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My answers to David Lynch's ten clues for Mulholland Drive

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My answers to David Lynch's ten clues for Mulholland Drive

Old 09-19-02, 03:44 PM
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My answers to David Lynch's ten clues for Mulholland Drive

Ok, I know there are many theories out there. Here are my thoughts on the film. Some of them are taken from jackmagazine.com, not all of them. Enjoy and let me know what you think.


DAVID LYNCH'S TEN CLUES

1. Pay particular attention in the beginning of the film: at least two clues are revealed before the credits?

Spoiler:
Don't know the first one. Maybe the old couple with Diane? Are they the judges from the jitterbug contest she won?

The second clue is that someone obviously goes to sleep.





2. Notice appearances of the red lampshade.

Spoiler:
The first appearance is when the phone rings and is not answered. The second appearance is when Camilla calls Diane to pick her up for the party.





3. Can you hear the title of the film that Adam Kesher is auditioning actresses for? Is it mentioned again?

Spoiler:
I don't hear it the first time. A film is later mentioned called "The Sylvia North Story".





4. An accident is a terrible even...notice the location of the accident.

Spoiler:
The accident occurs on Mulholland Drive in exactly the same spot that Camilla met Diane to take her to the party.





5. Who gives a key, and why?

Spoiler:
Coco gives Betty a key because she believes Betty and her aunt have an understanding. This is symbolic. The understanding was that if Diane kept silent about her abuse, then Aunt Ruth would leave her money when she died. The key is meant to say that Aunt Ruth is dead, so here is her end of the bargain. In the dream Aunt Ruth is simply away and the apartment symbolizes what her aunt left her.

Also, the hitman leaves a key to symbolize that Camilla's dead.





6. Notice the robe, ashtray, the coffee cup.

Spoiler:
After Diane wakes up the robe ashtray and coffee cup are meant to show what is currently happening. The rest of what happens is memory. Perhaps twisted memory?





7. What is felt, realized and gathered at the club "Silencio"?

Spoiler:
The club represents her vision of hell. Betty feels guilty at having kept silent about her abuse for so long. The blue light and thunder represents her silence and guilt coming to the surface, being broken. This scares her, but then gives her a sense of relief. However, she also realizes that this idealized life she has is a dream. She's realized it's a dream she's in and she grieves.





8. Did talent alone help Camilla?

Spoiler:
No. Diane realizes that Camilla has slept her way to the top. Diane resents Camilla because she didn't succeed as Camilla did, even though she believes she's just as, if not more, talented. This also clues us in to the parts of the dream with the director. Diane hates the director, she's jealous of him having Camilla. Hence she dreams that he has the worst day of his life by twisting a story he told her into her own version (the poolman story). Also, the two brothers who insist he cast a certain actress represent her belief that Hollywood conspires to promote whoever they want, not whoever is most talented. This is why she believes she failed. She didn't play the game and Camilla did.





9. Not the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkie's.

Spoiler:
I have no idea...yet. Any ideas?





10. Where is Aunt Ruth?

Spoiler:
Aunt Ruth is seen leaving her apartment. Another version of her is seen walking by at the airport. Another version of her is seen when Betty and Rita visit Diane Selwyn's apartment. She's seen at the club Silencio with blue hair. Perhaps this is to represent that she's been stained with guilt for her part in Diane's silence? Finally, she's seen again before Diane wakes up.

The repeated appearance of an Aunt Ruth-like character always packed and on the move in her dream could represent either Ruth's unwillingness to help Diane in her time of need or Diane's unwillingness to accept the fact that they had an understanding over such a traumatic thing. (Coco: "You and your Aunt probably have an understanding, so here's the key.") Betty is given the key to Aunt Ruth's apartment because Aunt Ruth is dead, just as Diane is given another key because Camilla is dead.





Also, I've come up with a few of my own questions and answers.


