10 Greatest Scenes In La La Land

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01-la-la-landLove it or loathe it, there’s no denying that LaLaLand is a bold film. The Damien Chazelle-directed musical was nominated for a whopping 14 Academy Awards, and almost won seven of them if it wasn’t for dastardly Moonlight snapping up the Best Picture win at the last minute.

Of course due to its musical nature, there are many people who simply don’t ‘get it’. However, for the rest of us I thought it would be a nice idea to look at the 10 best scenes in La La Land as pretty much every scene in the film is memorable.

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The Witch (2016)

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Director: Robert Eggers

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

A future horror classic

This ain’t no Hocus Pocus kids! Witches aren’t usually the first port of call when coming up with horror film ideas. They work well with family film’s like Nicholas Roeg’s surreal adaptation of Roald Dhal’s The Witches but can cackling old women with pointy hats and broomsticks scare grown adults? After seeing Robert Egger’s striking debut, the answer would seem to be a resounding yes. The Witch is the best horror film since Kill List and is sure to become a future horror classic. I like to think of myself as a hardened horror movie nut but The Witch did actually manage to scare me, more so than the recent It Follows and The Babadook.

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It’s a fairytale for adults and Robert Egger goes down alleys as dark as a film can get. Within the first five or ten minutes, I could tell that I’d be in for a stunning ride as we’re treated to some seriously nightmarish imagery involving a naked old woman smothering herself in the blood of a baby, accompanied by a screeching score which is sure to give you the shivers. Terrifying sequences like this appear sporadically through the film so it never feels overdone, it just adds to the mounting tension in each scene until it explodes into the most wonderfully indulgent finale.

A lot of films set in medieval times can be a bit trying. A Field in England and Black Death both felt like the setting let the film down by getting bogged down in confusing olde worlde Shakespearean-esque language. However, The Witch is never anything more than compelling throughout. The sole focus of the film is the family and all the parts are acted beautifully by the relatively unknown cast. The audience becomes incredibly involved and invested in the characters so you care about what’s going to happen to them. There’s a sense of dread in every scene but you’re never quite sure about what’s going to happen next which makes for unpredictable and absorbing viewing.

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I can’t talk about The Witch without mentioning just how gorgeous the film looks. You could pretty much take any shot and hang it up for display in a gallery because it’s just beautiful to look at. The eerie shots of the deep wood reminded me of Lars Von Trier’s equally unsettling, Antichrist, however The Witch has a more fantastical quality to the images which adds to the Brothers Grimm fairytale kind of vibe. There isn’t a second in the film’s tight 90 minute running time where a shot doesn’t ooze atmosphere. It’s so refreshing to get a horror film which doesn’t rely on a few seconds of gore to shock the audience, but actually takes it time to conjure up genuinely frightening images. There’s stuff in this film which won’t leave my head for a long time after viewing it.

Equally as atmospheric as the imagery is the sound. I can’t think of a more striking score or sound design since The Shining and it helps a lot to generate such an unsettling atmosphere. The exceedingly creepy dissonant violins and loud chants build scenes up to a shattering intensity where I found myself holding my breath. In fact, the whole film has such a strange and unnerving quality to it. It feels like you’re watching something you shouldn’t. It’s no wonder that the film’s even been endorsed by the Satanic Temple itself with the Temple’s spokesperson calling it “a trans-formative Satanic experience.”

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The Witch has to be my favourite film of the year and one of my favourite horror films full stop. I found it absolutely captivating and full of tension from beginning to end. It’s pretty much as perfect as horror can get and exudes the quality of a classic chiller from the 60’s. Robert Eggers is definitely going to be a director to look out for in the future. He’s proven to critics that the horror genre is alive and well and can still genuinely scare the hell out of people. The Witch is a sensational experience for the eyes and ears, it’s cinema at its finest and is a masterpiece.

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Inside Out (2015)

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Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen

Stars: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Kyle MacLachlan

Thoughtful animated classic

Pixar might’ve gone through a rare dip in quality when they went onto making stuff that was aimed specifically at children like Cars 2 and Brave. They started clawing their way back up to greatness when Monsters University launched last year, a film which I still think is somewhat underrated with its gorgeous creative visuals and fantastic characters. Inside Out sees Pixar pick up their crown again and reign supreme as the queen of animated films.

