Mulholland Drive: A Response to Twin Peaks

So, after discussing Twin Peaks in class yesterday, I began thinking about it in relation to Mulholland Drive, and I feel like you can see Mulholland Drive as Lynch’s response to the audience’s reaction to Twin Peaks.

When Lynch was making Twin Peaks, he had no interest in solving the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer. As he saw it, the “mystery” was just a plot contrivance, a MacGuffin to motivate the series in its analysis of the towns people. However, the audience came to the show wanting to see the mystery solved. Eventually, network pressures led to Lynch being forced to solve the mystery. As most people who saw the show can attest, the conclusion to the Laura Palmer mystery was more or less unsatisfactory. Regardless of whether the solution was a good one or not, the show’s quality took a major nosedive once the mystery was solved and plot motivations flew out the window.

Now, I’m making a lot of assumptions about Lynch’s motivations when I really have nothing to back it up, but as I see it, Lynch later created Mulholland Drive as something of a response to Twin Peaks. Knowing that the audience would be focused primarily on the solution, he created the intricate puzzle of Mulholland Drive. Again, I’m making assumptions here, but I also think that Lynch made the show/film as something of a joke on the audience, creating a puzzle that the audience would be fixated on solving when, in fact, the solution is not the important part of the film.

  1. Anonymous’s avatar

    One question on this interesting idea: are you talking about MD the TV show, or MD the film? As far as I know, the whole inversion into Diane/Camilla was not part of the TV plan, but rather Lynch’s way to reinvent the pilot for the cinema.


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