Watching it again after seeing >50% of Lynch's works, I appreciate what's going on a little more. A range of symbolic imagery that recurs in various forms is brought together to construct a dreamscape, which makes a deceptive planned TV pilot, leaving many loose ends that needed to be sown together with half an hour of choice picks among what might have been episodic highlights in an unmade series. The opening fantastical veneer of Hollywood, the bright-eyed starlet who sells her soul in the first audition, the artificially and eventually sinisterly intense grins of the extras, the absurd notion of falling in love with a woman who doesn't know who she is. Imagery that speaks in clichés but which is richly suffused with uncanny and macabre nuances - operating much like the deconstruction of suburban picket-fence culture in that opening sequence of Blue Velvet, where every element is anachronistic to the next, and there is a writhing morass of brutal insects under the lawn. There is so much promise in the final thirty minutes of Mulholland Drive, where each moment smashes to pieces the perspectives established in the pilot. Few artists can achieve the kind of participation in their subject's emotional aspects that Lynch does routinely. I can't think of a more visceral experience of jealousy in art than what we share with Watt's character. So many figures in the film could unfold into their own stories over many hours, or be left as they are, fascinating artefacts for the imagination to explore. Mary Sweeney does a masterful job tying things up despite the obvious challenges in doing so. Under time constraints it would have been easy for the sexual content to misfire, or even be pornographic as a surface reading might portray it. But consider how, as with many other aspects of the film, each sexual scene mirrors those which precede it. There is this idealised scene of romantic exhilaration, discovery and loving purity. Badalamenti's score always nails that concept (e.g. the Laura Palmer theme in Twin Peaks). There is the raw lust then contorted into possessiveness and control (with the kind of dirty music Lynch makes great use of, as in that brilliant dance sequence of Inland Empire). Then Watts' desperate solo effort, attempting to recapture the comfort and security of intimacy, wrapping herself up in the idea of an idealised past relationship now broken, and violently fighting off encroaching reality. I can't think of another film containing an enraged tearful masturbation sequence (certainly not with a switch to the first person perspective!). These three scenes counterpoint one another and articulate a nuanced appreciation of what sex can mean in our emotional lives. All the more impressive given that these scenes would have been spread across an expanse of material and here are deployed essentially just to give some coherence to what seemed never to have been meant as a single film. If Mulholland Drive had become a series, I would probably have given it 5 stars. As it stands, a very solid 4.