Directed by David Lynch
David Lynch’s last work on real celluloid film, 2001’s Mulholland Drive is a surrealist neo-noir thriller that scrutinizes the collective dream that is Los Angeles through a famously disjointed narrative. After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders Rita amnesic, she sneaks into the apartment of aspiring actress, Betty. As she and the Hollywood-hopeful search for answers about what happened to Rita, reality unravels into a Lynchian dream. Starring Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, and Laura Harring, Lynch originally conceived of Mulholland Drive as a television series and then turned it into a feature film. It received the Best Director award at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that while some might consider the plot an offense against narrative order... the film is an intoxicating liberation from sense, with moments of feeling all the more powerful for seeming to emerge from the murky night world of the unconscious.
Much like his body of work, David Lynch often defies tidy description. A filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician, and occasional actor, he is most famous for his films, as well as the television series Twin Peaks. With his first self-produced film, Eraserhead (1978), it was clear that Lynch held a deep fascination with the grotesque residing just below the surface of the every day. He would use that fascination to his advantage with his second film, the hugely successful The Elephant Man (1980), only to be dealt a bitter blow by the disastrous, costly experience of Dune (1984). However, with the quasi-autobiographical thriller Blue Velvet (1986), Lynch would establish a thematic aesthetic—dubbed “Lynchian”—that he has continued to evolve throughout his career. He has also had tremendous success in television with the series Twin Peaks (ABC, 1989-1991), a murder mystery that temporarily tapped into the American zeitgeist. Following Twin Peaks, he directed Wild at Heart (1990) and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). In 1997, he directed the mind-bending Lost Highway and in 1999, The Straight Story. With Mulholland Drive (2001), Lynch continued to defy conventions, as well as traditional narrative structure.