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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.
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
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).
"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