Neither Dan or Herb are real?

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Aus
 
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Neither Dan or Herb are real?

Postby Aus » 06 Oct 2013

Hi! New to posting, but long time reader..

Having just watch MD for the umpteenth time, I find myself focussing on the plates on the table in Winkie's, when Herb and Dan are there specifically.

I noticed that when Herb gets up to pay and Dan follows, the camera lingers on the table.. Herb's meal is finished but Dan's is entirely untouched, even the coffee. The cutlery is shiny and untouched, too.

But when they leave, there's a little flash of the table as well - and there is nothing on it at all but the two cups set diagonally across from one another (mimicking the cups later in the Betty/Rita scene).

Anyway, unless Winkie's has supersonically quick waitresses, I'm thinking that there never was a meal of any sort on that table. So if the food isn't real - is any of it? I don't think so.

I think 'Dan' is just a random feller who happened to be there at a traumatic moment for Diane, and she's using his image while mentally processing her fears as she lies in bed at No.17.

I think maybe Diane isn't dead at all, btw. I think she's in a deep depression, only metaphorically 'dead' and in the process of reinventing her own psyche in order to be able to live with herself. But that's a theory for another thread. ;)

Awesome forum, thanks for all the reading.

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Bob
 
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Re: Neither Dan or Herb are real?

Postby Bob » 06 Oct 2013

But when they leave, there's a little flash of the table as well - and there is nothing on it at all but the two cups set diagonally across from one another (mimicking the cups later in the Betty/Rita scene).

Welcome Aus.

If you watch closer you will notice that the table in question is not the one Dan and Herb were sitting at. See sketch below. However, the framing of that shot with the two unused cups suggests some kind of importance. I'd say it's up to us to either believe that:

a) because of the surreal nature of the scene, details are not to be dissected in a rational manner and the cup arrangement is indeed a subtle clue to Dan and Herb's (non-)identity, or

b) Lynch was aware of the fact that MD worshipers the attentive audience would be all over this and he still had the camera framing a different table, which would negate any deeper meaning.

Image

I think maybe Diane isn't dead at all, btw. I think she's in a deep depression, only metaphorically 'dead' and in the process of reinventing her own psyche in order to be able to live with herself.

Well, according to the classical theory this scene is not part of a dying dream to begin with but plays out in Diane's dream the night before she pulls the trigger. At that time she was depressed, probably drugged, but still alive.

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Erniesam
 
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Re: Neither Dan or Herb are real?

Postby Erniesam » 28 Oct 2013

Wow, where did je dig up that map, Bob? I think it's very interesting.

I haven't got a specific answer for the arrangement of the cups, but your assesment of it, I find intriguing, Bob. Also, I never noticed that Dan and Herb were not sitting at the same table as the others in the other scenes at Winkie's. That got me thinking? Why is that? What is the connection between the two latter scenes? Well, here goes:

1. The scene of Dan en Herb plays in the dream of Rita, while the other two are from the viewpoint of Diane and Betty. So the latter scenes have a point of view from Diane and Betty is the physical representation of Diane (although highly idealised).

2. In the first scene we do not see (the physical appearance of) Diane, only in the latter two (Betty and Diane). Notice that the view point changes from Diane to Betty, while the appearance changes from Betty to Diane.

So, my guess is that while the view point changes in the two later scenes at Winkie's, the persona's in both those scenes sit at another table than Herb and Dan in the first. Seems logical, because you get a different view point when you look at things from a different angle. I guess Lynch has thought this one through indeed.

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Re: Neither Dan or Herb are real?

Postby Erniesam » 28 Oct 2013

O dear, I forgot something I was meaning to mention.

I haven't got the placement of all the characters around the protagonists figured out yet and maybe there isn't a deeper meaning behind that. Though I wouldn't count on it, because Lynch has a keen eye for detail. What strikes me as interesting is the placement of the middle aged guy and the old man two tables behind the table with the protagonists in the last two scenes.

When we consider the dream-fantasy-reality structure of the movie and we conclude that each segment comes closer to reality, we can interpret it maybe as follows. The middle aged guy represents Diane's abuser and the old man represents the real abuser, Diane's grandfather. I don't mean this literally, but my guess is that Lynch thought that would be a nice touch.

Now we notice that in scene two Betty sits with her back to the middle aged man. At that point, that is in her dream, Betty isn't ready yet to face her abuser, that is her trauma of sexual abuse. In the third scene it is Diane herself who sits face front to the old man. I'd like to read this as the moment at which Diane is forced to face her sexual abuse (because she cuts off her escape route into fantasy, when she gives the hitman the order to kill Camilla Rhodes, that is her dream to make it in Hollywood).

Maybe Lynch didn't mean it this way and maybe I'm just overanxious to read it like that, but personally I think it is a nice touch.


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