Diane's hell we're in ... my interpretation

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woolfspersona
 
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Diane's hell we're in ... my interpretation

Postby woolfspersona » 15 Feb 2013

This is a very sad story.

Did anyone ever view Coco and Louise as ... past lovers? The way Coco looked at Betty uneasily when Louise grabbed her hand and began to talk about "that one," it just seemed to be more than a wish to not freak out her friend Ruth's niece. It seemed like there was far more to the relationship between Louise and Coco. Something Coco wanted to hide.

I understood them as older versions of Betty and Rita. Louise is a bit of a guardian dark angel to Diane Selwyn, watching Diane through the window helplessly as she seals the deal with the hitman at the diner. Something bad is going to happen. This is before the dream, before Camilla is dead, before Diane is in the bardo, before something bad IS happening. Coco and Camilla are both tied to Adam, as mother and as wife, but in the dream Coco and Rita try to distance their selves from him, Coco by a different last name and Rita not even seeing him. Both are unaware of his existence in Diane's perfect world. Before it falls apart and reverts to reality. Surely Coco has had some love interest in her life. I think it was Louise, and Coco, like Rita, married a man to advance herself and had to discard of her lover, who committed suicide. History has repeated itself with Camilla and Diane.

We aren't directly shown who "that one" is, but we also aren't directly shown who Lamp Lady is, and they may be alternate versions of each other. I feel as if every character in this film had a mirror image in another character. I assumed a mirror between dream-Camilla and the Lamp Lady, Adam and Aunt Ruth, Cowboy and the demonic club magician, Gene and Diane Selwyn's abuser, the homeless woman and The Crying Lady (who are both real/metaphysical extensions of Camilla), Coco and Camilla -- and Diane and Louise Bonner. Maybe "that one" is the dream-Camilla. We do see a girl who looks like her being escorted by armed guards out of Sierra Bonita into a limousine. Louise is very troubled by her and wants her out of her apartment, the same way Diane wants Lamp Lady out. It would be easier to assume "that one" is Aunt Ruth's ghost, but I sensed a more concerned tie between Louise and Diane than Louise merely being psychic of her dead relatives. In the dream they both reside in a haven for the dead, a bardo, at Havenhurst, managed by Coco. Louise must be dead too, then. Again, Coco is the Manager, and similar to Camilla's control over Diane she too has an emphasized control over Louise. We never see "Adam" and "Rita" meet in the dream, because he would recognize her, but Coco sees Rita and strangely does not recognize her. Louise too has no clear clue who "Betty" really is, but both she and Coco know the two younger women are lying to them and feigning innocence.

This dream-Camilla/Lamp Lady girl seems to be an insider and knows all about what happened but is utterly apathetic to it. She finds Diane's madness bemusing, which goads and frustrates Diane completely. Diane truly loves Camilla, but unlike Diane this girl works for the Castigliane brothers and is perfectly okay with being Camilla's secret lover, while Diane can't accept Camilla's marriage/family and the idea of being a secret toy. In the recurrent blurring of reality and dreams at the dinner party Diane's mind tries to expose Camilla as a lesbian with a fantasy public kiss, but it only makes Diane feel worse at the realization of her official exclusion from Camilla's life. She has been replaced by a better, compliant girl. It is then as the kiss ends and Camilla and Adam are about to announce they're going to have a baby that Diane decides to have revenge. She attempts to kill Camilla before the full term of the pregnancy has been reached. In the dream, Joe is not the assassin she chose; he was "doing some stuff for this guy," working undercover for the Castigliane Brothers, protecting Camilla, and she went to Ed instead. In the dream, Ed is killed after laughing about how the car accident did the job for him. So although the girl Camilla is still missing, she is not dead, is being searched for and will be okay. In reality, Joe is who he says he is but like Ed assumes the car accident killed Camilla. Camilla suffers a miscarriage after the car accident and is left to wander helplessly forever in an amnesiac's oblivion, knowing she has lost a child but not knowing who she is. Joe finds out from the police that someone was missing and looks for her on the streets to finish the job but can't find her. The as-good-as-dead Camilla's new lover "I've Told Every Little Star" Lamp Lady won't tell anyone what Diane did, but she knows everything and silently tortures her, the Porfiry Petrovitch to Diane's Raskolnikov. "By the way, those two detectives came by again looking for you." She doesn't care. It's a joke to her. This kills Diane.

I also think it's worth noting that a lot of these characters, while still mirrors, were "props" for Diane's dream. For example, Lorraine is another mirror of Diane Selwyn (as a child -- all Lorraine's actions/reactions in her scenes were very childlike and defensive), but she is not the central mirror and her only real life counterpart is herself -- the cheating scene is both in the dream and real, another blur. Regardless, it is Diane's dream and each scene has a relation to her or someone very important to her, but not every character is important to her in and of themselves. The sociopathic older couple, for example, are very friendly to her face but laugh at her when she is gone. They, like the dream-Camilla, are in a limousine, and also tied to the Castigliane Brothers. They are clearly are not her abusers. Just reminders, slowly breaking her down. Faces she has seen before, faces she does not know but that her fading conscience is using to organize information about the people and experiences she does know. The man with the vaccuum in the shooting is another silent observer non-character. He knows of a crime but does nothing.

