There Never was a Woman Like Rita

David Lynch's Mulholland Drive is a never-ending two-way street. The action on film has countless sets of onscreen pairs (two cars drag racing, two Castigliane brothers), plus a showstopping double narrative: midway through the film, we enter a new story altogether, with the same actors playing different characters in a hauntingly distorted mirror of what came before. One of … Continue reading There Never was a Woman Like Rita

Weekly Round-Up: May 29 – June 04, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse, Night and Fog, The Immortal Story, Blue Velvet, Valley of the Dolls

Weekly Round-Up: October 25-31, 2015

This "victory lap" of the final week before Halloween turned out pretty interesting. Typically I save the universally acclaimed masterpieces of horror (The Exorcist, The Haunting, Rosemary's Baby to name a few) for this key period - due to unexpected time constraints plus wanting to just see more new movies, I ended up with a unique assortment. (Am … Continue reading Weekly Round-Up: October 25-31, 2015

Stairway to the Stars: Representations of Class in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive”

To celebrate Mulholland Drive joining the Criterion Collection, here’s one from the vaults – an essay I’d written on it back in college!

Steven Johnson

The following is an essay I wrote for my American Identity in Film class at UC Berkeley during the Spring 2012 semester. I studied David Lynch’s neo-noir film Mulholland Drive to analyze how class differences are represented both literally, as financial success, as well as through emotion, as a theme synonymous with romantic “success” as love.

Steven Johnson – Stairway to the Stars

The role class plays in film has always been an intriguing one. The scholars Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin define class as “categorizing people according to their economic status” in their work America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies (167). Class can be defined absolutely through wealth, such as in the screwball comedy It Happened One Night or through imitation and mockery, like in The Lady Eve. Conceptions of class can be framed within any discourse established for a particular…

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Mulholland Drive (2001)

This is one of the (sadly) few films that commands multiple viewings. I won’t spoil any of the plot details but it’s one of those movies where everything comes together at the very end, practically forcing you to re-watch again and again. I first watched this when I was a pre-teen and rediscovered it last … Continue reading Mulholland Drive (2001)