Both films have been called Lynch’s masterpiece. Both are challenging, beautiful, and disturbing in their own unique ways. I have seen them each several times and can’t decide for myself- Mulholland Drive is probably the superior and more complex film, but I may enjoy Blue Velvet a bit more. What do you guys think (also explain why)?
^LOL. I actually haven’t seen Dune yet, it’s one of the four Lynch films I still have to watch (the others being The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, and The Straight Story).
Well it seems that most people around here hate it except for me. But it is one of my favorites by him even though I’m not too big on him myself. If I had to choose between the two you’ve mentioned, I’d pick Blue Velvet just because of the performances. But as a whole, I like Mulholland more. Still, neither of those are one I consider favorites.
MD is one of my all-time favorites!! But it’s partly because that’s the movie that changed how I watched movies.
BV is good, but MD is… something else. Something very special :)
BUT Twin Peaks is Lynch’s best work imho
^is easily the weakest of Lynch’s dream logic trilogy, IMO. I’ve only seen it once, but what makes you rank it ahead of Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire?
Inland Empire is at the very bottom of my list of the little bit of Lynch appreciation I have.
As of now I’d pick Blue Velvet but to be fair I need to see Mullholland Drive again, it’s been years. Inland Empire is the only of his films that I really dislike.
Blue Velvet ftw,it’s surreal and disturbing in some kind of way,i like Mulholland Drive too but it just to confusing for viewers that not prepare for the climax,btw in haven’t seen Inland and Lost Highyway yet
Blue Velvet isn’t in my top5 Lynch.
Mulholland Drive is overrated. I still don’t understand how it is that Blue Velvet is becoming underrated.
I’m not a fan of Lynch at all, but Blue Velvet is one of the few I like. Mulholland Drive on the other hand…
Why do you think Mulholland Drive is overrated?
It so happened, that I have watched them each in its own time, so to say. And I was equally impressed on first viewings.
I have recently re-watched them again. Blue Velvet has lost some of the initial appeal for me, but gained in the complexity of the details I missed on first viewing. On the other hand – the second viewing of MD worked for me in the same line, on which the first viewing worked – just making things even more clear. Maybe all is because of the different time distance and my changed appreciation of films in general.
I love both films. I think MD is more coherent and is more easy to like. Blue Velvet still holds some mysteries for me…
I think Mulholland Dr is less coherent. Not that I’m saying it’s a bad thing. The second viewing didn’t hold up for me at all. I think Blue Velvet is timeless and has some iconic moments and performances.
Basically, I think Mulholland Dr is overrated because it seems to be the fashionable Lynch pick. It’s new, it’s sexy, it has that erotic lesbian romp. At the end of the day, I don’t think it has so much substance. I much prefer Lost Highway for a murky mystery (and a sensual experience), and I also prefer Inland Empire for a Hollywood demythologization. Though I have to say that Inland Empire is way too long. Anyway, most films nowadays are about 30-40 minutes too long.
BLUE VELVET, by a considerable margin. Still fascinating and disturbing, as opposed to that tedious batch of “Is It Real Or Is It A DREAM?” gimmicks known as MULHOLLAND DR.
But I’d still put ERASERHEAD above them both. Still Lynch’s finest accomplishment.
When i think about MD i don’t even think about the 2 girls, i wouldn’t care if the 2 main characters are gay males or a heterosexual couple. I really believe it has more substance than IE, and equal with LH, but, unlike LH it’s more profound about love issues and includes melodrama in a type of movie where melodrama isn’t the usual thing. I guess you have to like it, but if you like Mulholland you really like it, because it makes you think, it’s touching, and it’s a visually stunning
WILD AT HEART ranks up there
BLUE VELVET was definitely the most memorable film
I feel that Lynch has to be divided up. You can’t compare old Lynch films to new ones. Just like Kubrick. You can’t compare The Shining to Eyes Wide Shut. You either like the older films or get into his later films. I think Lynch has gotten more and more artsy and trendy and less away from storylines and plots. His depth has suffered a lot since BLUE VELVET. He is also changing the type of venues he directs. He directed a DURAN DURAN concert video. I think it is safe to say that David Lynch now is very diffferent from the Lynch that directed Wild at Heart or Dune. He will say he has gotten better probably and that now he is doing his greatest work. I tend to believe that usually in the middle of a director’s career you will find the glistening diamond and that would be BLUE VELVET and his television work on TWIN PEAKS.
