The Winkie's explained

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Herb
 
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The Winkie's explained

Postby Herb » 03 Jun 2015

(sorry for my poor english I’m french).

I'm not an expert on Lynch's work but I've some ideas about Mulholland drive.
There are some theories about this movie : the classical (dream/reality) and many others (dream/dream, reality/reality, fantasy/reality…)
All of these theories are based on suppositions, none has been proven.
I think there’s only one explanation of the film and that DL gave us enough clues to solve the puzzle.
According to me, there is a hidden key that provides the solution for the interpretation of the movie, and this key allows the choice of the true interpretation among those above.
So I was looking for a definitive explanation that could be scientifically proven.
By studying the movie I noticed that the winkie’s scene at the beginning seems to be unconnected to the rest of the film, except the fact that Diane sees Dan in that diner at the end of the movie. But I’ve never found any satisfactory explanation of this scene on the web (even on mulholland-drive.net!).
This scene seems so unrelated with previous and next sequences that I wonder if it could be used by Lynch to metaphorically provide to the viewer the explanation of the movie.
Therefore my intuition was that this scene at the beginning contains the main key of the film. So this scene needs to be deciphered.
And it's by deciphering this scene I found some interesting things that follow.

Deciphering of the scene :
You must listen carefully to what Dan says if you want to understand this scene (and the movie).
So listen !

I just wanted to come here. To Winkie's? This Winkie's. Okay. Why this Winkie's? It's kind of embarrassing... Go ahead. I had a dream about this place. Oh boy. You see what I mean? Okay, so you had a dream about this place. Tell me. Well... it's the second one I've had... but they are both the same... they start out that I'm in here but... it's not day or night. It's kinda half night, you know?... but it looks just like this... except for the light. And I'm scared like I can't tell ya. Of all people, you're standing right over there... by that counter. You're in both dreams and you're scared. I get even more frightened when I see how afraid you are and... then I realize what it is. There's a man... in back of this place. He's the one who's doing it. I can see him through the wall. I can see his face... I hope that I never see that face ever... outside of the dream. That's it. So... you came to see if it's out there? To get rid of this god-awful feeling.

Besides the emphasis on words related to fear (scared, afraid, frightened, god-awful feeling ...) it’s important to note that Dan mentions both places and states of consciousness.

* Places:
'This place' = this Winkie's
'In back of this place' = the backyard
'through the wall' = the space behind the wall of the backyard

* The states of consciousness:
'a dream' = state of consciousness during REM sleep
'outside of the dream' = state of consciousness during active wakefulness in what we call the reality.

(to be continued)
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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Coffee Cup » 04 Jun 2015

I've thought the same thing. That scene does seem very much out of place as it does not seem to be part of either Diane or Camilla's dream. To me, the whole point of the Winkies scene is to introduce the man in the back and make us aware that at some point reality and dreams collide. Later in the movie, we learn that the man is the keeper of Diane's frightful memories that like mr eyebrows was unable to face.

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Herb » 04 Jun 2015

So let's go ahead in the deciphering of the Winkie's.

*The key sentence of the scene is 'I had a dream about this place': it is said by Dan, repeated by Herb and is the only sentence to explicitly associates a place (this place) with a state of consciousness (a dream). To access the hidden meaning of this sentence, it’s important to consider that 'this place' (and only this place) metaphorically represents the dream. There is therefore a transposition of a consciousness state (the dream) which is materialized and bounded by a specific location (this place).

*The second location mentioned by Dan is 'in back of this place’ : it’s a different place from' this place', so if' ‘this place' represents the dream, ‘in back of this place’ can’t represent the dream, ‘in back of this place’ represents something 'outside of the dream' so ‘in back of this place’ represents... the reality. And the stairs that separates 'this place' (the Winkie's) and 'in back of this place' (the backyard) in 2 levels (of consciousness) represents the transition from dream to reality, ie the wake up time. This deduction is one of the main keys to the film, it allows to locate the reality both in Winkie's sequence, but also in the film itself, as we’ll see below! A commonplace sentence such as' behind Winkie's, there is the backyard 'is metaphorically translated as' behind the dream, there is the reality. "

* The third location mentioned by Dan ’through the wall' represents something which is neither dream nor reality: ’through the wall' represents the death.

