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A love story in the city of dreams . . . Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring). Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman’s identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project. David Lynch’s seductive and scary vision of Los Angeles’s dream factory is one of the true masterpieces of the new millennium, a tale of love, jealousy, and revenge like no other. DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director David Lynch and director of photography Peter Deming • New interviews with Lynch, Deming, actors Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, composer Angelo Badalamenti, and casting director Johanna Ray • Interviews with Lynch and cast members, along with other footage from the film’s set • Trailer • PLUS: A booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s 2005 edition of the book Lynch on Lynch • More!
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To make this clear, there is a distinct difference between the DVD and this BD. I noticed things I never noticed before. For one, the hitman had one brown eye and one blue eye. I had seen this movie at least twenty times and never saw that before. It hopped out at me this time. Another scene involved the hitman, when he was talking to the hooker, asking if she had seen any new girls on the street. That woman's arm was full of bruises, suggesting that someone had been roughing her up. This time out, on this BD, it popped, and I saw this character in an entirely new light, as a pathetic piece of human detritus. And the scenes from the road, looking down at the cityscape, the view was sparkling with clarity while preserving the texture of the film. The colors popped everywhere. I can state unequivocally that there is a big difference between this edition and the previous DVD release.
Which brings me to another aspect of the BD. Yes, there is some mild grain present, as it's supposed to be. This is what I like about the Criterion Collection, that they aim to preserve the textures of the film. Film has grain, period. I suppose applying DNR to some big action flick won't matter much, if cinematography is not an essential element to it. But in a film like this, this desire to alter the video quality by smoothing it out and -- and this is very harmful -- sharpening it, is misplaced. To preserve the cinematic experience of the filmmaker's intent, the grain has to be visible. This is the natural texture of the image. And you don't want it sharpened, because once sharpening is applied, the grain is going to be exaggerated, as it'll be sharpened, too. This is often obvious in night scenes, when a faster film -- which is grainier -- was used, and once sharpening is applied, the grain takes on a fine snow-like quality. You do NOT want this.
That said, Mulholland Dr. Criterion Edition preserves all of the natural qualities, and restores the film to its original state, as close as you can get to the original cinematic experience. When I say "restores," I am referring also to the digital blurring of the pubic area in that famously discussed scene of brief, full-frontal nudity. To anyone interested in this for prurient reasons, withhold your excitement: the scene was so tastefully done, you have to wonder why Lynch ever resorted to the awful modification to begin with.
As much as I have nothing but praise for this edition, there are two disappointments. The first is that there was no audio commentary. I love that feature on videos, and I was so looking forward to hearing Lynch's scene-by-scene analysis. The other disappointment is that Lynch stuck to his guns and refused the insertion of the scene-selection feature. But that's something I can live with, easily, as it only mildly annoyed me to begin with. This isn't even remotely something I would complain about.
There are, however, some nice supplemental features. There's a new interview with David Lynch and Naomi Watts, lasting about 27 minutes; a second collection of interviews includes the other primary cast members Laura Harring and Justin Theroux, along with casting director Johanna Ray, which lasts about 36 minutes; there's an interview with Angelo Badalmenti, who performed the filmscore (that was very interesting, listening to him describe that process and the relationship he's had with Lynch through the years), about 20 minutes; and interviews with the production designer Jack Fisk and Director of Photography Peter Deming, about 22 minutes. All of these interviews were recorded specifically for this Criterion edition, and all of them provided interesting insight into how an artist works, and the dedication such people have, despite having few rewards at the start of their careers. For instance, Fisk revealed that it took Lynch five years to complete ERASERHEAD. Clearly Lynch had a vision he was dedicated to.
Another extra is a deleted scene in the police station, with the two policemen we'd met at the crash site. Then there's some on-set footage that again shows Lynch and his crew and actors at work, about 25 minutes long. This was all great stuff to a Lynch enthusiast, and a fan of this film in particular.
Concluding the extra features is the trailer for the film.
In short, if you liked this film, this is definitely an improvement over the previous edition. I'm thrilled to add it to my library. Criterion knows how to do this right. They make videos for film buffs.
All I can say I'm a David Lynch fan , like his sense of humour , acting , characters , the movies is a bit confusing in a weird and mysterious way yet I still think is great , the blue ray comes with a nice booklet - details and pictures , recorded in HD Mater Audio with no subtitles just play and especial features , rated R - approx. 2 hours & 27 minutes - A region locked .
Hollywood was once described as the "dream factory" in a somewhat disparaging way meaning it provides succour to the masses and lifts them out of their dreary lives. The apogee of this notion of Hollywood may have been during the Great Depression and the pre-eminent studio, MGM, with its gloss, fairyland sets, extravagant costumes, myriad lights and stars provided some sort of opium for the masses. But dreams, or the dream like state, or surrealism, is central to David Lynch's cinematic vision - and the other side of dreams, the nightmares, feature just as prominently. For it is our mental state, our subjective view, our dreams and nightmares which loom as each of our lived realities which gives such resonance to this film. Lynch understands. Nor can they be viewed piece meal but holistically, each element indivisible from any other element. Thus the music of Angelo Badalamenti, is organic to the viewing experience and cannot be experienced as say, separately like the obligatory "night club scene" in thousands of films, including his own BLUE VELVET. Badalamenti's music is an almost sub conscious element - Bernard Hermann and Lisa Gerrard spring to mind in a similar very powerful approach to the sound of cinema but Badalamenti takes the experience to another level. David Lynch and Andrei Tarkovsky are among the great artists of the 20th century, not just "movie makers".