I would tend to agree with that, but only on the principle that rare is the director who maintains excellence throughout an entire career. That doesn’t mean they can’t make good films in their late period. Then again, Lynch is relatively young as far as directing careers go. I’m sure he has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Who knows. Maybe he will abandon cinema for the fine arts? Anyway, I’m more interested in his paintings than I am in Crazy Clown Time.
“BLUE VELVET, by a considerable margin. Still fascinating and disturbing, as opposed to that tedious batch of “Is It Real Or Is It A DREAM?” gimmicks known as MULHOLLAND DR.” I feel like that’s the laziest criticism around that’s been leveled at Mulholland Dr. ever since it first came out. According to your line of argument, the very same point could be used against Blue Velvet. Near the end, after the surreal encounter at Rossellini’s apartment, Lynch goes to MacLachlan’s ear, zooms out, is the audience supposed to assume that his unreal episode was simply all a figment of his imagination, blah blah blah; in truth, the same criticism could be used against pretty much every single one of Lynch’s films. Mulholland Dr. is actually one of his more coherent and sensible pictures. It’s a relatively straightforward movie-within-a-movie film, except that it includes Lynch’s typical Lynchian stylings (meaning it borders on nonsensical). So the movie-within-a-movie is a movie of Naomi Watts’ life as she idealizes it in a Hollywood manner (she turns her life into a detective film, where two cute girls run around finding clues and solving mysteries, which is what the audience witnesses). Compare it to Blue Velvet, which includes no clues except crazy shit that happens in that scene at Rossellini’s apartment, with her dead husband and his ear cut off, and the cop just standing there in a dream state for no reason whatsoever. Of course, you can assume Mulholland Dr. was all a dream; after all, it’s a Hollywood film, a Los Angeles film, the City of Dreams. In many ways, it is a dream film. Critiquing it for the very thing it wishes to depict, though, would be like critiquing exploitation films for their exploitative material. All that being said, I agree: Blue Velvet over Mulholland Dr.
“You either like the older films or get into his later films.”
Nah. I don’t agree. With filmmakers like Lynch and Kubrick, you pretty much either love their films [period], or hate them [period]. There are exceptions to be sure. My grandma might get into The Straight Story, but she ain’t stickin’ through to the end of Eraserhead or Blue Velvet or Wild at Heart or Lost Highway or Mulholland Dr. or INLAND EMPIRE. Just as well, most people can get along just fine with The Shining, but they’ll tell you they didn’t get and don’t like Eyes Wide Shut or Full Metal Jacket or Barry Lyndon or 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think the biggest key to Lynch is to go into one of his films and simply not expect to walk out with a complete understanding of everything (just as in Kubrick, a lot initially seems over your head). As an audience member, you have to understand that you’re in for a particular experience, old Lynch or new Lynch or future Lynch.
I think that all of Kubrick’s works are vastly different from each other. I can tell they are his, though. I was a big fan of his last film Eyes Wide Shut. In a lot of Kubrick’s works there is this invisible thread of madness that exists. While The Shining was considered to be his only endeavor in horror, he played with horror in almost all of his movies. I can tell a huge difference in his earlier films and his later films. I felt like Eyes Wide Shut was Kubrick knowing he was headed out and he wanted to go out with a bang. Full Metal Jacket is his war genre film. Period. God only knows why 2001 is rated G. But to not agree with your not agreeing with me…
I know too many people that only like one or two Kubricks and hate Lynch altogether. I also will say that you are not wrong for your point of view. Everything is subjective. David Lynch also toys with that invisible thread of madness. His yarn is just a LOT thicker than Kubrick’s.