Image

So we have a Winkie's scene with a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death.
And in the movie, according to the classical theory, we also have a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death.
So maybe you start now to understand :
My intuition is that the Winkie’s scene represents a contraction of the movie in the movie, in french we say ‘une mise en abyme’, but you can call it a recursive or fractal system.
If my intuition is correct, the contracted movie (winkie’s scene) should have the same structure as the movie but not exactly with the same characters.
Here’s a fine example of ‘mise en abyme’ (Ummagumma, Pink Floyd, 1969).
Image
The structure (composition) of the picture is the same in the ‘mise en abyme’, but characters not totaly the same.
I think there is a similar effect on Mulholland Drive.

(to be continued : the mathematical proof of MD's fractal structure )
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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Herb » 05 Jun 2015

The mathematical proof :

The fractal structure of the movie can easily be proven.
If the Winkie's is really a ‘mise en abyme’ the proportions of Dream, Reality and Death should be the same in Winkie’s and whole movie (this means a=A, b=B, c=C in scheme below).

Step 1 : measure the length of the winkie’s scene(z) in seconds from the time 0 (Winkie’s signboard). On my french dvd, this length is z=284 seconds.
Step 2 : note the time of appearence of the stairs (x) and of the close up view of the wall (y) just before the appearence of the bum. On my french dvd, stairs (Wake up time) appears at x=226 and wall (Death time) at y=268. (you may have some difference with dvd from other countries but only the proportions are signifiant).
Step 3 (contraction factor): measure the total length of the whole movie(Z) in seconds from the time 0 (Studio Canal credit). On my french dvd, this length is Z=8433 seconds. This means that 1 second of the Winkie’s scene represents Z/z that is to say 8433/284=29.69 seconds of the movie.

Image

And if the Winkie's is really a fractal piece of the movie, at time xZ/z that is to say for me 226*29.69=6710 s. we should find the Wake up time in the movie. More exactly the Wake up time in the movie should be between 6710-15s and 6710 + 15s (because 1s of the winkies = about 30s of the film). Likewise at time yZ/z that is to say for me 268*29.69=7956 s. (between 7956-15s and 7956+15s) we should find the death time in the movie.

(to be continued : result and conclusion)
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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Herb » 06 Jun 2015

Result :
The demonstration works perfectly!
Image
At the time 226 of the 'mise en abyme' the stairs are the metaphore of the wake up time and this is in relation with the [6710-15s to 6710 + 15s] period where we see Diane on her bed just after than the cowboy has said 'time wake up'.
At the second 268 of the 'mise en abyme' the wall is the metaphore of the transition from reality to death and is in relation with the [7956-15s to 7956+15s] period where we can see the same wall. The picture is similar, except for the light. And now remember what Dan says : 'it looks just like this... except for the light'.
Notice the proportions of the dream (79.58% in’mise en abyme‘, 79.57% in the movie!), the proportions of the reality (14.78% in ’mise en abyme‘, 14.72% in the movie!), the proportions of the death (5.63% in’mise en abyme‘, 5.70% in the movie!). This clearly can’t be a coincidence. This is the mathematical proof of the movie’s fractal structure.
What does it mean?
The ’mise en abyme ’ is a fractal version of the movie in which Dan is Diane, the Winkie’s (dream place in ’mise en abyme ’) is Havenhurst (dream place in the movie) and the backyard (reality in ’mise en abyme ’) is Sierra Bonita (reality in the movie).
Image

Conclusion :
By deciphering the Winkie’s scene we see that it includes a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death. We also know that this scene is an exact and contracted version of the movie (fractal structure). So the movie also includes a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death in the same proportions. The classical theory is no longer a theory, this is a proven fact.

As I mentioned above, the Winkie's scene is neither more nor less than an incredibly sophisticated process (in my opinion unique in cinema) developed by Lynch for suggesting to the audience the construction in 3 parts (dream, reality, death) of his work! The winkie’s scene is a kind of user’s manual of the film for the viewer!

This is the first time I see this kind of ’mise en abyme’ in a film: every second of the Winkie's sequence accounts for approximately 30 seconds of the movie itself, ie that by 'zooming' 30 times the Winkie's sequence, we get ... the movie!

