Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive is a film everyone knows, but I don’t think that should detract from its quality.

I’ve seen Mulholland Drive a few times now. I’ve had different and similar experiences with all those viewings. But I think I really get it, the film, at least in my own way. There are many interpretations of Mulholland Drive, and so these people think it a puzzle to solve, a mystery to be revealed. Once I thought like that too, and sometimes I do. But truly, if you distil Mulholland Drive to its purest form, it is simply an experience.

Watching interviews of David Lynch, watching his films, I feel I sort of? understand the man and his inspirations. How he views and creates his films. He is very cautious of describing them, never mind interpreting them for anyone. That makes me wonder whether he thinks they should be interpreted at all. In one interview he mentioned that he doesn’t like summarizing his films because, in a way, you’re putting in a box and saying ‘this is what it is’. Saying that it can only be this. So it ends the magic, it ends the personal experience as it becomes one universal experience.

So from that, I feel like you can view his films, in this example Mulholland Drive, as a pure personal experience. Never mind unlocking the puzzle, you can if you want to, but just experiencing it. Now, after watching it and reading Lynch, it’s a beautiful creation in its...creation. The shapes, moods, textures all blend into one mosaic. One element blends through the other: music to backdrop the scene, light and dark to illuminate the scene, a character to give the scene texture. Every frame is given love, but specifically in service of the idea. Whatever the idea is. It can be purely abstract. To sum up Mulholland into an interpretation would take the magic away, I think. I think it’s meant to be felt on a deep level, deeper than perhaps a conscious level, the subconscious. A deep level of experience that can’t be put into words. Not particularly about the interpretation for a dream for the characters, but a dream for us.

Ultimately yes, Mulholland can be summed in themes and critiques. But there’s plenty of films that critique our world. Muholland is one of those rare experiences where it is just a pure experience, where a visual artist rather than a film buff is making a film. The second half of the film attests to that abstraction. So we can fall into this beautiful dream, this other world and live through it, deep into the dream night.