It’s an instant classic which ranks up the very best Pixar has to offer. I’d argue that it’s the best film they’ve done since Toy Story 3 and the best of the year so far, outdoing the likes of Mad Max 4 and Whiplash. But that’s no surprise considering that Pete Docter is behind the camera and paper again. It’s a complex and ingenious premise which personifies emotions we all carry in our heads. Each emotion in Riley’s head manages to be funny, likeable and relevant to the story. I particularly liked Sadness and Anger. I’m not quite sure what that says about me.

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It’s Joy at the controls though and she’s one of those annoyingly positive people who manages to see the good in absolutely everything. If someone shot her in the head, she’d probably congratulate them on the excellent pot-shot. Entertainingly for us though, she goes off on an extreme character-building lesson which sees her lost in the abyss of Riley’s long-term memory along with her least favourite emotion, Sadness. Sadness is an adorable blue blob who is clumsy and well-meaning but permanently depressed. Whilst Joy and Sadness are away, leaving Anger, Disgust and Fear at the controls, eleven year-old Riley goes through a massive breakdown.

The film does a fantastic job of setting up a potentially confusing premise in a fun and simplistic way. The first act is basically all exposition which sets everything up and suitably engages the audience. It reminded me of the scene in Inception where Leo explains the dream world concept to Ellen Page. I know exposition can irritate a lot of people, but in high concept films like this I think it’s pretty essential, otherwise we’d be sat their open-mouthed and dead behind the eyes like watching Upstream Colour.

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The editing is absolutely wonderful as it manages to balance three stories which are all connected to one another in a masterful way. The main story concerns Joy and Sadness on their exceptionally entertaining Finding Nemo-style adventures, the other two secondary stories (although still no less critical to the plot) involve the other emotions in the control tower and Riley suffering a mental breakdown out in the real world.

The entire film not only works as a fantastic story on its own, but also as an analogy for mental breakdowns in general. Now whenever I feel unhappy randomly I’ll know that it’s because Joy has left my control room, or that Sadness has accidently touched a memory. It’s also a brilliant way of letting kids know that it’s OK to be sad and it’s perfectly normal to feel angry. There are a whole load of deeper meanings and gags that are likely to go over the heads of children, but everyone else will be sure to appreciate them. Kids will definitely be able to appreciate the highly creative visuals and lovable characters.

All Pixar films are eye-popping, but Inside Out is particularly incredible. There’s no end of bright, creative and trippy visuals which very much reminded me of my favourite Pixar film, Up. It all has substance too though and is relevant to the plot. There’s a wonderful sequence where the characters enter Dream Productions and we see how our dreams are really made. Not only is it side-splittingly hilarious, it’s clever, high-concept and beautiful to look at.

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There are also quite a few genuinely emotional moments. I’m not one to get teary in films, but there’s one scene involving a gorgeous character called Bing Bong which really made me well up. It isn’t your average light and fluffy, happy-clappy kiddy film. It goes to deeper and darker places and pulls at your heart strings. Watching a little girl go through a spat of depression is not cheery viewing! There is of course an inevitable happy ending and it’s all the more heart-warming because of the darker scenes that preceded it.

In short, Inside Out is an animated masterpiece. I cannot for the life of me think of any faults, apart from that it went by far too quickly. It has everything you need in a film. It’s funny, emotional, creative, original, intelligent, deep and thoughtful. It’s full of memorable and likable characters whom you’ll go away remembering. It’s a film for any age so if you’re one of these “Ooh animation’s for kids innit” type people I’d urge you to drop any plans you have for the weekend and go and see this with all your adult/teenage friends.

Pixar is incredibly popular and so you’ll be bound to find people on the internet bashing it like they do Christopher Nolan films and anything else that is popular so don’t listen to them. It’s a towering achievement and a return to form. It’s their first original non-sequel since Brave in 2012 and it’s well worth the wait. They’ve expressed disinterest in a sequel to Inside Out, but I’d love to see all these fantastic characters return.

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Magnolia (1999)

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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Juilanne Moore, John C Reilly, William H Macy, Philip Baker

My God, it’s full of frogs!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Magnolia for ages now. There Will Be Blood was my first taste of Paul Thomas Anderson and has rapidly become one of my top five favourite films I’ve seen. Then I saw Punch-Drunk Love which I think is a little underrated, and then Hard Eight (or Sydney as it should’ve been called) which is a striking debut, although definitely not up to scratch with the others as mentioned. And then there’s Magnolia! Many cite it as the best film ever made and Paul himself has even gone on record saying that he’ll never do a film as good as Magnolia again. That could well be true.

