Richard Wilson takes a journey around Britain by car, following routes raved about in motoring guides of 50 years ago.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Britain's Best Drives - Mulholland Drive (film) - Netflix
Mulholland Drive (stylized as Mulholland Dr.) is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, and Robert Forster. It tells the story of an aspiring actress named Betty Elms (Watts), newly arrived in Los Angeles, who meets and befriends an amnesiac woman (Harring) recovering from a car accident. The story follows several other vignettes and characters, including a Hollywood film director (Theroux). Originally conceived as a television pilot, a large portion of the film was shot in 1999 with Lynch's plan to keep it open-ended for a potential series. After viewing Lynch's version, however, television executives rejected it. Lynch then provided an ending to the project, making it a feature film. The half-pilot, half-feature result, along with Lynch's characteristic style, has left the general meaning of the film's events open to interpretation. Lynch has declined to offer an explanation of his intentions for the narrative, leaving audiences, critics, and cast members to speculate on what transpires. He gave the film the tagline “A love story in the city of dreams”. Categorized as a psychological thriller, the film earned Lynch the Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director Award) at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Mulholland Drive launched the careers of Watts and Harring and was the last feature film to star veteran Hollywood actress Ann Miller. It is now widely regarded as one of Lynch's finest works, and as one of the greatest films of the 21st century. A. O. Scott of The New York Times writes that while some might consider the plot an “offense against narrative order ... the film is an intoxicating liberation from sense, with moments of feeling all the more powerful for seeming to emerge from the murky night world of the unconscious”.
Britain's Best Drives - Filming - Netflix
Filming for the television pilot began on location in Los Angeles in February 1999 and took six weeks. Ultimately, the network was unhappy with the pilot and decided not to place it on its schedule. Objections included the nonlinear storyline, the ages of Harring and Watts (whom they considered too old), cigarette smoking by Ann Miller's character and a close-frame shot of dog feces in one scene. Lynch remembered, “All I know is, I loved making it, ABC hated it, and I don't like the cut I turned in. I agreed with ABC that the longer cut was too slow, but I was forced to butcher it because we had a deadline, and there wasn't time to finesse anything. It lost texture, big scenes and storylines, and there are 300 tape copies of the bad version circulating around. Lots of people have seen it, which is embarrassing, because they're bad-quality tapes, too. I don't want to think about it.”
The script was later rewritten and expanded when Lynch decided to transform it into a feature film. Describing the transition from an open-ended pilot to a feature film with a resolution of sorts, Lynch said, “One night, I sat down, the ideas came in, and it was a most beautiful experience. Everything was seen from a different angle ... Now, looking back, I see that [the film] always wanted to be this way. It just took this strange beginning to cause it to be what it is.” The result was an extra eighteen pages of material that included the romantic relationship between Rita and Betty and the events that occurred after the blue box was opened. Watts was relieved that the pilot was dropped by ABC. She found Betty too one-dimensional without the darker portion of the film that was put together afterward. Most of the new scenes were filmed in October 2000, funded with $7 million from French production company StudioCanal. Theroux described approaching filming without entirely understanding the plot: “You get the whole script, but he might as well withhold the scenes you're not in, because the whole turns out to be more mystifying than the parts. David welcomes questions, but he won't answer any of them ... You work kind of half-blindfolded. If he were a first-time director and hadn't demonstrated any command of this method, I'd probably have reservations. But it obviously works for him.” Theroux noted that the only answer Lynch did provide was that he was certain that Theroux's character, a Hollywood director, was not autobiographical of Lynch. Watts stated that she tried to bluff Lynch by pretending she had the plot figured out, and that he delighted in the cast's frustration.
Britain's Best Drives - References - Netflix