Mulholland Drive: Extremely Enigmatic or Surprisingly Simple?

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Vincent M. Hills is a senior at the University of Alabama
majoring in History and minoring in Religious Studies.
This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course,
REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

Mulholland Drive begins with a woman named Rita who’s suffering from amnesia after a violent car crash. She roams the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before retreating to an apartment where she is discovered by a woman named Betty, a blonde who has come to LA seeking fame as an actress. Together, the women attempt to resolve the mystery of Rita’s real identity…

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Classification or Confusion?

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Catie Stewart is a junior at the University of Alabama from Madison, Mississippi. She is double majoring in English and Religious Studies and minoring in Psychology. This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course, REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

Recently I found myself sitting in a dark room staring at a projector trying to make sense of what I was seeing. It was our fourth and final REL 360 meeting, and there were only thirty minutes left in the movie that Dr. McCutcheon had picked for us to watch.

I was completely lost.

Should I have expected this from a David Lynch film? Probably. However, when Dr. McCutcheon inserted Mulholland Drive into the DVD player at the beginning of the meeting, I had been certain that what I was about to see would make perfect sense.

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What to Do When David Lynch Starts Making Sense (Don’t Panic!)

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Now a sophomore at UA, Maggie Patterson was raised in the graveyards and Southern Baptist churches of Nashville, Tennessee. Although she may mumble her way through the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, Maggie remains captivated by spirituality in the South and is majoring in Religious Studies. This post was originally written for Dr. Rollens’ course,
REL 360: Popular Culture/Public Humanities.

When I sat down for Mulholland Drive, I was anticipating a good dose of Lynch-induced bewilderment. And I was not disappointed. The film is all shades of weird; most of the plot takes place in the psychotic dreamstate of Diane, an aspiring actress who is driven mad by the Hollywood hustle. Perhaps the oddest part of the film is the uncharacteristically straightforward and simple ways in which David lynch imparts meaning to the viewer. His emphasis on the insidiousness of Hollywood is, for those familiar with his other work, almost startlingly overt.

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