Blue Velvet (1986) is in some ways one of David Lynch’s most accessible works: it has a more conventional, linear narrative than many of his other projects, it can be understood as a thriller, and it fits into the film noir tradition. Audiences have a framework for processing the film’s scenes of brutality and perversity. For instance, upon its initial release, Gene Siskel compared it to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960).
Tag: Blue Velvet
On September 19th, 1986, David Lynch’s now-cult classic BLUE VELVET was released. 2016 marks the film’s 30th anniversary, and here at the Brattle, we’re providing the best way to celebrate- a full of week of showings, (July 1st-7th) featuring a brand new restoration of the film. To prepare you for your visit back to Lumberton, and the world of Dorothy Vallens, Frank Booth, and others, we’ve compiled a list of supplemental readings about the film and its legacy.
It’s a strange world; or rather, it’s a strange neighborhood in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). Lynch’s microcosm, in which a small town carries the horror of a maniacal detective story, acts paradigmatically to disclose the psychosexual turmoil of the human mind. The opening scene posits a white picket fence, saturated roses, a gleeful fireman, and a fatherly figure watering the garden. It’s the American dream in its cinematic realization. Yet in typical Lynch fashion, this idyllic scene is threatened by a freak accident. The man watering the garden collapses to the ground and the camera descends to his level, submerging the viewer in the grass, where bugs squirm as an assertion of the ensuing uneasiness.
David Lynch, for all that he is said to be (and he is said to be a lot of things), is first and foremost an American director. His films are often cited as surrealistic and dark, to be sure, but Lynch’s bizarre prism is arguably the best lens through which one can perceive the schizophrenic psyche of American mythology. This concept is at its most accessible in Twin Peaks, the short-lived yet much-hyped television series he co-created with Mark Frost.
Written by Andy Dimond
US, 1986. Rated R. 120 min. Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Hope Lange, Dean Stockwell; Music: Angelo Badalamenti, Chris Isaak, Roy Orbison; Cinematographer: Frederick Elmes; Produced by: Fred Caruso, Richard Roth; Written and directed by David Lynch.
One word appears with remarkable consistency alongside the name David Lynch. â€œWeird.â€ Granted, his subject matter and narrative style do often fall willfully outside the Hollywood norm, but that should not be allowed to overshadow his natural brilliance as a Hollywood craftsman. His first feature, Eraserhead – which does still strike me as an overdone slice of student-film surrealism – nevertheless rode to glory on Lynchâ€™s uncanny instinct for the feel and flow of film imagery.