The fucking asshole who forgets to deliver the New York Times
to my house every other Sunday. I can't list a quote whore if
I don't have the fucking ads. Fuck the Denver Post and their
retarded delivery people. not only does their paper suck, they
can't even deliver someone else's properly.
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
"I'm still creaming my jeans."
That's me getting ready for my new job at the Wheatridge TerrorDome,
a haunted house for kids eight to twelve. Yeah, I know what all
of you are thinking: Wheatridge? That town's a crackwhore's armpit.
It's no slice of heaven on earth like Arvada, but all my fair
city offers as a haunted house is that fucking Abundant Life
Center's "Hell House" where they make you pay seven
bucks to get yelled at by a preacher about being gay or getting
an abortion or liking pornography. That's not scary, that's just
I'm getting eight bones an hour to make little kids wet their
pants. I'm supposed to be the guy who wears the skull mask and
black robe and hides in the dark corners of the old, vacant Town
Center Mall. I jump out at the kids and scream, or shake a buzzing
chainsaw at them. That's sort of dumb, though, because the chainsaw
doesn't even have a blade on it. Actually, the whole thing is
sort of lame: it's all set up to only scare the kids for the
moment. The kids scream and run away, sure, but once they get
out of the haunted house they stop wetting themselves and go
get ice cream.
And what's the fun in that? Those are cheap scares, a dime
a dozen. I think that when parents pay four-and-a-half bucks
to get their kids into the TerrorDome, they want their money's
worth. They want to send in innocent boys and girls and get back
silent, tearful young men and women. And even if my manager Tony
thinks he knows how to scare kids and has put together employee
instructions and rules, I'm going to go with my guts.
Good scares are like a cold rain, soaking to the bone. They
crawl slowly up your spine and lodge in the base of your brain,
waiting patiently. And, like the bloody hiccups you can get after
trying to drink a pony keg alone, they reappear when you least
expect them. A good scare re-emerges every time you hear someone
else walking through your house late at night, the cock of a
pistol behind you in the woods, or you feel the Harelip slide
her leathery hand down your thigh in the dark. In the case of
Mulholland Drive, its characters slip into your dreams
so that one moment it's beddy-bye as usual--your mother is naked
and breastfeeding you while your father is pulling thick tufts
of hair out of his mouth--and the next there is a shaky old couple,
frantic and screaming, cornering you in a pitch-black, dead-end
hallway. Those are the good fucking scares, and that's what I
plan on giving these eight-to-twelve-year olds. I will read them
choice selections from Tim O'Brien's Vietnam novels, tell them
of a regretted life spent drinking cheap beer under fluorescent
lights in narrow bars with people who hate them, and sing them
Indigo Girl songs. When they are 42 years old, I want them to
remember me with a shudder.
If the pretentious fucks in line with me at the artsy-fartsy
theater in Denver on Friday night are any indication, there's
going to be about as many interpretations of Mulholland Drive
as there are individuals. Some people will genuinely try to figure
out what it means, and some people will shove a hand up their
ass, cradle their chin in the other and then spout a bunch of
self-important bullshit that is meant to show that only they
are in sync with Director/Writer David Lynch. After all, nothing
gets pretentious assholes talking more about how smart they are
than the work of someone who actually is.
All I can say is, if the person talking to you about Mulholland
Drive is wearing a turtleneck or tells you that David Lynch
is "way out there", punch him or her in the face and
tell them to go fuck themselves. If the person is normal, just
walk away. In fact, you should just walk away from your fucking
computer right now because I'm going to talk about this movie
and there is no way in the world that what I say will be correct.
If you're at work and your boss wants to know why you aren't
at your desk, tell him Filthy said it's okay. Go ahead, walk
away. Leave. Go see the movie instead and hate it or love for
yourself. Me? I loved it.
While Mulholland Drive has a story buried in it, it's
not about characters reaching resolutions. It's about Los Angeles,
faded, cracked, decaying, half in the waking world and half in
sleep. It's about people's expectations from Los Angeles, and
what the city actually delivers. It's a place you want to be
for the glamour and for the underlying creeping evil. It's a
city where people can re-imagine themselves only to end up worse
off, and where people can shed their identities as easily as
putting on a wig. Where the lazy pricks in Hollywood plant half
their movies in Los Angeles because it's all they think they
know, this is the only movie I've seen in a too long where the
director truly has his own understanding of the city and turns
it into a character.
Naomi Watts is a wide-eyed ingenue from Canada who has come
to Hollywood to find fame. It's funny to me that David Lynch
had to go to Canada to find a naïve character. I guess all
the ones in Kansas are junkie hookers by now. Upon arriving at
her out-of-town aunt's tony Spanish-plaza apartment, she unexpectedly
finds Rita (Laura Harring), naked in the shower. This is exactly
what I hope to find when I come home.
Rita isn't her real name. She got amnesia when her limousine
was slammed into by a gang of wild teens on Mulholland Drive,
just as she was about to be murdered. She stumbled down the hill
and into the apartment on sunset, unsure of who she is. Normally,
amnesia is the sort of gimmick that indicates the grassfuckers
in Hollywood's creative bankruptcy, but Lynch uses it for exactly
that reason. It's a device used as a device, created by a character
who thinks in Hollywood's terms.
