I only had one rewatch this month, and I would probably save it to combine with next months except that it just so happens I’ve logged on today and feel like I should put something up. Mulholland Drive is more than substantial enough to carry May’s installment on its own, I think, and I’ve been watching so much television as opposed to movies lately that it’s all I got.
May 1: Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive was another film that The Coolidge was showing recently, and considering my renewed interest in Twin Peaks and David Lynch’s filmography in general, I knew I had to catch it. It was definitely one of the most meaningful movie watching experiences I’ve ever had, considering it was a midnight movie (never actually done that before), it was on 35mm, and Mulholland Drive is just really fucking great.
Outside of the film itself though, there was just something about the experience, it being so late at night and going out to the theater, that had me feeling really susceptible to what the film was doing. Everything seemed more potent than the last time I had seen it, which was little over a year ago on my laptop in the middle of the day. I had a similar reaction to it on the second time as relative to the first time as Taxi Driver (totally different movie, but just bear with me here). The first time I loved both movies and thought they were brilliant, the second time I thought they were kind of dumb and didn’t buy into either of them at all, and the third time with both of them I was like “oh wait, no, these are totally brilliant even outside of how anyone reacts to the story, personally.” Mulholland Drive is not a film I would have immediately put on my bucket list of “you need to see this movie in a theater” but that’s kind of silly because it works so much better that way.
Everybody who’s seen the film and a bunch of people who haven’t probably know about arguably the most intense jump scare in the history in cinema (monster man behind the Winkie’s), and let me tell you, it really got me this time around. I had forgotten about how intense the POV tracking shots are in this film, but it’s incredibly unsettling throughout the film’s running time. Sometimes they pay off in something terrifying (Winkie’s guy) and sometimes they don’t, but you are so mercilessly locked into the film’s perspective that it becomes really quite horrifying. Something about the slow pace Lynch uses intensifies that as well.
Also, due to questionable picture quality that I experienced the first two times around, I never noticed how beautiful the lighting is in this film. When I think of Lynch lighting I usually think of like really harsh and cold theatrical lighting, but obviously those are just the stand out moments. His whole deal is usually contrasting classical Hollywood style with weird surrealist stuff, and that necessitates the status quo being like high key relatively low contrast. A lot of Mulholland Drive takes place at night, and it’s hard for me to describe but watching the warmer, softer light play across the actress’ faces in many of these night scenes took my breath away. None of the pictures I can find on the internet really capture how it looked on the screen, unfortunately. That just goes to show that y’all should see it on film if you ever get the chance!
So my one rewatch for the month was really, really great. If I ever had a stand alone one of these features, I’m glad it’s with this viewing of Mulholland Drive. I’m now graduated and back in Connecticut with little access to cool stuff like this in a theater (we have one movie theater in my town and it basically just shows really mainstream stuff, which is a killer for me in the summer). As I said previously, I’ve been focusing on television more than film lately, so I hope that in June and for the rest of the summer I finally get around to writing about that.