Mulholland Drive ★★½

As with Twin Peaks most of this feels like "are you afraid of the dark" for undergrads, with the Dark/Goosebumps aesthetic taken to its logical conclusion. Like Maps to the Stars can't help feeling it would work better as a Tim and Eric Bedtime Story, and though I know it's intentional the first half feeling like it was directed by Tommy Wiseau was like nails on a chalkboard, the melancholic ambient score by Badalamenti excepted. Yet, also like Twin Peaks, the mythology, with corridors beyond corridors of power eventually corrupting the deepest corridor at the bottom of one's mind, is intermittently compelling.

As with Fire Walk With Me, once the bottom drops out and the goofy tonal shifts stop (some of which are admittedly funny, billy ray cyrus in particular), the underlying attempt at sincerity starts to resonate. The nifty moebius strip structure, which, while not making direct narrative sense, works on a figurative level as "what has and will continue to happen to every woman when they get chewed up and spit out by an industry run by men and money." But even there, given the amount of women getting knocked around in the first half for laughs, it felt somewhat hypocritical, and eventually hard to gauge how much actually sympathetic and how much conservatively punitive (which, sure, this is pulp tragedy and loose, murderous lesbians will ultimately meet the fatale in femme fatales in a way that doesn't necessarily mean remonstration, but...).