Together, the ingenue and the dark-haired sexpot with the
great tits try to unravel the mystery of who Rita is and why
she's carrying a purse stuffed with cash and a blue key. Watts
takes the lead, pulling Harring along by the hand as they act
like I always wanted Nacy Drew and her friends to act: slinking
in alleys, slipping through windows, making anonymous phone calls,
and--best of all--falling into each other's arms and getting
it on. It ain't that cheap bump-and-grind shit that Hollywood
peddles as sex. The first lesbain sex scene here is real, funny,
fumbly, staggered-breath groping and it's really fucking great.
It gave me a boner. They get tangled with a prick director (Justin
Theroux looking like a junior version of Bono) who is being forced
to cast a lead actress against his will by a midget in a darkened
room and a threatening cowboy in a lonely hilltop corral. A man
encounters the fear from his nightmare near the dumpster behind
a coffee shop, and it nearly kills him. Watts auditions for a
movie, is discovered as the great actress she dreams of being,
only to reject an opportunity with the prick director because
she is loyal to Harring.
As the two girls find clues to who Harring is, we learn that
is not the mystery. The mystery is who Watts is: ingenue or hardened
Angeleno? Gifted actress or one step from porn? Jilted lover,
yes, but jilted by another or the city itself? Reality encroaches
on their games, and they are pulled back to who they may be,
how they are seen and their own relationships to Los Angeles.
I can tell you all of that without giving away anything because
this movie is as thick and tangled as the creeping vines that
seem to blanket its Los Angeles. I either forgot or failed to
mention another half-dozen plot strands like El Club Silencio
where Rebecca Del Rio performs or doesn't perform Roy Orbison's
"Crying" or the semi-competent hitman.
I fucking loved this movie because whether I understood it
or not, I think I did. And unlike in high school where I thought
I understood a God damn book only to have the teacher yell at
me for being an idiot, there's nobody who can take away my interpretation.
It's a movie, and I can't flunk for liking it for my reasons.
But not everyone will. Here is a partial list of people who
won't like Mulholland Drive: anyone who went to see Corky
Romano, children, and people who say "when I get home
from work I just want to shut off my brain" or "I'm
too tired to think" as justification for their own fucking
laziness. The brain doesn't wear out or tire, you can't ever
be too tired to think, but you can be too fucking lazy to try.
And if you like movies that wrap up nicely in two hours with
nothing left for you to do but go home and turn on the TV, don't
go see this. You don't have to be smart to enjoy it, just willing
to do a little work of your own and come to your own conclusions.
Hell, you might love to think about shit and still hate this
movie. That's still better than just going, "Eww, how weird.
I need a mocha latte quick!"
While watching the movie, I thought it was great, then just
good, then finally great. It's long in the middle, and Lynch's
slow pacing takes a while to get used to. Every now and then
the weird shit seems like it's leading nowhere but back into
David Lynch's head. Now, two days later, the movie's even better
because I've slept through two nights of dreams where the cowboy
comes to visit, the old couple scream and reach out at me, the
cars crash over and over. It's because Lynch makes everything
simultaneously vivid and sleepy. His characters and sets are
like the most elaborate colorforms that you can pull out of his
tableau and stick into your own dreams.
And this movie is funnier and more entertaining than the shit
"comedies" I've been seeing. Lynch knows when he's
being weird and he plays it for laughs that are sometimes uneasy
and sometimes just goofy. his whole point is not to pound home
any message other than entertainment. As Watts wanders through
the LA airport, she is open-mouthed in awe at the city, even
the cheap banners welcoming her. One scene is of a low-rent hood
trying to kill a target, but his every act makes it that much
more complicated and involved. It is downright one of the funniest
things I've seen this year, ripe for Quentin Tarantino to rip
Watts and Harring are outstanding, especially Watts who goes
from ingenue to jaded, masturbating washout with ease. Lynch
has always made actors both good and bad look like they know
what the hell they are doing, even when the movies aren't so
good, like Lost Highway. The other characters range from
critical to gratuitous bits of Lynch weirdness. Most work, some
don't, but they're all individual. And that's another thing that's
so fucking great. Lynch takes many images straight from Hollywood's
lexicon and then shows them to us refracted by his own ideas.
The guy won't be satisfied delivering what we expect. He knows
we've been trained by Hollywood's limited vocabulary and lazy
use of the same devices as shorthand to explain the setup. He
turns it upside down, and while you may recognize a locale or
a scene, Mulholland Drive shows it to you in completely
different ways. It's a movie that is new all the way through,
no cop outs, no "good enoughs" and nobody so fucking
afraid you won't get the point that they have to spell it out.
Lynch is an artist who doesn't need constant reassurance. He
couldn't care less if he's a genius or not. He just knows what
he wants to show us.
It's movie fucking magic. Five Fingers and I'm going
back, partly because the same theater is showing Ghost
World so I can pay for one and sneak into the other.
to tell Filthy something?