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David Lynch Should Be Shot!

March 15th, 2009 · 15 Comments

Blue Velvet (1986)
Written by David Lynch
Directed by David Lynch
Produced by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Running time: 120 minutes

blue-velvet-1986-poster.jpg blue-velvet-dvd-cover.jpg

What the *&#! Is This About?
In the “sunny, woodsy” town of Lumberton, the suburban idyll is broken when a man watering his lawn appears to be bitten by an insect and suddenly collapses. His son Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns from college to find his hospitalized father stricken in terror over his ailment. Strolling home, Jeffrey stops to throw rocks in a field. Sifting through the weeds, he discovers what appears to be a human ear. A police detective (George Dickerson) agrees with Jeffrey, but the eager young man fails to get details of the investigation divulged to him in a visit to the officer’s home. The detective’s teenaged daughter Sandy (Laura Dern) is game to share some things she’s heard through the walls, specifically, the name of a woman singer named “Dorothy Vallens” that has come up. Sandy takes Jeffrey to see the apartment building where Dorothy lives, on the edge of the suburbs in the dark side of town.

Desperate for “knowledge and experience”, Jeffrey hatches a scheme to snoop around Dorothy’s apartment by posing as a pest control man. Sandy goes along to protect Jeffrey, who steals a set of keys while undercover. The couple later goes to hear the mysterious and fragile Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) sing at a bar. Jeffrey’s curiosity leads him back to Dorothy’s apartment, where he is forced to hide in a closet and have things revealed to him that are best left unknown: an amyl nitrate inhaling psychopath named Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) has kidnapped Dorothy’s son and husband, cutting off her spouse’s ear to keep the songstress dependent on him. Jeffrey seems both repulsed by and attracted to Dorothy and sleeps with her. Frank and his gang find out and take the kid on a “joyride”, but after he makes it through the night alive, Jeffrey finds he can’t get Dorothy out of his mind.

Blue Velvet 1986 Isabella Rossellini

Who Should Be Held Responsible?

David Lynch
spent his formative years in Spokane, Washington. His family moved to Boise, Idaho, where Lynch attended 3rd through 8th grades before settling in Alexandria, Virginia, where Lynch went to high school. Of his childhood surroundings, Lynch recalled, “It was beautiful old houses, tree-lined streets, the milkman, building forts, lots and lots of friends. It was a dream world, those droning airplanes, blue skies, picket fences, green grass, cherry trees – Middle America the way it was supposed to be. But then on this cherry tree would be this pitch oozing out, some of it black, some of it yellow, and there were millions of red ants racing all over the sticky pitch, all over the tree. So you see, there’s this beautiful world and you just look a little bit closer, and it’s all red ants.” By the spring semester of 1966, Lynch was enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, participating in the school’s experimental painting and sculpting contests, and living with buddy Jack Fisk in a run-down, crime ridden, industrial section of Philadelphia.

As early as 1973, Lynch began getting ideas for what became Blue Velvet, beginning with Bobby Vinton’s version of the tune. “I don’t know what it was about that song, because it wasn’t the kind of music that I really liked. But there was something mysterious about it. It made me think lawns and the neighborhood. It’s twilight – with maybe a streetlight on, let’s say, so a lot of it is in shadow. And in the foreground is part of a car door, or just a suggestion of a car, because it’s too dark to see clearly. But in the car is a girl with red lips. And it was these red lips, blue velvet and these black-green lawns of a neighborhood that started it.” Following a critically acclaimed second feature – The Elephant Man, in 1980 – Lynch was approached by producer Richard Roth and asked if he had any other scripts. Lynch responded that he only had ideas, for instance, he’d always wanted to sneak into a girl’s room and watch her at night. Maybe, in the process, he’d see a clue to a murder mystery.

Blue Velvet 1986 Kyle MacLachlan

Returning home to write a treatment, Lynch then pictured someone finding an ear in a field. “It had to be an ear because it’s an opening. An ear is wide and, as it narrows, you can go down into it. And it goes somewhere vast. Then Richard said, ‘You gotta come with me and we gotta pitch this.’ So we went over to Warner Bros. and pitched it. I went out of the room or something and this guy said to Richard, ‘Is this a true story? Did he find an ear? Or did he make that up?’ And Richard said, ‘No, he made it up.’ And the guy said, ‘Jeez! I’ll do it!’ And so I wrote two scripts and they were horrible! And this guy at Warners who was excited at the beginning was screaming at me on the phone.” Lynch instead accepted an offer from producer Dino De Laurentiis to adapt and direct a $40 million screen version of Frank Herbert’s Dune. In addition to the filmmaker feeling artistically compromised throughout the massive production, the film was poorly received by audiences.