11. Why does the magician at the club Silencio speak English, Spanish and French?

Spoiler:
Because he is speaking to three people. English for Betty, Spanish for Rita and French for Aunt Ruth. We know this because Rita speaks Spanish. Also, we see a Tout Paris book in Aunt Ruth's apartment, and mentions of Canada, which leads us to believe that Aunt Ruth can speak French.





12. Why does the film end with the word silencio?

Spoiler:
As a reminder to Aunt Ruth and to Diane that their silence has been the end of everything.





13. Who are the cowboy, the espresso guy, the dream Camilla?

Spoiler:
Probably just people Diane saw at the party. She may have just incorporated them into her dream. However, notice that we see the cowboy three times (meaning we've been bad), but Adam only sees him twice (meaning he's been good). Maybe that's because his casting of Camilla in his movie satisfies the conspiracy that Diane believes is in place. So his seeing the cowboy twice (although is reverse order as the party happened before the dream) is confirmation of Diane's suspicions.

Also, the espresso guy is seen when Diane is drinking an espresso. He also looks menacing, so Diane simply exaggerated him in her dream.

The dream Camilla is probably just another ingenue trying to play the game with Camilla, as Camilla did with Adam. Diane puts her into her dream to take Camilla's place and to show how she believes Camilla succeeded.





14. Why is the $50,000 in Rita's purse during Diane's dream?

Spoiler:
Perhaps Diane fetishizes it. Or maybe Rita grabbed the wrong purse? Another possibility is that Diane simply wants to keep the money away from the hitmen, so they won't kill Camilla. Having the money with Rita gives her more assurance that the hit didn't go as planned and won't continue, since the money is no longer available.





15. What about the two blue keys?

Spoiler:
They're the same key. One is simply a dream version. Giving a key seems to represent death. When Coco gives Betty a key, that symbolizes Diane's Aunt's death. When the hitman leaves Diane a key, we know Camilla's dead. In her dream, the key may be a reminder that Camilla will die.





16. What about the blue box?

Spoiler:
The blue box is seen briefly when Diane reaches in her drawer for a gun. It may be in her dream because it's something she has and she uses it to symbolize her silence about her abuse. When they return from the club, Betty disappears. This may be because she knows it's a dream and doesn't want to be there when Camilla uses the key to open the box. Opening the box would mean two things: that her feelings about her silence, her guilt will come to the surface and that using the key would mean Camilla's dead in real life.





17. Who's the weird guy with the eyebrows?

Spoiler:
I don't know. Diane sees him at the dinner when she hires the hitman, so we know how he ended up in Diane's mind. What does he mean in the dream? I don't know. Maybe nothing, which would not be surprising considering David Lynch. However, his connection to the homeless man outside may be a clue.





18. What's with the two mini old people who terrorize Diane?

Spoiler:
They probably represent her lost innocence. Maybe they helped keep her silence intact. Now that her silence is broken they've come to punish her. Obviously they're part of her mental breakdown. Perhaps the fact that they come out of the blue box when it's with the homeless man means they represent the pain and guilt of Diane's lost childhood innocence.




That's it. I don't know how accurate I am, I just thought it would be fun to try.

Last edited by Painkiller; 09-24-02 at 12:55 AM.
Old 09-19-02, 04:24 PM
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Forgive me for seeming ingorant, but what exactly is it Betty/Diane is keeping silent about? Her abuse by Camilla/Rita? Also, how does Aunt Ruth know about the problems with Betty if she is in two different worlds? Finally, how does the Club Silencio manage to exist in both worlds?
Old 09-19-02, 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Dr. DVD
Forgive me for seeming ingorant, but what exactly is it Betty/Diane is keeping silent about? Her abuse by Camilla/Rita? Also, how does Aunt Ruth know about the problems with Betty if she is in two different worlds? Finally, how does the Club Silencio manage to exist in both worlds?
Sorry Doc, I had made this all up for myself, so it didn't translate completely. The abuse is...

Spoiler:
I believe Diane was abused when she was younger and that her Aunt Ruth knew about it. They had an understanding to be silent about it.


