Mulholland Drive – David Lynch

Examples of:

Film Noir:

-Naked female > after accident cant remember her name as she was in shock > knock to the head – wounded

-Male conference room: taste of bad coffee causes rage

-Use of cigarettes

-Use of weapon – Gun shot – causes a disturbance – male character murders the woman he shot – then the janitor

-‘Rita’ has no idea who she is – case of amnesia > she has a lot of cash – hence the reason why she was in the accident and is holding a mysterious blue key

-Cheating wife for more masculine man

-Another dead person – woman lying on bed


-Soft focus camera – dream like

-The ‘unreal’ beast – mystical and scary person who was in a mans dream – untrue event becomes reality – was seen in ‘real’ life

-Role reversal – conducted though the Blue Box < portal??

Expressionism (German):

-The Diner: Mysterious man in dream > vision of fear

-Man appears behind a white graffiti wall > fearful looking male at man who had dream > causes to faint

 -Dark empty American streets

-Mysterious creepy man

-Flashing street light – representing the appearance of ‘the cowboy’ a wise man??

-Empty bedroom, dark lighting, thunder sound effects with flashing lights, fog, woman scream

Technical Techniques (General):

-Slow motion camera movement > amplifies the mans dream > showing fear of no where abouts of the mysterious man.

-Fast camera sweep – silencio theatre

-High (Bird eye) camera angle overlooking city

Audio Techniques (General):

-Suspenseful rising intense music > then car crash

-Suspenseful rising intense music > then dead body revealed

Written Techniques (General):


Description of Scenes (General):

-Car crash > intro to main female character (Gets out of damaged car, walks down hill to the City)

-Los Angeles (LA) > Hollywood > introduced to second female character > goes to CoCo – motel manager

-Second main female character (Betty) assists the ‘naked female’ (Rita) character whilst she recovers

-Introduction to two new male characters – working for those in the company – the ‘male conference room’ people?

-silencio theatre – emotions running high, woman singer faints

-Blue key opens blue box ‘cube’

Key Notes and Quotes:

Understanding the text (film):


“In the dream Rita exits the limousine and walks downhill; in reality Diane exits the limousine and walks uphill. In the dream Aunt Ruth is alive; in reality Aunt Ruth is dead. In the dream Adam Kesher’s world is spinning out of control and he is losing everything; in reality Adam Kesher’s world is very much in control and he has everything. In the dream the hitman is incompetent; in reality he turns out to be all too competent. In the dream Camilla is alive and Diane is dead; in reality Diane is alive and Camilla is dead.”  – From a review

-first 3/4 of the film is a dream

-last 1/4 is the reality

-Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American expressionist, surrealist and neo-noir film, written and directed by David Lynch

-“what are you doing we dont stop here”…“get out of the car” – man pulls out the gun and aims at Rita who is in the back seat of the Cadillac, before it was crashed into. > purpose of the quote > shows Film noir though the use of the gun > Fear though the tone of her voice – german expressionism – fear

By trentwhitworth

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