Archive for the ‘Week #16’ Category

When I enrolled in this course I had aspirations of learning a thing or two about the art of journalism and gaining a deeper understanding of the capacities of social media. I had ideas about how they worked with one another, but in retrospect, I don’t think I truly appreciated the potential of social media as a journalist’s best friend. Thanks to the rigors of this course, I got a true taste of what it would be like to have a real job working for a publication—in this case having Shari as my boss/editor. Many of you have probably already realized that we’ve been operating with a course load on graduate school level—at least that’s what all my friends with graduate degrees are telling me after reading my blog. I don’t think I’ve ever been challenged on such a grand scale as I have in this course.

My Top Ten list of the most important things learned while taking Social Media for Journalists is as follows:

10. After reading a blog, leave the writer a comment.

Leaving a thoughtful comment gives the writer feedback and has the potential to shine light on new perspectives or opposing arguments. When someone reads your blog for the first time, they will also see what kind of people have read and commented; therefore, they are gaining wisdom from not only the writer, but also from other readers. It is also important to engage with your readers by replying to their comments. The more people reading and commenting, the bigger the community.

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“Don’t forget what the role of journalists is. It’s not about popularity; it’s not about fame or fortune. It’s about people, your community, society, humanity. Stay focused. Be smarter.” – John Le Fevre

Meet John Le Fevre, a Social Network Marketing expert who’s been working as a professional journalist, photographer, and editor for over 15 years. For the past three years, Le Fevre has served as Director at Pattaya Web Services in Thailand, providing Web design and rehabilitation as well as running his own photojournalism Web site (www.photo-journ.com) that publishes news, reviews, analysis, features, and photographs of events taking place in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Known for his “alternative views,” Le Fevre always presents a fresh take on current events that include human rights, politics, tourism, and travel.

I’ve spent the past month following John on Twitter and have enjoyed viewing the photo editorials on his blog. His recent coverage of Thailand’s Miss Tiffany Universe pageant was both progressive and inspiring for the transgender communities of Southeast Asia. After reading Le Fevre’s thought-provoking comments in the Online reporters and editors group on LinkedIn (in response to Shari Weiss’s question about Facebook for journalists), I knew he would be the perfect journalist to interview for our final course assignment.

The Art of Journalism

How and why did you become a journalist?

I completed a four-year cadetship with a privately owned news service named Australian Photographic and News Service (APNS) in 1981. Cadetships are the traditional training method for journalists in Australia and are similar to an apprenticeship, though all training is completed in-house.

APNS was more progressive than newspapers at the time, training its staff in both press photography and journalism. This was an ongoing issue with the Australian Journalists Association (now the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance) who were strongly opposed to multi-skilling.

My motivation for choosing journalism as a vocation was based on a desire to seek out the truth and share it with others. I guess the likes of Walter Cronkite and Woodward and Bernstein were influences on choosing journalism as a career.

Do you feel that the ubiquity of news stories and viral media has diluted the quality of journalistic content? If so, what remedy would you prescribe?

There have always been varying levels of professionalism and quality of media since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Though modern technology makes it easier for anyone to be a “publisher,” and while globally falling levels of education have seen the lowest common denominator fall, quality journalism will always prevail because there will always be journalists not prepared to sacrifice quality and committed to the tenets of the profession.

Anyone entering journalism and expecting a sedate life is choosing the wrong profession. Professional journalists need to maintain the fire and commitment to turning out the best researched and written (or broadcast) material possible given the time constraints they are working under at the time.

Be first, but be right, is one maxim that I have drilled into cadets over the years. If you can’t be first, be better, i.e., more in-depth, more detail, find an angle different to everyone else.

Journalism is not a career for the faint-hearted and the growing propensity for some people to chase viral results is really no different to what Fox News, the National Enquirer or The Sun (UK) have done for many years.

There will always be a market for this style of media and while it might attract a lot of page views, its effect on quality journalism is, overall, rather minimal.

