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Forgive me if this topic has already been created (it's been a very long time since I have contributed to a TCM Forum, in fact, I had to recreate an account to join in again), but I would love to get some feedback about this great David Lynch picture "Mulholland Drive". To me, this is what I would call an "atmospheric movie" (perhaps, it's been called like that already), in other words, the story (the plot) does not matter much, what matters in this picture is the feeling, the atmosphere you get when watching it. Am I wrong? What do you folks think about this movie? BTW, this title is not the only "atmospheric" movie by Lynch. "Blue Velvet" and "Lost Highway" (1997) are two other "weird" movies by David Lynch. One could also add "Dune" in this list and not to forget the original TV series "Tween Peaks" I just love David Lynch! "The Elephant Man" is also a great picture, but I would not put it in the atmospheric category, perhaps because it is based on a true story. However, Lynch managed to capture some true aspects of Victorian London in that film. 

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I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of some of Lynch's films. I saw Mulholland Drive and it left me cold. The story DOES matter to me, and Lynch's films fail for the most part for me because they come across rather muddled. I didn't like it.

But I also know there are some directors' work that simply doesn't translate well to viewing alone on a TV.

I see you like BARRY LYNDON, I do too most likely because I first saw it in a theater with an audience-the way some films need to be seen. Kubrick is one of those directors whose movies make a ton more sense if you're immersed in them, seen on a huge screen in a theater with others. You "experience" them.

Many of Lynch's films seem the same. I have the DVD of ERASERHEAD I've tried watching numerous times, but know I have to be the right mindset to watch it home, alone. If it ever plays in a theater, I'd be first in line.

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11 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of some of Lynch's films. I saw Mulholland Drive and it left me cold. The story DOES matter to me, and Lynch's films fail for the most part for me because they come across rather muddled. I didn't like it.

But I also know there are some directors' work that simply doesn't translate well to viewing alone on a TV.

I see you like BARRY LYNDON, I do too most likely because I first saw it in a theater with an audience-the way some films need to be seen. Kubrick is one of those directors whose movies make a ton more sense if you're immersed in them, seen on a huge screen in a theater with others. You "experience" them.

Many of Lynch's films seem the same. I have the DVD of ERASERHEAD I've tried watching numerous times, but know I have to be the right mindset to watch it home, alone. If it ever plays in a theater, I'd be first in line.

"Barry Lyndon" is my favorite Kubrick's film! I have seen it the first time in a theatre with two charming English ladies, freshly arrived from England. I love David Lynch. I simply love the atmospheric aspect of his films, even if I don't understand the plot (but, again, does Lynch want you to understand the plot?)

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  • 4 months later...

I think suggesting that the story 'doesn't matter' is far too dismissive, like Lynch doesn't have any real intent when creating. To some extent, by his own accounts, this is the case. However, there's way too much structure and consistency to imagine that his films are just collections of impressions that come to him at random. Mulholland Dr. is a very complicated film and I don't think I want to spend the effort here to get into a close examination, but I do believe that for anyone willing to look, there's a lot of order amid the chaos and a perfectly  comprehensible story to be found in its events.

In time, I hope to assemble some thoughts on Blue Velvet and on Mulholland Dr. to present, but for now I'd just say that if all you take away from the movie is an impression of atmosphere, that's fine, but it means you're missing out on a lot that's on offer. Like any great artwork, it is accessible on a basic level like that to anybody, but also offers subtleties of depth for people who take it more seriously.

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