By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
By Dennis Romero
DOG MEAT, BY THE POUND
Re: Marc B. Haefele’s “Guarding the Pound” [November 2–8]. Thank you for covering Mayor Hahn’s mysterious firing of the city shelter’s head, Dan Knapp. I voted for Proposition F, and was encouraged by what seemed to be progress toward more adoption-friendly shelters in Los Angeles. My greatest hope was that the pound would get a make-over to attract adopters, rather than continue to be a jailhouse and death row for animals.
As it still stands, most animals, even the highly “adoptable” purebreds and puppies, are given only two to four days to be adopted, then they’re killed. I shudder to think what Hahn’s “different direction” might be, when a more humane and adoption-oriented progress seemed to be making headway under Mr. Knapp. The former head of the Sonoma County Humane Society did indeed seem to do what hadn’t been done in the past — give the humane community an ear, and a seat at the table.
—St. Teresa Stone
WILL YOU SETTLE FOR “SUCKED”?
In his “Back to the Future” column on the L.A. History Project [November 9–15], Steven Leigh Morris refers to the water that William Mulholland “lifted” from the Owens Valley. Please note the Los Angeles Aqueduct is a gravity aqueduct; it’s lower down here than up there. So he should have claimed (not said, since the statement is debatable no matter which way it’s written) that Mulholland “drained” the Owens Valley.
YOUR WISH, OUR
When are we going to get to read some new columns by Eddie Little?
THE EDITOR REPLIES: “Outlaw L.A.” is no more, but funny you should ask. See the cover story in this issue.
MEANWHILE, BACK ON MULHOLLAND DRIVE
In response to our Letters-page invitation to make linear sense of David Lynch’s new movie, Hollywood’s Kent Beyda cut right to the chase (SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seenMulholland Drive, you may want to stop reading NOW.):
The whole movie is a dream until the dark-haired woman looks into the box. After this, the aspiring-actress character wakes from her dream, and the rest of the movie is flashes of what her life is really like until her hopes overwhelm her.
The principal female character falls asleep during the scene that divides [the final third from the first third of] the film. She seems to awaken, but she is in fact continuing a long sequence of dreams . . . a myriad of short acts, all of which incorporate and modulate various characters and locations encountered during the earlier, conscious part of the movie.
Diane (Naomi Watts) wins a jitterbug contest in Deep River, Ontario, then follows her acting aspirations to Los Angeles. Camille Rhodes (Laura Harring) beats her out for a movie audition, but the two become friends and later lovers. Diane watches Camille start to drift away and become involved with her director, Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux). Camille starts refusing Diane sex, then invites her to a dinner party thrown on Mulholland Drive by Adam. At the party, Camille and Adam announce their engagement.
Diane’s obsession with Camille deepens. She goes to a restaurant named Winkie’s to pay a hit man (Mark Pellegrino) to kill Camille. He tells her he will drop off a blue key when the contract has been fulfilled. Diane takes to her bed and goes into a deep depression . . .
There she dreams up an elaborate fantasy in which Camille, identified as Rita, is involved in a car accident on Mulholland Drive (the same location as the party) and loses her memory. She takes sanctuary in an empty apartment, in a complex run by Coco (Justin’s mother at the dinner party).
Betty (Diane’s alter ego) arrives in Los Angeles and goes to stay at that same apartment, left vacant by her aunt. There, she meets Rita and decides to help Rita get her memory back. They find money in Rita’s purse (just as we had seen it in Diane’s when paying the hit man) and a strange key (similar in color, but not shape, to the hit man’s) . . .
After an eventful day following up on various clues to Rita’s identity and yielding the sound stage to various subplots in Diane’s dream, Betty and Rita go home, awkwardly admit an attraction â to each other and make love. Rita cries out, “Silencio,” in her sleep, insisting they go to a performance-art theater downtown. There, Betty weeps as a woman sings beautifully, but the evening’s performances imply that nothing they see is real. Upon finding a strange blue box in Rita’s purse, they rush home.
Once home, Betty disappears and Rita opens the box with the blue key, only to be sucked inside. The dead Diane of the dream is told to awaken by a Cowboy who has also appeared as a character in one of the dream’s most prominent subplots, about film director Adam Kesher, and as a guest at the dinner party. Betty returns to her physical body.