My Freudian interpretation of MD

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kar
 
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My Freudian interpretation of MD

Postby kar » 16 Feb 2013

Hi.
I try to explain you the way I learned to watch the movie:

For understanding the movie, you need to know the basic ideas of Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche. The SUPER-EGO, the EGO, the ID.

This is the general idea of Mulholland Drive.
In the dream we see the duel, the fight, the cat and mouse game between the SUPER-EGO and the ID.

On the one side there is Diane´s SUPER-EGO. It was build up by the high morally requirements of her parents, her small town life, etc.. It is Diane´s conscience.

On the other side there is Diane´s ID. It´s her sexual drive, her libido. Her self-preservation instinct. Diane got a strong ID. And it is important that we know, that her parents are the main reason, why Dianes sexual drive was repressed for a long time.

The ID tries to suppress the truth. I don´t kill somebody. Camilla is not dead. I´m a nice and innocent girl.
In the first part of the dream Dianes repressed sex drive is dominating the ID, but then it´s her unleashed sex drive representing the ID.

The SUPER-EGO tries to destroy the illusion. It wants that Diane faces the truth. I´am guilty! Camilla was real. Camilla is dead! I killed her! The super-ego is attacking the Id permanently.

In the end we see what an immense impact this inner conflict has on Diane´s ego. She is slowly getting mad, she has hallucinations and finally, the only way out is to commit suicide!

Notice:
The colour of the super-ego is blue.
The colour of the repressed (sex drive) ID is pink.
The colour of the unleashed ID is red.

The ID and the super-ego are acting very tricky and smart. Situations changes frome one second to another.

Please remember Woody in this context. He brings it to the point: ACTING IS REACTING.

Try to see the movie in this way. I´m sure you will discover things you ´ve never noticed before.

Imagine how the super-ego is permanently sending soldiers to attack the ID.

I give you an example:

The first scene with Adam Kesher:

The super-ego is attacking (it wants to refresh Diane´s memory of Camilla):
The mafia-man opens up a suitcase (symbolizes that Diane locked up the memory of Camilla) and pulls out a photo of Camilla Rhodes.

The ID is reacting. It replaces the photo of Camilla with a photo of the partygirl (the one who was kissing Camilla).

Next try of the super-ego: THIS IS THE GIRL!

The ID defenses: Adam is refusing. The ID is finally finishing this dangerous situation by serving the mafiaman a bad esspresso and the it itself is attacking the super-ego by attacking the car of the mafia men.

The super-ego is loosing this battle. The Id is to strong. CUT/Betty is looking for Rita to be sure that everything is OK. The Illusion is not destroyed. CUT/ The super ego is planning the next attack: THEN WE ALL SHUT DOWN...

Yes, MR. Rogue represents the super-ego!

...and the battle goes on...

Please watch the audition scene with Woody and imagine how the ID ist talking face to face to the super-ego.
This is the moment when the super ego is gaining advantage ("slam dunk"). It´s a trap. It´ s the turning point.
Pay attention to the colours: In the beginning, Betty is wearing a pink jacket over a blue top. Pink is fading. Red is coming up.
In the end ( after the dream, when Diane is making coffee) a blue potholder lays over a red one!

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kmkmiller » 16 Feb 2013

The notes on pink/red/blue coloring are interesting. I also like to note the occurrences of black and white in Lynchs work.

So if Cynthia has bright red lipstick and red fingernail polish and DeRosa didn't have much makeup at all, that might be an important thing to keep track of.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kar » 18 Feb 2013

This is my interpretation of the first dream.

DREAM-SYMBOL= MEANING
DANCING PEOPLE= TO HAVE SEX (ID)
HER OWN FACE= TO BE A FILMSTAR (ID)
HER PARENTS= MORALITIES: FILMSTAR IS GOOD/ DIRTY MIND IS BAD (SUPER-EGO)
PURPLE COLOUR= UPCOMING SEXUAL DESIRE (BETWEEN PINK AND RED)
MUSIC SOUNDS LIKE HORNS= CARS; CAR TRAFFIC

The dream ends. She is breathing in a sexual aroused way...the next dream can begin.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kmkmiller » 18 Feb 2013

there's sex at the beginning of inland empire too. with heavy breathing, etc. so not a bad way to read the opening scene i guess.

i just wish there was more "a cigar is just a cigar" analysis of Lynch's work. although there's lots of sex in Lynch's work, I don't really think that's what he wants to talk about per se.

i mean there's dancing at the end of Inland Empire and I'm fairly certain that dancing is not meant to imply sex so it's fair to say that sometimes dancing in a lynch movie is just dancing.

what do you think of the shadows in that scene? cool effect.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby Siku » 21 Feb 2013

kmkmiller wrote:I bet there is more congruence between lynch works, not as much between Lynchs work and extraneous texts, Jung, Freud or otherwise.. I know that is pedestrian of me but oh well.