I agree with your thoughts on Kubrick, when you say “he played with horror in almost all of his movies.” Whether it was the horror of war (Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket), or the horror of the unknown (2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut), or the horror of subjugation (A Clockwork Orange and Spartacus). He also loved to play with comedy in all of his films. You say he had an invisible thread of madness in his work; again, I agree. It’s a menace, a mix of tragedy and comedy. Kubrick was like the original Tarantino in the sense that he made genre films and liked to toy with those genres (of course, Kubrick is a god compared to Tarantino the mere mortal). Kubrick even wanted to do a western, and was scheduled to do Brando’s One Eyed Jacks. But he did tackle science fiction (2001), the dystopian film (Clockwork), horror (Shining), WWII film (Paths of Glory), Vietnam film (Full Metal Jacket), drama (Eyes Wide Shut), comedy (Dr. Strangelove), on and on.
Agreed about Lynch.
And about Kubrick, from Killer’s kiss to Spartacus there is a tendency which is broken by Lolita. From Lolita to Eyes wide shut we have the modern Kubrick – postmodern starting with 2001 -
Lynch plays with comedy too (Twin Peaks is an obvious example), but I see Eraserhead as more of a blacker-than-black comedy than anything else.
@Thomarama "According to your line of argument, the very same point could be used against Blue Velvet. "
Nonsense. No one could make that point about BLUE VELVET, because there is nothing gimmicky or foolish about the dreams/visions Lynch brings to the screen, which are always very clearly delineated by the way, in BLUE VELVET, there’s none of the “Is It REAL or is it A DREAM?!?!?!?!?” bullshit in that film at all. Yeah, the point could be used against ERASERHEAD, I guess, but I’d never use it against ERASERHEAD because ERASERHEAD actually makes the dream ambiguity work in ways that the idiotic MULHOLLAND DR. never does, for me at least, and I certainly seem to be in the minority in that I hated pretty much every minute of that fucking film when it first came out, and repeat viewings did nothing to change that view. My patience with the kind of gimmickry on display in MULHOLLAND DR. ran out with, in fact, MULHOLLAND DR.
“Critiquing it for the very thing it wishes to depict, though, would be like critiquing exploitation films for their exploitative material.”
Uh, no, not really. I’m not criticizing MULHOLLAND DR. for being a reality/fantasy mindfuck. I’m criticizing MULHOLLAND DR. for being a bad reality/fantasy mindfuck. I don’t think I’d mind MULHOLLAND DR.‘s games with reality/dreams etc. so much if the movie hadn’t felt like such a total waste of time and resources. There are plenty of films that blur the lines of reality and fantasy that I admire — Lynch’s own ERASERHEAD, Fellini’s 8 1/2, and so on. Alas, MULHOLLAND’s story/stories bored me senseless, I found the characters uninteresting, and the narrative gimmicks and puzzles and sidelines and images of itty bitty senior citizens coming out of paper bags, god forgive him, didn’t seem worth bothering to get to the bottom of. Glad you found the film so worthwhile. Opinions differ all over the place.
Trying to reduce Mulholland down to “Is it real or is it a dream” is a bit of a joke, I mean that is like at best “layer 1” of a thing that goes roughly a thousand layers deep. That’s the beauty of it, it’s the ultimate puzzle and solving the puzzle is not even the point, it’s in the power of the mystery, the power of the mood.
It’s when you take relentless fear, and relentless beauty, two sides of a crazy lynch coin, and what a force these create when clashed together. I feel that Mulholland Dr. captures this most perfectly.
And no one does true and absolute fear better than Lynch. I will go to my grave hoping with all my strength that the gateway to hell is not in the back of a Winkies.
I think Mulholland Dr. is his best film and definitely in my top 10. Ranking his works:
10. Wild at Heart 1/5
“I will go to my grave hoping with all my strength that the gateway to hell is not in the back of a Winkies.”
LOL! I think that’s another reason why Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet are, to me, Lynch’s two greatest accomplishments- they are the ultimate representations of his unique ability to fuse beauty with that which is unspeakably dark and morbid. Thinking about it more, I may be leaning towards Mulholland; for all of its complexity and narrative flawlessness, Blue Velvet is not the supreme puzzle box film that MD is.