What is "real" in Mulholland Drive?

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Re: What is "real" in Mulholland Drive?

Postby marksman » 22 Nov 2010

Last edited by marksman on 08 Dec 2010, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is "real" in Mulholland Drive?

Postby somethingbad » 23 Nov 2010

blu wrote:
somethingbad wrote:The woman who comes to collect her dishes and lamp seems to be the only other person in a “real” scene and it’s no great stretch to see her as a former lover of Diane.

If the Lamp Lady is real and the inspiration for the Woman in #16 in Diane's dream, and the dream happens before this "real" scene, then how do we explain the fact that she's in the same clothes?

Isn't that back to front?

Wouldn't we expect to see her in the clothes in a flashback of something taking place before the dream thereby explaining her costume in the dream? Is that something to think about? Or is it irrelevant?

Is the fact that she was put the same costume (bar a couple of minor differences) worth thinking about generally?

And are the minor differences also worth thinking about?

Just riffing on the idea that if this is real reality, mightn't David have used it to slip something in that we're missing?

I think the clothes could be a clue to show that she was being quite "real" in the dream scene - I think it could be seen as a very real touch ("Really") to have Diane dream of a woman she knows wearing the type of outfit she always wears and then when the woman turns up in the real section she's wearing pretty much the same outfit that Diane dreamed. The glamorously dressed people in both sections could be seen as overdone by Diane's imagination because she doesn't know these people in real life or how they dress.
It may even be that Diane doesn't want this woman to look glamorous in the dream and has kept her accurately dowdy for a reason. I'd see that as more evidence for the Wi12 being an Ex but I can already sense other possibilities! I'm sure there's Lynchian significance in her porch light being on during the day.

I'll have to re-watch to note the differences in the outfits Wi12 wears in the two scenes.

I also thought the same, dowdy, real clothes made her more of a "real person" in both sections. The blonde Camilla Rhodes by contrast looks almost more unreal in the dinner party scene than she does at the audition(on a side note; She looks like she's "wheeled" onto that audition stage the same way the Bum is wheeled out from behind the wall in Dan's dream and Rita is wheeled into view of the mirror with the blonde wig). Blonde Camilla looks super glitzy and retro at the dinner party and I don't trust that anything like the kiss really happened(another side note; the lipstick exchange between the 2 Camilla's is reminiscent of Adam and Lorraine getting smudgy with the pink paint?). So for me the look and feel of the scene and characters at the dinner party doesn't make me feel I should trust it but the opposite is true with the look and feel of the scene and characters when Wi12 when comes to collect her things. That it "feels" believable to me does not make it so!

When Betty and Rita talk to Wi12 it looks like Wi12 is giving Rita "Evils"? I like the idea of her as the real woman that Diane had an affair with. For that theory I thought it would be better if she didn't even acknowledge the dream versioin of herself but it could also make sense that Diane's dreaming mind would expect her recent Ex to be upset when she turns up with Rita and would then spend the time giving Rita "dagger looks". To enable this the dreaming mind of Diane has ensured that Wi12 does not recognise Betty as Diane and Wi12 could almost be said to be ignoring Betty, who is actually speaking to her and directing her answers more at Rita?

I continue a quest for what is real in MD not because I believe in "single unifying theory" that will explain the whole thing but because I think there is a way of looking at the whole film that will leave me comfortable that I at least understand why scenes are shown the way they are and the order in which they are shown. After nearly 10 years is that too much too ask? :-)

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Re: What is "real" in Mulholland Drive?

Postby ctyankee » 23 Nov 2010

marksman wrote:Perhaps she had left most of her clothes at Diane's, too, so that she didn't have much choice of clothes to wear.
But, actually, Diane may have seen her neighbour on the previous day (through her window), wearing those clothes and this was how she dreamed of her. Some people wear the same clothes that they did the previous day, in the next morning and then put on a change of clothes later in the day, after they have showered and/or are getting ready to go out. At least she wasn't wearing a bathrobe!

Certainly the Lamp Lady was specific in asking for her dishes and lamp back - no clothes. And certainly it's hard to discount that someone dreamed of the Lamp Lady as how they remembered them clothed earlier that day - at least as a possibility. Lynch is no dummy, I don't think the prop department dressed the actress that played the Lamp Lady 18 months later in the same outfit on a whim. That sort of leads to:

1. both Lamp Lady scenes being dreams
2. both Lamp Lady scenes being reality
3. both Lamp Lady scenes being someone's fantasy
4. twilight zone type occurrences that need not be pondered deeply
5. First Lamp Lady scene is a dream, second is reality
6. First Lamp Lady scene is reality, second is a dream

Explaining Option 5 a bit more - this would most likely mean that the dream first, reality second is still valid, just that the time sequence of how they are presented to the viewer is reversed. For example, Diane can wake up out of a dream, does not mean that she goes to answer the door with the Lamp Lady there. We only assume that might be the case because of the sequence we are shown. Instead, the scene with the Lamp Lady might just be earlier of the day Diane commits suicide (for example) with the key on the coffee table an indication of this. Food for thought.


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