Lynch mob

Mulholland Drive

Guardian: Mulholland Drive leads the pack in list of 21st century's top films
BBC Culture poll of 177 film critics around the world puts David Lynch’s 2001 surrealist masterpiece in top spot.

What planet do these so-called film critics live on?

Does Captain America: the Winter Soldier make their Top 100? Does it bollocks! How about Avengers Assemble? Take a wild guess. Any sign of the Jason Bourne films? Enjoy your egg whites.

Jen and I bought Mulholland Drive when it first came out on DVD. We bought it mainly because film critics kept describing it as a masterpiece. We watched it once, then filed it on the Crap shelf next to Moulin Rouge and Mission Impossible 2.

To be honest, I don't remember much about the film—apart from thinking it was incomprehensible crap. There was some woman who thought/pretended/wished she was some other woman. And I think she and the other woman then swapped identities (or something like that). And there was a scene in a diner, I think (or perhaps I'm thinking of Pulp Fiction). And there was (very, very briefly) a totally unconvincing monster. And there was a scene where two pretty ladies kissed each other in a restaurant for no readily apparent reason (see above). In fact, I distinctly remember that bit because: a) it was the only good bit in the film; and b) the photograph of the two pretty ladies kissing each other is the only still you ever see from Mulholland Drive.

OK, so, admittedly, every year or so, I tentatively suggest to Jen that maybe we should give Mulholland Drive a second chance. It's supposed to be a sodding masterpiece, so maybe the problem was with us. We then mull my suggestion over for a couple of seconds before agreeing naaaaah! and reaching for Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World (a genuine masterpiece, by the way).

I mean, if you want to watch an art-house movie with two pretty ladies kissing each other, watch Cate Blanchett and Mickey Rooney in Carol: that's a bloody wonderful film.

I haven't asked her, but I'm pretty sure Stense will disagree with me fundamentally on the subject of Mulholland Drive. She tends to understand and appreciate arty-farty films; I'm just a simple country boy living in Hebden Bridge.

So, what do you chaps reckon? Do you think I should give Mulholland Drive another go? Or would I be better off sticking with Skyfall?

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. With you 100% here.

    We also bough MD on DVD years ago (so long in fact that I didn't realise it even qualified as 21st century) and just couldn't find it interesting enough to be worth deciphering.

    I suspect that this equates to choosing a newspaper by which has the most impenetrable crossword. Some people may do that and perhaps they feel superior as a result but it misses the point as far as I'm concerned.

    I choose my newspaper by my level of interest in the news and views it contains and I choose my movies to be engaging and entertaining rather than being educational or challenging for its own sake.

    Master and Commander all the way.

  2. PS Slightly tangentially: I gather from the Amazon reviews that Master & Commander was based on a series of books. Have any of you guys read them? Thinking I might make them my commute-read at some point.

  3. A massively popular series of books. I haven't read them myself, but friends who have absolutely love them. They say they're far better than the film—which is bollocks, obviously.

  4. Against the unlikely event of any interest, I can now report that I have read a couple of these books and they are indeed excellent. They are, perhaps, the test match to the film's Twenty20, or perhaps the film is the "greatest hits" of the book - much more time in the book for the characters' development and inner dialogue with the action at sea occurring as highlights.

    I confess to finding the main characters' vacillation over women and marriage infuriating when they are such strong and decisive personalities at sea. However, other aspects such as the politics of the admiralty and descriptions of life on man-of-war are equally protracted but fascinating so it's probably just me.

    I also watched the film again after reading a couple of the books and it’s amazing the things that you spot there – have you ever noticed that Jack’s ear is badly scarred in the film? It was nearly shot off by a musket & patched up by Stephen many books before the events of the film. Many of the events of the film are easily recognisable from the books so if you enjoy one I would certainly recommend the other – providing you can stand their hand-wringing over these damned women!

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