“Because Dune was not such a big success, and things went badly, Dino and I were ready to part company. But then he came back and said, ‘What is this, what is this Blue Velvet?’ You know? And I said, ‘Dino, you’re so crazy.’ I said, ‘You know about this thing, I told you about it before.’ But he said, ‘I must read again.’ And I said, ‘Well you can read the first half of it,’ because I liked the first half of it. And he read it and he’d really liked it. And I said let me fix the second half, and you know, we’ll do it. And that’s how it got started.” Lynch added, “My agent then was Rick Nicita at CAA and we were always going to visit Dino in the bungalow – or, as he says, ‘boongalow’ … Dino knew that I wanted final cut, but, like a great businessman, he used that to his advantage. He said, ‘No problem, just cut your salary in half, and cut the budget in half, and away you go.’”

Blue Velvet 1986 Kyle MacLachlan Laura Dern

Lynch wanted to work with Kyle MacLachlan again. The actor recalled, “And, you’ve gotta remember that, I mean, Dune was the first screenplay that I’d ever read, and Blue Velvet was basically the second screenplay that I’d ever read, so … I thought it was incredibly charged, very erotic. I thought, frightening. Kind of amazing, like in an overpowering way and frightened me and also sort of filled me with this desire to go into that world.” To play Dorothy Vallens, Lynch approached Helen Mirren. The actress helped Lynch fine tune the material before opting out of the part. Lynch had met Isabella Rossellini at a restaurant; realizing later that she was an actress – having appeared in White Nights – he offered her the role of Dorothy Vallens. Rossellini later mused, “I mean, I always imagined her as a broken doll – you know – one of these beautiful dolls that you put in the bed, you know, with the ruffles and the hair completely done, but something had happened and you know, the hair all down, the makeup is falling off, the dress are – the idea of a broken doll. So the glamour, some of it was still there. Some of it was erased. Some of it was being raped, broken, violently.”

When it came to finding someone to play Frank Booth, Lynch stated, “Dennis Hopper’s name had come up in meetings before, but as soon as it did, it was shot down because of his reputation. Not because he wasn’t right, but because his reputation was so strong that it was just out of the question. And that was sad, because he had been off everything for over a year and a half and no one really knew that. So his manager told me that Dennis was totally different and that we could phone the producers whom he had just worked with to check. And then Dennis called and said, “I have to play Frank because I am Frank.” Well that almost blew the deal right there. But he was truly great to work with.” Hopper emerged from the obscurity of drug and alcohol rehab for back-to-back-to-back roles in Hoosiers, River’s Edge and Blue Velvet, completing one of the greatest career makeovers in Hollywood history.

Blue Velvet 1986 Dennis Hopper Isabella Rossellini Kyle MacLachlan

Under a budget of roughly $6 million, Blue Velvet commenced filming February 1986 in an unlikely place. Lynch recalls, “Well, Dino had just bought the studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. It had maybe one soundstage, but he was busy building others. They put a concrete slab down and these walls and ceilings go up in a twinkling of an eye. They’re not soundproof, and they’re two miles from an airport. They’re not soundstages at all. But we actually got one that was pretty good for Blue Velvet. Dino’s company was going public and we were the littlest film and therefore the one that they didn’t have to pay any attention to. And so there was a tremendous sense of freedom. After Dune I was down so far that anything was up! So it was just a euphoria. And when you work with that kind of feeling, you can take chances. You can experiment. You can really feel it. And I had final cut, which gives you another whole sense of freedom.”

Contrary to Lynch’s fears, when he screened Blue Velvet for De Laurentiis and the producer’s employees, it was greeted with enthusiasm. “And then Dino had this foreign sales guy showing it over in Europe. And the guy was saying to him, ‘Dino, people are diggin’ this film! We’re selling this film!’ So Dino called me into his office and he says he’s not sure but maybe a wider audience will like this film. He said, ‘We make tests!’ So there was a theater in the Valley showing Top Gun, and Dino sneaks Blue Velvet in there one night. My agent Rick Nicita and some other agents at CAA went to the screening and they left just as the film ended. They called me from the car and told me they thought it was great. So I’m, like, all pumped up, and I go to sleep that night so happy, because they were all screaming over the car phone and all this stuff.”

