Sunday, April 15, 2012

2001 analysis - part 46: Lynch: The unconscious confronts the intellect


From Mulholland Drive: Top left: Adam Kesher's car approaches the top of Beachwood Canyon in Los Angeles. Note that the light patterns coming from the car's headlights, are shaped like (equal-armed) crosses; in Jung, an equal-armed cross is a type of mandala, thus indicating that the scenario which is about to transpire has something to do with attaining psychic totality,[a] i.e., with attaining psychological wholeness.[b] Top right: Adam's view while his car pulls up to the corral at the top of the canyon. The fact that the upcoming scenario is to take place in a corral, is a reference to the historical Gunfight at the OK Corral. This is a hint from Lynch that the upcoming scene in Mulholland Drive has to do with the confrontation, the 'shootout' among the six astronauts, which we said takes place in A Space Odyssey at TMA-1, after the monolith starts making a high-pitched noise. Above left: While Adam is walking through the entrance gate to the corral, a light above the gate, which had been off prior to Adam's entry, begins to flicker on and off for no apparent physical reason. This suggests that the entire scene is a dream of Diane Selwyn, the main character in Lynch's movie. Above right: The Cowboy confronts Adam inside the corral. As discussed in the analysis of Mulholland Drive, the Cowboy represents the mediator between Diane's unconscious and conscious mind, and in speaking to Adam, who represents Diane's intellect, he is trying to get Diane to listen (to her unconscious). The point as far as 2001 is that that which takes place at TMA-1 (the 'shootout' that we, the audience of Kubrick's movie, don't see), represents a confrontation between the unconscious and the conscious, a fact that we've already observed. (Recall that we are 'set up' for this confrontation by the two men walking around the Clavius lecture room in opposite directions).

a. Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffé. Trans. Richard and Clara Winston. Vintage Books, 1989. Glossary, "Mandala". Google Books. URL =
b. "Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is:...[T]he wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions." (--Jung, C.G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Google Books, p. 212, URL =


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