While Lynch is undoubtably Freud-literate, we don't need him to deliberately tie his work into Freud in order to justify a Freudian analysis. Freud's work supposedly applies to all humans and by extension all fictional characters. We can easily analyse Diane's actions in terms of her id, ego and super-ego in much the same way we could analyse her actions as, say, peformed by her right hand or left hand.

Of course we can still debate the relevance and usefulness of this anaylsis and whether we believe Freud's id/ego/super-ego concepts are 'real' or merely theoretical tools.

(Arguably they're more real in the case of fictional characters because this basic way of understanding human motivation is so common sense to us. Imagine, once there was no concept of a sub-conscious!)

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kmkmiller » 21 Feb 2013

Ok, so let me put it this way, you can use Freud to better understand human behavior in any movie at all... What represents the Id, super-ego, and ego in Wreck It Ralph???

There is nothing I can see that links Freud to lynchs work in some exclusive or distinct way. And yet the fact that lynch has created his own cinematic language .... And I admit I take it too far this time, but let's force the issue....

For fun.... We know that Adam has a golf club.... It's a fact ...

What is more relevant to that fact??

A) what Freud thinks about golf clubs.
B) the fact that Leland Palmer asks dale cooper if dale plays golf or that in a very important episode of twin peaks Leland is shown practicing his golf swing in his living room.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby Siku » 21 Feb 2013

I'm afraid I haven't see Wreck It Ralph yet but I have heard it's very good. I saw the trailer and quite fancied it. Are you suggesting Ralph would be a poor candidate for Freudian analysis? I'll get back to you on that if and when I see the film, but this headline disagrees.

You're absolutely right about the golf club. But we were talking about analysing a person, Diane, using Freudian concepts, not a symbol. A person is much richer, and might be more amenable to Freudian analysis. For symbols you want Jung.

As to relevance I'm still on the fence. As I said, we can debate that. You're a bit sceptical. Kar thinks it yields something. My problem is that it's potentially quite reductive to divide all these events between just two initiating forces, especially when they're so bluntly characterised as moral vs animal.


Let's get Lynch and Freud going on. Check out this essay

Prefer Lacan? Excellent essay on Lost Highway (I think - don't actually understand it).
Last edited by Siku on 22 Feb 2013, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kmkmiller » 21 Feb 2013

Ugh, lacan and lynch. I wish I was back in college, I would have gone nuts for that. I'll check it out even though I'm sticking with my central thesis: everything you need to understand lynch is provided to us by lynch himself.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kar » 21 Feb 2013

Siku wrote:Money Laundering?

Kar, re the id vs super-ego idea, are you saying either one can operate at any time through any object or prop or character or action or line of dialogue? Or do you assign certain players to the id and others to the ego, e.g. Louise might be a manifestation of the super ego while Adam is always the id?




It´s just my way trying to understand what´s going on in every scene. It´s difficult to explain.

When the acting/dialogue of the character helps Diane to eliminate the truth, it´s influenced by th id.
When the acting/dialogue of the character reminds her of the truth (Camilla is dead; I hired a contract-killer)
it´s influenced by the super-ego. It can change quickly. Sometimes it happens at the same time.

Acting is reacting!

For example:
After the accident Rita crawls out of the car. This is influenced by the id. (she lives).
She stumbles and falls (influenced by the super-ego: she is dead).
She stands up (id).
Then we see the blood on her face (super-ego) (reminds of a shot in the head) (later it´s the strand of hair...).
Rita walks downhill, nobody sees her (ID, she wants to bring her home safe and unseen):
A blue van passes by (super-ego).
She walks on (ID)
A police car passes by (super-ego. I´ve done a terrible thing. The police will catch me)
A couple comes out of the house. (super-ego)
Rita hides behind a bush (ID)
Her head "falls" to the ground. (super-ego: She is dead or ID: she is just sleeping)

Police investigates the place of accident. They find the earring. A girl is missing (Super-ego: The police starts to investigate the missing of Camilla. The police is tracking me.)

I don´t want to „overinterpret“ something. I want to keep it basic. For me this way of interpretation is working very well.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kmkmiller » 21 Feb 2013

Putting it that way, that seems fair enough, a simple but not too simple way of categorizing scenes as a process of hiding and revealing, I like it...

