“an object … exists only insofar as it is lost. This loss of what the subject doesn’t have institutes the death drive, which produces enjoyment through the repetition of the initial loss. Subjects engage in acts of self-sacrifice and self-sabotage because the loss enacted reproduces the subject’s lost object and enables the subject to enjoy this object. Once it is obtained, the object ceases to be the object. As a result, the subject must continually repeat the sacrificial acts that produce the object, despite the damage that such acts do to the subject’s self-interest. From the perspective of the death drive, we turn to violence not in order to gain power but in order to produce loss, which is our only source of enjoyment. Without the lost object, lile becomes bereft of any satisfaction.”— Enjoying What We Do Not Have – TODD MCGOWAN

Betty (i.e., Diane) can no longer disavow the illusory nature of the experience. ..Betty looks down in her purse and sees a blue box

..Rita turns around and Betty should once again be in the shot, she is not there. As Betty and Rita reach the point at which the fantasy world intersects with the world of desire, Diane’s representative in her fantasy can no longer continue to exist.


After Rita uses the key to open the blue box, the camera moves into the opening in the top of the box and is subsumed by the darkness inside. The film impels us to experience briefly the void that exists between fantasy and desire,

but we are quickly thrust into the world of desire, in which the woman who owns the apartment- Betty’s aunt in the fantasy-walks in; there is no trace of either Rita or Betty.

only by insisting on fantasy to the end can one arrive at the experience of silence.

– TODD MCGOWAN on Mulholland Drive