Journalists being more accessible to their readers (viewers/listeners) is one way to counter the affects of those who aim low.

Whereas in the past it was simply good enough to write (broadcast) the story and go on to the next, in the 21st-century journalists need to be prepared to explain or fill in aspects of a story if the details or situations are complex.

Journalism is no longer a one-way street. Journalists must be more accountable and by being so, their credibility increases.

How do you verify the credibility of information you find online?

Checking, checking and more checking. One of the greatest “whipping boys” of the Internet age has been Wikipedia, with its open source nature being constantly criticized.

In reality Wikipedia is, because of the number of people contributing to topics, an excellent starting point when researching topics and generally provides very good basic information with numerous off-site cited sources.

In the late 80s someone (I forget who now) described the Internet as “the world’s largest collection of garbage cans,” but added, “if you go through enough garbage cans you eventually find something of interest/value.”

It’s a very brave, or foolish, journalist who ever relies on one source for any story, no matter how good that source is. A vital skill for every journalist is knowing how to use the power of search engines properly—the difference between search terms contained in quotes, and those without.

Search engine optimization means that searching for the same information using different search terms is a must. More importantly, journalists need to go past page one of SERPs [Search Engine Results Page].

For me, I find my followers on Twitter to be invaluable in verifying information obtained from other sources and I will often direct message people I think may be able to help, but that is largely because with Twitter I focus on following quality people.

With journalists becoming more mobile and having the ability to post instantaneous stories, how has the editorial process changed? Are submissions still scrutinized and organized by an editor?

One of the greatest tools available to journalists today, in my opinion, is Twitter. During the political protests in Bangkok last year I live tweeted constantly from the field—even as Thai army bullets were whizzing over my head.

The tweets by journalists in the field at the time were invaluable to other journalists covering the protests, as their tweets were invaluable to me, in addition to getting the news out to the world on what was happening in real time.

Did it dilute the impact of the story that was written at the end of each day? No. Did it engage readers? Absolutely.

It also provided editors back in the office with information, a record of what was happening, and where I was. Live tweeting enables rough outlines of stories to be started to be pulled together by the newsroom, while journalists in the field are still heading back to the newsroom or somewhere where they can write their story.

It engages the readers/viewers by putting them on the spot in real time. Those same people are going to want to read more in the full story when it’s published, so I personally see no harm in journalists taking their audience along for the ride when they are covering breaking news.

The days of copy-takers having stories dictated to them over the phone are long gone. While some publications enable journalists to instantly upload stories to the Internet, my personal feeling is this ability needs to be used with caution.

Hurriedly written stories from the field inevitably contain typos, poor punctuation, grammatical errors, and often poor structure, which detract from the professionalism of the writer and the publication. Most quality publications will stream in-field reports through copy editors before stories are allowed to go live.

Newsrooms need to be flexible, with copy editors able to switch from working on the next day’s print edition to handling field-submitted copy efficiently and rapidly. This comes down to each organization, the News Editor and the Chief of Staff being flexible, and the publication having appropriate policies in place to handle rapidly breaking news.

At the end of the day a journalist’s salary comes from advertising revenue and for most publications that revenue still comes from advertising in the printed edition. Therefore a balance needs to be struck between what is put up online immediately and what is held for the next day’s print edition.

Though everyone likes to be first, the checks and balances of having at least one set of eyes other than the writer’s look over a story before it is made public is an extremely important safety net for the journalist, as well as the employer.

What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring online journalist?

The first thing would be, never forget why you chose journalism as a career and remain truthful to those reasons irrespective of how difficult a situation gets. Don’t forget what the role of journalists is. It’s not about popularity; it’s not about fame or fortune. It’s about people, your community, society, humanity. Stay focused. Be smarter.

Every journalist today has vastly more potential to have their work viewed by a far greater audience than journalists have ever had in the past. Maintain pride in your work, stay true to the profession and never compromise your principles.