Whilst at the time of writing, I still do prefer There Will Be Blood, there’s no denying the marvel of Magnolia. It’s sheer audacity is enough to be respected, yet somehow Paul Thomas Anderson (why is his name so frigging long? I’m just going to call him Paul) manages to handle this great big beast he’s created with flawless ease. Magnolia is basically like Love Actually with lots of little separate stories going on which are loosely inter-connected with each other. However, Paul isn’t too concerned with love. He’s more interested in the bleaker side of life such as: child abuse, drug addiction, rejection, loneliness and regret. For most people, the idea of a three hour long film with all these themes would be a turn off. However, I’d urge you to stick with it.

To be honest, I loved Magnolia from the moment it began. It tells three stories within the first five minutes in the whimsical style of Amelie. They’re expertly told, but also quite misleading. We’re lead to believe that the big story which is about to follow will end in a way which connects all the characters, but it never does. Or at least, they don’t come together as explicitly as the first three stories told. These first five minutes would make a superb short film of its own, alas it’s just a warm-up for the main event. Suddenly the depressing One is the Loneliest Number starts to play as the titles bloom out of a brilliant magnolia flower. What plays is basically a music video with all the depressed characters being introduced whilst the fitting song plays over them.

Magnolia has over ten main characters and by some sort of miracle, Paul manages to develop each one deeply. Each character is so rich with detail and each has a story which manages to be thoroughly engaging and entertaining. I mentioned all the heavy themes at the start, but Magnolia is actually quite a funny film in places too. If I were to mention what I loved about each charcter and their story then this review would probably be as long as the screenplay for Magnolia, so I’ll just mention a couple of my absolute favourites. Probably the most extraordinary character arc is Tom Cruise’s character, Frank. We despise him at the start with his disgusting misogynistic ramblings, however as his arc goes on we see him turn from cocky a prat into a vengeful and weeping little boy. Paul gives us just enough to suggest why his character is the way he is, yet leaves enough ambiguity to let us come to our own conclusions.

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Another fascinating character is Donnie Smith, the child star who’s now all grown up and forgotten. His story is arguably the most moving. He’s a drunk whose lost his job and is hopelessly in love with a barman who doesn’t love him back. One of the saddest parts of the film, for me, was when Donnie got drunk at the bar and started rambling about how much love he had to give. What makes all these stories so engaging is that they’re all so identifiable, or at least will be. We’ve all felt alone, we’ve all felt love, we’ll all have to cope with dying or seeing a loved one die etc. this is perhaps the secret to Magnolia’s greatness.

The acting is also brilliant across the board. Tom Cruise is an actor I normally can’t stand, yet here he’s Oscar-worthy. He’s been given such a complex character to play and he plays it with terrifying ease. The iconic moment when he confesses his hatred to his dying father feels almost too real. Julianne Moore is also another one who stands out. Her hysterical suicidal outbursts are almost exemplary. I also loved Philip Baker Hall as the game show host dying of cancer. At first he’s a character who you feel deep sympathy for until you find out the dark secret he’s harbouring. The scene where he confesses his secrets to his wife is another stand-out moment.

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Paul’s directing is nothing short of masterful, as ever. It might not have the same Kubrickian shots like, Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood had but there is still a distinct style which holds the film together. I loved the long and involving tracking shots and some of the editing was extraordinary. At times it reminded me of a Christopher Nolan film as there are several powerful moments in Magnolia where stories all come together with one character narrating over a different unconnected image involving another character. It’s difficult to explain, but it works and creates a superb mood. There’s even an inspired moment where all the characters burst into song, thus unifying them even further.

Magnolia really is the definition of a masterpiece. You can tell that Paul set out to create the greatest film ever made and he has pretty much succeeded. It’s such a magnificently rich, deep and emotional film. In fact, it’s so deep that it would take you at least three viewings to totally appreciate it all. It’s a brave piece of work and even features a moment of bizarre surrealism towards the end which should feel completely out of place, but doesn’t. Magnolia works on so many levels. It’s not so pretentious that it’s inaccessible to average movie-going audiences, however if you want to dig deeper into it then there’s more than enough there to allow it. I certainly can’t wait to experience it all again.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [The Yellow Kubrick Road]

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Director: Stanley Kubrick

Stars: Kier Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

PhenomenHAL!

