The Eyes of Passion (Validation #1)

December 6, 2009…

We realize that we spend a lot of time on this site ranting and raving over things that truly piss us off – and rightly so. Life has become an absurd experience over the past few years, due to an endless war, a bad job economy, Jon & Kate, AIG, and the latest obsession over Tiger Woods’ sex life. But we don’t want anyone thinking that we are simply a group of constantly-angry folks who find nothing good in the world to cheer about. There are, in fact, plenty of things to celebrate. It’s just that life on this planet, circa 2009, is making it harder and harder to find those moments that are worth praising.

One truly extraordinary thing, that brings immense joy to us, is the lesbian love scene in David Lynch’s bizarre 2001 symbolism-laden film Mulholland Drive (noted in our Roll Call #3 on this site). We have decided to honor it in a new category called “Validations.”

We cannot think of a single scene in any other movie that is as sensual and erotic, yet also as innocent and pure, as the one between the characters of Naomi Watts (“Betty”) and Laura Elena Harring (“Rita” aka “Camilla”) while they are lying in bed. We realize that we are taking the scene totally out of context from the rest of the film, but still, it’s a scene we at The Federation have watched dozens of times and never fail to be equally moved and turned on by. It’s got nothing to do with two attractive women simply “gettin’ it on” and everything to do with smoldering passion and emotions. It is ten times more erotic than any porn film we have ever scene. Whatever anyone thinks of Mulholland Drive, in general, it is worth owning just for this 4 ½ minute interlude alone.

David Lynch directs the scene brilliantly, taking his time setting up the moment. and Watts and Harring are so convincing in their love and passion for one another that you never believe for one second that they are merely “acting.” It is a very intimate scene – like we are eavesdropping on a private moment between two women who suddenly discover that they are in love with one another. There is absolutely nothing cheap or lurid about it. The way they look at one another, the way Betty confesses her love to Rita, the moment they begin kissing and undressing – it is all done in a very innocent and beautiful manner. It’s all about subtle nuances, which this scene has in abundance – as when Naomi Watts looks down at Laura Harring’s lips and then looks back up at her eyes right before they begin kissing. She has a look of surprise and innocence that is truly mesmerizing. If this scene does not move you, then as an old song once said, “Jack, you dead.”

Watts and Harring say more with their eyes than most actors say with a thousand lines of dialogue. Both actresses have very beautiful, sensual, expressive eyes and the way they look at one another is absolutely captivating.

This scene begs for repeated viewings – not just because it is so incredibly erotic, but because watching it multiple times reveals all of its subtle nuances. It is a scene that unless you have watched it you cannot begin to understand its magnificence. We, here at The Federation, nominate this as being in a list of probably the 50 greatest scenes in cinematic history. And definitely the most erotically sensual.

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