This is one of the ideas I explored after reading this article:

www.jackmagazine.com/revbeers.html
Old 09-19-02, 05:15 PM
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aunt ruth is dead.....that's where the $50,000 came from
Old 09-19-02, 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by fratboy187
aunt ruth is dead.....that's where the $50,000 came from
I agree, but I don't know why it's given to Rita in the dream and not Betty.
Old 09-19-02, 05:26 PM
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the dream is an extreme twist on reality....camilla and diane are lovers, in real life, diane had camilla murdered...the dream, from diane's point of view, rolls along as is life were good...the money, i think, is a clue in the mystery of diane creating camilla's new persona...

the scene with adam and the singers...turn on the subtitles, before second singers perform..."checking the gate....the silvia north story"....
Old 09-19-02, 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by Painkiller
I agree, but I don't know why it's given to Rita in the dream and not Betty.
Rita takes it with her from the accident/failed hit, doesn't she?

The reason Rita shows up with the money in the dream is it is all part of Diane (oh f**k the names) "the blonde girl's" fantasy that the hit on Rita went bad AND she gets the money back. Who wouldn't want their money back?
Old 09-19-02, 07:08 PM
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Pants, to me it just doesn't make sense for the money to be in Rita's purse if it was supposed to be the hit men's. That's why I'm questioning the motive behind it.

Fratboy, thanks for the subtitle tip. I'll definitely check it out.
Old 09-19-02, 09:32 PM
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Painkiller I hate you now I have to go out and buy Mulholland Drive and watch it again
Old 09-19-02, 09:39 PM
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Good analysis. I don't know if it's right or not, but I'll probably print it out and watch the movie again.
Old 09-19-02, 10:38 PM
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Re: My answers to David Lynch's ten clues for Mulholland Drive

Originally posted by Painkiller
Ok, I know there are many theories out there. Here are my thoughts on the film. Some of them are taken from jackmagazine.com, not all of them. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Also, I've come up with a few of my own questions and answers.


11. Why does the magician at the club Silencio speak English, Spanish and French?

Spoiler:
Because he is speaking to three people. English for Betty, Spanish for Rita and French for Aunt Ruth. We know this because Rita speaks Spanish. Also, we see a Tout Paris book in Aunt Ruth's apartment, and mentions of Canada, which leads us to believe that Aunt Ruth can speak French.


How about that those are the three big languages of the Western Hemisphere?

What scene did you spot the Tout Paris book? That's an interesting pick-up but I don't remember any books except on the distant bookshelf.

12. Why does the film end with the word silencio?

Spoiler:
As a reminder to Aunt Ruth and to Diane that their silence has been the end of everything.


That Aunt Ruth knows some dark/guarded secrets is based on what exactly?

15. What about the two blue keys?

Spoiler:
They're the same key. One is simply a dream version. Giving a key seems to represent death. When Coco gives Betty a key, that symbolizes Diane's Aunt's death. When the hitman leaves Diane a key, we know Camilla's dead. In her dream, the key may be a reminder that Camilla will die.


Or is could be just a key so that she can get in her Aunt's apartment. That key was not blue so to translate the same meaning of the two blue keys to Coco giving the key to Betty ... seems a stretch.

16. What about the blue box?

Spoiler:
The blue box is seen briefly when Diane reaches in her drawer for a gun. It may be in her dream because it's something she has and she uses it to symbolize her silence about her abuse. When they return from the club, Betty disappears. This may be because she knows it's a dream and doesn't want to be there when Camilla uses the key to open the box. Opening the box would mean two things: that her feelings about her silence, her guilt will come to the surface and that using the key would mean Camilla's dead in real life.


Very possible. However, the blue box is shown with the bum with the couple coming out of it before they go to the apartment scene and the gun.

I don't think we need another thread on Mulholland Drive though. There are several threads but one is 4 pages long where I have been posting .....