Last night I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the very first time. I don’t know what has put me off seeking it out for all these years. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a big sci-fi fan, however I am a Stanley Kubrick fan. I particularly adore The Shining and love the way Stanley Kubrick soaks up a hypnotic atmosphere so that the film becomes an experience. After seeing some clips on the strange documentary, Room 237, I thought that the film looked right up my alley! I’ve also heard nothing but hype for years with people calling it one of the greatest films ever made, so I was extremely excited when I sat down to watch it.

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Unfortunately watching it, for me, was a little bit like sex. You want the first time to be the best, but in honesty, the more you do it, the better it gets. I had a banging headache throughout the first half and so really could not appreciate the loud music and atonal sounds because it was just so painful! Halfway through, I had to leave and get myself a Tesco headache pill and towards the end of the film it did go away. I also left to go to the loo about three times, as I had a lot of coffee to drink so that I’d have the stamina to stay up and also to sober myself up.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I don’t know. I think to get the full 2001 effect, you need to completely immerse yourself in it, but I struggled to do this. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate what I saw. In fact, I’m pretty sure that what I saw was an absolute masterpiece. I was completely sucked in, right from the beginning where sinister music played for about five minutes over a blank screen. It’s such an unusual way to open, hinting that the film you’re about to see isn’t your usual rip-roaring science fiction adventure. We then get that glorious famous music with a beautiful image of a sun rising over the Earth. It’s an amazing title sequence which made the hairs on my neck stand on end.

I think it’s a stroke of genius having the first scene, in a film which is largely set in the future, be set at the beginning of time itself. It must have been so jarring for audiences in 1968, of course everyone knows that the film starts with the monkeys now because it’s so widely talked about. Speaking of the year in which it came out, I cannot believe that this film was made in the 60’s! I saw it in blu-ray and it looked like a film which had came out last week. It’s easy to see why it so disliked when it first came out, because it’s just so ahead of its time. Although, some of the monkey suits did look a bit naff!

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We’re then thrown into the year 2001, where (apparently) space travel is an everyday thing and stewardesses wear bright pink clothes complete with a strange bubble hat. To be quite honest with you, the remainder of the film is very difficult to put into words. It’s pure art in the form of film. It’s a rarity these days, however people like David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn are striving to keep it alive. There are long sequences of spaceships flying overhead to classical music and people walking slowly upside down. It all creates a certain feeling and experience which you have to see for yourself.

2001: A Space Odyssey doesn’t really have much of a plot. Astronauts find a strange giant tablet on the moon, and then some more astronauts go on a mission which I don’t entirely understand the purpose of, with a creepy robot called, HAL, which is of course now an iconic character. It’s strange because a lot of the film is incredibly slow and, dare I say it, boring. But there’s something about it which keeps you interested and locked to the screen. Scenes which would last five minutes in an ordinary Hollywood film, last up to half an hour here and it does create a unique and immersive experience which stays on your subconscious for a while.

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A lot of the film is very haunting. The choral chants whenever the strange black tablet appeared created a wonderful atmosphere of mystery and impending doom. I also found the scene where HAL sings, very creepy. Of course, the most talked about scene is the Lynchian finale where we’re plunged into a psychedelic and hypnotic fantasy world. The final scene makes absolutely no sense, but it most definitely haunts you. I couldn’t help but have chills all the way up my spine when the music plays and the baby looks right towards you. It’s scary and very powerful.

I think subsequent viewings are going to make 2001 a definite favourite of mine. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. After seeing this now, I find it strange how people are comparing it to Interstellar. Interstellar is a somewhat conventional and fast-paced sci-fi adventure, albeit an absolutely astounding one! Whereas, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a slow art film. They’re impossible to compare! Both of them are masterpieces in their own right though. It’s a film which will definitely stay with me, and I look forward to plunging myself into its world again.

perfect-10

Interstellar (2014)

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Director: Christopher Nolan

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Ellen Burstyn

Classic

Today children I shall be talking about Interstellar. But before I do, I think I better give you a little context, just to show how high my expectations were for this film. I love Christopher Nolan. I am a Nolanite, or Nolanoid, or whatever people who like Christopher Nolan are called. I’ve seen every film of his (apart from Following) and I’ve given five of them a 10/10 which is a score I hand out rarely. It confuses me when people slag him off because he’s clearly the best writer/director to be working on mainstream blockbuster films since Steven Spielberg, only I think that his films are much better than Steven’s.

