So I did a little reading up on Mulholland Drive, and it seems that my initial interpretation of the film is pretty standard, at least judging by comments on the web.
However, one scene that I think people are getting wrong is the "audition" scene.
I don't think the scene is meant to reveal Betty's latent sultriness or some calculatedly hidden side...I think the contrast between her practice run-through of the material with Rita (which was a perfectly valid reading of the script) and her audition with Chad Everett simply underscores the theme of the movie: our egos are diaphanous. Different people bring out different aspects of ourselves, and the meaning of our words can shift. We can hate and love simultaneously, say one thing and mean many things. "This is the girl."
The whole "amnesia" angle is a really naked expression of the confusion of identity. In those scenes where "Rita" doesn't know who she is, she has temporarily given up the game of defining herself. Betty earnestly helps her figure out who she is, but to what end?
And all that sleeping that everyone does in the film ("I thought sleep would help but I still don't know who I am") reminds me of the Vedas--there are many references in Hindu and yogic scriptures about the self and how it gets "lost" in sleep. This is usually an indication of the illusory nature of the ego. I know that David Lynch is a serious meditator, so maybe this is a direct Vedic reference or maybe it's just great minds stewin' alike.
I woke up at 3:00 AM, having been bitten by some kind of radioactive bug. My finger was all swollen and painful. It's OK now, though.
My neighborhood is described fairly accurately in the Voice this week. In fact, I passed this very concertina-player today on my daily pre-breakfast walk:
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