Jam Session (1944) and Mulholland Dr.

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smeared ink
 
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Jam Session (1944) and Mulholland Dr.

Postby smeared ink » 03 Apr 2016

Hello! I've just posted this thread on the Rotten Tomatoes forum: http://forum.rottentomatoes.com/topic/show/1994259

It is itself a follow-up of the 2007 Rotten Tomatoes thread I link to within it, which I apparently posted after coming to mulholland-drive.net at that time.

Anyway, back in 2007 I caught a bit of this Ann Miller movie Jam Session on Turner Classic Movies and noticed some interesting similarities with certain aspects of Mulholland Drive. I bought a crappy recorded-off-TV VHS copy of it back then with the intention of sharing my wondrous discoveries online. Well, here we are, more than eight years later. I had other things to do, ok?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBlaTzdpfM8

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ctyankee
 
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Re: Jam Session (1944) and Mulholland Dr.

Postby ctyankee » 07 Jun 2016

Very interesting and with Ann Miller involved, certainly a plus. I like it. I'll try to see if I can find the film to view.

You're not the only person to notice this. On the IMDB website, two years ago, someone posted in the discussion section of Jam Session the thread title Mulholland Dr. and within the overly brief ... "Oh yeah, it's in there."

Thanks for Posting!

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Siku
 
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Re: Jam Session (1944) and Mulholland Dr.

Postby Siku » 01 Dec 2016

Hi smeared ink, just watched your edit of Jam Session and MD, really enjoyed it, thanks! I will add JS to my list.. :up:

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ctyankee
 
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Re: Jam Session (1944) and Mulholland Dr.

Postby ctyankee » 03 Jan 2017

It took months for the group I contacted to ship a copy of Jam Session to me and then many more months to get around to watching it. What I have is an awful copy, goodness knows how many times removed from a TCM broadcast.

Connections:

Hollywood in large letters sets the scene for the film much like a view of the Hollywood Sign in MD.

George Haven is a script writer living at a house with rooms for rent. Could his last name be borrowed for the Havenhurst apartments? As we know from the MD Pilot, a script writer named Wilkins also lived at the Sierra Bonita Apartments, along with Betty.

Like MD, both the director and producer (Bob Brooker/Wally Brown) are rather old as are the director and producer making the film that George Haven is scripting. George is introduced to the director who barely makes an impression. A stretch, but it might be a source for the Bob Brooker character who also is barely there.

Jam Session is a series of music scenes barely connected by a plot. The orchestra featured highlight trumpet and trombone solos which may be loosely connected to the Silencio scene in MD.

Role reversal: Teresa Baxter (Ann Miller) arrives in Hollywood, looking for an apartment by taxi and meets older landlady. In MD, Ann Miller is the old landlady who shows Betty her Aunt's apartment when she arrives by taxi.

Role reversal: Teresa (Ann Miller) introduces herself: "Teresa Baxter, but everybody calls me Terry." In MD, Ann Miller introduces herself as "just call me Coco, everybody else does."

The Landlady reacts to Terry explaining that winning a Jitterbug Contest in her home town of Waterfall, Kansas as if she's heard it and seen it so many times before. Just like the attitude that Coco (Ann Miller) gives to Diane at the Cast Party in MD when she says, "so, you rolled in here from Canada." Diane further explains that she won a Jitterbug contest in Deep River, Ontario, very similar to Terry winning a Jitterbug Contest in Waterfall, Kansas.

One big difference is that Terry only gets a tiny, tiny spot in the hallway as her room/alcove for rent compared to Betty getting her Aunt's large apartment. However, if, like me, you like the idea of Betty's world as an actor's dreamworld of what Hollywood really is than it stands in direct and interesting contrast to Jam Session. However, an idea that I like ... Rita in the shower is the same as Betty in her alcove ... both about the same size space. Then when Betty asks Rita before leaving, "What your name?"(separated by the opaque shower glass) is much like the Landlady asking Terry before leaving: "Oh, I didn't get your name," separated by a cloth drape as she prepares for bed.

Much like Rita adopting her name from Rita Hayworth, Terry adopts the name Betty Smith to get a studio secretarial job. So, the short of it is that Betty is in both MD and Jam Session and both may be fake names.

We have Jitterbug dancing in both films.

An out-of-work make-up artist turns Betty into a vision of his grandmother so that she can fool the studio much as Betty turns Rita into a blonde to help disguise her.

Another take on this is whether Lynch was influenced by this grandmother disguise for the character of Aunt Ruth (or A un-Truth). Certainly the different colored wigs and extensive make-up in Aunt Ruth's apartment is an idea that Lynch may have wanted to explore more in a TV series. Further, as there has been no sightings or information about the actress Maya Bond who supposedly played the role, in all these years. It might just be an actress made up to look like she is old.

Summary:

No doubt Jam Session is a direct source of ideas for Mulholland Dr.

Congrats to smeared ink for bringing this to our website!!! :2up:


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