“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.”
Really? So everything about Blue Velvet is entirely and clearly explained? Okay, I’ll go with you on that line of argument. Can I just ask: in what ways are things “very clearly delineated” in Blue Velvet? Please, let me know. I’d love to find out how to crack the enigma that is Lynch’s logic. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t mind if you don’t like Mulholland Dr. I just think that hating the film because it relies on “Is it real or is it a dream bullshit” is a poor reason to dislike it. It’s like hating silent movies because no one talks. I just think the same reasons you dislike Mulholland Dr. could be used against all Lynch films, which seems inherently contradictory to me, but whatever.
Just for comparison’s sake, I found matt parks’ argument to be much more convincing: “Mulholland Drive is a nice save of a failed TV pilot, but it’s basically the Whitman’s Sampler of Lynchian plots, tropes, imagery, etc. (though Naomi Watts is fantastic).” I couldn’t have said it better myself. As I wrote earlier, I prefer Blue Velvet.
Thomarama, I meant that the dreams/visions in BLUE VELVET are always clearly delineated as dreams/visions, the lines between dreams/visions and reality are quite straightforwardly laid out in that film, as opposed to what goes on in MULHOLLAND DR. Sorry if that’s not clear enough for you. I’m not sure how much more clearly I can put it.
Looks like we disagree on what is a poor reason to dislike MULHOLLAND DR. I think my dislike of the kinds of narrative blurring dream/reality gimmicks that Lynch uses in MULHOLLAND DR. is quite sufficient. Opinions differ all over the place round here. Surely you’ve noticed that by now.
Matt’s summation is indeed admirable. I couldn’t have said it better myself, either.
“I just think that hating the film because it relies on “Is it real or is it a dream bullshit” is a poor reason to dislike it. It’s like hating silent movies because no one talks.”
Again, as I posted before — 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.
OK, I can’t let Matt’s quote—“Mulholland Drive is a nice save of a failed TV pilot, but it’s basically the Whitman’s Sampler of Lynchian plots, tropes, imagery, etc.”— go without expressing my dissent.
To me, MD is the culmination and apotheosis of Lynch’s vision. It’s the perfect synthesis of Eraserhead (and some of his early shorts) with Blue Velvet. Lost Highway tries to do this, but fails, imo (Stop rolling your eyes, Parks ;) I haven’t seen Inland Empire, but I think MD is Lynch’s masterpiece.
“I meant that the dreams/visions in BLUE VELVET are always clearly delineated as dreams/visions, the lines between dreams/visions and reality are quite straightforwardly laid out in that film, as opposed to what goes on in MULHOLLAND DR. Sorry if that’s not clear enough for you. I’m not sure how much more clearly I can put it.”
Okay, and here we have the major problem. I know that you meant that the dreams/visions in Blue Velvet are always clearly delineated, which is why I asked you: how are they delineated? Saying the dreams/visions “are always clearly delineated as dreams/vision” doesn’t make it so. I’m not sure why you think this is. So, no. It’s not clear enough for me. If everything is straightforward in Blue Velvet, evidence of your claims should be rampant.
The little moments in BLUE VELVET that are supposed to be dreams/visions are shown to be dreams/vision in pretty traditional ways. There’s Jeffrey’s little dream sequence, for example that has him waking up afterwards going, “man oh man” and reaching up to touch that odd little thing on the wall of his bedroom. There are other little moments, like the scene post-road trip where Jeffrey is remembering assorted moments in the plot and doubles up in tears — the memories/visions are intercut with Jeffrey reacting to them.
And I never said that “everything is straightforward in BLUE VELVET.” There’s plenty of ambiguity and strangeness and Lynchian wackadooness. I’m saying that the lines between reality and dreams/visions/what have you are clearly drawn, there’s never any doubt as to what’s going on in Lumberton and what’s going on in Jeffrey’s head, as opposed to ERASERHEAD and on a much lower level of accomplishment to me, MULHOLLAND DR.
But the end scene in the apartment with Rossellini’s husband and his ear cut off, and the corrupt cop standing there still… there’s no clear delineation for this scene, except when Lynch later does a zoom out from MacLachlan’s ear, which can give the audience an impression that things were all made up.
Sorry if I sounded like a dick in my earlier post. It’s early and I haven’t taken my morning bonghit yet.
Well, the final scene in Dorothy’s apartment has never ever seemed like anything but real to me. I suppose the reverse shot out of Jeffrey’s ear could give an audience that impression — it never did to me. I’ve kind of come to see it as being a bit of a Lynchian joke — in the mad orgy of suburban domestic bliss the film concludes with, Jeffrey’s little trip through Nighttown and the dark lessons learned there have all gone in one ear and out the other.
No problem about the earlier post, thanks for trimming it. I can understand your frustration — I can remember a back and forth on another site between me and some old teacher lady who kept describing a scene in GONE WITH THE WIND that simply was not there, and made similar assertions without ever backing them up. She’d only tell people to watch the film again.
“I’ve kind of come to see it as being a bit of a Lynchian joke — in the mad orgy of suburban domestic bliss the film concludes with, Jeffrey’s little trip through Nighttown and the dark lessons learned there have all gone in one ear and out the other.” Interesting. I find it also to be a bookend for the film, but since the camera tracks into the cut-off ear early on in the film (rather than Jeffrey’s), and then Lynch chooses to zoom out from Jeffrey’s ear at the end of the film, it comes to represent Jeffrey’s realization of his own dark tendencies (his own inner Frank), something that was initially strange and ugly and foreign to him (the cut-off ear), which is now clearly a part of him (Jeffrey’s ear). It’s the notion that there is an underlying evil lurking throughout the world that Lynch has infused in pretty much all of his films.
Also, and I’d have to “watch the film again” (I think I’ve had that very same back-and-forth before), but I think there’s an interesting split that takes place in Blue Velvet. Towards the end of the scene at Dean Stockwell’s house (one of the best scenes ever), and I think Frank yells, “I’ll fuck anything that moves!” and he laughs maniacally, and then he disappears and tires can be heard screeching, Lynch holds onto Stockwell’s house for a second, but Frank has disappeared, and this is about halfway through the film.
That disappearance, a visual trick in a film that actually isn’t full of them (especially when compared to films like Mulholland Dr. or INLAND EMPIRE), has always stood out to me, as if it represented the complete switch over to darkness, away from any of the lightness or romance portrayed in the first half of the film.
I’m not saying this is a device that signals a switch from reality to unreality, only that the point of time itself is notable, and does seem to be a clear delineation between two halves of the same film.
MD’s setup is pretty easy to pin down. The first shot (after the jitterbugging) is a POV shot of someone lying down in bed. Dream. There’s a sudden shift in reality, where all the characters’ names, personalities etc. change, after The Cowboy says “Wake up.” Reality, but still seen through a fractured psyche.
Dream > Reality
Effect > Cause
The real section is a rapid fire montage of exposition, short scenes illuminating the previous dream sequence. We can see what in Diane’s life has got her dreaming these things.