24 October 2009

Skandies: Best Films of the Decade, #4



Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
originally placed: #2, 2001.

41 comments:

Mike Lee said...

Did I call it or did I call it? Yes, I did call it.

Mike Lee said...

Also, how did I completely forget that opening dance scene? All I remembered was the camera shot into the pillow and the street sign.

Bilge Ebiri said...

I don't know about you, but I forgot that opening dance scene because it was the one off-note in the film, sort of like Lynch being a bit too Lynchian for his own good. I remember seeing the film for the first time and thinking, "Crap, here we go again" when the dancing came on.

md'a said...

Um, no. Unlike the retarded "Loco-motion" dance sequence in Inbred Empire, this one actually has a function beyond retro-quirkiness. (SPOILER!) We're seeing the jitterbug contest that Diane won that brought her to Hollywood in the first place, and also the judges (presumably) who then torment her when she can no longer sustain the Betty fantasy.

Victor said...

Phew ... I feared this film would win the whole shebang

Russ said...

Ditto what Mike said. The dance sequence is an important part of the plot, such as it is.

I don't see nearly the number of films that most of those in the AVB see, and so can't comment on how my faves compare to some others that have placed in the decade poll. But this film is in my top 5 of the decade, and Naomi Watts' performance here is my #1 performance.

futurefree said...

Should've placed about 3 spots higher; still, not bad for a failed TV pilot.

Pardon me while I shed a tear in memory of the last time David Lynch was anywhere near a camera with actual film in it.

Russ said...

Should've placed about 3 spots higher...

I don't think the Skandies have a position 0.

Russ said...

Nevermind. For some reason I thought it placed 3rd, not 4th.

Kza said...

The only off-note in this film is the stoopid assassin in the office building scene. Lift that part out and you got yourself an A, A- instead of a B+.

Skander said...

I did not know TV pilots were eligible otherwise I would have voted for "Lost." It is too bad I did not have enough company other than Greeks and drunks in recognizing Lynch's only true masterpiece of the aughts.

md'a said...

It is too bad I did not have enough company other than Greeks and drunks in recognizing Lynch's only true masterpiece of the aughts.

Remember offtheline when you asked What kind of dumbass would think Punching Drunken Love is better than There Will Be Bloodshed. If the shoe fits then wear it bud. Or strangle the German spy. Whatever.

Skander said...

It is day classay of you to bring up the offtheline comments especially when a motherfucker is trying to avoid the conflict, turn over the new leaf, and etc. If there is another jaretard type incident on your blog it is on you. HOWEVER I should have rephrased my private comment to state that those who think PUNCHING DRUNKEN LOVE is better than THERE WILL BE, BUD are merely the callow type youths, it is not their fault, and one day they will realize that this picture, DONALD DARKNESS, REQUEST FOR A DREAM, AMELIA, and etc are not that good.

Michael said...

So wait. We still have Dogville, In the Mood For Love, and some as-yet-not-100%-determined third picture, yes?

Please, please, please. Not fucking Internal Funshine. Let's have an October Surprise.

Ryan said...

Whaaaa? Wow, I sure hope Harry Reid will do a better job counting votes for health insurance reform. I was like 60% sure this one would take the whole enchilada. Damn, it's gonna be Dogshit, isn't it?

Michael said...

Damn, it's gonna be Dogshit, isn't it?

Take heart, Ryan. Several people despise the von Trier.

But everybody love ASS!!!*


[*For the uninitiated, this is a reference to a running in-joke, wherein we refer to Wong Kar-Wai's masterwork as In the Mood For Ass, in (dubious, and arguably sexist I suppose) honor of the film's prominent display of Maggie Cheung's cheongsammed derriere. Yeah, we know.]

The Hunting of the Snark said...

#1 will be WHO'S CAMUS ANYWAY? I can feel it in my bones...

Nictate said...

Is Skander really Ray Carney in disguise?

Nictate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skander said...

Yes. Every film not made by John Cassavetes is shit.

Bilge Ebiri said...

Skander, you forgot to add: "...but only *I* can know and appreciate that."

Anonymous said...

Scenery chewing, soft core porn and weird-for-weird's-sake. I wanted my damn near three hours back after seeing this movie.

md'a said...

Yeah, I would have posted that anonymously too.

Michael said...

Yeah, I would have posted that anonymously too.

Yessssss!

Luis said...

"those who think PUNCHING DRUNKEN LOVE is better than THERE WILL BE, BUD are merely the callow type youths, it is not their fault, and one day they will realize that this picture, DONALD DARKNESS, REQUEST FOR A DREAM, AMELIA, and etc are not that good."

I know what you are talking about bud. These kinds of callow youth-type movies like REQUIRED FOR A DREAM, AMELIA and THE PRETTY PERSUASION are truly annoying. What must we do to educate these people. What.

Cause no picture works without the drooling and the bowling pin-type violence. That is what matters.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember mda posting this recently:
Most people sensibly ask "Is this intended to do anything other than arouse?" If not, then it's porn.

Can anyone here offer me another explanation for the gratuitously hot-girl-on-girl-action sequences where the camera glides slowly from nipple to nipple for a seeming eternity?

Russ said...

It's actually been quite a long time since I watched the film, so take this with a grain of salt. But it's my explanation for why the sex scenes you describe aren't gratuitous.

