by The Cat Lady
David Lynch is the greatest director working today, one of the greatest of all time.
Mulholland Drive is his latest film. It is one of his best. Those who took their
grandmothers to see Lynch's last film The Straight Story should not take them to
Mulholland Drive, which most closely resembles Lynch's Lost Highway. Like
Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive is filled with sex, violence, decadence, and
dark humor. Both films have almost unintelligible plots. Both are set in Los Angeles.
Both films are magnets for perforated misfits who think that Lynch is celebrating their own
decadence and snickering along with them at wholesome, traditional White American values.
In fact, however, Mulholland Drive, like all of Lynch's movies, is a categorical
indictment of the decadence of modern American society by a man who truly believes in
traditional White American values.
David Lynch would love to live in Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet's Lumberton. He would
love to live in the world of Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons. In Blue
Velvet, Twin Peaks, and above all The Straight Story, he celebrates the
independence, resourcefulness, and Eagle-Scout virtues of ordinary, sincere, straight-arrow
Americans. But he knows that their world is constantly threatened by evil forces. These
evil forces work through the channels of culture and politics, but they are not merely
cultural and political. They are spiritual. Lynch is a modern day Manichean; a mystic who
believes in the reality of the demonic, of evil forces that first enter and then dominate our
souls through our vices, follies, and blind spots. These demonic forces are personified in
different ways in different films: as The Man in the Planet in Eraserhead, which is
the ultimate gnostic anti-sex film; as Killer Bob in Twin Peaks; as The Mystery Man in
Lost Highway -- and as The Cowboy in Mulholland Drive. Lynch even has developed
a visual code to indicate the presence of these forces: smoke; flickering electricity; movie
theater drapes, especially red ones (the Veil of Maya); freakish and deformed people;
time that moves backwards or in loops; and all the machinery of Plato's Cave--the stage,
the screen, the movie studio, Los Angeles itself--that stands between us and the truth, that
keeps us in bondage to illusion.
So Lynch is a kind of religious conservative. But is he racially aware? I would venture to
say: Yes. First, throughout his films, Lynch has cast very few Jews and non-Whites. Second,
most of the non-Whites he has cast are criminals, lowlifes, and buffoons, e.g., Bob Ray
Lemon, Reggie and the Mexican sisters Juana and Perdita in Wild at Heart and the two
negroes working in the hardware store in Blue Velvet. The only exceptions that come
to mind are in Twin Peaks: Deputy Hawk, an American Indian, and Albert Rosenfeld, a
sneering, arrogant, urban Jew who turns out to be a good guy under it all. It should be
noted, however, that Lynch was not in complete creative control of the Twin Peaks
Mulholland Drive provides the strongest evidence of Lynch's racial awareness. But
first, something about the plot of the film. Mulholland Drive falls into two parts.
The first part is a mystery story and satire of Hollywood that is engaging, suspenseful, and
extremely funny. Then the story turns darker. A woman's rotting corpse is found in her
apartment. Then comes a lesbian seduction. Then a journey to a mysterious club called
"Silencio" where performers mime to pre-recorded tracks. We are moved by a beautiful
Mexican love song sung by Rebekah del Rio. We are encompassed by the illusion. We forget
that it is an illusion. Then the illusion is shattered when the singer falls dead on the
stage but the song plays on. A blue box is discovered. When it is opened, the second half
of the movie commences. The second half is dark and tragic. It is told through a series of
flashbacks. It culminates in madness and suicide. I am not giving anything away by saying
that, as I read it, the first part of the movie is the dream of a dying madwoman and the
second part explains what drove her to madness and death.
The most remarkable feature of this movie is its entirely negative, and entirely accurate,
portrayal of Hollywood Jews. We see a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed woman, starry-eyed and
grinning with joy as she arrives in Los Angeles. Her name is Betty, played by Naomi
Watts. Betty has come to Hollywood to be an actress. She is a classic Lynch heroine: an
earnest, wholesome, small-town girl from Deep River Ontario. She speaks in the G-rated
cliches of old Hollywood. Later we discover that she became interested in acting after
winning a jitterbug contest. She is next to an elderly, white-haired woman named Irene.
They have met and struck up a friendship on the plane. Irene seems to be from the same
wholesome mold. She and her elderly male travelling companion bid Betty goodbye and good
luck. Then we see Irene and her friend in the back of a limousine, their faces insanely
distorted with cynical, sniggering leers. The man has stereotypically Jewish features.
