Perspectives | Lecture 3 - 5 Ways 'Mulholland Drive' is Postmodern


Pastiche -
David Lynch took reference from multiple genres while creating Mullholland Drive, almost creating what, at times, feels more like a parody; especially the opening section of the film in which Betty first arrives in Hollywood, creating a feeling reminiscent of romantic comedies. Many of the scenes in which Betty is not present feel extremely pastiche, especially the one in which a hitman makes comical mistakes, resulting in him having to kill multiple people and setting off the fire alarm. This particular scene feels very separate from the rest of the film and rather odd, as it carries itself much differently from the rest of the mostly serious and confusing film (bar the odd moment).

Hyper-Reality -
The whole premise of Mulholland Drive revolves around the idea of the reality shown actually being false. The film begins with a heavily dramatised introduction to Hollywood, and Betty being portrayed as immensely talented (to the point of leaving people lost for words) and prepared to help a woman in need at the drop of the hat. And this narrative continues until, towards the end of the film, it is revealed to all have been a dramatised set of events, taking place within Betty/Diane's head as she distorts her memories and reality to better cope with her spiralling life/career.

Fragmentary -
The story is incredibly fragmented as is portrays what are essentially multiple realities within a single character, causing great confusion among the viewers. On top of this, David Lynch uses techniques to break the immersion, reminding the viewers that they are watching a film rather being allowed to become engrossed in the narrative.

Unreliable Narrator -
The narrative is told from the perspective of Betty/Diane for the most part, and the viewer is permitted to follow her story as they would any other movie except, towards the end, when it is revealed that everything the viewer has been told before that point was a total lie, causing the audience to feel extremely confused and lost as they try to piece everything together to understand the real narrative. The viewer feels the same emotions as Betty/Diane as we originally perceived her reality to be the truth when, in fact, it is not.

Simulacra -
The opening section of the film is a simulacrum of cheesy 'going to Hollywood to become a star' movies, with everything happening to fall right onto Betty/Diane's lap and all the city's inhabitants having a happy-go-lucky demeanour.

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