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...5&pagenumber=4

You have brought up some interesting questions though.
Old 09-20-02, 12:42 AM
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Hey ctyankee

There's a shot of a French collector's guide when rita is trying to cut her hair. I'm assuming it's Aunt Ruth, so I'm presuming she speaks French. The abuse theory is just that, a theory. Though I have found some websites that concur, jackmagazine.com being the most obvious.

As for the bum, I'm convinced he's symbolic and that what he represents is somehow connected to the contents of the blue box. That's why he has it. So if the abuse theory is considered, then the blue box may contain Diane's pain and anguish about her abusive experience. The bum may be a symbol of all that's bad.

A new thought I've had though is that the bum is a woman. The character is played by a female actress. Perhaps the two men are simply mistaken when they refer to the bum as a man? I don't know, just ideas bouncing around in my head.
Old 09-20-02, 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by Painkiller
Hey ctyankee

A new thought I've had though is that the bum is a woman. The character is played by a female actress. Perhaps the two men are simply mistaken when they refer to the bum as a man? I don't know, just ideas bouncing around in my head.
We have common questions on that one. My post on the issue is located here:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...08#post2806208
Old 09-20-02, 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by fratboy187
aunt ruth is dead.....that's where the $50,000 came from
it was my understanding that the $50,000 that entered her dream in the purse WAS the money that diane had paid the hitman to kill camilla. her dream is "littered" with objects, people, & place from her reality to give her clues to the horrible thing she has done.

where is everyone getting the "abuse" thing? i never saw that.

i just saw the film as an "afternoon nap" dream whiling the hit was being carried out. afternoon naps tend to be the most intense (as far as dreams are concerned) and people, objects, etc. make their way in. have you ever had dreams where people take on new identities, and objects come into play but more dramatic? note: the "regular" blue key that is left when the hit had been carried out, and the "strange" blue key in the dream.
Old 09-20-02, 09:22 AM
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I am ignorant. I need a scene by scene breakdown of this movie to completely understand it. I really do. I actually WANT to understand the movie, but it is just too un-comprehensible for me right now.
Old 09-20-02, 09:47 AM
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Oh god not this movie again. Makes my head hurt. I didn't see any signs of abuse in this movie, and to base your entire answers around something that doesn't seem sound, makes most of your reasoning not very sound..
Old 09-20-02, 12:24 PM
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Just some quick thoughts ignited by this thread:

1. Going with the assumption that Diane/Betty was victim of some sort of abuse and Aunt Ruth shares that secret with her, you can add the speculation that the old couple shown in the Jitterbug scene, the airport scene, and in the final scenes are Diane/Betty's parents or grandparents. I'd narrow that speculation and say the old couple are her grandparents (maybe her parents died and her grandparents raised her?) and her grandparents (grandmother, grandfather, both?) abused her and Aunt Ruth knows because she was also abused as a child... Of course, still need some decent evidence of abuse, but it certainly does seem to fit nicely. (Could her "violent" masturbation be a manifestation of that abuse?)

This would much more readily explain the appearance of the little old people at the end driving her to suicide...

2. Sylvia North... Sylvia means "from the woods", Betty's from Canada, from the north woods... (Not sure how helpful this is...)
Old 09-20-02, 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
Oh god not this movie again. Makes my head hurt. I didn't see any signs of abuse in this movie, and to base your entire answers around something that doesn't seem sound, makes most of your reasoning not very sound..
It seems sound enough to me. It answers a lot of questions and I think it's obvious that the real Diane has had some rough goings in her life, she definitely has skeletons. Also, to cite jackmagazine.com, her and her aunt had an understanding -- what kind of family understanding could be normal in a Lynch film?

I'm sorry it makes your head hurt. I hope you see some of the reasons for my ideas. If they still don't seem sound to you, then you don't have subscribe to them.

Last edited by Painkiller; 09-20-02 at 04:02 PM.
Old 09-20-02, 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by Painkiller
It seems sound enough to me. It answers a lot of questions and I think it's obvious that the real Diane has had some rough goings in her life, she definitely has skeletons. Also, to cite jackmagazine.com, her and her aunt had an understanding -- what kind of family understanding could be normal in a Lynch film?

