Mulholland Drive: The PilotFeatured
While every effort has been made to recreate the pilot as it was, due to the limitations of what is available on the officially released version of the film an exact recreation was not possible.
- NTSC DVD-5
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
Overview - So-called pilot, which I ain’t buying (yeah, what a sorry attitude) of proposed television series from an auteur, known for his dismissive stance towards the medium.
Q2 delivers two editions of this. One is the purist cut, which I would not recommend because it seems little more than a rough cut or work print.
The real jewel is a beautiful overhaul (4.63 GB) which reconstructs Lynch’s original pitch as presented to ABC. For Lynch fans (confession, I am not one), this may be essential.
Video - 1920 X 1080 AVC. I viewed the purist cut first. Q2’s improvements will take your breath away. Colors are restored and regraded. The editing appears seamless. In an ideal world, the editor might consider doing a supplementary commentary track which could be muxed into the file. This ought to prove highly beneficial to aspiring editors. This is outstanding.
Audio - 640 kbps AC-3. Two channel stereo. No subs. Sound is fine throughout. Dialogue is clear, beginning to end, and I am especially fussy about that.
Narrative - For a pilot, this is extremely confusing. There are numerous storylines, though all seem to weave into the Hollywood entertainment tapestry. There are mysteries, though no real story. Viewers would have to accept on faith that Mr Lynch had an extended vision. One can well imagine how ABC execs, burned ratings wise with “Twin Peaks: S02,” would veto what appeared to be a confused, and open-ended series that never resolved.
Enjoyment - It is the very open endedness that makes the pilot so interesting. Character trajectories are different in the pilot. Nonetheless, if pinned down, “did I like this?” No. I appreciated Q2’s version far more than the purist cut. Still, the film wins hands down for me. The movie is my favorite Lynch work, and one of my favorite films. I try to watch it once a year.
Diehards already know this site. New arrivals to Mulholland Drive, visit at your own risk:
Mulholland Dr. is the best David Lynch movie in my opinion (I am a fan of most of his other works). I think it's one of the best films ever made. For all the effort many have made to "figure it out," that doesn't really matter. Not to denigrate those efforts, and searching for logic in narrative as I actually think there's a very logical plot which makes every scene make sense. I'm just saying that it doesn't matter. The film is transcendent and wonderful on a visceral, semiotic level. I fell in love with it LONG before I ever put all the pieces together (with some help, thank you Internet).
This isn't just to wax on about the theatrical version, it's to say that the film is a visceral experience which doesn't make "sense" for the first two hours. The final act contextualizes what you saw previously. The pilot is made up of footage from the first two hours. I tried to put aside my knowledge of the movie and imagine a world in which Mulholland Dr. was a show. And holy shit, that's kind of a cool world. The characters are so interesting that I could see many side jaunts proving fruitful. Who wouldn't want to watch an episode centered around Joe, Dan or Det. McKnight?
I feel like it's prudent to mention the bootleg pilot here. As much as I'm a Lynch fan, I never watched it for a couple reasons. First, I'm a quality snob and it's so rough. Second, I used to not want to watch anything that the creator didn't like, or wasn't his or her vision (I've softened on that considerably since I found the world of fanedits haha). Third, the movie is pretty much perfect (kind of a dumb reason not to be interested in alternate versions, but I was kind of a dumb, snobby kid).
I did watch a little bit of it after watching the theatrical film and Q2's pilot preservation but turned it off pretty early into it. I just can't do that A/V quality. I'm sure that sounds douchey but it's a truth fact. I understand the edit had to take some liberties with the pilot due to not having HD commercially available footage, but I didn't notice anything wonky. It's not the tightest narrative in the world, anyway but it all worked for me. I will definitely revisit Q2's edit from time to time for a fun alternative experience. The theatrical stands tall and will never be replaced but that certainly wasn't this edit's goal, anyway.
Great edit and thanks for making it. Preserving a bit of film/TV history in the best quality available is a great thing.
I wouldn't call myself the biggest David Lynch fan but I love the hell out of "Mulholland Dr." I don't think it was the first film of his I watched but it was certainly the first one I was crazy about. But I never bothered to watch the original pilot. I don't know why exactly but I kind of just felt that the movie was perfect and didn't have a desire to watch the failed version. So, when Q2 made this edit it was a good opportunity to check it out.
In order, I watched Q2's 16:9 HD edit, then the bootleg original pilot. And now I'll probably rewatch the whole movie.
What did I think? It was fascinating. Inferior to the final film for sure, but a look at what could have been. I could see the potential for a series and wanted to know where he would have gone with these characters. In the end I'm glad it failed and Lynch made the movie version, but this is a pretty entertaining episode of television.
What about the fanedit? Q2 achieved his goal of creating an HD version that is as close as you could to the original using only footage from the final film. An excellent editing job to recreate the cuts, and he even made the commercial break fade outs look the same. Overall though if I ever want to rewatch the pilot I'll most likely just rewatch the pilot and not this edit.
Recommended for fans of Lynch, but don't expect anything too different if you've seen the bootleg pilot already.