Saturday, June 14, 2008


One of the coolest things (for me) about Yale was that the med school had a film society. Movies were $3, or free with a $10 membership, and were screened in one of two theaters, one of which had a balcony. I saw many movies there: Road to Perdition, Adaptation, Open Water, among others. But the one that really sticks out is the movie I brought my little sister to see.

Mulholland Drive. David Lynch's movie is not a movie for people who like movies. It's a movie for people who don't give a shit about storytelling. It's an experiment, and it's as much of a waste of time as the latest IJ installment for those of us who care about logic and depth of character.

Anyhow, actual Mulholland Drive is a gorgeous, windy, nutty stretch of highway that you have to take very slow in stretches. I've only been on it a few times, and all but one of those times was because I got lost. But today I went to Fryman Canyon to hike, so I took Laurel Canyon (another weird movie) to Mulholland and parked at the truly nice Pohl overlook.
Then I tried hiking the damn thing. If you like your trails narrow, overgrown, and bee-infested, this is your canyon. Yes, there are few people there and it's quite pretty, but it's a scramble and a pain in the ass. Maybe it's better in the fall.
This, of course, makes me wonder if perhaps I misjudged the movie. Maybe it's just a movie for anyone who's driven Mulholland and found it both frustrating and gorgeous, as has been by and large my experience. If that's the case, then his film may be the greatest movie made in the last 25 years, having captured the essence of a place and recreated it in the heart of his bewildered audience. Weird little skittering gnome creatures would not be out of place on Mulholland, though the only weird little skittering creatures I've seen have been lizards.

Reading Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Much better written and wildly more interesting that Magical Thinking. No disrespect to the subject matter, but the latter book was crap.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen