Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

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Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby Coffee Cup » 17 Jan 2018

Hello. Welcome to 2018.

This movie crosses my mind several times a month. Maybe you can help me with this.

Assuming that the first half of the movie is Diane's dream, why did she choose to make Camilla an amnesiac?

Every character in the dream played a part in her reality, but in the dream she has changed who those people are and also changed the events that took place. She does this in order to create a fantasy (Dream) that hides the unfortunate truth of what really happened to her.

That has always been my assumption about the first half of the movie. I have a hard time explaining why I think this, but it makes perfect sense to me. I'll attempt to explain it again.

Basically, Diane failed miserably in LA. The significant events and people in her life made her feel miserable.

BEFORE THE DREAM

Events
- She rented a crappy apartment at Sierra Bonita
- She failed in her audition for the SNS
- She had to watch Camilla and Adam fall for each other romantically while on the set of a movie (The SNS?)
- Instead of finding success in acting, she had to take a job a Winkies where she pays a hitman to kill Camilla

People
- The two old people in the beginning of the movie had obviously traumatized her in some way
- Bob Rooker didn't care for her
- Camillas boyfriend made her miserable because he took Camilla from her
- Adam's mother (Coco?) made her feel pathetic. Patted her on the hand like "Oh, you poor thing."
- Camilla became a successful actress who dumped Diane for a man. Diane eventually had her killed.
- The exception is DeRosa who probably also dumped her but it seems that they separated on civil terms.

Because Diane can no longer live with herself, her failures and what she's done, she creates the dream to fix all of it.

In the dream she changes all the events and who all of these people are.

DURING THE DREAM

Events
- She sets up camp in her Aunt Ruths beautiful apartment (Rather than Sierra Bonita)
- She has an audition where shes the greatest thing they've ever seen
- She goes to an audition for the SNS, but Adam and Camilla don't know each other
- She takes Rita to Winkies for a nice cup of coffee

People
- The two old people become a nice couple she met on a plane flying into LA
- Bob Rooker becomes an idiot who knows nothing (A perfect way to imagine someone who thinks you suck at acting)
- Camilla's boyfriend becomes Adam, the director of The SNS who gets strong armed into giving Camilla the lead role
- Adam's mother becomes Coco, the friendly landlord
- DeRosa remains DeRosa
- Camilla becomes an amnesiac.....but WHY?????

Everything makes sense except the amnesia. Why does Diane need Camilla to have amnesia? Is it required so that Diane can fall in love with her in the dream and Camilla wont have any memory of their failed relationship? Does Diane need Camilla to be helpless so she can rescue her?

For some reason, she needs her to be an amnesiac. Why?

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Re: Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby Coffee Cup » 29 Jan 2018

Surprised that no comments have come in on this yet.

It's always been fairly obvious to me that the first half of the movie is Diane's dream that attempts to hide all of the things that made her miserable and enraged her with anger. Then, in the second half of the movie we are shown all of the things that the dream hid from us, but Lynch delivers it in an abstract and dramaticized way to emphasize her rage.

In the first half of the movie, the dream silences all her feelings and emotions. In the second half, her emotions are exploding across the screen.

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Re: Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby Coffee Cup » 30 Jan 2018

I just read Alan Shaw's essay again.

Perhaps Diane wishes deeply to forget everything about herself. So, in the dream she chooses to become the woman she fell in love with, but as an amnesiac who remembers nothing. Perfect! She gets to be the woman she was infatuated with while simultaneously forgetting everything about herself. Thus in return, she gets to watch the persona of Betty blossom just the way in which she wish she had.

This makes sense because Rita only seems to remember things pertaining to Diane....such as her name Diane Selwyn. There's some other close-calls in the movie where Diane is at risk of remembering who she is.

At the Ryan Entertainment building, one of the Castigliani brothers stands up and yells, "Help me!!!". Could this just be Diane in the dream trying to hold everything together? Adam is trying to prevent the woman in the photo from becoming the lead actress in the SNS, but if this doesn't happen then the whole dream falls apart.

By Aunt Ruths request, Louise Bonner comes to the door and asks, "Who are you?" That might be a scary question to ask someone who's trying to forget who they are. Then we see Rita terrified by the experience when Betty comes back in the house.

At Sierra Bonita, Rita doesn't want Betty to knock on DeRosa's door. Why? By seeing her it could reawaken the memory of Diane. Nor does Rita want Betty to go through the kitchen window to enter unit #17. Perhaps she fears that something on the inside will remind her of who she is. And isn't that exactly what happens? In the following scene, the women have sex and then end up at Club Silencio where Diane is reminded that it's all an illusion. She then wakes up from the dream.

