Reviews

Mulholland Drive Special Edition

5

When David Lynch’s head-muddling masterpiece first slunk onto DVD, the movie was noticeably missing any chapter stops. Not because of a screw-up at the replicating plant, but because Lynch wanted it that way, so viewers had to “watch the movie as a whole”. Five years on, there finally comes... Mulholland Drive: The Scene- Selection Edition! Except, inevitably, it’s all just a big wheeze. Click on one of six icons and you’re shuffled to a random slice of the film (different every time, natch). There’s still no chapter-skipping option either, so anyone looking to cue up the infamous hot lesbian-loving between Tinseltown wannabe Betty (Naomi Watts) and car-prang amnesiac “Rita” (Laura Harring) will just have to keep their free hand on the fast-forward button.

But Lynch’s little scene-lottery Gotcha! does make an inadvertently fine point: park anywhere in Mulholland Drive and your attention is instantly clamped. Click: the hilarious hitman fudge (two bonus victims, plus hoover and fire-alarm aggro). Click: the equally rib-bothering business as upstart director Adam (Justin Theroux) finds his missus in bed with none other than Billy Ray Cyrus (“He’s probably upset, Lorraine...”). Click: the 2am visit to Club Silencio (tears, seizures, Persona/Vertigo nods, Spanish Roy Orbison covers) – one of the richest, strangest sequences in Lynch history. Click: the no-less-extraordinary audition scene (kill-threats, lip-nibbling, pressure-cooker erotic tension) – surely the moment every casting director in Hollywood looked at the chameleonic Watts (then best known for Home And Away and Tank Girl) and uttered: “This is the girl.”

Except you wouldn’t know that from what is essentially Mulholland Drive: The INLAND EMPIRE Tie-In DVD Edition. This half-empty two-discer offers zilch in the way of retrospective insights. While we all know what the film did for Naomi’s wattage, it’d still be nice to see her – hell, anyone – look back on a project that began taking shape as long ago as 1998, beginning life as a rejected TV pilot before being resculpted into a movie. The cast interviews are on-set gush-bites held over from the infamously un-chaptered release, while the six minutes of behind-the-scenes B-roll footage are often annoyingly soundless. You’ll have more luck hunting down chopped scenes from the original pilot on YouTube than you will here.

 

But at least there are new-to-DVD chats with producer/editor/Lynch-partner Mary Sweeney (“I don’t want to edit other people’s films”) and composer Angelo Badalamenti, who tinkles the ivories and reveals the personal story behind his cameo as a thunder-faced, espresso-dribbling gangster-mogul. Lastly we get press-conference footage from Cannes 2001 – where Lynch shared Best Director with The Man Who Wasn’t There’s Joel Coel – with the Tsar of Bizarre musing, “Like in life, sometimes there’s laughter in the morning and crying in the afternoon.”

It’s as eloquent a way as any of summing up Betty’s (or is it Diane’s?) riveting spiral from wide-eyed, apple-pie hope to stinging, desperate despair. If you’re a fully paid-up member of the Lynch mob then this makeweight package will disappoint. If not, it’s high time you surrendered to an experience that’ll baffle, exhilarate and leave you in stunned silencio.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: March 5th 2007

Most Popular