Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Skuriels Countdown: #9 (tie)

David Lynch, 2001
[12 votes]

“By millennium’s end, a watertight case could already be made for David Lynch as the key creative voice of his generation: the pivot point and pioneer. But with Mulholland Drive, something transcendent happens, forcing us to believe in the regenerative quality of real artists (if not miracles themselves). Salvaged from an aborted TV project and the hands of lesser collaborators, Lynch's landmark psychodrama somehow manages to accommodate all of his lovable strangeness, while deepening his career preoccupations with masochistic love, the city of Los Angeles and the dark's allure. 

“The movie is also a horror film, one in which a rising young starlet, the world her oyster, trips across a cosmic transom to find herself attacked, a failure, ruined. Why do they hate her? I can't help but think there's an unwitting political subdimension here, a scary timeliness that’s elevated the picture higher than any other offering of its troubled decade. Bruised audiences of 2001's fall escaped from one nightmare into another. Perhaps there was a measure of comfort in this.” ~ Joshua Rothkopf

"Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive never intersect on a map of Los Angeles, but there’s a metaphysical connection between the films named after those famous streets—our two greatest Hollywood nightmares. Billy Wilder’s 1950 film has long been regarded a classic, but the journey of Mulholland Dr. from failed network television pilot to Blue Velvet’s strongest rival for the title of David Lynch’s masterpiece is one of the most unlikely transformations in American pop culture history.

"Lynch’s peculiar genius is his ease with both the lightest, giddiest moments life has to offer and the darkest, most twisted impulses of human existence. When we meet Betty (Naomi Watts, in her star-making performance), the aspiring actress straight off the bus from Deep River, Ontario, the film takes its cue from her naive, sunny personality. This is a classic Hollywood success story to rival Lana Turner being discovered at the counter of Schwab’s drugstore. Her audition scene has an authentic electrical charge; it wipes the floor with any and all other 'star is born' moments from cinema history.

"It’s anybody’s guess where the weekly network series of
Mulholland Dr. would have gone, but when Lynch flips the switch to 'dark' in the theatrical version, there’s no turning back. It’s the director’s most brutal gut-punch of a twist, carrying decades worth of anger and frustration aimed at his chosen medium and its endless compromises. These days Lynch is content to meditate, make furniture, and give weather reports on his website. Those of us who love his movies can lament his apparent indifference, but it’s hard to argue with the notion that, with Mulholland Dr., he’s said it all." ~ Scott von Doviak

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