Quite so.

I hesitate to comment on MD because it's one of my all time favorite movies in general, as well as being, maybe along with Chinatown, one of the best films set in & about LA. There's a lot to unravel with it.

E.g., Adam's meeting with the Cowboy. I showed my wife the scene. Just it. She's terrified of Lynch's films because she's afraid of potential symbolism she doesn't understand. As are many people. After seeing it, she agreed, it was a terrific scene. Completely engaging.

Therein lays its brilliance. It works on the most superficial level, but if you want more, there's more to be had. E.g., perhaps the Cowboy represents reality. Adam never left his downtown SRO. He's asleep & dreaming. His interview with the Cowboy ushers the realization that his little rebellion is over, that tomorrow he'll go to work & give in to the powers-that-be.

As you write Lynch's own experience plays in, too. Because the one time in his career he said "this is the girl", to De Laurentis in Dune, he experienced his one box office & critical failure. That we, the audience, see the Cowboy twice might be a sly hint that Adam really has not done good after all. Maybe he ought to have stuck to his guns.

There are lots of ways to go here. I'm certain Lynch's reticence stems from there being no wrong answers about what Mulholland Drive means. I see it, personally, as a companion piece to Sunset Boulevard. The latter details the tragedy of a starlet who came to Hollywood with big dreams & hit it big, only to have time & technology pass her by. The former a homage to the thousands more who, for whatever reasons, didn't get there.

Great piece.

LA born & raised, now I live upstate. I hate snow. I write on healthcare, politics & history. Hobbies are woodworking & singing Xmas carols with nonsense lyrics