Journalism is not a job, it’s much more than that. We are the gatekeepers, the people that others turn to when other avenues fail them.

There should be no difference in the standard and quality you apply to your work because it is appearing online than you would if it is appearing in a state, or national publication. Every time a journalist compromises quality they not only hurt themselves, but demonstrate disrespect for those who stood firm in the face of criticism and adversity in the past.

Be proud of your work and always strive to disclose as much as possible. The beauty of online journalism is that you are not bound by page size as much as print journalists were in the past. You have the luxury of being able to add more detail and explain more. But also remember, your readers will die of old age early enough without you boring them to death.

Facebook

How has Facebook changed (if at all) the way you pursue and distribute stories, and how will these changes affect the future of journalism?

It really hasn’t. I’m not a big fan of Facebook due to the constant breaches of privacy and attempts by Facebook to grab copyright to images posted on it in the past—the same as Twitpic tried to do just recently.

While I have a Facebook page I don’t spend much time on it and feel no inclination to share my private life with the world. If I want to communicate with friends, I do so directly.

Journalists should be aware of their own personal safety. Posting too much information can be hazardous. If people are lonely and want some attention then buy a dog or a cat, but don’t be so stupid as to put personal contact details onto public forums where people with less than pure motives can access and it.

In many countries around the world today there are government departments who would love to have such details on journalists and bloggers in their country.

I am not convinced of the integrity of a lot of information placed on Facebook and have never used Facebook as a primary or even secondary information source.

My Facebook page carries an automatic feed from my news blog and I’ll post links to my blog on my page, but the value of those links, apart from sending some traffic, is negligible because all Facebook links are “nofollow.”

Nofollow is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique that tells Google and other search engines not to follow the link to the referenced site. In reality the search engine spiders do follow the link, but it does not pass on any of the SEO Page Rank to the followed site.

Facebook is attempting to entice journalists to post their news on Facebook and the only beneficiary for this is Facebook. By being a large, popular (with search engines) Web site, it is crawled by search engines more frequently than other Web sites, which means people searching for a particular topic or phrase are more likely to be directed to Facebook than the original source of the material.

More page impressions of its advertising means more revenue for Facebook.

While I see there some benefits in providing public domain photos and perhaps a little background on individuals or companies from Facebook pages, I prefer to go to an official company Web site to ensure the information is accurate, or even a third party Web site such as Wikipedia where inaccurate information is more likely to be questioned by the numerous people who maintain its pages, or the company itself.

For commercial use and relationship building I would rather use LinkedIn.

Can you elaborate more on what you said about Facebook constantly changing and abusing privacy laws?

There’s been no shortage of reports of Facebook changing its terms of service and passing people’s information to advertisers, in fact the threat still exists for thousands of Facebook profile holders according to a report out in early May 2011.

Facebook has also attempted to claim ownership of photos people uploaded to their account, as did Twitpic in early May 2010. Copyright to photos and other artistic works is extremely important as people are constantly looking for images they can use to accompany editorial.

Likewise, spam is an ever increasing problem, and who wants to be on any more junk mail lists than they are already?

 Is there any real way to verify whether a FB page/profile is genuine and not a hoax?

Lots of companies start Profiles or Pages and never return to them. Others infrequently update the material and as such, they might not be aware of false or damaging information posted on their pages.

If you start a Facebook page, you need to constantly keep checking it and maintaining it, otherwise there is no point in having one.

Because I don’t rely on Facebook and rarely use it, I’m unaware of how to differentiate fact from fake on Facebook and therefore would treat anything I find with some suspicion.

The age-old maxim of journalism, “believe half of what you see and none of what you read,” has never been more applicable than in the 21st-century with the vast number of fake or agenda-biased Web sites in existence.

What exactly did you mean when you referred to FB as “old school”?

With Facebook you post a message on someone else’s or your own Wall, or on their Page and then hope that someone responds—much the same as trying to sell a used TV on a community noticeboard at the local supermarket or corner store.