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The great thing with Chris is that he has an ambition when he’s making a film and he isn’t afraid to go ‘big’. His films are only so thrilling because of the intimacy he creates between the audience and the characters. As soon as I heard Christopher Nolan’s next film was a sci-fi film called, Interstellar, I was excited. I was so excited that I only treated myself to one viewing of the teaser trailer and first trailer. It was enough, I was sold and I didn’t want to see any other trailer, because I wanted to know and see as little as possible.

I decided that Interstellar needed to be seen in IMAX, so I booked my ticket to see Interstellar on the biggest screen in the UK. Even though the film had garnered some mixed reviews (I was hoping for full-on rave ones, like when The Dark Knight and Inception came out) I still put my trust into Christopher to deliver me something extraordinary. I don’t know if it’s the gigantic screen talking, but Interstellar absolutely delivered.

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This was the best experience I’ve ever had at the cinema. The screen was so so huge and immersive. The sound shook the seats because it was so loud. It made the experience incredibly intense and by the end of it, I felt like I had been for a little trip out in space. I’m not sure if this will translate quite so well on your TV screen at home, however the film is unmissable whatever you choose to see it on. Whilst a lot of the film does rely on extraordinary visuals and heart-stopping set-pieces, at its heart it’s an intimate family drama which suggests that your children are your one and only important universe.

I was absolutely sucked into the film from the moment it started. The stuff before Matthew goes into space is probably some of the best stuff in the film. We learn so much about Coop and he becomes a worthy character to invest three hours into (three hours which fly by, I might add). There’s a strong focus on the relationship between Coop and his daughter, and it’s this relationship which drives the film right up to, and including, its jaw-dropping conclusion. The first hour is also quite funny too, which was a nice surprise as Nolan doesn’t normally dabble in too much humour.

There’s a really emotional scene where Coop wants to say goodbye to his daughter, who he doesn’t know when he’s going to see again, before his space travels. It’s beautifully acted by both Matthew McConaughey and child actor, Mackenzie Foy and is at the powerful centre of the whole film. After this the film adopts an entirely new setting. Literally. We’re blasted off into space and the fun really begins. The less you know about the space scenes, the better, as it’s a lot of fun to try and work out just where the film is going!

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Suffice to say that Interstellar is jam-packed with eye-popping visuals and intense thrills which dwarf last year’s Gravity into a speck of space dust by comparison. Speaking of Gravity, do you remember when it came out last year and it got a load of rave reviews from the critics, but really it was just a beautifully made fairground ride? Well, why hasn’t Interstellar received those rave reviews? Not only is Interstellar thrilling and marvellously directed, but it also has a terrific screenplay which is not only intelligent, but heartfelt and emotive.

With The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher proved that he could direct on a big scale and Interstellar is his biggest yet. He has an ambition which most directors lack and instead of kicking him down for it, we should be nurturing it! Interstellar presents us with new and exciting ideas which colossally blow other mainstream films out of the water. The action is also elevated to unreachable new heights thanks to Hans Zimmer’s astonishing score. It’s a haunting piece of music that will be ringing in your head for hours after the film has finished. He’s left the big drums and strings behind and re-invented himself with a bizarre church organ which perfectly matches the dark atmosphere of the film.

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A lot of people have expressed a strong disliking to the final 40 minutes of Interstellar. I can see why as up until then the film is more or less possible to understand. It’s complex, but it’s still easy enough to follow. However, Christopher completely rips up the rule book and Interstellar goes seriously barmy in the last 40 minutes. Personally, I loved the third act and it just goes to show the sheer creativity and ambition which Christopher Nolan has going inside his head. I found it all very interesting both on a visual and intellectual level. I don’t understand it all, but I have my theories and I’m sure that there will be a mountain of theories cropping up on the interweb.

Interstellar is a truly remarkable experience. It boasts awesome ideas and visuals, but it never forgets its heart. I’m a tough cookie to make cry, but I’m not going to lie (ooh poetry!) there were three occasions when I had tears filling up in my eyes. There are some astonishingly powerful and moving scenes in there which reminds me why I go to the cinema. I don’t just want crazy visuals and excitement, I want to be moved and I want to be invested in characters so that I care what happens to them at the end. Interstellar more than achieves that.

I’ll need to give it another watch to work out where I’d put it on Christopher Nolan’s mesmerising filmography, but he hasn’t let me down. I hope that Interstellar is seen as a sci-fi classic in years to come because it really does deserve that accolade.

