BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

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hopesfall
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BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

Post by hopesfall »

The BBC asked 177 film critics to name their favourite films of the last 16 years, and Mulholland Drive topped the poll!

I'm glad to see Spirited Away, Pan's Labyrinth and Lost In Translation on there too. All in all, quite a compelling list. I am surprised to see MD at the top I must admit, but very, very happy! It's definitely in my Top 3 of Lynch's films. :D

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37164880
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

Post by Here Comes That Bob »

hopesfall wrote:The BBC asked 177 film critics to name their favourite films of the last 16 years, and Mulholland Drive topped the poll!

I'm glad to see Spirited Away, Pan's Labyrinth and Lost In Translation on there too. All in all, quite a compelling list. I am surprised to see MD at the top I must admit, but very, very happy! It's definitely in my Top 3 of Lynch's films. :D

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37164880
Well deservingly. MD will go down as one of the most enigmatic, atmospheric and chilling films of all time. I don't get the praise for Boyhood though. I found myself yawning all the way through it.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

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Sometimes I feel like I must be watching a different movie from others when I watch this. The overwhelming praise, both from non-Lynch fans and Lynch fans who put it at the top of his films, doesn't fit the film, in my view. On the new favorite films thread on this board, most people put it as Lynch's top or second, and some excluded *Blue Velvet* from their top 5. I actually look at *MD* as his worst movie.

I don't know; it's weird. I don't understand the praise for it, not to this extent. Is it an "okay" movie? Sure. But the best movie of this century so far? I've never found anything about it in 20 years that lifts it to that height.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

IcedOver wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:22 pm Sometimes I feel like I must be watching a different movie from others when I watch this. The overwhelming praise, both from non-Lynch fans and Lynch fans who put it at the top of his films, doesn't fit the film, in my view. On the new favorite films thread on this board, most people put it as Lynch's top or second, and some excluded *Blue Velvet* from their top 5. I actually look at *MD* as his worst movie.

I don't know; it's weird. I don't understand the praise for it, not to this extent. Is it an "okay" movie? Sure. But the best movie of this century so far? I've never found anything about it in 20 years that lifts it to that height.
I think it encapsulates longing, love, loss, regret, self-recrimination, etc. etc. as well as just about any movie ever made. And Naomi Watts gives a tour de force performance. The two versions of the “audition” scene alone are just a master class in acting. I could go on and on, but obviously, if it’s not your thing, that’s totally cool and I don’t expect to change your mind.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

Post by AXX°N N. »

IcedOver wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:22 pm Sometimes I feel like I must be watching a different movie from others when I watch this. The overwhelming praise, both from non-Lynch fans and Lynch fans who put it at the top of his films, doesn't fit the film, in my view. On the new favorite films thread on this board, most people put it as Lynch's top or second, and some excluded *Blue Velvet* from their top 5. I actually look at *MD* as his worst movie.

I don't know; it's weird. I don't understand the praise for it, not to this extent. Is it an "okay" movie? Sure. But the best movie of this century so far? I've never found anything about it in 20 years that lifts it to that height.
I don't think it's his best work, but it is his most entertaining and emotionally accessible work, so I think that's why it attracts the most approval.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

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AXX°N N. wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 6:59 pm I don't think it's his best work, but it is his most entertaining and emotionally accessible work, so I think that's why it attracts the most approval.
You don't find *Blue Velvet* or his two biographical movies to be more emotionally accessible? I find the characters in this totally stunted because of the production history. They're completely undeveloped in the first part because they were at the start of a story that was cut off. Then the second part doesn't deserve the emotional aspects it tries to inject, including the "Crying" song. The characters and situations are still wafer thin.

I don't even much like the performances. Harring does nothing for me. You could look at a wall and get the same thing as what she puts out. Watts isn't anything special in the first part aside from the audition, and in the second is almost cartoonishly pissed.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

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IcedOver wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:38 pmYou don't find *Blue Velvet* or his two biographical movies to be more emotionally accessible? I find the characters in this totally stunted because of the production history. They're completely undeveloped in the first part because they were at the start of a story that was cut off. Then the second part doesn't deserve the emotional aspects it tries to inject, including the "Crying" song. The characters and situations are still wafer thin.

I don't even much like the performances. Harring does nothing for me. You could look at a wall and get the same thing as what she puts out. Watts isn't anything special in the first part aside from the audition, and in the second is almost cartoonishly pissed.
Blue Velvet is less universally appealing because the subject matter is lurid from the start. Sandy as a character works to draw in a portion of the audience that would otherwise refrain from being persuaded down dark territory, but the total innocence of Betty is sold so well by Watts and works really great as a hook for the audience to trust and follow along on the mystery. I think she's the most likeable Lynch protag, even moreso than Cooper, because Cooper is a prodigy much harder to relate to. As for the biographical films, Elephant Man & Straight Story lack the sensationalism and mystery to be exciting in the way that MD was when it came out. Aside from all the darkness of Hollywood MD exudes, there's also an aspect of it that's voyeuristic, escapist and exciting, perhaps even glitzy.