A response might be fast or might never come. For journalists Twitter is a much more viable service and time spent searching and finding Twitter addresses for companies or people in the industry sector where you have an interest is much more rewarding.

With Twitter, the correct balance of followers and people you follow is able to produce much more time critical responses than using Facebook. Several times already, I have used Twitter to ask pointed questions to people, including the CEO of Nok Air, and each time I’ve received answers publicly, almost immediately, that I’ve used in stories.

Do you feel that FB is on- or off-the-record material and why?

In my opinion, anything published on Faceboook, Hi-5, or any other social media site is on-the-record and fair game to be used, though care is needed to identify the source accurately to guard against quoting from a spoof site, or maliciously placed information.

If people don’t want their actions or photos used, they shouldn’t be publishing them in a publicly accessible forum.

The only exception would be where a user might post a public statement preventing the use of material on their Profile or Page.

Journalists need to be especially careful that the Fred Graham they are writing about is the same person whose Facebook, Hi-5, or other reference source is referring to. Getting it wrong can be expensive and embarrassing.

Why do you think FB is set up as a “No Follow”?

Setting “no follow” attributes on outbound links is to preserve the originating Web site’s Page Ranking. The more outbound links from a Web site, the more it dilutes the page ranking. The more inbound links, the higher it rises.

There’s about 200 parts of the algorithm that Google uses to rank a page in SERPs and Page Rank is the result that primarily shows the nubbier of inbound links to a Web site.

The higher up in SERPs a Web site gets, the higher the click-thru rate. The higher the click-thru rate, the more page impressions of advertising, which equals more financial return to monetized sites such as Facebook.

Twitter

How do journalists benefit from using Twitter?

Twitter enables journalists or publications to engage with their audience. It provides a previously unheard of venue for individuals or an organization to communicate with their audiences (advertising, editorial, stockholders, etc), as well as a way for instant information and news tips.

The real-time aspect of Twitter, as well as the interactivity possible, has immense value for journalists making two screens per desktop, with one running a Twitter feed—an almost necessity for those staying constantly updated on events, news, occurrences, etc.

The beauty of Twitter is that you can take your source of contacts on the road with you, be receiving constantly updated information from multiple sources while en route or onsite, and have those people check or confirm information while an event is happening.

For journalists, Twitter is the 21st-century solution to scrambled police channels, or the use of cellphones by law-enforcement agencies and others.

What is your reaction to the “self-made” or “self-proclaimed” journalist on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.?

There’s a huge benefit to be gained from citizen-journalism. Obviously there are some very good people doing this, and some who do a less than stellar job. Well researched and written bloggers often have a range of impressive contacts for information and can be quite influential in some industry sectors.

It’s now not just those who own a printing press who can exert influence on a community or industry. The fact that blogs don’t need to quote sources or comply to any professional standard, unless doing so voluntarily, means many do not operate under the same code of practice that journalists and publications do. This is a concern.

Personally, I run a blog disclosure policy on my Web sites, and though there is no way of anyone proving or disproving that I abide by it, it is a public on-record statement that could bite me on the bum if I am found dishonoring it.

Many of the better blogs on the Internet are written by casualties of newspaper cutbacks over the last few years and offer extremely high value content. People are able to make up their own minds soon enough as to whether the material is legitimate or not.

For bloggers/Web site owners the ability to engage with their readers via social media such as Twitter is an important aspect of establishing and/or reinforcing their credentials. Those that don’t allow and respond to comments, quote and link to off-site reference sources, or engage their readership should be viewed suspiciously.

Poster designed by Matt Needle

“This is a movie to surrender yourself to. If you require logic, see something else. Mulholland Drive works directly on the emotions, like music. Individual scenes play well by themselves, as they do in dreams, but they don’t connect in a way that makes sense—again, like dreams. The way you know the movie is over is that it ends. And then you tell a friend, ‘I saw the weirdest movie last night.’ Just like you tell them you had the weirdest dream.”