There is achieved, in figurative form, some mathematical concepts of fractal nature of space-time scales in which some part of the whole contains ... the whole.

DL is not only a great film director, he’s also a great psychanalyst and a great mathematician!
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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Coffee Cup » 07 Jun 2015

Absolutely fascinating.

Doesn't quite tie everything together, but I'd say your analysis is difficult to refute.

I may take the time to do some calculations of my own from where my DVD player starts counting. It might be more interesting to line up the moment where we first see the scary man behind winkies and where we last see him above Dianes bed and see if any other parts of the movie and the winkies scene coincide with each other.

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby derekfnord » 07 Jun 2015

Impressive stuff, Herb! :up:

Not only does it make sense thematically, but the mathematical analysis is hard to dismiss. It certainly seems unlikely to be coincidental...

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Siku » 08 Jun 2015

Good stuff, the proportions work out very closely!

A fun way to look more at this analysis this would be to slow down the Winkies scene so it is the same duration as the film, then watch them side by side looking for other relationships.

I wonder, what happens during the Winkies scene, during the Winkies scene? ;-)

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Coffee Cup » 08 Jun 2015

I was thinking the same thing Siku but it would be painfully slow.

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby ctyankee » 09 Jun 2015

Herb wrote:So let's go ahead in the deciphering of the Winkie's.

*The key sentence of the scene is 'I had a dream about this place': it is said by Dan, repeated by Herb and is the only sentence to explicitly associates a place (this place) with a state of consciousness (a dream). To access the hidden meaning of this sentence, it’s important to consider that 'this place' (and only this place) metaphorically represents the dream. There is therefore a transposition of a consciousness state (the dream) which is materialized and bounded by a specific location (this place).

*The second location mentioned by Dan is 'in back of this place’ : it’s a different place from' this place', so if' ‘this place' represents the dream, ‘in back of this place’ can’t represent the dream, ‘in back of this place’ represents something 'outside of the dream' so ‘in back of this place’ represents... the reality. And the stairs that separates 'this place' (the Winkie's) and 'in back of this place' (the backyard) in 2 levels (of consciousness) represents the transition from dream to reality, ie the wake up time. This deduction is one of the main keys to the film, it allows to locate the reality both in Winkie's sequence, but also in the film itself, as we’ll see below! A commonplace sentence such as' behind Winkie's, there is the backyard 'is metaphorically translated as' behind the dream, there is the reality. "

* The third location mentioned by Dan ’through the wall' represents something which is neither dream nor reality: ’through the wall' represents the death.

Image

So we have a Winkie's scene with a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death.
And in the movie, according to the classical theory, we also have a part of dream, a part of reality and a part of death.
So maybe you start now to understand :
My intuition is that the Winkie’s scene represents a contraction of the movie in the movie, in french we say ‘une mise en abyme’, but you can call it a recursive or fractal system.
If my intuition is correct, the contracted movie (winkie’s scene) should have the same structure as the movie but not exactly with the same characters.
Here’s a fine example of ‘mise en abyme’ (Ummagumma, Pink Floyd, 1969).
Image
The structure (composition) of the picture is the same in the ‘mise en abyme’, but characters not totaly the same.
I think there is a similar effect on Mulholland Drive.

(to be continued : the mathematical proof of MD's fractal structure )


Herb,

I like the idea of MD being like a Pink Floyd Ummagumma album cover ... parts of a whole that are alike yet different. Quite a nice idea and one that translates well.

However, this other stuff where some words mean more than others and building the key premise on the words of characters that are only represent bookend moments in the film is a bit like taking the dialog of Auntie 'Em and Uncle Henry and somehow deciding that they are the key to The Wizard of Oz. Taking that a step beyond, no pun intended, you deciding the steps are an all-important factor is based on what exactly?

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Herb » 09 Jun 2015

ctyankee wrote:I like the idea of MD being like a Pink Floyd Ummagumma album cover

Mulholland drive is also related to another Pink Floyd masterpiece.
I'll explain it later.
Image

ctyankee wrote:However, this other stuff where some words mean more than others ...