Betty might not be a complex character on her own, but as part of a composite character I don't think MD is lacking. The flow doesn't feel rocky to me because things such as the Silencio scene, which are carrying immense narrative weight and are basically short-hand to replace multiple theoretical scenes at once, do accomplish what they set out to do at least in the way of tone and without feeling rushed. As for Harring, maybe you're expecting too much from someone who not only is amnesiac, but is a symbolic fantasy of a person. Even before the reveal that was decided ad hoc on who she really is, she was clearly positioned as a broad & exaggerated trope from noir. I don't think the situations or characters are thin so much as they're figurants, which fits in with the sense that the first half is a dream and the second a nightmare.

The characters might have been developed better in the course of a series, but I can't imagine a better way to flesh them out in the span of a film than what Lynch appended to the narrative.

I found out it was meant to be a series way after the fact; I wouldn't have ever guessed so, because it felt like a complete narrative to me on first watch.
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.
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Re: BBC names Mulholland Drive "Best Film of 21st Century"

Post by LateReg »

AXX°N N. wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:59 pm
IcedOver wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:38 pmYou don't find *Blue Velvet* or his two biographical movies to be more emotionally accessible? I find the characters in this totally stunted because of the production history. They're completely undeveloped in the first part because they were at the start of a story that was cut off. Then the second part doesn't deserve the emotional aspects it tries to inject, including the "Crying" song. The characters and situations are still wafer thin.

I don't even much like the performances. Harring does nothing for me. You could look at a wall and get the same thing as what she puts out. Watts isn't anything special in the first part aside from the audition, and in the second is almost cartoonishly pissed.
Blue Velvet is less universally appealing because the subject matter is lurid from the start. Sandy as a character works to draw in a portion of the audience that would otherwise refrain from being persuaded down dark territory, but the total innocence of Betty is sold so well by Watts and works really great as a hook for the audience to trust and follow along on the mystery. I think she's the most likeable Lynch protag, even moreso than Cooper, because Cooper is a prodigy much harder to relate to. As for the biographical films, Elephant Man & Straight Story lack the sensationalism and mystery to be exciting in the way that MD was when it came out. Aside from all the darkness of Hollywood MD exudes, there's also an aspect of it that's voyeuristic, escapist and exciting, perhaps even glitzy.

Betty might not be a complex character on her own, but as part of a composite character I don't think MD is lacking. The flow doesn't feel rocky to me because things such as the Silencio scene, which are carrying immense narrative weight and are basically short-hand to replace multiple theoretical scenes at once, do accomplish what they set out to do at least in the way of tone and without feeling rushed. As for Harring, maybe you're expecting too much from someone who not only is amnesiac, but is a symbolic fantasy of a person. Even before the reveal that was decided ad hoc on who she really is, she was clearly positioned as a broad & exaggerated trope from noir. I don't think the situations or characters are thin so much as they're figurants, which fits in with the sense that the first half is a dream and the second a nightmare.

The characters might have been developed better in the course of a series, but I can't imagine a better way to flesh them out in the span of a film than what Lynch appended to the narrative.

I found out it was meant to be a series way after the fact; I wouldn't have ever guessed so, because it felt like a complete narrative to me on first watch.
I'm very aware of IcedOver's opinion on Mulholland Drive, but I'm glad to see the reasoning fleshed out here. To me, it seems as though they're looking at it through a lens that I have never seen it through. While I see why someone would have those critiques, they are not something that have ever occurred to me simply because I was already looking at it in a different way, I guess, and so I was already seeing things differently and absorbing it on other levels. I can totally see where IcedOver is coming from, but, for example, I have never seen the characters or situations as wafer thing from my vantage point and interpretation. But I really think that both Mr. Reindeer and Axxon have already elaborated on the virtues of the film and how it works as I see it.

I recently revisited/revised a list of the best films of the 2000s, and I once again went with Mulholland Drive at number 1 despite currently finding a bit more value and ongoing excitement in INLAND EMPIRE; both are objectively important works for how they sit at center of the Film/Digital divide, but the larger project I was working on noted a certain somber and deathly streak in the world, and thus it felt appropriate to crown a film that has come to represent celluloid's last stand. But I wrote this of Mulholland Drive, which is something that may be obvious to some degree but which had never occurred to me up until reworking the list and re-thinking about the decade:

"If Mulholland Dr. is truly Lynch’s greatest film, it likely exerts such a fascinating pull because the well-known process of its making closely mirrors its structure to literally demonstrate this most dreamlike of directors being forced to interpret his own dream in order to complete an abandoned film, turning an unfinished TV pilot into one of the most enduring cinematic masterpieces of its time. I’ve never heard it put quite this way before, probably because despite many knowing the story behind the film’s making the effect is subliminal, but this adds one more layer atop layers of dreams and interpretations."

So yeah. Just to see the first half as a dream and viewing its completion as Lynch having to literally interpret that dream, which by his own account is pretty much what happened...that's very interesting and perhaps even the ultimate Lynch-thing to do. And for the record, I believe that the final 45 minutes of Mulholland Dr. is one of the greatest-ever stretches of filmmaking, brilliantly enriching and clarifying so much that came before it while throwing it all out of balance and completely disorienting the viewer.
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