– Roger Ebert [source]

Back in 2001, as a young lad fresh out of high school, I had a weekly ritual, usually taking place on Thursday nights, where I would scour through newspapers and magazines, rummaging through all the new movie releases to find a movie to see that coming weekend. I normally had my hands on local South Bay (LA) publications like the Daily Breeze and the Press Telegram, but on this particular September Thursday afternoon I had an unexplainable urge to get my hands on a copy of the LA Times. That’s where I saw for the first time, in the weekend section, the ad for Mulholland Drive. I had seen Lynch’s previous film, Lost Highway, when I was 16, and literally had worn out the soundtrack until it was unplayable in my CD player, so the thought of seeing his new film thrilled me. At the time, I was watching up to three films a night, learning the mise en scene of classic directors and contemporary filmmakers who had been inspired by them. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, my eyes were like a sponge, absorbing everything on screen. So on a chilly October night, my best friend and I got in the car and headed to a small movie house in Manhattan Beach. We had no idea our lives would change that night. David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive had engraved itself onto my soul and from that day on, I would refer to the film as my all-time favorite. It even inspired the choice of film as my major in college.

If you have seen the film, you’ll know that upon first screening, it is almost completely indescribable, even incomprehensible. Although at first I was unable to understand the plot, every second of the film was like pouring a shot of liquid ecstasy on my eyes. Within a week, I had seen the film three times at the theater, each time making more attempts at analyzing the film’s narrative. I had eventually come to the conclusion that the film was about a dream, a surrealist nightmare, seen through the eyes of a woman who had made a desperate attempt to become a Hollywood actress. With the help of the ‘net, I soon became obsessed with reading people’s interpretations of the film, and with the help of others’ analyses, I would come to love the film even more.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the film or still questions what the film is about, I have aggregated the best interpretations to help better understand David Lynch’s surreal masterpiece. I call this curated article Dream Layer because the more you peel back, the deeper the dream becomes.

After you’ve screened the film, I first recommend reading through the time line created by one of my most trusted online movie sources, themoviegoer.com. It neatly explains when and where the film’s main character Diane ends her reality, and enters her dream. Notice that he starts the time line about two hours into the film.

Actual time line of events:

1 – Diane at the dinner:
While the movie time line starts with Camilla/Rita’s Mulholhand Drive sequence, the actual reality time line starts with Dianes ride down Mulholland Drive, to dinner (even though its seen as a flashback.)
The characters there will later be incorporated into the paranoid fantasy of her dream:
The director talking about the pool man, becomes the director in her dream, also with Diane’s idea of the pool man.
The fat man who who doesn’t like his coffee becomes the gangster who doesn’t like his espresso.
Coco, the director’s mother, becomes her landlady.
The cowboy-hat guy becomes the cowboy-hat Hollywood power figure.
The girl who kisses Camilla becomes the “Camilla Rhodes” in the dream part.
And of course, Camilla, her ex-lover who becomes the dependent, loving person Diane wants her to be, “Rita.”

2 – Diane at Winkie’s:
After the humiliation at dinner, Diane decides to kill Camilla. At Winkie’s, we meet the hitman she hires. He remains the hitman (and becomes a pimp) in her dream, although an amusingly incompetent one.
The scary man in the background of this scene becomes the man with scary dreams in the dream-Winkie’s scene.
Diane’s fear (acknowledging the reality of the murder) is projected into her dream as the man’s fear, the scary bum’s face. We later see the connection, as it is this dream-bum who holds the box.
The single stack of dirty money is dreamed as clean, neat multiple stacks.
The plain blue key, that opens nothing but represents the murder, becomes futuristic looking, and now represents the “key” to opening the repressed reality of the murder she is responsible for, hidden in the blue box.
The waitress at the diner becomes the prostitute.
The waitress’s name, Betty, is the name Diane takes in her dream persona.

