Mulholland Drive: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mulholland Drive

1st Edition

Edited by Zina Giannopoulou


124 pages

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pub: 2013-08-30
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Beloved by film and art aficionados and fans of neo-noir cinema, Mulholland Drive is one of the most important and enigmatic films of recent years. It occupies a central and controversial position in the work of its director, David Lynch, who won the best director award at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for the movie.

Mulholland Drive in the Routledge Philosophers on Film series is the first full philosophical appraisal of Lynch's film. Beginning with an introduction by the editor, the volume explores the following topics:

  • the identity of the self and its persistence through time
  • the central, dual roles played by fantasy and reality throughout the film
  • whether Mulholland Drive is best understood epistemologically via reason and language, or whether, as Lynch himself argues, by one's 'inner feelings' and emotions
  • parallels between Mulholland Drive and Kafka's The Castle, both of which pit their protagonists at the mercy of unseen forces
  • Mulholland Drive and romanticism.

Additional key themes are also discussed, such as the interpenetration of ethics, classical tragedy, and the contrasting philosophical arguments of Plato and Nietzsche on tragic drama. These themes make Mulholland Drive essential and engaging reading for students of philosophy, especially aesthetics and ethics, as well as film studies.


"The philosophers writing here know Mulholland Drive in consummate detail. Their engaging chapters focus on the key philosophical questions - of identity, freedom and cinematic romanticism - raised by Lynch’s hypnotic and ambiguous work. An excellent addition to an already fine series, this book is sure to interest philosophers of film, Lynch fans, and anyone who follows film art." - Deborah Knight, Queen’s University, Canada

"This fascinating collection brings the best sort of philosophically and theoretically informed speculation to bear on Lynch’s dazzling, disturbing, and profoundly rewarding masterpiece. The essays do not attempt to solve the many riddles of Mulholland Drive but allow Lynch’s finest film to shine forth in all its beauty, mystery, and monstrosity." - Calvin Thomas, Georgia State University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Zina Giannopoulou 2. Identity and agency in Mulholland Drive A. E. Denham and F. D. Worrell 3. Cowboy Rules: Mulholland Drive, Kafka, and Illusory Freedom Alan Nelson 4. Mulholland Drive and Cinematic Reflexivity Zina Giannopoulou 5. Silencio: Mulholland Drive as Cinematic Romanticism Robert Sinnerbrink 6. Monstrous Maturity on Mulholland Drive Patrick Lee Miller. Index

About the Editor

Zina Giannopoulou is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of California, Irvine, USA. She is the author of Plato’s Theaetetus as a Second Apology (2013).

About the Series

Philosophers on Film

'The true significance of film for philosophy, and of philosophy for film, cannot be established in abstract or general terms. It can only be measured in and through individual philosophers' attempts to account for their experience of specific films. This series promises to provide a productive context for that indispensable enterprise.' – Stephen Mulhall, Fellow and Reader in Philosophy, New College, Oxford

Film is increasingly used to introduce and discuss key topics and problems in philosophy, whilst some films raise important philosophical questions of their own. Yet until now, dependable resources for those studying and teaching philosophy and film have been limited. Philosophers on Film answers this growing need and is the first series of its kind. Each volume assembles a team of international contributors who explore a single film in depth. Beginning with an introduction by the editor, each specially-commissioned chapter discusses a key aspect of the film in question.

Additional features include a biography of the director and suggestions for further reading, making the series ideal for anyone studying philosophy, film and anyone with a general interest in the philosophical dimensions of cinema.

Learn more…

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