If the words “cult classic” were coined to be used by one person, that would be David Lynch. Having never made a movie that can be watched without full attention, the surreal world of Lynch was in full bizarre swing in his 2001 movie Mulholland Drive which is being given a 4K restoration and release by Studiocanal and the Criterion Collection, as well as a limited re-release in theaters in celebration of its 20th anniversary. As well as a crisp upgraded picture, the new home release also features new artwork by Krzysztof Domaradzki on the cover of the collector’s edition.
David Lynch’s neo-noir mystery earned him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, which he shared with Joel Coen, who directed The Man Who Wasn’t There in the same year. The film also saw Lynch nominated for the Best Director at the Academy Awards, and is often cited as one of Lynch’s greatest movies, appearing on a Sight and Sound critic poll as the 28th best movie ever made and topping the BBC Culture poll of the best movies of the 21st century in 2016.
Mulholland Drive begins with a woman surviving a car crash in the Hollywood Hills, who manages to sneak into an apartment owned by an aspiring actress called Betty, played by Naomi Watts. In a bid to help the woman remember her identity, Betty looks in her purse and discovers a huge sum of money and a strange blue key. From there on, the storyline switches between this and some side stories, all of which interlink and crossover in signature Lynch style, until the movie folds in on itself so you have no idea what is real, what is fantasy and what you will remember by the end of it. There is one thing for certain, you will not be able to fully describe the movie in a short way without someone asking what exactly you are talking about.
Following the success of Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive was originally devised as a TV series which was headed for ABC after David Lynch wowed executives with his basic premise of a woman emerging from a car crash with a large sum of money in her purse and blue key, with the series unveiling her identity over the course of its run. One ABC executive who was there for the pitch said of the plot, “I remember the creepiness of this woman in this horrible, horrible crash, and David teasing us with the notion that people are chasing her. She’s not just ‘in’ trouble-she is trouble. Obviously, we asked, ‘What happens next?’ And David said, ‘You have to buy the pitch for me to tell you.'”
However, when Lynch sent over the pilot, according to the director, it was watched by someone at six in the morning, who was having coffee and standing up. That person hated the pilot and ABC immediately cancelled the potential series. As these things happen though, a friend of Lynch’s from Paris wanted to make the idea into a feature film, and after some negotiations, Canal+ went ahead and gave Lynch the money to make the movie, and the rest as they say is history, or perhaps it could be the future. There is no way of telling in a Lynch narrative.
Mulholland Drive is released in a 4K and Blu-Ray package on November 16th. This news arrives via Variety.