting to drill the directors or writers about what they were trying to convey. Right now I want to track down David Lynch and ask him to please tell me what was going through his mind when he finished this script.

It is easy to find out that Mulholland Drive was initially created as a television pilot, and that is fairly clear through the majority of the picture. Many of the scenes felt like Lynch was holding back and I felt a little callback to some of themes and innocence of the early episodes of Twin Peaks. After ABC passed on the series, Lynch decided to go back, write the script again, and convert the ninety-minute pilot into a feature-length film.

There were several moments near the middle of the film that were clearly created after those meetings, specifically the sudden love scene between Naomi Watts and Laura Harring. After that moment, the language and theme became darker and heavier, tumbling down a path of destruction towards the climax.

I want to ask Lynch what more he would have written given a ten- to thirteen-episode season. I want to see the characters drawn out a little more. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for writers to be planning a series out only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them; the amount time in development and the relationships built with characters that will never go anywhere.

But that is okay. Mr. Lynch, in the unlikely case that I am ever granted a chance to speak with him, would probably dodge the questions like he has since the picture was released thirteen years ago. Either way, there is more that I would prefer to learn from him than to get some fanboy answers to unimportant questions; this is why I made that rule in the first place. Life, if Mulholland Drive taught me anything, is not worth pouring over the what-could-have-beens and the what-will-never-be’s.

Life might come crashing down like a train wreck, and if it does, plow through. Look back only long enough to see where you were headed and what messed you up, then move on. If you want it bad enough, you have to dust yourself off and be better for the experience. That’s the real trick, anyway.

UPDATE 10/28/2015

Last night I re-watched Mulholland Drive with it’s new 4k digital transfer released by The Criterion Collection, I suspect that this viewing will prompt more in the future. First, regarding the transfer, the blacks are blacker and the pores are more visible but there isn’t much in the film, visually, that instantaneously made my experience better over the DVD that I had watched. I am noticing a trend in some restorations during night time scenes were the gray speckles become more visible but this doesn’t distract from the film and is only present in a few scenes.

More importantly Angelo Badalamenti’s score seemed more verbose in this presentation. It is haunting; like a melon-balled scooping my innards. The intensity is definitely more visceral and the slightest house-hold noise put me on edge and jumpy. It perfectly enhanced the enhanced the experience.

As to the experience, I feel a better understanding if the film after this second viewing. Having the tools of the past helped me to build the story into something more deserving of my attention. Mulholland Drive is a much better film after multiple viewings. My original score for the film was 6.9 and is not 7.4 moving it up forty slots on my ever evolving list.

In regards to the special features I watched most of the interviews and the conversation between Naomi Watts and David Lynch helps the understanding of the film a bit as well as Lynch’s style of directing which I assume will help me to better understand his other films. The deleted scene was interesting but it is rather clear why it was cut, it did nothing for the story aside from explaining one line in the movie.

If you are a fan of David Lynch and interested in quality home viewing presentation then this is a much have,