I'm sorry it makes your head hurt. I hope you see some of the reasons for my ideas. If they still don't seem sound to you, then you don't have subscribe to them.
First off, you are misquoting the article in Jackmagazine.com. The guy was simply making a theory that when Coco says to Betty - "well I guess your Aunt and you have an understanding so I'll give you this key" that there was hidden meaning as to the understanding. Big difference.

The problem with Lynch is he can't have dialogue in his movies that won't be disected for hidden meaning. Coco could have just been referring to the use of the apartment while she was gone .... period. Sometimes a duck is just a duck and sometimes a painting in the hallway is just a painting in the hallway.

This abuse in Dianne's past is without solid foundation. Dianne/Betty's parents are not referred to. Dianne/Betty's relationship with her Aunt (good, bad, indifferent) is not referred to.

These people building cases for the cowboy being her dad (while interesting) are just shots in the dark.

A lot of people seem to be shaping the movie around their theories rather than the other way around. And that's fine. The beauty of MH is that it has depth and texture and people will see things that you and I won't see or even appreciate.

By the way, the credentials of the guy that wrote the article for Jackmagazine.com are vitually none. He is just an avid fan hanging out at the rottentomatoes forum. In other words, no different (nor no more valid) than you and me.
Old 09-20-02, 07:50 PM
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You're right ctyankee, the guy was just making a theory and one that I subscribe too. I'm not giving his idea more merit than anyone else's. I just happen to like it and think that it fits. It adds another layer to the film.

Also, I am just shaping the film to my theories. I'm not claiming that I've figured out the movie. I'm just picking away at it and having fun with it. I thought that was the idea?

I'm just glad we can discuss the film and our ideas. I have to admit that studying this movie has become a new hobby of mine.
Old 09-22-02, 06:48 PM
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Something I thought about which may sound a little stupid and simple but hey its David Lynch so
Spoiler:
the 2 old people that were chasing Diane at the end of the film could be portrayed as "old age" catching up to, you notice Diane shoots herself rather that let the 2 old people get her. Could it mean that Diane would rather die than to grow old ? I'm probably WAY off base but it is an interesting thought

Last edited by Gattman; 09-22-02 at 06:51 PM.
Old 09-22-02, 11:03 PM
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Well, I am glad that they seem to sound to you, to each his own. and I appreciate your conversational tone as opposed to some people who claim to have found the truth in this movie (or any movie for this matter)

But in my view, the abuse angle is grasping at things that aren't there. Given what is known about the Muholland Drive (the way it was reconfigued to be a movie), I can bet that Lynch probably doesn't have a solid clue either because he was modifying it to be a "self-contained" drama while in essence its not - I guess that is what makes it so good at being a dream movie, because it has no discernable ending or meaning
Old 09-23-02, 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by ctyankee
....These people building cases for the cowboy being her dad (while interesting) are just shots in the dark.
the cowboy is not her dad. he is just someone that she saw in the corner of her eye at the party where her ex-lover announced her engagement to the director. her subconscious later "remembered" this guy, and gave him a part in her dream.

the next time you wake up and can remember what you dreamt, try to remember if there were any people in your dream that were "played" by people you met just once or have seen around but have never met at all. it is common for the mind to do this. the fact that he "pulls strings" in hollywood, is diane justifying to her self why her career did not take off - that parts are given to people in film for reasons other than talent.
Old 02-09-03, 10:23 AM
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just saw this for the first time last night.

What made it evident that Diane was abused by her aunt and that the inheritance was given to keep her silent? I must of missed that?
Old 02-09-03, 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by schlitz100
just saw this for the first time last night.

What made it evident that Diane was abused by her aunt and that the inheritance was given to keep her silent? I must of missed that?
nothing. it is just a theory apparently that some people have made.... it's interesting to see things in the film related to this theory, but there is nothing in the film to solidly substantiate it, in my opinion anyway.

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