(The actor's name is Dan Birnbaum.) They are apparently enjoying a good laugh at the
expense of this naive, corn-fed shiksa. Later they return as demonic
Another Jew, Dan (played by Patrick Fischler), meets a well-dressed gentile, Herb, at a
Winky's restaurant. The gentile is apparently a psychotherapist. The Jew is his patient.
This is no surprise. Jews had to invent psychoanalysis because they practically invented
neurosis, what with their "high investment" parenting strategies and the hatred and fear
of non-Jews they instill practically in the womb. This Jew is certainly neurotic, but
he may have a touch of divine madness. He describes two dreams he has had, both of them
set in the restaurant. In the dream, he sees through the walls. Behind them is a face
that utterly terrifies him. The two men go behind the restaurant. The Jew sees the face
(played by Bonnie or Ronnie Aarons) and faints dead away. The psychotherapist does not see
it, but we will see this face again. It is the face of a supernatural embodiment of evil.
It is the face of a devil, maybe the devil. It is he who is ultimately behind all the walls
in this movie, pulling the strings in Hollywood, drawing people to their doom.
The central Jewish character in this movie is Adam Kesher, a hot-shot young director played
by Justin Theroux. We met Kesher on a bad day. He is being pressured by two mysterious
Italians, the Castiglione brothers (played by Dan Hedaya and composer Angelo Badalamenti) to
cast a particular girl in his film. He refuses. The mysterious wire-puller Mr. Roque
orders Kesher's movie shut down. Mr. Roque is played by Michael J. Anderson, the dancing
midget from Twin Peaks. Even the drape-lined set is similar, although more luxurious,
as if the Little Man from Far Away has received a promotion in the hierarchy of Hell.
(Roque does not dance because he is an a wheelchair.) Kesher then finds his blonde
shiksa in bed with a beefy, tattooed Aryan working man played by Billy Ray Cyrus,
who drives him out of his house. (The side of Cyrus's pickup truck reads "Gene Clean.")
Kesher hides out in a sleazy hotel, but "they" -- the wire-pullers -- somehow find him. His
credit cards are cancelled and his bank accounts emptied. Finally, he is told to meet with
someone known only as "the cowboy." Kesher is filled with just the sort of cynical,
sarcastic contempt for cowboys that one would expect. The cowboy's appearance is accompanied
by flickering electricity, announcing his supernatural origin. He is an enforcer in Hell's
hierarchy. He looks and talks and dresses like an overgrown child in a cowboy suit that is
slightly too large for him. Kesher can barely contain his arrogance. He is smug,
supercilious, smirking, ironic. In the cowboy's words, he's a smart Alec. But this corn-fed
goy manages to scare and humble him nonetheless. He chooses the girl. Later in the
film, we see him at a party celebrating his engagement to another beautiful shiksa,
this one a brunette. His conceit, affectedness, and irreverant frivolity are boundless.
We also see from whom he gets it. His mother, played by Ann Miller, is a nasty, gnarled,
snobbish old biddy with too much jewelry and too little taste.
There are other, minor Jewish characters in the film. One pair appears in a wonderfully
satirical audition scene. Jimmy Katz, played by Chad Everett, looks like a dashing older
WASP, while Martha Johnson (played by Kate Forster) looks stereotypically Jewish. A
comment on name and nose changes, perhaps? The slightly bitchy, slightly dykey woman in
Apartment 12 also looks quite Jewish, and the actress's name turns out to be Johanna
There are only two negroes in the film, and they are there strictly for laughs. They are
backup singers in a 1950s set piece directed by Adam Kesher. Not only are the negroes'
faces comical (one looks like a drag queen), but their very presence is risible, because
integrated music groups are not plausible for the period. But this is the Jew Adam
Kesher's film, not David Lynch's, and in the Hollywood of today's Jews there are negroes
everywhere. I watched the film in theatres twice, and both audiences saw and laughed at
I cannot say anything more about this film without giving away the plot. Suffice it to say
that Mulholland Drive is a beautiful, funny, shocking, mysterious film about how
people like us are destroyed by the Hollywood illusion machine, a machine run by the devil
but staffed by people like Adam Kesher.
Lynch strips away the Veil of Maya and tells us to be silent. Yes. Be silent. Think
about what you have seen. As I pondered this deeply disturbing, uncanny film, my perplexity
slowly turned to understanding, my understanding to anger, my anger to the desire to
fight. Frankly, I do not know how to fight the devil. Perhaps we'll figure that out
someday. But there are enough Adam Keshers to keep us busy in the meantime.
THE CAT LADY
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