All what Dan says is very important.
Another example : Dan says it's the second dream he had, but they are both the same.
That means he sees the bum through the wall in his first dream.
In his second dream, he sees the same bum through the same wall.
And just before dying, he's scared by seeing a last time the bum behind the wall.

And now let's see what's happen to Diane.
In the first scene (jitterbug), we see the old couple and Betty.
Yes, Betty, as mentionned by the cast in order of appearance.
Image

We know that Betty is Diane's name in her dreams.
So let's think of the first clue that DL gives to us : "Pay particular attention to the beginning of the film: At least two clues are revealed before the credits"
The first clue is that we are seeing a dream, Diane's first dream.
As she sees the old couple, Diane wakes up briefly, we hear the sound of her hard breathing, she's afraid of something (second clue).
Then she's falling into the pillow and begins a new dream (the second one).
In this second dream, she also sees the old couple (airport scene).
And later, just before dying, she's scared by seeing a last time the old couple.
So there's a real connexion between the Winkie's and the whole movie.
Dan is Diane's fractal version and the bum is the old couple's fractal version.
Image
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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Siku » 09 Jun 2015

Coffee Cup, not an Andy Warhol fan? But seriously, overlay them, subtitles for winkies and the sound from the main film, could be rather fun.

Herb, Diane sees the bum after her suicide, not the old folks. Furthermore she sees the bum in her dream, in the winkies scene. Dan says, of the bum, "He's the one who's doing it".

Dan saw the bum in dream 1, Diane saw the old folks in dream 1, therefore bum = old folks. So, what's the connection between the old folks and the bum, what does this tell us what does it reveal about the film?

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Coffee Cup » 10 Jun 2015

Just got done crunching some numbers and taking a close look at the OP's analysis.

My DVD is a Panasonic and I'm confident it counts seconds perfectly.

So, to get started. we have to first calculate just how long this movie actually is. To do this, we have to tackle the issue of where the movie truly begins and where it truly ends. Where do we start counting from? Where do we stop?

If you assume the end of the movie comes at exactly the moment when the closing credits first come across the screen, the movie ends at 2:22:40 (Right after the woman in the balcony at Silencio whispers "Silencio")

So now that we've determined where the movie most likely ends, we have to figure out where it starts.

The starting point is from one of the following places:

1. When I press play. (Movie is 8560 seconds long from here)
2. The Studio Canal logo
3. Right after the Studio Canal logo during the opening credits when we first hear some scary music. (Movie is 8534 seconds long from here)
4. At the very beginning of the Jitterbug scene when the Jitterbug music begins. (Movie is 8519 seconds long from here)

These calculations are quite different than the calculation given in the Original Posts where he says the total length of the movie is 8433 seconds.

Hard to say how he came up with 8433 seconds if he is starting from the Studio Canal logo. We can see that his number of 8433 is simply wayyyyy short of what it possibly could be. The movie would end as Diane falls asleep before she gets chased into the bedroom by the scary old people.

Just in case you were wondering, for the OP to arrive at 8433 he could not have subtracted the length of the Winkies scene (His 284 seconds) from some other number that represents the length of the movie. The OP is stating that the length of the entire movie is 8433 seconds INCLUDING the Winkies scene. Otherwise, he would have to claim that the entire length is 8717 seconds (8433+284). In order to arrive at that number from the Studio Canal Logo, the movie would have to end somewhere randomly during the closing credits (Assistant Sound Editor: Randy Guth?) long after the movie has actually ended (Can you tell I took my time?).

Now let's calculate the length of the Winkies scene.

The Winkies scene starts exactly at 00:12:01 and ends at 00:16:58. This makes the Winkies scene 4 minutes and 57 seconds long. That's 297 seconds.

Again, we have a problem with the OP's numbers. 297 seconds is quite different from the OP's number of 284 seconds. He is off several seconds here as well. What's up with these French DVD players?? Makes a BIG difference when we compare the length of the Winkies scene to the length of the whole movie now doesn't it? One second of that scene equals almost 30 seconds in the movie! He's off by 13 seconds. That's over 6 minutes of movie time.

So now, lets compare the length of the Winkies scene to the length of the entire movie.

