Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hallelujah - Mulholland Drive on TV

The perfect film for a blog called 'Things Are Not What They Seem'. I seem to spend so much time hunting around the TV schedules for something good, something nourishing to watch. I realised as soon as the film started that I hadn't seen it before. I was ashamed and shocked because I could have sworn I had. then I was annoyed because I realised that I had deprived myself of a great pleasure for 15 years.

Everything about it made me purr. The look, that atmosphere, the characters and performances, the bizarre story, the lesbian love scenes; it is such a rich and grown up film - a work of art and a piece of entertainment. It has to be Lynch's best.

It started off as a pilot for ABC and, surprise surprise, didn't get picked up for a series. What a stroke of luck. TV would have massacred it. he got away with Twin Peaks ... just. This had to have the latitude to be weird and sexy and grotesque which can't happen on US network TV.

Every now and again something comes along that really feeds the soul. I worked at Disneyland Paris for 4 weeks when it opened and I lived in one of the themed, park hotels - I forget which. It was a perfectly decent hotel but after about 3 weeks of living, eating and working on the park I started to lose all sense of reality and myself.

The artifice of every single detail of the park overwhelmed me in a really disturbing way. I realise now I was feeling like the characters at the beginning of the film - living in a parallel fantasy universe where everyone has a rictus grin.

I finally got a day off and hurtled into Paris and with no plan in mind headed straight for Notre Dame. I'm not religious but being in a thousand year old building recharged my spiritual batteries instantly. The feeling was intense.

Watching Mulholland Drive produced exactly the same feeling. After months of trawling through TV dross, to stumble upon something with such depth and such art was truly reinvigorating. Must get the DVD.