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A Psychoanalysis Approach to Mulholland Drive. Clark Teng Derrick Wei Michelle Wang Nanch Chen Paul Chen Roy Chiu. Introduction. Thesis:

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a psychoanalysis approach to mulholland drive

A Psychoanalysis Approach to Mulholland Drive

Clark Teng Derrick Wei

Michelle Wang Nanch Chen

Paul Chen Roy Chiu



This film ventures into Diane’s state of mind via dreams and memories. Functioning as an act of wish fulfillment in aspects of love, guilt, and career, Diane’s conflicts as well reveal Lynch’s criticisms toward Hollywood Film Industry.

A. Plot & Structure:

1. Interweaving of Dream and Reality: Jitterbug dancing…1

ii desire for love

II. Desire for Love

A. Dissatisfaction: Betrayal

B. Wish-fulfillment

1. Adam– being revenged (e.g. being a cuckold, frustrated in career, bankrupt, and so on).

2. Camilla (Rita)– being incompetent (e.g. losing memory, awkward as little pussy, depending on Betty/Diane).

3.Aunt Ruth– died in reality but was alive in Diane’s dream (went far away and left Betty/Diane a awesome apartment).

4. Coco/Adam’s mother– being considerate for Betty/Diane in the dream.

C. Question to Ponder upon

Who does Diane love the most? Camilla or herself?

guilt complex in dream
Guilt Complex in Dream

1. Witness  death

2. Ugly man  scapegoat, the displacement of Diane’s guilt, condensation

3. Clumsy killer  Diane didn’t want him to succeed in reality

4. Jitterbug dance, 50s rest., Anne’s apart.  memory of good old days

5. warnings: telephone, doorbell, siren, detect  fear & uneasiness

iv ambition for career
IV. Ambition for career
  • A. Diane’s dissatisfaction: unsuccess in Hollywood
  • B. Wish-fulfillment

1. Auntie figures: (elder figures)

a. Self expectation=>expectation from others=>help from the elders

b. Success in Hollywood

c. Examples: the old couple met in airport/ aunt Ruth/ the audition (Betty’s)

2.The excuse for unsuccess

a. Uglify Hollywood:

(1) A man hiding back of the place=> everything is already ordered.

(2) Examples: the audition (Betty’s)/ the audition (for Adam’s Film)/ the club silencio

b. Incompetence of Adam

(1) Cowboy, the man who drank Expresso=>

the ones who direct Adam

(2) The extramarital relation of Adam’s wife

v symbol
V. Symbol

A. Key: passage to the cruel reality

1. In the dream, Rita and Betty get together happily.

2. In reality, Camilla is dead, and Diane does not succeed in her career.

B. Box: reality--

After opening it, Diane woke up

C. Party: the end of Camilla’s love

D. Club: sarcasm against Hollywood

1. It’s all recorded

2. As fake as the audition in Hollywood


vi filming techniques
VI. Filming Techniques

Uneasiness created in Mulholland Drive

1. Switch of perspective

2. Surprises

3. Exaggeration

vii conclusion
VII. Conclusion

Themes in Mulholland Drive

  • Identity
  • Reality and illusion
  • Criticism on Hollywood