Mulholland Drive: Work of Pure Genius
A few months ago, I rented David Lynch's Mulholland Drive and -- wow. What can I say? Just from watching that
one parody of Twin Peaks on the Simpsons, I assumed that David Lynch was just a madman who made no sense and got paid to
do it. But now that I've seen Mulholland Drive, I realize that he is, in fact, one of the most prominent geniuses in America
A lot of people (and I used to be one of them) will tell you that David Lynch is just exploiting the phenomenon of
post-modernism to make his movies seem brilliant when they're really garbage. The thing is that these people are all
intelligent folks who have seen a lot of movies that are widely recognized as good. That's the problem. To truly appreciate
David Lynch, you have to throw away all traditional conceptions of what is "good" or "acceptable" or "logical." David
Lynch defines his own conception of "good." A lot of people would say that David Lynch's "good" is synonymous with everyone
else's "bad." Where I come from, we call that being an artist.
And Lynch is an artist. Allow me to refer you to a portion of Mulholland Drive where Lynch suddenly causes all the
characters to change which roles they're playing. A lesser director might have indicated what had happened in some way, but
not my David. He knows that his audience has already stopped trying to analyze, or "understand", his movie and are now just
sitting back and allowing the glorious pictures to float through their heads. When I walked out of the movie, I felt as though
eight dollars and three hours of my life had been wasted, but now I realize that money is no
price to pay for the wisdom that David Lynch imparted to me.
What is that wisdom? I don't know if I could describe it to you easily. I think you'd have to see Mulholland Drive
before you could truly understand the nature of the movie. You don't know how we all "change roles" when confronted
by a "Blue Key" and then have crazy encounters with "homeless men behind dumpsters". You don't realize that THE COWBOY
is watching over all of us and waiting in the Hollywood Hills for us to pour paint over our wives' jewelry and then slowly
Sorry. I got excited.
I idolize David Lynch's writing, to the point where I've begun writing a screenplay that imitates his style. Here's an
SCENE: Argyle Foster's apartment. He is
present with his good friend Damion Hall, with
whom he has just enjoyed a rousing dinner. We
hear the sound of a stampede of buffalo above.
I could have sworn that she was on fire when
I pushed her over the cliff.
DAMION clutches his head between his elbows
and stands up.
I have the strangest dreams... dreams of
fiction interspersed with reality like a fine
woven blanket of madness.
ARGYLE walks up to his body, checks for a
pulse, then calmly walks out the door. He
pushes a magic button on the wall and turns
into a leopard that calmly stalks away
through the hallways.
I like to think that I'm getting closer to what David Lynch sounds like (brilliance, that is), but I know that this screenplay
still makes a little bit too much sense. Do you see how Argyle and Damion are friends and they're in the same
apartment? David Lynch would never have made a mistake that stupid. If two of his characters didn't know each other, he'd
think of something incredible for them to do! Maybe they'd each murder a man on a boat sailing through the Caspian Sea while
gleefully singing "Yummy Yummy Yummy," by Ohio Express.
At this point I'd like to deal with some common misconceptions about David Lynch.
Misconception #1: David Lynch's movies don't make any sense.
Wrong. You make too much sense.
Misconception #2: Mulholland Drive just had that lesbian sex scene to give the men who were agonized by the movie
something to tide them over.
Wrong. That lesbian sex scene (Don't ask me who was in it, I can't keep track of those characters) was critical to the
integrity of the movie. I'd explain why to you, but I'm really not sure who those women were.
Misconception #3: Mulholland Drive is a festering pile of shit that David Lynch regurgitated from other nonsense crap
that he wrote and then slapped together for the big screen. In doing this, he made millions of dollars without ever exuding a
single drop of artistic integrity.
I don't think I even need to dignify this with a response.