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Directed by David Lynch

United States 2001 147 mins. In English

Mulholland Drive, conceived as a television series in the Twin Peaks lineage and shot as a feature-length pilot episode, was subsequently shelved by ABC. Lynch carried on with funding from France, adding scenes to make up what is now considered to be one of the finest films of the nascent 21st century. Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) is a newcomer to Los Angeles, yet another actress in search of fame. One day, Betty finds the mysterious and amnesiac Rita (Laura Elena Harring) in her apartment after Rita is in a car crash. Meanwhile, hotshot film director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) struggles to get a film made in a hostile production environment. The two storylines converge in an unexpected yet typically Lynchian manner, adding bits and pieces of marginalia along the way. Mulholland Drive, which won Lynch the Best Director prize at Cannes, is a masterpiece of dripping mood, pure feeling, and deep Tinseltown mythology. “In keeping reality at arm’s length, cinema sustains us because of, rather than in spite of, its essentially deceptive nature. As long as the lights stay down and the song keeps playing, we at once rehearse and delay our reckoning with the things that exist beyond the frame. Mulholland Drive is great film art because it fully inhabits its chosen medium while reminding us how ephemeral it is in the end. Cinema—and life—is but a dream. The rest is Silencio.”—Adam Nayman, Little White Lies. “I’m hoping that people enjoy the ride on Mulholland Drive. And I’m hoping that the thing that was spoken about earlier, intuition, kicks in. This machine that we have for sensing something that we’re not necessarily being able to articulate it. Abstractions can exist in cinema and that’s one of the powers of cinema to me. And I love the abstract feel of it and I hope the others will as well. I know people understand it.”—David Lynch.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.