Failure of the American Dream essay

Failure of the American Dream essay - Mike Finfer Writing...

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Mike Finfer Writing 140: 64450 Jennifer Malia October 18, 2006 Assignment 3 Hollywood Disturbed: The Failure of the American Dream in Mulholland Drive Few movies are more enigmatic and impenetrable as David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001); it does not follow a linear plotline or offer clear resolutions to its narrative. It is a heavily stylized film filled with sensory richness, with a winding, self-referential, non-linear story that must be viewed several times to gleam a clear meaning from it. Some may dismiss this technique as pretentious or self-serving, while others claim that there is no tangible meaning under the obfuscating surface. But if the viewer is patient enough to understand the characters true identities and delve into the film’s many layers, they may discover a tragic story about a misguided young woman’s desire to achieve her dreams, and the spectacular failure that they become; due to the nature of the film, however, some viewers may surmise an entirely different understanding of the film. In conjunction with selections from Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis, it can be asserted that Mulholland Drive represents a brutal and disturbing failure of certain aspects of the American Dream; the film confronts and criticizes the notion of the fantasy world that is commonly associated with Hollywood.
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It can be interpreted that Mulholland Drive presents the failure of the American Dream taken to its most extreme point; not only has the main character not achieved her goal of Hollywood fame, she has failed to the point where she no longer has the will to live. Naomi Watts plays Diane Selwyn, a young aspiring actress from Ontario, Canada. She shares the same dream that so many others have; she comes to Los Angeles after winning a dance contest, intent on becoming a star. Her dream of stardom fails, just as those of so many others had before, and with nothing left worth living for, she commits suicide. Much of the film revolves around not the events leading up to her suicide, but what she experiences in the brief moments prior. The first half of the movie can be interpreted as a manifestation of Diane’s imagination, an ideal dream world where she achieves her goal and lives a happy and successful life. None of these events actually happen; they are simply the product of her mind attempting to reconcile with her true life
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Failure of the American Dream essay - Mike Finfer Writing...

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