Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Movie on the Mind: Mulholland Drive

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe: Monday Movie on the Mind. I’ll be kicking off each week with a clip or trailer from a film that happens to be on my mind, designed as a retrospective look at some well-known, forgotten, or underappreciated classic from movie history, be it antique or current. Chime in with your thoughts about the film or any other movies that you might be thinking of this week!

Mulholland Drive
Directed by David Lynch
Released October 12, 2001

There isn’t another movie quite like “Mulholland Drive.” Even director David Lynch’s earlier feature “Blue Velvet” isn’t really anything like it. While it’s hardly a perfect movie – or a comprehensible one – “Mulholland Drive” is almost inarguably the most hypnotic, haunting movie you’ll ever see. The trailer is mesmerizing and mysterious enough all by itself, and I’ll admit that a viewing of the film didn’t help to clarify any of its intrigue. I would certainly watch it again if the DVD I owned hadn’t been lent out to a neighbor and friend five years ago only to never be seen again. Preparing this week’s Thursday Token Themes post (hint, hint) got me all wrapped up in this movie all over again. Besides the music (come back later this week for that), the most notable aspect, along with its stunning, singular cinematography, is the lead performance by one Naomi Watts that was somehow ignored by Oscar voters and most other awards bodies. It’s one of the most incredible acting jobs I’ve ever seen, and certainly better than all of the Oscar nominees from that year (I haven’t seen “Bridget Jones’ Diary”). See Betty’s audition below for a small sample. It also takes a lot for a movie to be nominated solely for Best Director and nothing else, and that has much to do with the craft and unique allure of David Lynch and his singular style. This movie is one big, indescribable head trip, and it’s easily one of the most simultaneously captivating and confusing films I’ve ever seen. To cap it off, check out the two diner nightmare clips that display some incredible acting by Patrick Fischler, future Emmy-snubbed guest star of “Mad Men” and “Lost,” as well as the haunting Llorando scene, embedded from Hulu.



Diner Nightmare



Greg Boyd said...

Great pick. I love this movie. It's completely unique, and I actually thought most of it made perfect sense in the end. Indescribable is correct, and absolutely brilliant.

In case you didn't know, Lynch originally planned this movie as a TV series. But no network wanted it. Can you blame them?

Movies with Abe said...

I did know that, and it's still crazy. I have trouble believing that "Twin Peaks" lasted as long as it did on the air. Especially having seen shows like "Eastwick" and "Happy Town" recently, it's clear that Lynch's material is on such a different plane that it's simply incomparable.