chapter  4
22 Pages


The film’s reflexive nature, its sustained engagement with the economic and ethical crises of Hollywood, has received ample notice. At the time of its release, this was Lynch’s most reflexive project, more so than Lost Highway (1997), which makes references to home videos and the porn industry. Mulholland Drive calls attention to itself as a cinematic construct in a variety of ways: for example, it explores the film-making milieu (it incorporates actors’ auditions, backstage scenes, pre-production meetings), exposes the processes of film production (cameras and film apparatus are visible on the screen), foregrounds filmic technique (it has flimsily connected episodes and a non-linear narrative), and flaunts the artifice of film by displaying stylized costumes, hairdo, and make-up from the 1960s. Critics have seen it as a mirror of cinematic genres – the gangster film, the film noir, the western, the musical, the horror film, and the family melodrama – and as a pastiche of Hollywood movies such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950), Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), and Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966).2