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

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

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  • August 3, 2020

Here’s a video essay on why the Winkie’s Diner scene is the key to understanding ‘Mulholland Drive.’

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.

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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.

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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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More Videos Like This

  • Here’s another sample of Catley’s work, on the visual, tonal, and emotional resonances between Yasujiro Ozu and Wes Anderson
  • The Nerdwriter has a video on how Lynch manipulates our expectations about storytelling in Mulholland Drive
  • A video on Lynch’s lens of Surrealist Americana
  • Here’s What’s So Great About That? on David Lynch’s fraught relationship with language
  • You can’t sum up David Lynch. But you can re-watch Mulholland Drive. Here’s a Fandor video on why the film is emblematic of Lynch’s whole deal
  • Cinema Cartography has a video on the elusive subconscious of a Lynch movie
  • Please, I’m begging you: watch this video of David Lynch directing children (“cry for me”)
  • And, on that note: David Lynch being a madman for a relentless 8 minutes and 30 seconds
  • OK, wait more Lynch being iconic: here’s the man describing his cosmic nausea when George Lucas asked him to direct Star Wars

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