3 – Diane at home:
The first scene of the movie (after the opening dance sequence) is filmed as Diane’s head landing on a pillow. We later learn that she already has the blue key, and knows the murder has taken place. At some point after that is the unseen moment that she began her downward spiral into fantasy, falls asleep, and dreams.

4 – Diane’s dream/fantasy:
The first 2/3 of the movie-
It begins with Camilla/Rita escaping the hit Diane had just, in reality, taken out on her. “From there, Diane, a product of Hollywood, imagines the story in cinematic fashion: She sees herself as the naive wannabe starlet Betty, who succeeds on sheer talent and solves whatever problems are thrown her way. She even gets the girl!…she re-imagines her ruined career and failed relationship with the woman she loves.” – Salon.com. And punishes the director for getting the girl in the real world.

5 – The box:
In the “silencio” club scene, because of all the “illusion” comments and depictions, such as the singer, Diane realizes she is dreaming and shudders. On the edge of reality/waking, the box appears in her dream as her subconscious could no longer repress her memories of murdering her friend. The box is the symbol of Camilla’s death and inside it Diane’s guilt, which she kept locked up by her fears (the bum/monster). Once Rita/Camilla unlocks it, the dream-cowboy says “It’s time to wake up.”

6 – Diane’s awakening:
As shown on her face when she wakes, Diane is forced to face the fact that it was all a dream, the sadness of her own life, and the guilt brought on by having her ex-girlfriend murdered. Diane’s neighbor knocks on her door, which is what actually woke her up, to tell her there have been detectives looking for her. More confirmation that there has been a murder. From Salon.com: “She starts reflecting on how she came to be in this position, from Camilla’s coolness to her flirtations with Adam to the unforgivable humiliations at the party. Diane sees that she’s been reduced to an object of pity and contempt by even someone like Coco.” In her kitchen, Diane says excitedly “You’ve come back,” to “Camilla” before quickly realizing it was just another hallucination/fantasy. This is when Diane goes into a flashback of:
1 – Diane at dinner
2 – Diane at Winkie’s

Leading into:

7 – Diane’s breakdown:
This hallucination starts with the bum dropping the open blue box, the murder realization, and then comes the crushing guilt, represented by the escaping little old people she actually met at the real-life jitterbug contest. (When we first meet Betty, she is saying good-bye to this couple, in effect, saying good-bye to the guilt that they represent. This is why Betty was so happy in the beginning, when Diane’s dream was in full effect, and her guilt was gone and forgotten, being driven away in a limo.) As her guilt and reality overwhelm her, in the hallucinatory breakdown of the old couple attacking, she shoots herself in the mouth.

The End

[source]

As themoviegoer.com points out, Mulholland Drive’s narrative starts with Diane’s dream and ends with her reality. If you start the film from Diane’s limo ride, you can get a better idea as to how her dream is shaped. The first time I started the film from this point, I was amazed at just how much ended up in her dream. I could relate to how Lynch set up the dream because more often than not, my dreams are set up the same way. There are always bits and pieces of my “real” life that seep into my dreams, and for Diane, who was guilty of hiring someone to kill Camilla, her reality was turned upside down. Every bit of her subconscious had seeped into the nightmare.

If you’re looking to better understand the plot and want to want to listen to someone explain the plot from someone who, in my opinion, has an exquisite grasp on the narrative of the film, you have to check out this guy below. I agree with him that if you haven’t seen a David Lynch movie before, it would be best to start with Mulholland Drive.


Although most would agree to explain the narrative with the dream analysis, some have offered an alternative explanation. One of the best I’ve found is from a guy named Frederick C. Millet. He completely rejects the idea that the first two-thirds of the film takes place within Betty’s (Diane’s) dream, and instead offers a different take on the film.

