Why Mulholland Drive Is Still David Lynch’s Crowning Achievement

In 1999, David Lynch released The Straight Story, a road movie that was also a detour into G-rated territory; as signs of the impending Y2K apocalypse went, the guy behind Eraserhead working for Disney was suitably ominous. Two years later, though, Lynch returned to mindfuck form with Mulholland Drive, a Los Angeles–set story about an aspiring actress trying to help a beautiful amnesiac rediscover her identity while showing the town’s power brokers that she’s ready for her close-up. “David Lynch has been working toward Mulholland Drive all of his career,” wrote Roger Ebert, a longtime skeptic of the director’s neo-surrealist style and methodology. When the film was released in October 2001, it proved to be a surprisingly potent box office force, grossing $20 million worldwide and spawning an online cottage industry of essays and explainers showing viewers how to make sense of its fractured, intractable narrative… read more >

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