Mulholland Drive ★★★★★

I found the first hour and a half or so gripping, funny and rather brilliant; the last hour felt like a combination of indulgence and bizarre intensity, both boring and erotic. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, then that's the point. It's clearly about dreams, fantasy, making films, watching films, and celebrity culture. About the bottomless pit that is Hollywood and its destruction of anybody with hopes of making it there. I think its many interconnecting dreamlike sequences and uncertainty regarding identity are a portrait of Hollywood itself, where practical experience collides with prior expectation and ambition, revealing the entire business as the people in power playing a game of favorites, where one's success is irrelevant to their level of talent or drive. Or maybe it's none of this and I've completely missed the mark.

Either way, I absolutely loved every second and was practically hypnotized throughout. The use of POV shots is particularly outstanding, as the camera places us in the emotional state of the characters - be it fear, lust, excitement, awe, joy - we aren't merely watching events occur and a story unfold, we are experiencing the feelings behind these events, both as a driving force in the character as well as the thing holding them back. There are no special effects or computer tricks, just the incredible mastery of the camera. This is a singlular work that manages to reach, toy around with, and transcend the maximum potential allowed in the medium of film.

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