(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Mulholland Drive
Where You Can Stream It: The Criterion Channel
The Pitch: Cheerful aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) arrives in Los Angeles and discovers a beautiful woman (Laura Elena Harring), who has lost her memory after a horrible car crash, sleeping in her aunt’s apartment. Intrigued, Betty takes in the woman, now calling herself Rita, and the pair of them attempt to solve the mystery of Rita’s true identity, leading them down a dark, dream-like rabbit hole.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: It seems like every movie nowadays comes with a “What does it mean?” explainer. Countless videos and articles dissect the minutiae of movie plots, treating the stories like a jigsaw puzzle to be solved. But Mulholland Drive defies any easy explanation. On the surface, the neo-noir is shaped like a Rubix Cube of a film, with an overarching mystery — Who is Rita? — and a plot that goes through the motions of solving said mystery. But it turns out Mulholland Drive is more a Moebius strip that refuses to be solved, instead enveloping you in this uncanny, bizarro version of the City of Dreams.
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Until a few months ago, if the name David Lynch came up in film discussion, I would have inwardly shrugged. It had been years since I watched one of Lynch’s films. It had also been years since Lynch had even made a new feature (the last one being Inland Empire in 2006). But after screening Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Drive back in the day, I felt I had sampled enough of the director’s work to know that I was not a fan. His films just never spoke to me. Individual moments lingered in memory, but if anything, I was only confounded and disturbed by those moments.
What to make of the closet scene from Blue Velvet? Or the party scene from Lost Highway? More than any semblance of plot, it was scenes like those that lingered in memory. If someone started talking about Lynch, I would immediately think of that moment when Frank Booth, played by Dennis Hopper, starts inhaling gas from an oxygen mask and moaning “Mommy” before sinking to his knees between a woman’s legs. I believe they call that nightmare fuel.
Fast forward a decade or so. Last year, Mulholland Drive topped a BBC poll of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century. Over 175 film critics from around the world voted on this thing. Hearing it was unbelievable enough, but when I looked at the list, and saw it there in writing, I was only further confounded. What were these critics seeing that I was missing?
And this began my journey into the world of Mulholland Drive and David Lynch. A journey I’m glad I took (and one I recommend you take, too).
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Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the upcoming release of Annabelle: Creation, this week’s edition asks “What is your favorite horror movie jump scare?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team. Read More »
Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition, tying in with the release of Alien: Covenant, asks “What is the single scariest scene you’ve ever watched in a movie?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team.
If you’d like to share your pick for the scariest movie scene, please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our choices below!
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Nope. Not even three previews could come close to showcasing all the awesome stuff that’ll be at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles Friday night (yes, tonight) as Crazy 4 Cult 5: I’m Too Old For This Sh*t finally opens to the world. The show features work from over 100 artists interpreting a wide variety of cult films and, in this final (and biggest yet) preview for the show you’ll see Max Dalton‘s Monty Python and the Holy Grail inspired piece, Fight Club through the eyes of Joshua Budich, Brandon Schaefer‘s take on The Evil Dead and other art based on movies like Being John Malkovich, Buffalo 66, The Karate Kid, Mulholland Dr., A Clockwork Orange, The Hudsucker Proxy and more. There are over twenty new pieces below the jump.
And, of course, don’t forget to check out the first preview, second preview and third preview from the show at those links. Read More »
The public hasn’t had a chance to check out Ridley Scott‘s Robin Hood, which premieres at Cannes, but if the receipts are high, we may see more than one episode featuring Russell Crowe as the famous British character.
Speaking to the Times Online, Scott defines this film as an origin story, saying, “It is the beginnings of how the man becomes known as Robin the Hood…You don’t really get that until the last few minutes. When you realize that ‘Ah, this is who he is’. Let’s say we might presume there’s a sequel.”
From his perspective, the idea of a sequel seems natural. “If there were to be a sequel to Robin Hood, you would have a constant enemy throughout, King John, and you would follow his reign of 17 years, and the signing of Magna Carta could be Robin’s final act.”
Read the source for some great quotes about that semi-famous early draft of the script, in which Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham were the same character. Some pretty blistering comments in there about that take (“CSI: Sherwood Forest,” Crowe calls is) which makes the long development and rewrite process make more sense.
After the break, we’ve got word on possible films to follow Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Mulholland Drive. Yeah, I’m confused about that last one, too. Read More »
Dutch Southern has a new t-shirt called “Product Placement”, a design created by Josh Eacret.
It’s a tribute to the fake products and companies found in movies, and to the filmmakers who didn’t want to sell out or get sued by real corporations. Each logo is accurately recreated in painstakingly detail by Josh Eacret’s hand.
After the jump you can find a complete listing of the fictional companies listed, and which movies they appeared in.
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