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10 Greatest Scenes In Mulholland Drive (Spoilers)

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Mulholland Drive. A true cinematic classic by one of the greatest directors on the planet, David Lynch. I think it’s criminal that David Lynch hasn’t won an oscar yet, least of all for his magnum-opus, Mulholland Drive. He’s a director I admire so much that I’m going through his works slowly to build anticipation. Eraserhead, Dune, Blue Velvet and Lost Highway are the only films of his I have left to see. I think that he’s an absolute genius and Mulholland Drive is easily in my top 5 films ever made.

It’s strange dream-like atmosphere is captivating. David Lynch is the only director who can truly capture a dream on film (aside from the dream sequences in Ab Fab maybe). Anyone who’s seen and embraced Inland Empire will assure you that after seeing it, it felt like you dream it. Mulholland Drive also has a brilliantly immersive twisting narrative which grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. You’ll never understand what’s happening the first time you watch it, yet it’s impossible to take your eyes off the screen. It’s also a wonderfully layered film which has provoked multiple interpretations, although the dream theory does seem to make the most sense. Naomi Watts also gives a sensational performance which tragically wasn’t even oscar nominated. It’s a film full of memorably trippy scenes with hidden meanings, making it a rich experience to watch and re-watch. Here is my top 10 moments from this masterpiece (I should warn you here that spoilers will follow):

10) Jitterbug

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The opening to Mulholland Drive is a perfect visual metaphor for watching the film itself. Have a deep inhale as you plonk your head onto your proverbial pillow (a bit of Clayfield there) and immerse yourself into the madness. David Lynch suggests that there are two clues to the mystery before the titles even appear, and one of them is believed to be the POV shot hitting the pillow and fading to black as this is the start of Diane’s tragic dream. We then get a stroboscopic set of colour and people dancing to some fantastically catchy music. This is the turning point for the viewer. You can either totally reject it thinking, “What’s this unconventional shite!” and turn it off, or you can say “Hey, let’s go with it” and embrace it (preferred option). I think it’s a great way to open the film as it’s completely barmy yet strangely hypnotic. Which is probably how I’d describe the entire film.

9) Botched hit

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Here’s a scene that no one seems to understand! Many people have hazard a guess at what other scenes symbolise, but this one seems very out of place indeed. Never the less it happens to be one of the most entertaining scenes in the film. It could easily work as an excellent short film called: “How Not to Murder Someone”. It follows a man callously shooting his brother, for reasons unknown, and trying to make it look like a suicide. However, he ends up nearly killing the whole floor! It’s a really funny scene (“Something bit me real bad!”) and also oddly gripping to watch. I still don’t really know what it all means though…

8) Party

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Mulholland Drive hits the viewer with tragedy after Diane awakes and here’s one of the most crushing. Diane clearly loves Camilla, but Camilla doesn’t seem to be returning the favour. It’s entrancing to watch them walk up the secret path and be introduced to all the colourful characters from Diane’s dream whom all seem to be slightly twisted versions. The most jarring realisation is that Camilla and Adam are an item. The dinner scene is quite difficult to watch as we see Camilla completely humiliate Diane by unashamedly crawling all over Adam like a rash and having a cheeky snog with Melissa George. The pain in Diane’s face is unforgettable. Lynch also directs this scene to perfection by using long drawn out shots and mesmerising music to create a strong dreamy atmosphere.

7) Winkie’s Diner

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This scene is often commended as one of the scariest scenes from a non-horror film, and rightly so! I jumped out of my seat the first time I saw it. I think the reason that it’s so grating is because of the magnificent build-up. Just like the hit man scene, this one jumps out of nowhere and seamlessly transports the viewer to a new narrative. A man tells us about a frightening dream and then decides to take us on it too. A hideous monster jumps out the corner, causing the man to pass out. David Lynch turns a simple jump scare into a terrifying piece of cinema, thanks to his innovative directing. The scene is supposedly meant to symbolise Diane’s fear of reality. She’s escaped into this dream world and is scared to confront her actual life, as the man is scared to confront a “monster” who is later revealed to be a tramp. Perhaps someone who he’s scared of becoming?

6) Camilla Rhodes’ Audition

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I find it extraordinarily difficult to explain why I like this scene so much. I just find it oddly spellbinding to watch. The song Melissa George sings is hypnotic and the film spends a lot of time building up to this audition as a strange mafia gang have bullied Adam into auditioning this unknown young woman. When we hear Adam hauntingly say, “This is the girl” we can’t help but feel a sense of danger. But of what?

