Discovering Lesbian Film History through Mulholland Drive

Dr. Clara Bradbury-Rance, King's College London


This playlist situates Mulholland Drive (2001) in the context of film history. Lynch’s film intertwines the conventions of lesbian representation with cinema’s own conditions of production. By virtue of its Hollywood setting, conventional thriller tropes and Technicolor aesthetic, the film looks back to the censorship practices of the mid-twentieth century’s Motion Picture Production Code. This playlist’s juxtaposition of contemporary and classic films thus reveals the uncomfortable histories of lesbian representation, from pathological violence to ambivalent voyeurism and the “doubling” trope. The playlist may serve as a teaching aid to accompany the book Lesbian Cinema after Queer Theory (Bradbury-Rance 2019), and includes the majority of the films discussed at length in Chapter 1.


Dr. Clara Bradbury-Rance, King's College London


  • Film Studies


LGBTQ; lesbian cinema; David Lynch; film noir; thriller; classical Hollywood cinema

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