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The Winkie’s Diner Scene is the Key to ‘Mulholland Drive’

Here’s a video essay on why the Winkie’s Diner scene is the key to understanding ‘Mulholland Drive.’
Mulholland Drive Winkies Diner
Universal Pictures
By  · Published on August 3rd, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the Mulholland Drive diner scene.

The line between dreams and reality is always a bit foggy in a David Lynch film.

Language falls apart. Surreal images abound. The macabre and the mundane muddle together. It’s a paradox: you can always tell when something is Lynchian, but it’s difficult to put into words.

Mulholland Drive is typically Lynchian: a cautionary tale of Hollywood superficiality that reads like a war between reality and nightmares. Speaking of nightmares, early in the film there is a scene in which two men, Dan and Herb, meet in Winkie’s Diner. Dan tells Herb about a nightmare he had, which took place at Winkie’s. As the scene progresses, Dan’s nightmare becomes a reality: the creature that terrified him in his dreams invades his breakfast date.

It is a typically Lynchian occurrence. And, to boot, it’s the key to understanding how the rest of the film works. Understand the Winkie’s Diner scene and you understand Mulholland Drive. After all, if we can’t trust the reality of Dan’s brunch…what can we trust?

Watch “The Winkie’s Diner Scene in Mulholland Dr.“:

Who made this?

Anna Catley is an editor and occasional video essayist based in Toronto. You can check out her portfolio on her website here. You can check out Catley’s video essays on her YouTube account here. She has not uploaded in three years, but here’s hoping one day she will return.

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.