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby woolfspersona » 22 Feb 2013

I do have a strong bias against Freud, but I have to admit it's pretty Freudian to assume Diane was abused, even in spite of the painting and the shifting aunt story and the old couple. There could be a far more complicated story behind her hometown and family that we don't really delve into because so many of us have swung with the abuse theory. Anyway, it's definitely fair to say that Lynch's cinematic language as kmkmiller put it might have some congruence with Freud, but I would personally hope it is limited. The sheer simplicity of id, ego and superego frustrates me.

But in spite of that kar makes some interesting Freudian connections. I'll have to think about them, but I'm intrigued. I do like the importance of cars in your analysis, seeing as the title of the film is Mulholland Drive.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby dexX7 » 22 Feb 2013

kar wrote:The super-ego is loosing this battle. The Id is to strong. CUT/Betty is looking for Rita to be sure that everything is OK. The Illusion is not destroyed. CUT/ The super ego is planning the next attack: THEN WE ALL SHUT DOWN...


Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

I really like your deep interpretation about the screenplay with Betty and Rita. When I watched the movie, my mind was blown by the transition to the next scene. The screenplay itself was about "not getting caught - leave, before they find out you are here!" ... and what happens next? "*knock knock* I'm Coco and you are busted! What is that girl doing here?!"

Maybe you could enlighten a few scenes for me:

At the beginning of the movie.. after Betty arrived at Hollywood, the old grandparents (or whoever they are) laught sinister in the car. Why?

What's the inner connection between that silly blondee who was asked outside of Pinkie's by the hitman if she saw any new girls on the streets, the worker-Diana/Betty (in real world) inside of Pinkie's and real-Diana? It's too obvious.. the name, the look, everything is too similar.

Why did the cowboy say something about a buggy with one driver and Adam could join him, if he would change his attitude? Also, what's the meaning about "you will see me one more time, if you do good, you will see me two more times, if you do bad"?

Why did Rita colored her hair after seeing the dead corpse? It's another way of denial, right?

Some think Diane doesn't kill herself and the "dream" is just a dream or a hallucination (induced by drugs or something else) and not "her last thoughts while dying". Also some think the first scene, where you hear heavy breathing, is about sex and not Diana's last breaths. What is your opinion about that?

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kar » 23 Feb 2013

I will give you my way of seeing scene by scene.

Some remarks before I start to give you my interpretation of the maindream:

The first dream (dancing people...) is important, because we learn something about Diane. We see how her sexual desire is repressed by her parents. This is helping Diane refusing the memories of Camilla. As long as she is in this mood, her super-ego isn´t able to remind her of the truth. All the things in the main dream, that points to the fact, that Camilla was her lover and she (Diane) hired a killer , are deflecting off Diane. This mood is her suit of armor. The super-ego can´t reach her. This is a very interesting aspect, because the super-ego (the high moralities of her parents) itselfs produces this suit of armor.
So we learn that Diane´s sexual drive is repressed but we also learn that her desire to be a filmstar is shining brightly. Always keep this in mind.


I will try to keep it basic. I don´t want to overinterpret something.

Scene 1:
A black haired beauty is driven in a black limousine. (super-ego (SE): It is Camilla- ID:just a girl)
The driver wants to kill her (SE)
A car accident is preventing this (ID)

...the rest of this scene I explained in my last post.

remarkable: In the end of the movie we know that Diane is fantasizing that the killer throws the corpse in a blue dumpster. I guess in the USA blue dumpsters are typical for recycling waste. So what is happening here. Diane recycles Camilla. Try to imagine a recycling depot if you look at the destroyed cars and the fire... (i know it´s kind of overinterpretation-but it just rushes in my mind)

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby Siku » 23 Feb 2013

kar wrote:it just rushes in my mind


Just go with it. Lynch ask that of us.

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Re: I FOUND THE KEY PIECE OF PUZZLE

Postby kar » 24 Feb 2013

I will go with it...

Scene 2:

Again we see the black-haired girl lying on the floor. Is she dead (SE) or is she just sleeping (ID)?

Suddenly we hear a shot (SE). No it was just a slamming door (ID). The girl awakes (ID)

Aunt Ruth is leaving. (SE: Aunt Ruth has left this world. She is not here anymore. She cant´t help me. She is dead.)

The taxidriver throws the big, heavy suitcase in the trunk = The killer throws the corpse in the blue dumpster. The bum will find the corpse (SE) Look at the two-colored hair of the taxidriver, his dark/black clothes.

Aunt Ruth is looking for the keys. She finds them on the table. The keychain has a small blue pearl. (SE = the blue key of the hitman. I found the blue key. Camilla is dead)

The girl is lying under the table. It´s dark under the table = the corpse is inside the blue dumpster. (SE)

Again we hear a slamming door. A shot? (SE) The girl is falling to sleep (ID) or is she dying (SE)?

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