David Lynch's Mulholland Drive set for re-release
It seems ironic, a little surreal even that David Lynch, that most intriguing of cult film directors has not made a film in ten years (2006’s INLAND EMPIRE) and yet he appears to be omnipresent in the extreme as the year draws to a close.
In recent months, we have seen the limited release of Jon Nguyen and Rick Barnes’ celebrated documentary, David Lynch The Art Life, and a restored release of the 1986 Lynch classic, Blue Velvet. The literary world was also plundered by Twin Peaks collaborator Mark frost and his Secret History of Twin Peaks, a beautifully presented but decidedly hollow glimpse into early signs of strangeness in the fictional town. With the continual online debates surrounding the return of Twin Peaks in 2017, the enigmatic Mr Lynch is difficult to ignore.
If we weren’t spoiled enough, the arrival of another essential release, a 4K restoration of the 2001 paean to lost dreams and inescapable nightmares in Hollywood, Mulholland Dr. is due to make an appearance in April 2017, with special edition DVD and Blu Ray releases in May.
It is difficult to comprehend how Mulholland Dr. landed the accolade of best film of the 21st century in a recent BBC poll, other than the possibility that the British cinema going public have more class than we could ever imagine. It’s not exactly an easy film to follow, much like Lynch’s previous Lost Highway (1997), characters reach the point where the hapless audience have just grown to identify with them and a colossal shift leads to a complete change in persona. Even the most seasoned Lynch fans are still puzzling over who and what is real or fantasy.
What is even more intriguing is that Mulholland Dr. was initially meant to be a TV series and some of the finished work was filmed as such, the decision to go down the cinema route remains an inspired moment, as the film has somehow managed to attract not just the average Lynch fan but a wider audience of popcorn munching enthusiasts. It’s a glamorous affair, playing on the motifs of the classic Hollywood era, beautiful starlets, cigar chewing studio bosses and sleazy characters lurking in the shadows. What sets the film apart from its hallowed predecessors is the dark as hell narrative, the relentless sexual undercurrent and the trademark surrealism that pervades every scene.
The film made a star of Naomi Watts, seen here as Betty the wide eyed and innocent wannabe, dropped into Lynch’s twisted version of the Hollywood hills. Faced with the bewildered Rita (Laura Harring), fresh from a car crash, a smouldering Sapphic relationship ensues against the backdrop of creepy auditions and red-herring sub-plots. Other characters weave in and out of the mix amongst beautiful cinematography, inspired musical interludes and a genuine leap from your seat jump scare.
The new restoration of the 4k digital transfer, supervised by Lynch himself, receives its UK premiere at Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival, taking place April 4-9th 2017. More information on the festival can be found here.
The film will be then released by the ICO in cinemas on April 14th 2017, followed by a new special edition DVD, Blu-ray and EST release through Studiocanal on May 1st 2017, to coincide with the hotly anticipated return of David Lynch’s cult TV show TWIN PEAKS.