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Thought Mulholland Drive was "just all about a dream sequence"? Think again... (SPOILER WARNING)
Many theories have been put forward about what might be the real meaning of David Lynch's recent masterpiece of magical realism, Mulholland Drive. The consensus among most mainstream critics has been that the first four fifths of the movie is a dream sequence that originates from events in the last fifth of it (namely, Diane's placing a hit on Camilla, subsequently feeling great guilt over doing so, and dreaming of a world where everything had been different... then waking up to discover what really happened and killing herself). To enthusiasts of David Lynch and of this movie in particular, though, this explanation is far too simplistic - as this ritual demonstrates with great effectiveness.
The origin of the ritual is unclear... according to one story, it was a joint effort between a videomancer and an entropomancer who were aiming to develop a new formula ritual for creating a proxy. Some members of the occult underground, while still acknowledging that this is likely, believe that Lynch encoded the ritual in the movie deliberately, in order to give everyone the opportunity to remake their lives. It's even been said that Lynch is a potent thaumaturge who spent a major charge to be sure that even non-adepts could access this effect.
Ritual: Since much of this ritual revolves around duplicating events of the movie, the character names from the end of it will be used for ease of reference. The caster of the ritual plays the role of Diane, and must obtain a picture of the Camilla (subject). Before starting the ritual proper, the caster must find a hitman and place a hit on the Camilla. The meeting between the two must take place in a diner, in which the caster gives the hitman the photo. The caster should not know exactly when the hit will take place, but it should be several days in the future, to allow time for the ritual.
While in the diner, the caster must also select one server (waiter, waitress, host, hostess, etc) from the restaurant and get his or her nametag before leaving. It's important to pick someone whose personality is one that's attractive to you, since you'll be living with it for a while. Based on how rigidly you follow the movie, the following bonuses are also possible:
+2% shift if you're female
+4% shift if you know your Camilla well
+8% shift if you and your Camilla have had a romantic relationship (not stackable with the above)
+12% shift if you and your Camilla have had a homosexual romantic relationship(also not stackable)
+15% shift if the circumstances are exactly as in the movie (i.e., you and your Camilla had a homosexual relationship and your Camilla helped you get a job or jobs, then left you for someone of the opposite sex and invited you to their wedding)
+2% shift if your chosen server is of your sex
+5% shift if you choose the server that's assigned to your table by the restaurant
+2% shift if you give the hitman an 8 x 10 performer's head shot of your Camilla
+1% additional if it has a resume on the back
+3% additional if you say, "This is the girl." when you give the hitman the photo (only works if your Camilla is female)
+2% if you give the hitman money in the restaurant
+1% additional if it's in a black bag
+5% if you're able to get your server to voluntarily give you his/her nametag
After the restaurant, go rent a copy of Mulholland Drive on DVD, and take it somewhere that you can watch it on a high definition display at least 30 inches in size. You'll need to watch the movie on repeat for a while, possibly a few days, and during that time the only food you can eat is Chinese delivery from the cheapest Chinese restaurant you can find in the area. It's okay to drink coffee to stay awake, but you have to get the coffee from the restaurant, too. It's also okay to leave the room to go to the bathroom or go to the door to pick up the food, but you can't pause the movie when you do it, and the last time you watch the movie it has to be straight through with no breaks. If you fall asleep or leave the room for any other reason, the ritual will fail and you'll soon be wanted for murder if your hitman isn't exceedingly good at his job.
As you watch the movie and eat the Chinese food, keep an eye out for the fortune cookies. Open your cookies after finishing each order of food, but don't eat them yet. First, find five cookies whose fortunes relate directly to your goal here - namely, eliminating a rival and getting a new chance on your life. They have to be specific, not just "You will achieve a major goal soon" or "The winds of fortune blow your way". Keep each fortune with the cookie it came from. The next time you restart the movie, watch for the first time each character says the words, "This is the girl". These characters, in order, are each of the Castigliani brothers, the Cowboy, Adam Kesher, and finally Diane Selwyn. At the end of the movie, swallow all five fortunes at the moment Diane shoots herself.
Effects: If you do it right, pretty soon you won't be able to keep your eyes open, and when you wake up, your life will be transformed. The new life in which you find yourself will be your own, after a fashion - but your own life, lived as if you had the outlook and views of the server you picked. It will restart a few weeks before you first met your Camilla. This can give you a completely new, fresh and (unlike the House of Renunciation) completely voluntary lease on life.
If you roll a 01 on this, in fact, you replace your Camilla completely and take on all her successes. Otherwise, your Camilla is switched with a random acquaintance of hers, and somehow the hit is botched so that she retains no memory of her former life, at least at first. Your Camilla will also end up with the bag of money, in which will be a key; later, you'll end up with the box that the key fits. (In fact, although it's different from the movie, the box and key can be any two items that together - two halves of a locket, for example.)
The reason for the box is this - unless you roll a 01, this ritual summons a demon whose sole purpose is to screw things up. The demon manipulates events so that you and your Camilla come into contact, and eventually so that your Camilla puts together the key and box. If this happens, everything comes undone, and the world goes back to how it was before - except just after the hit's taken place. At this point, you can pretty much kiss yourself goodbye, as either the police will get you or the demon will drive you insane with visions of the life you've so foolishly lost.
If you manage to avoid the demon's manipulations long enough for your Camilla to find something else to do or get herself killed, you've successfully transformed your life.
(Note: this is my first attempt at a UA item, so be gentle... I've probably left out a few things.)
Forgot something... In the "replay" version of your life, in addition to a different outlook, events will generally align themselves in a more favorable way (just as Betty's aunt was alive to help her, while Diane's was dead). Also, the replacement Camilla will generally carry out the motions of the old Camilla's life, in a slightly mechanical way... will have the same job, at least, if not the same relationships.
Something else... a few more bonuses.
...interesting. i interperet the film differently. i could probably write a review of it that would span several pages, or on how to read lynch's films. btw: if you were to watch mulholland drive in a theater and you were by yourself, you would have to leave the room each time to re-thread the projector.
Interestingly enough, I've never seen twin peaks. any of it. although i mean to remedy that soon.