Saturday, August 13, 2016

My number two Mulholland Drive viewing

Before Friday night, I hadn't seen David Lynch's Mulholland Drive since I saw it in the theater back in 2001. That would make this my number two viewing of Mulholland Drive.

Yet that viewing was also a number two viewing, because I had to leave the theater to go number two.

That's right -- to this day, Mulholland Drive remains the only theatrical screening I can remember having to leave in order to take a shit.

I can't remember why I had to go. I mean, with these things there is not always a why, but what I mean is, I don't remember having drunk an inordinate amount of coffee beforehand, or being sick. But sure enough, I had an intestinal emergency and I had to leave, sometime in the first hour.

If memory serves, I did my business quickly and returned within five minutes. But ever since then, I've joked (in company with which I felt comfortable, anyway) that the reason I didn't get Mulholland Drive was because I missed five minutes in the middle.

Friday night I finally watched the movie for the first time uninterrupted, and of course, it didn't make all that much more sense to me. With this movie, that's to be expected. I did, however, feel more interested in it this time, enough to check out a few theories from this massive collection of them: I might even check out a few more in the coming days.

If pressed to tell you which part I might have missed the first time, I'd probably say it was the hitman scene, because I did not remember that at all. And if so, that would be a funny yet fortuitous scene to have missed, because it is the single scene that seems to have the least to do with anything else that happens. ("Seems to" is the key part of that phrasing -- I'm sure many of the theories make quite a bit out of that scene.)

The other unique thing about that viewing was that it was the only time I can remember seeing a movie with the guy I saw it with. I mean, we're still friends to this day, but never before or since did we go to a movie just the two of us. Perhaps Mulholland Drive scared him away from my suggestions.

I don't care to tackle any of the theories or present any of my own in this post, but I did want to share a couple random thoughts:

1) Mulholland Drive featured any number of actors I did not expect to see in this movie. Let's start with Billy Ray Cyrus. Huh? Totally random. Then there's Brent Briscoe, in exactly one scene I believe. I tend to think of this guy as the hick from A Simple Plan, so he seems out of place as an L.A. detective. I didn't think Melissa George came on the scene until years later, so seeing her as Camilla Rhodes was also a surprise. (Huh, she also played Terence Stamp's killed daughter in The Limey two years earlier.) There were some others, but those were the big three.

2) As I did recently with Se7en, I'm still struggling with this one on the proper typographic representation of the title. There I capitulated, as you'll remember, and started writing it with the numeral in the middle of the title. Here, though, I can't quite make the transition to writing the title as Mulholland Dr., which is how I see it listed more often than not. With Se7en I deferred to how the title appears in the movie itself, but I can't remember how it appears in Lynch's movie -- I know it appears on a street sign in abbreviated form very early on, but I can't remember if the title ever appears as a non-diegetic element. That argument would suggest I should start writing it abbreviated, and in fact I did at first when I included it in my Most Recently Re-watched section to the right. But then I saw it written out in full in a couple other places, and changed it back. Mulholland Drive it is.

Sorry if you came to a blog post about Mulholland Drive hoping to find a discussion that was a bit more profound. This is all I got.


Wendell Ottley said...

Lol. I've watched it once myself and yeah, it's a real tough nut to crack. I don't get it.

Derek Armstrong said...

I guess I don't always need to get things -- my go to example is Upstream Color, which I love -- but I want to NOT get it in a way that feels fulfilling, if that makes sense.

This is close to that, but after two viewings it's still not in the Upstream Color category for me.