Thursday, July 17, 2008

Black + White Friday: Mulholland Drive

David Lynch has worked with black and white before on two of his earliest films, Eraserhead and The Elephant Man so I thought for this weeks instalment we'd test drive his magnum opus Mulholland Drive and see how it holds when given the black and white treatment.

Yup, still scary in black and white.

I must point out that the little... what you call it? Is it an apartment complex? Not really. I don't know. Anyway, whatever it is, this little enclave of sorts is absolutely stunning in colour. In black and white it reminds me so much of Sunset Boulevard, which I am quite certain was Lynch and production designer Jack Fisk's intention all along. Do these sort of places even exist anymore? I want to live there if they do.

Aaah, Gilda. One of my favourite black and white films. One of yours, too?

I chose this screenshot because it's my absolute favourite shot in the entire movie. Not exactly sure why, but it is. Doesn't Naomi Watts' skin kind of glow like it does in silent movies?

Like a Hitchcock heroine.

Jeepers creepers! Something about this amuses me so much. It's like Doris Day or Dusty Springfield. Now that's a Lynch collaboration that would've bear bizarre fruit.

Oddly, one of the film's most obvious '50s moments is this musical sequence to Connie Francis' "Sixteen Reasons", doesn't look that classic. Hmmm.

One of the best things Lynch does throughout the entirety of Mulholland Drive is mix with the identities of Betty and Rita. Constantly framing them so that their bodies and their faces have the lines blurred. Who is who and so forth. This shot was my favourite example of it. It's also quite ABBA, teehee.

The Lady in the Radiator returns! And she's singing Roy Orbison in SPANISH!!!!

Interestingly, the film's final act where everybody switches up proves less forthcoming with interesting stills, even though it is just as beautiful as the rest of the film. I chose this moment, however, because it reminded me of an old horror movie. Like The House of Usher or something, ya know? Dusty old mansions and the like.


Dave said...

Naomi and Laura look gorgeous in b&w. Not that they don't normally, of course... but you're right, their skin does kind of glow.

I did not know Jack Fisk worked on this (I really should, shouldn't I? Bad fan.), but there's yet another reason to worship the man.

These things are really interesting and fun, thanks for doing them (and I hope for more interesting results!).

Adam said...

I adore this movie, and I have to agree. That transition shot of the palm trees passing over Betty's face is just gorgeous and one of my absolute favorite bits from the film. It's dreamy, idyllic Hollywood, which is just so perfect.

Drew said...

This is awesome. Thanks for posting this. I can't imagine how watching the full film in black and white might change it, but I'd definitely be into it if it were possible.

By the way, have you ever seen what the bum looks like without makeup on?

Glenn said...

Dave, Fisk has had a connection to Lynch he acted in a small role in, I believe, Eraserhead (or maybe The Elephant Man? I'm too lazy to check).

Glenn said...

Drew, you know.... I'd never even considered to find out what the actor who played the bum with the box actually looked like outside of MD.

Adam said...

The bum is actually a woman named Bonnie Aarons. Look her up on imdb and you can totally see it in the eyes.

JA said...

Glenn, the two times Ive seen Naomi Watts in person here in NYC, I have to say, her skin actually really glows. It's crazy. She's like a little ball of light. The first time I saw her she and Nicole Kidman strolled by me outside the movie theater in Union Square; they were going inside to see something. This was like seven, eight years ago. And Naomi made Nic look OLD even then. The second time was just a couple of weeks ago actually, in the West Village near my office, she was with Liev, and she looked lovely, but every time I see him - and oddly, I see him all the fucking time - I just want to jump the fuck on him and never let go. He's so BIG.

Ahem. Nevermind my little star-fucking tirade there. Lovely still choices here, my friend.

Runs Like A Gay said...

This is a superb series, can't wait until friday to see the next one.