The following is an excerpt from an essay Millet wrote while at Michigan State University:

Let me get straight to the point: Betty does not exist. She is only a figment of Camilla’s (Rita’s) imagination. What do we know about this film? We know that at the beginning of the movie, Camilla is involved in a car accident just before she is about to be shot, suffers a serious head injury and develops amnesia. These are the facts. Then she finds a place to stay in an apartment where a person is going on a long vacation, and there she meets Betty, the girl that helps her out of amnesia. But what if Betty didn’t exist? What if Camilla just created her to help her get out of amnesia? She couldn’t do it by herself, so she had to create someone to help her remember important things about her past. This could explain why she looked like Diane—because Diane was her love interest before the accident. It could also explain why she cut her hair and wore the wig—so she could look like her “imaginary friend.” Most importantly, however, I think that this can explain the “mysterious box.” In the movie, Camilla finds a mysterious key in her bag while looking for her identity. Later, at the club Silencio, Betty mysteriously discovers the box that the key opens in her purse. Camilla then brings the box home with her and opens it, discovering the truth about her past. Well, here’s my explanation: the box, like Betty, never existed. It was only a symbol to how Camilla would figure out her past. When she found the box and opened it with the key, she opened up the truth to her past and solved her puzzle. This is also why Betty, for no explained reason, disappears shortly before Camilla opens the box. Camilla doesn’t need Betty any more because she has found the object to set her free, so Betty just disappears. Since we never find out how Betty finds the box in her purse, we must conclude that Betty and the box don’t exist at all, and that they are just instruments used by Camilla’s mind to help her find out her true identity. Somehow, Silencio made Camilla remember her past and finding the box there symbolizes that.

This analysis also explains a few other things about the movie. It explains why the director in the movie, when seeing Betty, was unable to turn away from her and stared at her for some time. For all we know, Camilla could have cut her hair and put on a wig shortly after her accident, so the director thought he recognized Betty (which was really Camilla), but could not place her. Also, this explains CoCo—since she might have recognized Camilla, she could have provided her with a place to stay, at someone’s apartment who will be gone for awhile. And then there’s Diane—found dead by Camilla in her apartment. For all we know, Camilla could have at the same time hired someone to kill Diane, and this one actually was successful. This theory also explains why Camilla found the money in her bag. After the accident, Camilla must have taken the bag from the assassins and later found it loaded with money.

[source]

Anyone who’s a fan of David Lynch’s work knows that his plots often surround one of the lead characters having a dream within the film, and it’s the dream itself that the narrative is surrounded by. One of the great aspects of Millet’s essay is that his thesis argues that there isn’t a dream within the movie. I can’t wait to screen the film with his analysis in mind because it will breathe new life into the characters, and give me a chance to contact Millet with my reactions to his essay.

Lastly, I want to present a video of David Lynch himself discussing the film with a crowd of people at a film screening. What I appreciate most about his speech is that he uses the word abstract to describe Mulholland Drive. Therefore, he explains that no one interpretation is right or wrong. He leaves it open to the viewer to make up his or her own mind about the film.


Whether you’re looking to dissect your favorite film, or dabble in the art of film theory, Mulholland Drive offers a great starting point. The intricate layers of Lynch’s narrative have been discussed and written about by scholars and film students around the world. Some colleges even offer an entire course of the art of David Lynch’s film catalogue. Because of Mulholland Drive, I became so passionate about film that I learned that I have two callings in life. Besides my songwriting, I have aspirations to write and direct a feature film, and I owe most, if not all, of the inspiration to David Lynch and his work. If you’ve got a couple hours to spare to curl up and watch a modern-day masterpiece, then I highly recommend that you rent Mulholland Drive and savor the dream layer.

“David Lynch has been working toward Mulholland Drive all of his career, and now that he’s arrived there I forgive him Wild at Heart and even Lost Highway. At last his experiment doesn’t shatter the test tubes. The movie is a surrealist dreamscape in the form of a Hollywood film noir, and the less sense it makes, the more we can’t stop watching it.”

– Roger Ebert [source]

Matt Needle website: www.mattneedle.co.uk