Saturday, 24 August 2013

Mulholland Drive & the Kindle Fire HD

The first time I watched David Lynch’s 2001 neo-noir movie ‘Mulholland Drive’ I was, to quote English barrister Rowley Birkin QC, “very, very drunk”. I put the fact that I didn’t understand head-nor-tail of it down to my inebriated state. However, I always planned to re-watch when sober and then subject it to a finely detailed critique. I intended deconstructing Lynch’s carefully plotted narrative, decomposing the various story lines and vignettes and then submitting a killer thesis as part of my University course.
But I never got around to it.
Instead, I’ve written this blog-post.
During the summer break from Uni I have been working in an office learning about all spread sheet accounting, Health and Safety legislation, the importance of fire drills and the Protestant work ethic. My dad never tires of telling me that it is, despite all my amassed evidence to the contrary, good for me.
However, there is in fact one good thing about working – and, I am beginning to suspect, is the sole reason why trillions of people on planet Earth make the daily trudge into the workplace despite their personal misgivings – and that is that you get paid! Money! A most rare and sought after unnatural resource!
Although most of my wages has been spent on vet fees due to my cat eating a particularly nasty decomposed rat-carcass he found in my work lunch box, I did somehow manage to just about have enough money left over to treat myself to a Kindle Fire HD. I’d originally only wanted a basic e-reader for bus journeys, train trips and hot baths but the Fire HD was on a reduced price plus had two special offers - a £10 Amazon book download voucher and, significantly for this blog-post, 30 days of unrestricted, unlimited free IMDb movie views! I can now catch up and watch all those movies which I wanted to see at a cinema but just could not afford!
I will say that the Kindle Fire HD is much, much cooler than I thought it was going to be! I am very happy with my purchase.
The first movie I wanted to catch-up on was, of course, ‘Mulholland Drive’. I watched it in bed late Friday night with a glass of warm milk in my hands and a very poorly pet moggy at my feet.
Mulholland Drive’ has won a galleon of awards and accolades including Best Director at Cannes, a Best Director Oscar nomination, the Best Film of the Decade citation from the LA Film Critics Assoc., it is listed in Channel 4’s Fifty Films to See Before You Die and included in Nitro Fireguard’s respected ‘must-see movie’ roll call as well as many, many others.
The film itself breaks many of Hollywood’s conventions and rules. It is very unusual in that it does not have a standard linear narrative. The timeline can change without notice and in fact, some of the actors even change the role they are playing unexpectedly and at strange points. It can be quite disconcerting and disorienting.
Visually the film is glorious. The characters are interesting to look at, have some great dialogue and are superbly filmed and directed. I found the film engaging and was glued to my screen - even though, for the most part, I had no fucking idea what was happening!
That killer thesis will have to be shelved, I'm afraid. However, if you’d like to see someone else’s attempt at an explanation of the film, you could start here.
For me, there were two scenes which stood out and are extremely memorable:
  • The Cowboy Scene which is fabulously sinister and beautifully threatening because of the sociopathic calm and measured tones of The Cowboy, and
  • The Club Silencio scene in its entirety but particularly the sequence I’ve embedded below, Rebekah Del Rio (playing herself) singing Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ in Spanish. It gave me goose bumps. It is simply stunning and beautiful. Nitro loves it, too.
'Mulholland Drive' is definitely a “must-see” because it is so unusual and daring.
Pixie xx

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