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Re: Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby derekfnord » 12 Feb 2018

I think both Betty and Rita represent Diane in many ways. Ultimately, every character in the dream "is" Diane, because Diane is the dreamer. But I mean that I think those two especially represent Diane.

Betty is Diane as she imagines she was when she first came to Hollywood -- bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, naive, and talented. Rita is Diane as she wishes she was now -- connected, successful, sought-after -- and also represents Camilla superficially (standing in for her when the plot of the dream story relates to elements of Diane and Camilla's relationship). Rita represents Diane "now" (albeit a fantasy version of "now"), and I think that is what explains the amnesia.

In one sense, Diane is desperately trying to repress the memory of what she did. Since Rita is Diane "now," Rita is the one with no memory. In a secondary sense, Rita having no memory plays into Diane's desperate wish that Camilla had survived the hit, and didn't know who had caused it.

Rita is also the character who is "closer to the surface" of the dream, so is often the character most aware (flickeringly) that a dream may be underway. For example, we see Rita before we see Betty, and we see Rita after Betty vanishes. We see Rita sleep (dream?) far more often than we do Betty. Rita is also the one who says, "Diane Selwyn... maybe that's my name!" (Maybe it is, indeed!)

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Re: Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby Coffee Cup » 17 Feb 2018

derekfnord wrote:Betty is Diane as she imagines she was when she first came to Hollywood -- bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, naive, and talented.

Completely agree with that. Diane dreams herself up as the amazing actress she fantasized she would be.....just as any young woman would who comes to Hollywood with plans of becoming a star. That's actually a very human thing if you think about it. When we venture out to do something, we envision ourselves fully achieving the success we set out to obtain.

derekfnord wrote:Rita is Diane as she wishes she was now -- connected, successful, sought-after -- and also represents Camilla superficially (standing in for her when the plot of the dream story relates to elements of Diane and Camilla's relationship). Rita represents Diane "now" (albeit a fantasy version of "now"), and I think that is what explains the amnesia.

That's not very clear to me because Rita is not connected nor successful in the dream. She actually has no idea who she is at all. This of course assumes that only the first half of the movie is a dream and that the 2nd part of the movie is an abstracted representation of reality.

derekfnord wrote:In one sense, Diane is desperately trying to repress the memory of what she did. Since Rita is Diane "now," Rita is the one with no memory.

That makes quite a bit of sense to me. Shes trying to forget everything, so she dreams herself up as a person who remembers nothing.

derekfnord wrote:In a secondary sense, Rita having no memory plays into Diane's desperate wish that Camilla had survived the hit, and didn't know who had caused it.

I get you, but that's kind of a stretch for me.

derekfnord wrote:Rita is also the character who is "closer to the surface" of the dream, so is often the character most aware (flickeringly) that a dream may be underway. For example, we see Rita before we see Betty, and we see Rita after Betty vanishes. We see Rita sleep (dream?) far more often than we do Betty. Rita is also the one who says, "Diane Selwyn... maybe that's my name!" (Maybe it is, indeed!)

I like it. More supporting ideas that point to Rita being Diane.

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Re: Why is Camilla an amnesiac in Diane's dream?

Postby derekfnord » 17 Feb 2018

Coffee Cup wrote:
derekfnord wrote:Rita is Diane as she wishes she was now -- connected, successful, sought-after -- and also represents Camilla superficially (standing in for her when the plot of the dream story relates to elements of Diane and Camilla's relationship). Rita represents Diane "now" (albeit a fantasy version of "now"), and I think that is what explains the amnesia.

That's not very clear to me because Rita is not connected nor successful in the dream. She actually has no idea who she is at all.


True; I'm extrapolating that "Rita" (not her real name, even in the dream) is successful in the dream because everyone seems so concerned that "the girl is still missing" (and the assumption seems to be that Rita is "the girl"), she was the target of an attempted hit while a passenger in a limo, she's walking around with a big pile of money, etc. So agreed that we don't know she's successful, but she has peripheral signs of success surrounding her.

Coffee Cup wrote:
derekfnord wrote:Rita is also the character who is "closer to the surface" of the dream, so is often the character most aware (flickeringly) that a dream may be underway. For example, we see Rita before we see Betty, and we see Rita after Betty vanishes. We see Rita sleep (dream?) far more often than we do Betty. Rita is also the one who says, "Diane Selwyn... maybe that's my name!" (Maybe it is, indeed!)

I like it. More supporting ideas that point to Rita being Diane.
Thanks! :D


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