Track of the Day: 'Llorando' by Rebekah del Rio

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

I’ll be honest: Mulholland Dr. is my favorite movie ever and has been for years. (My colleagues can attest to the Mulholland Dr. poster pinned inside my cubicle.) So naturally I was excited to see it at the very top of the BBC’s newly released list of the 100 Best Movies of the 21st Century (so far).

The film is filled with unforgettable moments (including that one), but the most heartbreaking and narratively significant is the one that takes place in Club Silencio. After an introduction entirely in Spanish, the singer Rebekah Del Rio takes the stage as if in some kind of trance and begins a gorgeous rendition of “Llorando” before an audience of two.

The scene may be dialogue-free, but it communicates so much—in the tears of its two main characters Betty and Rita, the way they lean on each other for comfort, their look of horror when Del Rio falls to the ground and her disembodied song continues without her. Much like Mulholland Dr. itself, the “Llorando” scene is that much more powerful for operating on a completely different plane of language and emotion than the one we use every day.

And then maybe after you’re done being devastated (it may take years), you can find this funny:

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