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Echoes #8

Remarkable visual and audio rhyming between Todd Haynes' "Safe" and David Lynch's "Mulholland Dr.".
The opening to Todd Haynes' Safe:
The opening to David Lynch's Mulholland Dr.:
Thanks to Wook for the pairing. Part of our on-going series, Echoes. 
Hmm. Not so sure I believe in the similarities on anything more than a superficial level. However, I don’t know the Haynes film, so maybe something else is there. Though for me the more interesting question is, if Lynch made his film earlier, would we be calling it an homage or a “rip-off” by Haynes (instead of “remarkable rhyming”)?
In some ways, they’re very similar directors – both use forms of exaggerated melodrama and oddly destabilizing compositions to dredge up mystery beneath suburban complacency – so it wouldn’t surprise me if they both stumbled upon the same fairly ordinary aesthetic idea without the conscious use of homage or theft. What does surprise me is that I did not catch this when I watched “Safe” just a month or two after seeing “Mulholland.”
Nice thoughts, Carson. It’s interesting too that they seem to extract a similar tone from a nocturnal LA.
…Or the jitterbug dance to the entirety of Pat O’Neill’s WATER AND POWER:
Both are some of the best. Seriously check Safe out if you haven’t already. Safe came first but Badalamenti came before Safe; so theres that.
Love these Similar Images pieces. Here’s one I found myself – Hidden vs. The Aviator’s Wife…
Ah, nice David, where did you see that O’Neill? Thanks for the comments all, and thanks for sharing the link, Samuel!
This title design for Mulholland Drive is different from the one in the dvd release i own
Random question, but there seem to be spam comments that show up on almost every post you guys do lately. Is there some way for you to monitor that or delete them?
The dark empty street in “Body Double” also reminds me of “Mulholland Dr.”. The theme and essence are basically the same.
Hi Stephen — we delete them as we see them! Sorry for the inconvenience. Rado: De Palma and Lynch, sons of Hitchcock both!
Don’t know that I would go so far to say Lynch is a son of Hitch. What are you basing that on?
An interest/pursuit of psychology, point of view, perversion and sexuality enmeshed in quintessential American social settings / values / genres and meta-reflexive on the art of cinema itself.
Those are all generic traits that a lot of contemporary directors share. Particularly the whole “peel back a layer of American society” thing. Hitch didn’t invent that. Though I agree that Hitch was wildly influential for a lot of people, which is the basic point here. Still, there’s a lot more between De Palma and Hitch than Lynch and Hitch.
Generic traits that all unite in a single director whose influence is incredible. I don’t think many directors actually share those traits, except in a dispersed way, because AH’s influence has reached very deep. Anyway, as I mention in my blurb for Simington’s Bastards of Hitch series, I see Lynch, Argento, De Palma and Chabrol belonging to one particularly vivid and direct strand of Hitchcock’s legacies/innovations/developments. Obviously each is pursuing their own projects from their own angles, but each are operating within a spectrum outlined above.
Todd Haynes makes ‘exaggerated melodramas’? Since, when? I thought the guy was known for his subtlety. The themes of both Lynch and Haynes, though are remarkably similar. But I wouldn’t have mentioned them in the same breath before this post.
I have always thought that Mullholland Drive had more in common with the way in which The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie begins than Safe, which seems to also peruse these interests of psychology, sexuality, values, as well as the self-reflexivity/inter-textuality (rather than meta-textuality).

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