Posted by Hal Phillips at 184.108.40.206 on April 12, 2002 at 02:55:01:
In Reply to: Mulholland Drive Questions posted by Njosnavelin on April 11, 2002 at 16:05:09:
Check out the link which Doug posted. It's an excellent article.
: I just bought the Mulholland Drive DVD last night and it sucks. Not the movie, but the disc. There are NO chapter stops! What the hell is this?!?!
Yeah, I know. It's irritating-- especially since, with a film like this which viewers really have to work to figure out, I want to constantly rewind or fast forward to specific scenes.
: 1) What is the significance of the cowboy? He does appear 2 more times. Did Adam Kesher do BAD?
I don't think he exactly appears two more times. See, the entire second part of the film is "reality", and the first part is Diane/Betty's dream. And furthermore, the bulk of the second part is flashbacks. Chronologically, then, the cowboy's "you'll see me one more time if you do good" line is his second appearance-- after Diane sees him at Adam's party, but before the one with "time to wake up".
That said, I don't see any significance (yet) to how many more times he appears. I go with what the Salon article said: he's just some dude who Diane noticed and then ended up using in her dream. The "wake up" part is still sort of the dream, as it ends.
As far as what the cowboy's role in the film is, I think he has something to do with deceitful Hollywood studio politics of the past. Salon has him standing for studio heads back when they were even more powerful than they are now; I also think that he's a symbol of a different era of Hollywood, when cowboy films were big. He's the be-all and end-all to the old-fashioned Hollywood studio system, and the one who finally gets Adam to go with who the higher-ups want.
: 2) What is the name of the movie that Betty was auditioning for?
Which one? The one with the '50s singers is "The Sylvia North Story"; I don't remember a name for the one she auditions for with that old guy. If this is about David Lynch's "ten clues" in the DVD liner notes, the significance is that, in the real world, Diane mentions the film later on: she wanted that part very badly, but the director didn't care for her, and he cast Camilla instead. That was what brought Diane down from her giddy, naive outlook of the past. In the dream, this film shows up as Adam's project in which, again, Camilla Rhodes (although a different one this time) gets the part over her due to studio politics. Diane mentions the name of the film's director-- Bob Buckner, or something like that (Salon gets it wrong)-- and in the dream, that same person is the guy directing the film which Betty auditions for (with the old dude). So, she's recast the whole scenario, so that she now blows the director away.
: 3) Where did Aunt Ruth go?
In the dream, she's in Canada shooting a film. In reality, she's dead. I'm not really sure of the significance of all of this. A friend of mine thinks that the woman who we see leaving the apartment when Rita first shows up, and who looks back in the bedroom just after Rita gets sucked into the blue box, is Ruth... but I think that's just a neighbour. I've wondered if the old woman from the beginning and ending (the one who taunts Diane to death) is Ruth, but that wouldn't explain who the old man is. (I think they're her parents, who are dead.)
: 4) Was the beginning with Betty and Aunt Ruth completely dubbed?
Um... I'm not sure what scene you're talking about.
: 5) What does the coffee cup symbolize?
Is this in reference to the "ten clues" sheet? I think that in the real world, the coffee cup, the ashtray, and the robe are simply ways of recognising the continuity, which helped me to realise that most of what we saw was a flashback. Dig it: at the beginning of the real-world section, Diane's neighbour takes back the piano ashtray, and we also see the blue key on the table (which means Camilla's dead). Then, when Diane and Camilla go at it, the piano ashtray is there, and Camilla's obviously alive. That's a flashback.
: 6) Can someone please explain the Blue Box and key? I have my own theory, but I don't know if it's accurate or not.
All I'm sure of is this: when the assassin tells Diane that she'll find the key where he told her it'd be, and then laughs when she asks what it opens, that's because it doesn't open anything: it's just his way of sending a covert message that the deed is done. I'm less clear on what the box means, or on what the key means in the dream. Somehow, the box seems to represent truth: when Rita opens it, the dream ends and Diane must face reality again. And when we see it in reality, her parents come out of it, and they taunt her to death; they seem to represent the past which Diane left behind, and they are taunting reminders of her failure, reminders which she finally kills herself to get away from.
: Overall, the film was terrific. Although, I still believe that MEMENTO was a better film.
Nah. Once I got past the gimmick, MEMENTO lost its luster for me.
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