Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

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Coffee Cup
 
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Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

Postby Coffee Cup » 01 Jun 2015

One of the things about this scene that might be of significance, is the story the man behind the desk is telling about a car accident.

It's like he's just told a long and bizarre story where it turns out that the reason everything happened was because of a car accident. Like he's saying, "Who would have thought all of that could possibly have been the result of a car accident?"

Perhaps if we are able to figure out the story he has told, we could come up with a more convincing explanation behind the meaning of MD.

Any ideas as to the story he told?

Another thing to consider is that maybe he's a private investigator. Perhaps he's the PI that's investigating the murder of Camilla and it just so happens that he also knows (From maybe his youth) the hit man who killed Camilla. The hit man pays him a visit just to "Say hi", but has the real intention of killing him as to prevent the murder from being solved. Perhaps also there's some phone number in his black book that might lead him to solving the murder. Whose number is he trying to hide?

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Re: Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

Postby BlueRose » 12 Jun 2015

Despite my daze the first time I saw the movie, it seemed pretty "clear" to me initially that Ed was talking about how his assassination attempt on Camilla had been interrupted by the car accident, and now he was in trouble with the higher-ups because she was missing. My brain just auto-associated that him and Joe were fellow hit men. And yet there is really no reason to think this. The PI idea makes more sense - he has an office. Hit men don't have offices!

I am also open minded about the idea of him being a pimp figure, like in Alan Shaw's essay. But heck, I just had a thought - could he be an agent??

I haven't thought this through fully yet, but what if Ed is meant to represent the heartlessness of Hollywood, like he was her agent and had just landed her this role, but now she's missing/presumed dead in an accident and he is just laughing about it? "That was just a thing..."

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Re: Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

Postby Coffee Cup » 12 Jun 2015

Not bad! I like the idea that maybe Ed's a hitman as well and that his hit was interrupted by a car accident. Could it also be that Diane had hired the other hitman to kill Ed? At Winkies is seems fairly obvious that she wants Camilla dead, but maybe not. After all, we do see Ed get assassinated by him.

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Re: Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

Postby derekfnord » 13 Jun 2015

I pretty much subscribe to the "classic" theory that the events prior to the Cowboy's "Hey pretty girl" scene are Diane dreaming. Throughout those scenes, I think we see elements that reflect (in different ways) Diane's wish that she hadn't placed the hit on Camilla. For example:

  • There's the beginning of a hit attempt in the limo, but it's interrupted by the car crash.
  • There's the scene at Winkie's between Dan and Herb, where Diane's dream returns to the place she hired hit man Joe, but this time it's entirely different (she's Dan instead of Diane... it's day instead of twilight... she "had a dream about this place" instead of this being where she started the all too real contract hit... etc.).
  • In the dream, the Castigliane brothers are responsible for the ominous "This is the girl" line, instead of it being the words she used to seal Camilla's fate.
  • Ed -- a guy we never see her meet outside the dream -- seems to have been set to kill Camilla, but was thwarted by the car crash.
  • Joe -- the guy she does meet outside the dream -- kills Ed, but does so in a way that makes him seem completely incompetent (perhaps reflecting the wish that he'd really been a bumbler instead of a successful killer).
  • Throughout the dream, Betty tries to help Rita, rather than trying to kill her.
  • ...And so on.

So I think the "careless hitman" scene fits right in with that. If Ed isn't a hitman, I can't really see him as a PI investigating Camilla's murder, though perhaps he could have been hired to find her. Or -- given the lines about the "famous black book" containing "the history of the world in phone numbers," maybe Ed's racket was blackmail, and he had a blackmail scheme planned against Camilla that derailed when she was in the car crash and disappeared. But really, if it's true that the Ed & Joe scene is part of a dream, Ed's profession probably doesn't matter much.

It could also be that Joe and Ed are another pair of dream dopplegangers for Diane and Camilla. Joe is blond like Diane; Ed is brunette like Camilla. The blond kills the brunette. Joe and Ed seem to be in a similar line of work, but Ed seems more successful (at least he has his own office!) while Joe seems like a loser and a bumbler, etc...

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Re: Triple murder scene with the careless hitman

Postby Coffee Cup » 17 Jun 2015

Interesting perspective about how Diane, out of regret, seems to be dreaming of helping Camilla rather than killing her. I tend to side more with my own interpretation though that everything we see in Diane's dream did actually happen to Diane, but she has changed the details so that she can feel good about what happened.

So that's why the careless hitman scene doesn't really fit in with Diane's dream. What's the sense in dreaming him to be incompetent? In the scene, there's no mention of her, Camilla or anyone else relative to the film, so there's no reason for her to be dreaming about it. It's like were outside of the dream and traveling through time to a scene that took place after Camilla was killed.

The reason I think this is because shortly after DeRosa takes back her ashtray at Sierra Bonita, we see Diane and Camilla on the sofa with the ashtray back on the table. We have traveled back in time and the ashtray is Lynch's way of telling us this. He is showing us an important part of Diane and Camilla's relationship. But again, I dont' think it actually took place the way in which it's being shown. Lynch has changed the details to emphasize Diane's feelings.....which is the opposite of what Diane is doing in her dream.

At the beginning of the careless hitman scene, we see a coffee cup on his table. Lynch is telling us there is some time traveling going on here.

It's the same thing with the red lampshade. Were traveling back in time to a place before Camilla was killed. There's an ashtray there as well.

A coffee cup is shown again at Adams dinner party as we fast forward to a later segment of the party where Adam announces his engagement to Camilla. More time traveling.

Coffee cups go forward? Ashtrays and red lamps go back?

So the coffee cup on Ed's table is an indication to me that we have traveled forward in time. Now, there has to be a reason for Ed's murder. It must somehow be tied into Camilla's murder.


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