Let's use the scary music part right after the Studio Canal logo as the starting place. This is #3 from my list above. To me, this is really the beginning of the movie because we have some music that truly designates that the movie has started. 8534 seconds divided by 297 seconds = 28.73 seconds. This means that every second of the Winkies scene is equal to 28.73 seconds in the movie. We see another inaccuracy on behalf of the OP where he states 29.69. Also understand that his number of 29.69 can never actually be correct because the movie is simply never 8433 seconds long unless you want to start it from some random spot within the Jitterbug scene.

Now, lets figure out what scene is happening in the movie in relation to when we first see the bum in the Winkies scene. If there's anything relevant going on here, were going to see something linking up with where that guy rears his ugly head from behind the wall.

The bum first appears at 00:16:41. That's 4 minutes and 40 seconds into the Winkies scene which is also 280 seconds into that same scene. If we do the math (280x28.73), it comes out to 8044.4 seconds (134.07 minutes) which equals the spot into the movie at 02:14:05. You can do the math on that one if you want to check it :)

During this scene, Diane is at Adam's party telling everyone at the table about how she met Camilla on the set of The Sylvia North Story. The OP is way off yet again. He states that it's lined up with the scene towards the end of the movie where for the 2nd time we see the wall behind Winkies where the bum is. That scene actually takes place a tad over 4 minutes later in the movie.

Shall we now assume that the correlation still exists and that the bum is actually Camilla and the Mr Eyebrows is actually Diane??

"And that's how I met Camilla" / Bum shows his face.

I doubt it. Also realize that if you use some other starting point for the movie that it really changes nothing. One second in the movie is only 0.03 seconds in the Winkies scene. You could be 20 seconds off and the Winkies scene would have changed by less than one second. That's also probably why it's a bit silly to be comparing one scene to the other. One is moving in ultra slow motion while the other is moving at a normal pace where many things are happening in a short period. How could you possibly make time related correlations between these two things?

I could spend my time trying to make connections between the Winkies scene and the movie, but I don't think there's really anything to all of this. Not to mention that the OP's calculations are simply wrong. Maybe he has a bootleg copy of the movie that's cut short or something or just a bogus DVD player. I have no idea. Can't believe he actually made a blog about his whole theory when he didn't even get the length of the movie correct.

What originally seemed like a promising clue has dissolved into nothing. His demonstration does not work perfectly. I didn't bother checking it, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the spot where we see the stairs is not lined up with the cowboy saying "Time to wake up pretty girl".

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Xav » 10 Jun 2015

Bravo Herb ! I think you did a magnificent job. Just checked some figures myself on my Mac and VLC to run the movie (avi-file, frame-rate = 23.976024).

Start of the movie read 21, end of the movie 8808. This makes the runtime 8787 seconds.
The Winkie's scene starts at 720 and ends at 1016, making it last 296 seconds. Reality = going downstairs , at 956 and Death/wall at 1000.
This results into R = 79.9% and D = 94.6 % in the Winkie's scene.
And R = 7022, which is 79.7% and D = 8303, which is 94.3 % in the movie itself.

Pretty good, don't you think !?

Thanks and well done, Herb.

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Re: The Winkie's explained

Postby Siku » 10 Jun 2015

Heh. So one very negative and one very positive review.

I'm somewhere in the middle myself. Yes, Winkies is a microcosm of the whole movie, that's not controversial or new. Dan has a dream, investigates, dies. The bit about behind Winkies = reality is new, but I'm yet to hear anyone really run with the implications of that, to tell us something new. That said, the (wo)man behind Winkies is generally reckoned to be Diane's demons, i.e. part of reality.

Don't forget that the Winkies scene was cut for the pilot. It seems feasible that Lynch would follow the scene's structure as the basis for enlarging the pilot into the movie, BUT its unlikely he would do this to the nearest second. There are many many other considrations in cutting a movie and he wouldn't be hamstrung by this. Besides, he gives considerable freedom (but little guidance apprently) to his editor, Mary Sweeney (big up to Mary, very talented women and doesn't get a lot of mentions).

Dan dreamed of the man behind Winkie's. Diane dreamed of the old people, and hallucinates them in the reality section of the movie. So what's the connection? And what does it MEAN?

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