October 1st, 2009
- Thanks to David Allison I stumbled across this article on Mullholland Drive, a veritable critical smorgasboard that opens up the prevailing critical approaches to the film and brings some fresh ideas to the discussion. Not only that! Some of it is really annoying! Is it just me or do readings of MH that position it strictly as a critique of Hollywood drive anyone else up the wall? The idea that David Lynch is cynical also pisses me off – the guy’s work suggests to me that he’s incapable of straightforward cynicism. It’s probably worth noting that the chap who puts forward the latter of these opinions (and who I find myself agreeing with very strongly later in the discussion) also suggests that Lynch “cultivates” an irrationalist persona in interviews, which kinda leaves me baffled. Am I supposed to buy the idea that his talk of “the eye of the duck”, his vocal support for Transcendental Meditation, and his constant emphasis on the feel of things is in some way a contrivance? I’m not sure I’m prepared to pigeon-hole Lynch as an irrationalist, but I certainly don’t see his irrational tendencies, in particular the fact that he often produces texts that cannot be entirely reduced (hey, that’s my assertion!), as anything approaching false. My next bugbear comes in the form of the idea that Lynch is a tricky trickster, a kind of narrative huckster who’s goal is to lure us into thinking we’ve found the correct reading only to undermine our noodlings at the last minute. To be fair, that position never comes roaring into view, but I spotted it lurking in the background more than once. I appreciate that this sort of reading has certain charm, but it strikes me as very simplistic and more than a little specious. But enough with griping, I can really get behind this:“Now, I’m always surprised at how people view Mulholland Drive primarily as an intellectual mystery to be solved, rather than as one of the saddest, most emotionally devastating movies ever made.”Oh yeah, and Abhay and David Fiore feature. You like them, don’t you?(As an added bonus, here’s some of what Amy had to say about the movie yarns ago on Barbelith:
“I do think the film is ostensibly *about* a woman who arrives in Hollywood, falls in love and kills her lover, and I do think the 1st part is best described as “fantasy”. But all this “she is wanking/dreaming and then she wakes up” business…..
The whole thing seems…haunted, somehow – all the heavily emotionally charged objects/spaces/beings/etc: the black bedroom, the box, Mulholland Drive…. The film…it seems as though someone’s trying to work through something, a mind reworking an old trauma, devouring itself. It’s all very “hungry ghost”.
There is the sense of an absence; as though something is forced to play itself out, some violent, habitual process – a psychic scar that won’t heal – but we know where it leads: Death. The absence looms over everything, and occasionally makes itself visible, as the cracks begin to appear in the cute, comfortable love story the deluded spirit clothes itself in.”
The rejection of the word “dream” for “haunting” equals a big yes in my book. It should be noted that Amy *isn’t* saying that anything straightforwardly supernatural is going on, his view is more abstract than that, and far less literal. Personally I think there’s something in the idea of a haunting that could potentially reconcile David Fiore and Charles Reece’s views, in that, to my mind, it lets you have your subject and eat it) (z)
- Whatever. Let’s have some real class. Picture this – you’re a kid growing up in a small, relatively rural village in the South East of England. You’re bored, up late, and watching shitty TV. Then these opening credits appear and you see a vision of ultimate shiny corporate splendour that seems a billion miles from the trees, grass and middle England cosiness of your immediate surroundings. Look at that hair! Those smiles! That Corbin Bernsen! That embarrassment of stereotypical cuddlytardness that is Larry Drake! Now I had something to aspire to. That vision of shimmering skyscrapers and power dressing has haunted me ever since. One day my life will have those opening credits. I just know it. (tbmd)
- While we’re at it, remember this? Has there ever been a more grown up man then Jack Killian? I wanted to be part of his little radio crew so bad. Heck that crew rolled with the awesome little kung fu master from Big Trouble in Little China, sporting a totally boss uber-mullet. Saxophones, skyscrapers and silky tones. We be all about the smooth, sensual and serious 80′s here at Mindless HQ. (tbmd)
- Nearly five years ago now, K-Punk broadcast a kind of sound-collage thing on Resonance called londonunderlondon (parts 1, 2, 3, 4 – takes a bit of downloading if your kit’s anything like mine). It’s a deep topography thinkpiece, Stewart Home eets Eno if you like, on The Tube and the conceptual framework underneath London that it represents. I’m not sure it works entirely – the mixing is a bit frustrating in so far as you can’t hear the words over the music (deliberate probably, annoying definitely), and the thrilling radiophonic flourishes don’t sem to merge with the whole as well as they could. Ultimately, it sounds like music as made by a philospher, which is never going to be ideal. However, this bit of prose, something of a companion piece to the audio, focusing on Wells’ and Kneale’s interpretations of the problem of life and London is electrifying.
- Sorry if you’re outside the UK, you probably won’t be able to hear this, but Will Self on JG Ballard. Swearing on Radio 4! (b)