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Mulholland Dr. film image

Mulholland Dr.

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Brunette Rita (Laura Elena Harring) wanders Mulholland Drive, dazed and confused after an auto accident. She finds refuge with Betty (Naomi Watts), an aspiring blonde actress who has arrived from Deep River, Ontario, with her innocence intact. The two work together to try to piece together Rita’s story… But nothing is quite what it seems in this rich, disturbing neo-noir from David Lynch, an enigmatic mystery which invites multiple interpretations but which seems to imply these two women are in some ways mirror images… Indeed as the film goes on, it becomes its own mirror.

Films about filmmaking figure prominently in Sight & Sound magazine’s list of the Greatest Films Ever Made: Singin’ in the Rain (#10), Man with a Movie Camera (#9) and Mulholland Dr. (#8) all qualify (as do and Close-Up). Lynch’s title echoes Billy Wilder’s Hollywood black comedy Sunset Blvd, and his view of the movie business is equally acidic, with Justin Theroux’s auteur losing control of the film within the film to shady power brokers, and Betty’s “innocence” ultimately exposed as either a nostalgic memory or pure fantasy.

Released in 2001, Mulholland Dr was instantly hailed as a classic, and twenty years later it’s the most recent film in Sight & Sound’s top 20.

Sunday’s screening in our PANTHEON series will feature free refreshments and a short introduction by an expert in the field.


September 17: Introduced by Steven Malcic, Media and Culture Lecturer in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University


Presented by


David Lynch


Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, Robert Forster

Country of Origin







Award for Best Director (tied) , Cannes 2001

147 min

Book Tickets

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Mary Sweeney, Alain Sarde, Neal Edelstein, Michael Polaire, Tony Krantz


David Lynch


Peter Deming


Mary Sweeney

Original Music

Angelo Badalamenti

Also in This Series

Daisies + Meshes of the Afternoon

This program highlights two landmarks in feminist film: Maya Deren's surrealist short Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), and Vera Chytilova's subversive new wave farce, Daisies (1966), perhaps the most radical, confrontational film of the era.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre


The consummate director of the silent era, Murnau was schooled in German Expressionism and embraced the fluidity and dynamism of the moving camera. Invited to Hollywood he prefigured film noir with this tale of a married villager seduced by a city vamp.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray's first film opened eyes in the West. It's a naturalistic portrait of the childhood of a Brahman child, Apu, growing up in a village far from twentieth century technology in West Bengal.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Night of the Hunter

One of the strangest and most beguiling movies you'll ever see, from a poetic, nightmarish novel by Davis Grubb, a fable about two children fleeing from a psychotic evangelical preacher (Robert Mitchum). Charles Laughton's only film as director.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Battle of Algiers

French Colonel Mathieu hunts for Algerian resistance leader Ali la Pointe in Pontecorvo's classic, which draws the battle lines between colonialists and Arab insurrectionists in a pulsating, "fly-on-the-wall" documentary style.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre


Jacques Tati was modernity's clown; technology his banana skin. Here his alter-ego Monsieur Hulot navigates a sterile Paris that seems designed to thwart his every wish.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre