“The character does not so much discover his identity as uncover, for the benefit of the spectator, that he belongs to a film that is a part of the film, that is, one subjective version among others. When this occurs, it is the image of the character that is decomposed because, as there are other versions of the film, there are other versions of the image of the character. The character is thus not a human subject but a subjective image that is part of a composition (the image of the character as part of a shot, the shot as part of a film), so that it may be more appropriate to compare the character to an object than to a subject.
…Actors give up themselves to become somebody else.’ (‘Silence on tourne’) The identitiless character is thus fundamentally an object which attempts to act like a subject. He then becomes a mock-subject for whom acting like a human subject appears as the only solution to escape being an object.
…The character-object thus mistakes another character-object for a subject. Believing he is a (mock-)subject when he takes on a part, the identitiless character is actually an object (a character) that acts like another object (another character); he then becomes a mock-object, and the experience of otherness (or sameness depending on which way you look at it) is, in fact, not becoming another subject but becoming another object.
…Like the bridges between the different parts of the film, the character as actor is thus an “image-crystal,” “the actual image,” and its mock-objects, its virtual images (the different parts), all of which cannot be differentiated.
…The actor and his characters thus tend to crystallize: the actor is an image-crystal in which the actor and his parts cannot be differentiated."
—David Roche. “The Death of the Subject in David Lynch’s Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive” from Poetics of the Subject (2.2, 2004).Read less