It's all part of Diane's fantasy; we're getting her perception of how things are, or rather how she wants/thinks them to be. Without those scenes we might not understand the degree to which she's infatuated with the fake reality or the significance of the blow to her when it all comes crashing down. It's also about how she's equating sex with love, admiration and respect, and in her fantasy, that's how Rita is. In reality, Camilla (Rita) is cold and dismissive, not the person Diane wants her to be.

Froilan said...

Maybe you saw some unrated director's cut but I didn't see any "camera gliding from nipple to nipple for a seeming eternity." Sure, some naked nipple tweaking occurs but the first time it happens as Betty discovers she's in love with Rita and the second time we see Diane can't keep her hands off Camilla but Camilla wants the relationship to end. So the nipple tweaks are not gratuitous at all but visual cues for inner emotions helping the viewer as the plot moves forward.

What will seem gratuitous for readers is your tittilating description of a "camera gliding from nipple to nipple for a seeming eternity" when, in fact, the reader may be disappointed to watch that no such nipple-to-nipple gliding occurs.

Robert Fuller said...

You know, this whole pointlessly-changing-movie-titles-in-ways-that-aren't-even-clever-or-meaningful thing? Way more annoying than "I agree."

But Mulholland Dr. is awesome, that much we can all agree on. Except for those who don't, who should probably just be left alone and allowed to work through it.

Skander said...

These kinds of callow youth-type movies like REQUIRED FOR A DREAM, AMELIA and THE PRETTY PERSUASION are truly annoying.

Admittedly good one, Greek stalker bud.

You know, this whole pointlessly-changing-movie-titles-in-ways-that-aren't-even-clever-or-meaningful thing? Way more annoying than "I agree."

I agree. Also I enjoyed your picture PICKING UP ON THE SOUTH STREET.

...but only *I* can know and appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Didn't think so.

At least Watts got her recognition. She deserves something after having to endure the camera tilting down to make sure everyone could see her fingers were *actually* on her clitoris.

Robert Fuller said...

Poor Naomi Watts. First she was raped by David Lynch and his camera, and now she can't find work in Hollywood because she's a porn star.

Maybe Gaspar Noe will hire her for his next rape fetish porno.

Adam Villani said...

This is a great performance, but I thought this was a big letdown from Lynch. Am I the only one who feels like this movie ends up just like it is --- a TV pilot that he hastily wrapped up and packaged as a feature film? The first two hours or so were fantastic. But then, once we went down the rabbit hole, the resolutions seemed alternately cheap and wanting. Cheap because the ends they do tie up seem too pat. Wanting because there are other loose ends just left hanging, like Robert Forster.

Lynch's masterpiece is LOST HIGHWAY.

Stephen said...

I thought this movie was kind of lame, but the lesbian sex was hot. Watts was terrific in it also. I imagine if it were not by David Lynch and instead by "John Doe" no one would really care that much about it.

Chazz said...

MULHOLLAND DRIVE < INLAND EMPIRE. Both masterpieces, but nonetheless...

Anonymous said...

@ Robert Fuller:

That's not what I said at all. I said, I'm very happy that Watts excellent work got recognized and that her career took off *despite* Lynch's masturbatory exploitation of her. It doesn't mean she wasn't fantastic and that her subsequent success wasn't well deserved.

Sometimes we discover out next great actor when they shine in a pile of dreck. As two other posters said, if this weren't from "The Great David Lynch" wouldn't we be discussing it as the cleverest bad movie airing on Cinemax at 2:00 AM with the words "it's worth staying up for though, just to see this girl Watts"?

Adam Cadre said...

@Anonymous

Not in my case. I am no fan of David Lynch. I had to watch Eraserhead for a class lo these many years ago and hated it so much that, for the first and only time in my life, I was able to force myself to go to sleep despite not being tired, so great was my desire to escape this movie. And yet I thought Mulholland Dr. was terrific. It's certainly in my personal top four for the decade, though that's not saying much... my highest score for the '00s on the infamous 100-point scale was a 61. (And yet I gave out a 77 and a 75 in 1999 and a 96 in 1998.)

Robert Fuller said...

"As two other posters said, if this weren't from "The Great David Lynch" wouldn't we be discussing it as the cleverest bad movie airing on Cinemax at 2:00 AM with the words "it's worth staying up for though, just to see this girl Watts"?"

No, we wouldn't. We'd be saying, "Wow, someone made a movie just like a David Lynch film, but better!"

But that is impossible, because no one can make a David Lynch film but David Lynch. Lord knows others have tried.

Skander said...

I have switched to the 1,000,000 scale for greater accuracy. I give Citizen Kane 499,999.27. I am leaving the upper half of the scale open, on account of my tough grading displays my superior appreciation for the art of the films of the cinema, and also if the overall quality of the cinema increases exponentially over my lifetime, I will not have to adjust all my grades.

Adam Cadre said...

"I am leaving the upper half of the scale open, on account of my tough grading displays my superior appreciation for the art of the films of the cinema"

Well, in my case, it displays my inferior appreciation for the art of the films of the cinema. In general, I don't like movies very much. It is the rare film that gets much more than a "I guess that was all right" out of me. Thus, when one actually does leave me thinking "holy crow, that was AMAZING," I figure it deserves to receive a greater distinction than 95 vs. 90.

md'a said...

In general, I don't like movies very much.

I don't like opera very much. That's why I see several operas a month and hang out on opera-related blogs. (???)

In any case, he's not kidding, folks. Feast 'em. I thought Jared Sapolin had the worst taste in movies ever, but I was wrong. (I do recommend Adam's novel Ready, Okay, however.)