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Thread: Schizophrenia and not dreams - (FSonicSmith) | Related: Camilla's love just an illusion


I don't think David Lynch would utilize dreams as a plot device. I think he would consider it too easy, a cheap slight of hand technique that is both well-worn and beneath him. Mr. Lynch prefers depictions of madness. Fantasy, neurosis, and delusional psychosis are simply matters of degree to him. Out of this backdrop, I think Diane Selwyn was schizophrenic and her mental illness stemmed from being abused as a child by her father's best friend. Her form of schizophrenia does not involve acting out as different persona but instead involves delusions of being different persona. She comes to Hollywood from Canada believing that she won a jitterbug contest that never really happened and not only are her dreams of success in Hollywood dashed, but she in involved in a short-lived lesbian relationship with the character L.J. DeRosa which terminates with Diane moving out to an adjoining apartment. Virtually everything else in the movie is simply the product of Diane's psychosis. As noted by virtually everyone, there are themes of duality everywhere.
Some parting thoughts. This theory of schizophrenia helps explain the psychoanalysis-like scene in which the unidentified man attempts to sort out his dreams in the diner. I think the man was simply another persona adopted by Diane, perhaps in an attempt to confront fear of the devil as a man rather than as a woman, and still being so frightened by the visage of death/The Devil as to die of shock and fear.

The "Silencio" scene in this context is better explained. It represents a brief interlude of lucidity by Diane. Her alter-ego personae of both Betty and Camilla (who are really nothing more than multiple personalities of herself) upon hearing the Fado-like singing of the Hispanic singer are crying because Diane is intensely sad upon lapsing back into harsh reality from the softly focused numbness and comfort provided by her delusional world.

David Lynch relishes the ultimate duality: that the cut-throat, corrupt, lurid, seedy, and fake world of Hollywood is best viewed from the distorted lens of an insane person, as if the insanity acts as an ironically effective filter for all of the distortion existent in the "real world". This, of course, has been a recurring theme in much of David Lynch's work, all the way back to "Eraserhead". - (FSonicSmith)

Electro-Shock Therapy

All that "Blue" reminds me of electricity. My guess is that the main story is about schizophrenia or Dissociative Identity Disorder and electro-shock (convulsive) therapy that was popular in the fifties. Many of those who had that done to them lost their memory and attempted (or committed) suicide. Betty has won a "jitterbug" (neurotic) contest. She comes from "Deep River, Ontario." (Look it up on Google). Here's a quote: "The Utopian town where our atomic scientists live and play has no crime, no slums, no unemployment and few mothers-in-law." This is a strange place. Deep River is a Utopian attempt to create a happy environment where all is ordered for the best.
The first experiment using electro-convulsive therapy was performed on a homeless person in Italy. Could this be the "monster" and the "blue box" with the homeless person? The modern blue key reminds me of the rods of a nuclear reactor and the regular blue key of Ben Franklin's experiment with lightning. Betty goes into a convulsion at the sound of a thunderclap in Club Silencio, which could be her 2 AM visits to the shock room where all memories and alter egos are erased. I think this is where the "killing" of Camilla takes place. The Roy Orbison song says it all. "I was all right for a while." When Betty gets off the plane she's fresh and smiling and ready to start a new life. She's so new that even her tormentors are her friends (Irene and her husband; probably her parents or grandparents responsible for her condition; they think they've gotten away with it (that scene in the limo) , but they're still in her head; and eventually they come back and push her over the edge). To add to this, the bird's eye view of Los Angeles skyscrapers is reminiscent of the scene of NY skyscrapers from Sybil. Also Aunt Ruth sure looks a lot like Sybil's psychiatrist (Joanne Woodward). And there are references to Aunt Ruth's famous leather couch (of course the couch could be the famous Hollywood casting couch where many starlets got their start). Also when Betty gives that knockout of an audition with that 'lecherous Chad Everett', I think it may be her "reacting" to real child abuse. - (Nick Labanaris)