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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A paradox of perfection, 22 November 2002

Drama, mystery, suspense, intrigue, eroticism, love, existential questions, brooding philosophy, worldly parallels, nightmarish visions.................... such is the world of Mulholland Drive. Simply put: This is David Lynch at his invariable finest.

For some, the words: "A David Lynch Film" will be all the review you need. Fans of his previous work will instantly understand where I'm coming from. For those new to Lynch, his work is really something that you need to experience for yourself. No words can adequately describe what you will obtain from Mulholland Drive as no words can adequately describe the workings of your own inner psyche. Your interpretation of what unfolds will to a great extent be a reflection of yourself, what makes you tick, how your mind goes about interpreting and analysing information and emotion. Do not expect a literal storyline, do not expect anything clear-cut, do not expect anything to be handed to you on a plate, do not expect the film to be one of escapism, and do not expect to turn your brain off.

To quote from Blue Velvet, "It's a strange world", and Lynch knows this only too well. Prepare for a perfectly executed, beautiful and arousing cinematic venture into the unknown.

In a sense you can in fact look at Mullholland Dr. in a literal fashion, although I think this is cutting yourself short of what can actually be obtained from the film. One of the more literal interpretations I had of the movie is just the whole basic play with the 'dark underbelly of Hollywood' theme. After my second viewing of the film I always saw the first half of the film as a dream(non-reality) and the second half of the film as the actuality of the situation (reality). Take away all Lynch's moot cryptic clues and random scenes of unrelated (or are they?) madness, and what have you left? A woman who travels to Hollywood to follow her dreams of becoming an actress. In the first half we are shown her dream (or a manifestation of her dream): She is instantly loved and recognised by some of the Hollywood 'powers that be', scores a part as an actress almost simultaneously, falls passionately in love, lives in a beautiful house, etc, etc. And in the second half we are shown her reality: she scores small parts and even then, only as a favour of a friend who is dating a famous director, she remains unnoticed, yearns for love that is eternally unobtainable, lives in a small and crummy flat, and worst of all...... her dreams are nothing more than that, and will never ever eventuate.

This is but one interpretation. There are many more. And each cryptic clue or Lynchian twist that you add (the blue key, the cowboy, the dark man, the ashtray........and so forth) changes or gives entirely new meaning altogether.

Another way to look at it is as a jumble of metaphors. For example..... the dark man in Mulholland Dr. is nothing more than a visual representation of Hollywood (the actuality of Hollywood, not the glamorous one we are led to believe on television). The dark, seething underbelly of tinsel-town itself.

For me, I look at David Lynch films in the same way I would look at my own dreams. I find this the best way to describe to people, or at least make them understand where he's coming from. You know how in a dream things are all a bit mixed up and yet to you, at the time, they make perfect sense? Friends of yours who have never met talk in dreams like they have known each other their whole lives, locations by no means near to each other are walking distance in comparison, something that happened to you five years ago and something that happened five days ago blur together seamlessly in your dream and yet....... TO YOU..... it all makes perfect sense. It is more a representation of ideas (like a dream) than a linear story. And what you make of it really comes down to your personal interpretation of what it made you feel............ which may or may not be what Lynch intended you to feel in the first place.

Perhaps his most poignant work since Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive is a cinematic masterpiece from a director at the height of his craft. A riddle within a riddle. A paradox of perfection.

"Now you will see me one more time if you do good. You'll see me two more times if you do bad".

386 out of 441 people found the following review useful:
A stunning, intoxicating, magical masterpiece., 4 November 2002

There is simply no denying that Miyazaki is the Godfather of Japanese Animation, time and time again delivering unto the public works of such incredible beauty, such stunning visual and sensory delights, such mastery of storytelling, that one can only be left speechless. Overwhelmed. Intoxicated with wonder. Such is the magic of Spirited Away.

Much like Miyazaki's previous feature Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away is an epic fairytale fantasy that deserves no better medium than the stunning animation work of Studio Ghibli. This multiple award-winning masterpiece has grown to become the largest grossing film in Japanese history, and rightly so. From the moment our child heroine Chihiro enters the bath houses we are literally bombarded with an overwhelming sense of detail and rich, lavish colours rarely - if ever - seen in western animation. Scenes such as Chihiro running through the field of flowers, the marvellous landscapes seen from the train, Haku and Chihiro soaring the skies above, and Chihiro running across the pipe to climb the walls of the bath house are nothing short of breathtaking, and undoubtably some of the most lavish animation ever to hit the screen.

The world of Spirited Away is simply bustling with life; unique, quirky, instantly lovable creatures jostling about their daily activities and tasks in the bath houses, dancing across the screen like leaves caught in a playful summer breeze. The inventiveness of Miyazaki's character designs, much like in Mononoke, is wonderful to behold, in fact not since classic tales like Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and The Neverending Story have we been able to fall hopelessly in love with such original, quirky, magical, even fantastical characters. The viewer is plunged headfirst into another world for nearly two hours and one cannot help but be completely and utterly captivated.

The music and original score is stunningly beautiful, the original Japanese language track of such high quality that one wonders why someone could insult the work by producing a dub track at all. With a plot differing in its complexity on so many levels, from the basic storyline, to the omnipresent universal themes, to the riddling of Japanese history and fable throughout, children and adults alike will be mesmerised from start to end. A magical, awe-inspiring, tearful, laughter-filled, heartfelt journey through a land of sweeping fantasy and dreams.

Prepare to be Spirited Away........................

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A heart-warming journey through cinema, life, love, loss and acceptance of one's fate., 2 November 2002

Millennium Actress is easily the sleeper-hit of modern Anime. Very unlike Satoshi Kon's previous masterpiece, Perfect Blue, and yet similar in the sense that it is not a conventional Anime feature, Millennium Actress is the latest offering from one of Anime's quiet masters. Satoshi Kon's animated and directoral style has matured in a big way, and the fast-edits, obscure angles and incredibly rich colours used to convey the dream/memory sequences bordered on perfection. Blending seamlessly through modern-day reality, cinema, fiction and history, Kon tells the life story of an actress, very much designed to make us reflect upon our own. The story was incredibly moving; one of those films where you leave the cinema and wander around for an hour or so in heavy contemplation-mode.

Loved the obligatory head nods to classic cinema greats.

Millennium Actress is a heart-warming journey through cinema, life, love, loss and acceptance of one's fate.