TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT October 2001

film

Mulholland Drive

THAT DAVID LYNCH IS A GENUINE VISIONARY may be indisputable, but he has often seemed like an artist with a set of primal obsessions in lieu of a subject. Compelled to plunge headlong into his darkest fears, Lynch has conjured up some of the most mesmerizing passages in American cinema. But the imbalance between the hallucinatory and the desultory has been a constant in Lynch’s work—and a nagging source of frustration. It’s easy to understand his artistic dilemma, though: Creating sequences of such uncanny power necessarily upsets the very idea of narrative or thematic resolution; those spellbinding intervals overwhelm not just the characters but the film itself.

With the unjustly maligned Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Lynch made a movie that was at once mind-bending and thematically focused. There was, at the core of that film, a sense of moral outrage over the reality of sexual

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