Pauline Saint-Hilaire (StudioCanal) and Roy Menarini (Università di Bologna)
Event sponsored by Dodo
Mulholland Drive is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the mature period of David Lynch’s art, despite – and perhaps precisely because of – the now celebrated ‘enigmatic’ nature of its structure. It possesses all of the ingredients of a ‘novel of abandonment’ and is enhanced by a noir atmosphere that is particularly suited to narrative so centred on emotions. For noir is not only a genre of stories centred on a crime, guilt and mystery; within its confines, there is always also Eros, with his blindly destructive force and his maze of passions. However you choose to interpret the plot of Mulholland Drive, it becomes ever more clear as the film proceeds towards its conclusion (or, if you prefer, recedes towards its point of origin) that Lynch has imagined an oneiric space, or a space of images, whose point of departure is an emotional catastrophe resulting from the loss of an Eden of love. Two beautiful women are in love, until the day when one of them ends the relationship, embarking on a new path and leaving the other alone on a beach in the unending torment of her days of abandonment. […] This power imbalance is probably the most sensitive point in any story of abandonment. Not by chance, both Theseus and Jason, the great ‘abandoners’ of myth, possess all the trappings of power: they are heroes, killers of monsters and founders of cities. While Ariadne and Medea, after having made a decisive contribution to their achievements, are cast out like defeated enemies, into solitude and depression, suffering victims of their own desire for death. Lynch manipulates this classic schema throughout the first part of the film, recounting a story that is nothing less than a rigorous compensation mechanism. In short, we witness events that are the exact opposite of what transpires in reality: illusion makes the impossible come true and power returns to the abandoned person. It seems fairly obvious to me that the events we witness in the first part of Mulholland Drive are a dream, […] it is the perfectly geometric logic of this act of inversion which confirms that the story we are following belongs to the realm of dreams. […] Among all the ideas teeming through Mulholland Drive, this seems to me to be the most poetic.
Emanuele Trevi, Raccontare l’abbandono, in Claudio Bisoni (eds), Attraverso ‘Mulholland Drive’, Il principe costante, Pozzuolo del Friuli 2004
Cast and Credits
Scen.: David Lynch. F.: Peter Deming. M.: Mary Sweeney. Scgf.: Jack Fisk, Peter Jamison. Mus.: Angelo Badalamenti. Int.: Naomi Watts (Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn Jeanne Bates (Irene), Laura Elena Harring (Rita/Camilla Rhodes), Robert Forster (detective McKnight), Brent Briscoe (detective Domgaard), Maya Bond (zia Ruth), Justin Theroux (Adam Kesher), Ann Miller (Coco), Angelo Badalamenti (Luigi Castigliane). Prod.: Neal Edelstein, Mary Sweeney, Tony Krantz, Michael Polaire, Alain Sarde con John Wentworth, Joyce Eliason per Les Films Alain Sarde, Asymmetrical Productions, Babbo Inc., Canal+, The Picture Factory. DCP. Col.
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Music composed and directed by Maud Nelissen, performed by The Sprockets:
Daphne Balvers (soprano saxophone), Frido ter Beek (alto saxophone), Peter Keijsers (trombone), Marco Ludemann (banjo, jazz guitar, mandolin), Alexander Vocking (contrabass), Rombout Stoffers (drums, effects, accordion) and Maud Nelissen (piano)