5) Sex

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I know what you’re all thinking, but I didn’t put this scene on my list because I’m some twisted pervert! In fact, I struggle to find this scene erotic at all because of the underlying tragedy behind it. I could almost cry for Betty when she says “I’m in love” because it reveals Diane’s monumental guilt of murdering her lover, Camilla. She was truly in love with her and dreamt of a passionate love like this, which is later shown to be far from the truth in a flashback which reveals a far less romanticized and passionate love life. This is also the key moment when Diane begins to lose control of her dream by indulging in her fantasy.

4) Cowboy

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Of course my cowboy had to feature in the list! Again, I don’t really know what it is about this scene that has me so mesmerised, but I just find it very absorbing. We don’t know who this cowboy is or what he wants, which is beautifully mysterious, but we know that he’s extremely powerful. Some people say that he symbolises Hollywood’s golden age of Western movies, perhaps a time where Hollywood was more forgiving to actors than it is now. The dialogue in this scene is also impeccably written and very memorable. “If you’ve done good, you’ll see me one more time. If you’ve done bad, you’ll see me two more times.” A wonderfully atmospheric scene.

3) Suicide

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Here’s one of Mulholland Drive’s most frightening moments. For me, the most frightening and eerie moment is the one shot of the old couple smiling maniacally in the back of a cab. So when they come back in the wacky finale it makes the scene all the more chilling. Diane breaks down completely, the old couple crawl out of the iconic blue box (what does it mean?) in miniature form, burst through Diane’s door and attack her with grins on their faces. This leads to Diane grabbing a nearby revolver and tragically shooting herself. This scene is magnificently directed and feels extremely theatrical. I especially love the blinding smoke and the chilling realisation that the decomposed Diane Selwyn in Diane’s dream is a shocking and blatant foreshadowing of Diane’s actual fate. This scene just goes to show how deep the film is, if you care to dig a little.

2) Audition

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Here’s another extremely clever, deep scene. I think Naomi Watts should’ve won an Oscar for this scene alone. It’s one of the most hypnotic scenes in the film (bar my number one spot, patience please) and one of the best acted too. Diane is dreaming who she longs to be, perhaps who she thought she was, a sensational actress. She completely lets herself go and even startles the tanned granddad at how extraordinary she is at acting. It’s also clever how Lynch juxtaposes this audition with Betty and Rita’s earlier playful reading, which showed just how contrived and pathetic the dialogue for the film is. However, when Betty acts it out, the scene takes a whole new intensity and even makes the stiff dialogue sound like the work of Shakespeare. It’s also clever how Diane dreams about seducing Hollywood, when in reality Hollywood cruelly spat her out. It’s a masterful scene directed with a hypnotic seduction that will have you completely immersed in the scene. This is the girl.

1) Club Silencio

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Some find this scene overlong and self-indulgent, however I’m a little biased here as there’s nothing I enjoy more than indulging in Lynch. The Club Silencio scene has such a strange power behind it and I still can’t work out why. It’s where Diane loses control of her dream, as Rita holds the reigns with a hauntingly mysterious, “Silencio… Silencio…” which leads to Rita taking Betty to a strange old theatre with a man (who has been speculated to be representing the devil) talking about how everything in the room is recorded. This leads Betty to have a violent attack as she realises that she’s dreaming. Nothing is real. A strange woman then comes out singing a hypnotic and powerful version of the song, “Crying” in Spanish. It moves Betty and Rita to tears, before she songstress faints, to reveal that the song was in fact a recording. This is perhaps a metaphor for the entertainment industry, as it works their performers to death. The scene is open to a lot of interpretation, but if you allow yourself to become immersed in it, you will find pure movie magic. When someone mentions Mulholland Drive, this is the scene that immediately comes into my head. I think everything about it is just sensational. The lighting, the directing, the music, the acting, the chilling ambiguity. Also, Laura Palmer is in the audience! Perhaps the Club Silencio is part of the red room?

Mulholland Drive really is a magical masterpiece to me. It’s a comment on the cruel dream factory of Hollywood and can be interpreted differently on so many different levels. If there was any justice in the world, Mulholland Drive would’ve won best picture, best director and best actress at the Oscars. Nevertheless it will always remain one of my all time favourite films. What are your favourite scenes from this phenomenal film?