Monday, May 17, 2010

The Cowboy (from the movie Mulholland Drive)



- Howdy to you.
Beautiful evening.

Sure want to thank ya for coming
all the way up to see me...

from that nice hotel Downtown.

No problem.
What's on your mind?.

Well now, here's a man who wants to get
right down to it.

Kinda anxious to get to it are ya?


A man's attitude...

... a man's attitude
goes some ways

the way his life will be.

Is that somethin' you might agree with?


Now... did you answer because you thought
that's what I wanted to hear...

or did you think about what I said...

and answer cause you
truly believe that to be right?

I agree with what you said... truly.

What did I say?

That a man's attitude determines to a
large extent how his life will be.

So since you agree...

you must be a person who does
not care about the good life.

How's that?

Well, stop for a little second and
think about it.

Can you do that for me?

Okay, I'm thinking.

No. You're not thinkin'

You're too busy being a
smart aleck to be thinkin'.

Now I want ya to think
and stop bein' a smart aleck.

Can you try that for me?

Look ... where's this going?
What do you want me to do?

There's sometimes a buggy.

How many drivers does a buggy have?


So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...

and you if fix your attitude you can
ride along with me.


I want you to go back to work tomorrow.

You were re-casting the lead
actress anyway...

audition many girls for
the part.

When you see the girl that was
shown to you earlier today, you will say:

"This is the girl".

The rest of the cast can stay.

That is up to you.

But that lead girl is not up to you.

Now, you will see me one more time...

if you do good.

You will see me two more times...

if you do bad.

Good night

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Mulholland Drive, from David Lynch. Known for his surrealist work, this movie shows that Hollywood is not all that it seems to be, and that there is a very bad side to all of the glitz and glamour, a side that many times leaves hopeful young women yearning for stardom as brutally broken, and ending up as walking the dirty streets of Hollywood for their living. The man in this dialogue is a film director who is used to using the vulnerable women who come to work for him as solely for his needs and pleasure, a real slimy dirtbag, if you will. In this scene, this slimy director is summoned to an old rodeo set somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, to meet with someone known as "The Cowboy". He is warned by a powerful friend that he really has no choice in the matter, so the director makes the meeting. "The Cowboy" appears as a flickering, celluloid, ghostly image of a 1940's style Hollywood (in its heyday?) cowboy (That's the type of film this is - surreal). There is a spiritual quality to the meeting. To me, the Cowboy symbolizes justice, an archetypal figure from the old westerns where the cowboy was always the hero and a force for good (and we know that wasn't always really so - but it makes for good mythology). Anyway, here the Cowboy represents a figure that says that someone or something , somewhere, is watching, and is noting wrongs being done. This guy has been noted, and has been tagged for a visit to say, essentially, that his deeds have not gone unnoticed.

The Cowboy states that: -"Now, you will see me one more time...

if you do good."

"You will see me two more times...

if you do bad."

Needless to say, the slimeball director learns his lesson, the hard way. He sees the Cowboy twice more, at a distance in the film, a result of sealing his own fate through his own actions.

Can't say he wasn't warned.


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