Mr. Matthew Feltman
Intro Film Analysis
“Mulholland Drive” is one to keep you guessing. With its dream-like qualities and obscure avant-garde style it certainly will make you think. “A love story in the city of dreams”, David Lynch's tag line for his film sets the tone, but perhaps more than most realize. One of the many interpretations of the film is its setting in a dream world. One made by the main character, Diane or “Betty” as she has sub-consciously named her self in the dream. This dream plays out a life Diane wished could have been hers, fixing things that had not gone her way and re-constructing relationships gone awry. “Mulholland Drive” uses various symbolism and cinematic techniques to demonstrate a dream world as well as symbolize characters from the non-dream in that dream.
The opening scene to the movie is one of the most important in telling the audience clues as to what is going to happen. It acts as a framing device for the entire film. We see a couples dancing the jitter bug. The dancers themselves take on an eerie dream-like look as they fade in and out of the frame. We then see Betty, smiling and waving to an unseen crowd of applauding people. We later learn that before coming to LA, Betty won a jitter bug contest in Canada. This shows that this opening scene foreshadows and frames the film to be set in a dream, most likely Betty's. The next shot is a pan over an empty bed. The bed symbolizes that whatever follows is a dream. The mise en scene shows that no one is in the bed. Could this mean that whoever is supposed to be there isn't because they are the ones dreaming?
Fast forward to later in the film. Betty and Rita are exploring possible leads to Rita’s actual identity. They have stumbled upon the name “Diane Selwyn” and are exploring her house. This is ironic in itself because Betty is the same person as Diane. As they explore the house there is a bad smell and there seems to...