As for Aunt Ruth and Adam, I do not believe either truly exists as they are represented in the dream. "Adam" is never referred to as Adam outside of the dream, and is not the director responsible for making Camilla famous, but he is the man responsible for keeping her famous by having a family with her and upholding her "wholesome" image. This man is Coco's child, and his child would have completed a cycle of history if Diane Selwyn had not taken a violent path -- Louise didn't, so he lived. His ex-wife did cheat on him, but to Diane it's a manifestation of Aunt Ruth's horror and asphyxiation in the face of the abuse to her niece and despicable betrayal of her husband. Aunt Ruth is not alive but died in Diane's hometown, which Diane ran away from. We see her concerned ghost several times at Havenhurst, but only in Diane's apartment; she, like Coco and Louise, did not want this to happen. Aunt Ruth has no connections in L.A. or ability to help Diane. She never did, even when Diane was being abused by Aunt Ruth's husband. I support the belief that the man who abused her is her uncle (dad's best friend).

The key opens or should have opened the ashes of Camilla's body. There is never anything in the box, because Camilla is not dead, but a murder has still been committed on her unborn child. Perhaps the name of the child was to be Adam. "A damn key is here." Adam's the one who belongs in the box, because he's the dead being, even if Camilla's ashes should have been in there. Diane is guilty of the car carrying Camilla being stopped on that road. As for the body we see rotting on the bed, it's always been Diane's. She's in the bardo. She's dead. That's probably the only "real" image still, the only fraction of this film-reality that doesn't blend earth and bardo. In the scene where "Betty and Rita" knock on the Lamp Lady's door, notice that the Lamp Lady seems to be the only one talking. She doesn't really reply to anything Betty says, because Betty isn't really there. Lamp Lady is only talking to the now-amnesiac Camilla, who is searching for her identity on her own. This all takes place after Diane's death, of course, because Camilla then finds her body. It is about right after "Betty" makes eye contact with "Adam" that the dream completely falls apart and "Betty and Rita" become non-existent, even in the dreamplace. At this point "Adam" no longer represents Aunt Ruth but represents the murder she committed.

The blue-haired "Silencio" woman is the last scene we see, after Diane Selwyn has passed through the bardo. She is in hell now. A sort of Kore/Persephone, Ruler of the Underworld, reminds her for an eternity of the word that her abuser tormented her with, and punishes her for the murder she committed. Diane tried to escape from the word by going to L.A. and falling in love with Camilla, but she ends up back at Silencio, like a vicious circle. There is an enlightened, compassionate but accepting nature to this blue-haired woman. Those in the club are from our perspective all dead, transformed from this universe. We see her at an equal level now, not an elevated one as before, during the bardo. Diane Selwyn is just entering, breaking forever the "fourth wall" of her bardo-dreamplace. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

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kmkmiller
 
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Re: Diane's hell we're in ... my interpretation

Postby kmkmiller » 16 Feb 2013

In the scene where "Betty and Rita" knock on the Lamp Lady's door, notice that the Lamp Lady seems to be the only one talking. She doesn't really reply to anything Betty says, because Betty isn't really there.


i wanted to pick out that sentence as my very favorite in a somewhat long post.

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Siku
 
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Re: Diane's hell we're in ... my interpretation

Postby Siku » 18 Feb 2013

woolfspersona wrote:Did anyone ever view Coco and Louise as ... past lovers?


Interesting proposition woolfspersona!

Did you know that Ann Miller (Coco) had a long-term partner, in the movies, called Betty Rhodes? They worked on heaps of movies in the golden age of cinema.

And to me Louise is like Betty. Betty is a 'young actress' (check out the look Louise gives her when Coco announces this), while Louise is the old actress, a failed star like Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. "I'm sorry I don't know who you are!" Betty tells her.

Louise is also what Betty can become - a fallen actress. A fallen Betty from the future come back with dire warnings!

Louise has the blond thing, not to mention the back-from-the-dead hood and cape, while Coco has the all-in-black-and-red brunette look - a regular Betty (Rhodes) and Ann (Cam) Miller.

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woolfspersona
 
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Re: Diane's hell we're in ... my interpretation

Postby woolfspersona » 20 Feb 2013

Siku wrote:Did you know that Ann Miller (Coco) had a long-term partner, in the movies, called Betty Rhodes? They worked on heaps of movies in the golden age of cinema.


Whoa, now that is surreal. And now that you mention it, Louise DID give Betty a bewildered, almost recognizant look when Coco told her she is a young actress. The whole Louise character is just some serious déjà vu.


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