10 Movies Directors Didn't Want You To Understand

9. Mulholland Drive

Tenet John David Washington

On the other side of the surrealist coin, we have Hollywood's pre-eminent purveyor of subconscious cinema, David Lynch.

Arguably his defining work, Mulholland Drive scooped Lynch a Best Director Oscar nomination despite the fact that it makes little attempt to outline a clear narrative path for the audience.

Though the most widely accepted reading of the film suggests the film's two sections represent the idealised fantasy and nightmarish reality of a failed actress (Naomi Watts), Lynch has characteristically avoided lending any specific meaning to the story's outcome.

Amusingly, he even refused to include chapter selection options in earlier home video releases of the movie, encouraging viewers to take it in as a singular experience without skipping around to specific scenes.

Lynch did make one concession for the movie's French DVD release, including a list of 10 hints which, inevitably, spread like wildfire online. But even then, there's absolutely no specificity to these clues.

While it often feels like a cop-out to say that a film is better felt than it is understood, in the case of Mulholland Drive the particulars of the narrative simply aren't as important as the intoxicating, dreamlike tableaux Lynch creates.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.