Blue Velvet 1986 Kyle MacLachlan Isabella Rossellini

Lynch continued, “So Rick and I went over to Dino’s office and they had the cards from the screening. They were like: ‘David Lynch should be shot!’ Question: ‘What did you like best about the movie?’ Answers: ‘The dog, Sparky.’ ‘The ending!’ ‘When it was over!’ It was like the worst preview screening Larry [Gleason] – who’d been in the business for years – had ever seen. The cards were the worst he had ever, ever seen. And if it wasn’t for Dino, they might have put the movie on the shelf. I’m not kidding. But Dino said, ‘David. We took chance, and we see now it’s not a film for everybody. So we learn and we go on.’ So they geared up and got a lot of key critics who were seeing the film and really saying nice things. When it hit the theaters, it never really did any big business, but it was solid.” Without expanding beyond 188 theaters, Blue Velvet would gross $8.4 million in the U.S.

With a few minor exceptions, the mainstream media was universal in their praise of the picture. Janet Maslin, the New York Times: “For those with the temerity to follow it anywhere, Blue Velvet is as fascinating as it is freakish. It confirms Mr. Lynch’s stature as an innovator, a superb technician, and someone best not encountered in a dark alley.” Richard Corliss, Time Magazine: “Lynch and his film will surely be reviled, but as an experiment in expanding cinema’s dramatic and technical vocabulary, Blue Velvet demands respect.” Variety: “Picture takes a disturbing and at times devastating look at the ugly underside of Middle American life. The modest proportions of the film are just right for the writer-director’s desire to investigate the inexplicable demons that drive people to deviate from expected norms of behavior and thought.”

Blue Velvet 1986 Kyle MacLachlan

Blue Velvet was debated by Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert on At the Movies, with Ebert voting thumbs down, finding the film “cruelly unfair to its actors.” Ebert: “It’s not how Isabella Rossellini reacts … It’s how I react. And that’s painful to me, to see a woman treated like that, and I want to know that if I’m feeling that pain, it’s for a reason that the movie has other than simply to cause pain to her.” Siskel: “Well, I think that the reason is that the film is a thriller and a shocker. I mean, there are people that get hurt – badly – in real life, and I think that this is a legitimate one. This is not a simple mad slasher movie.” Ebert: “Okay, then why is it a comedy?” Siskel: “Because, he wants to set you up – he’s a director – and he wants to play you like all the directors, the great directors want to do; he wants to play you like a piano, which is have you smile and then swing you right into some depression.” Ebert: “Yeah well if somebody wants to play me like a piano he better get some music that’s worth listening to.” Siskel: “I think this is a good song.”

Members of the National Society of Film Critics voted Blue Velvet Best Picture of 1986, but in a year that also saw Children of a Lesser God, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Mission, Platoon and A Room with A View vie for Best Picture, Blue Velvet was left in the dark at the Oscars. David Lynch received the film’s only Academy Award nomination, for Best Director. Following the film’s release, the filmmaker mused, “Talking about it was so important to that film. I think some people could despise it. If you don’t like the story or what it’s saying, then you just end up hating everything. It’s not a movie for everybody. Some people really dug it. Others thought it was disgusting and sick. And, of course, it is but it has two sides. You have to have the contrasts. Films should have power. The power of good and the power of darkness, so you can get some thrills and shake things up a bit. If you back off from that stuff, you’re shooting right down into lukewarm junk.”

Blue Velvet 1986 Dennis Hopper Isabella Rossellini

Why Should I Care?

Even if you were to take this movie only at face value, Blue Velvet may be the most primal tribute to Alfred Hitchcock ever conjured by another director. Where Shadow of a Doubt uncovered evil in a small town and Rear Window warned voyeurs about peeking in on the deeds of their neighbors, so does Blue Velvet, which is even more unsettling in its portrait of evil than Psycho. If David Lynch had been satisfied making a movie about other movies, this still would have been a classic. What makes Blue Velvet a masterpiece is its boldness, how it lifts the curtain on conventional filmmaking and shines a light on the freaks, demons and bizarre of human nature with a command usually reserved for filmmakers that have been working at this for a whole lot longer.

In terms of visual composition, Blue Velvet is a watercolor come to life, with cinematographer Frederick Elmes immersing the film in electric blues, verdant greens and nightmare black. Equally amazing is that even with extras looking like they were plucked from the circus, there’s not one bad performance in the picture; in fact, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper have never been stronger in a movie, with Hopper in particular cracking the screen with white trash intensity. Angelo Badalamenti composed a lush orchestral score and if further evidence was needed that Blue Velvet achieves perfection, Lynch lets his quirky, infectious sense of humor seep through the daylight scenes while at night, forcing viewers to question the nature of evil.

© Joe Valdez

Blue Velvet 1986

Where Are You Getting This *&#!?

Blue Velvet press kit – DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group (1986)

Lynch on Lynch: Revised Edition. Edited by Chris Rodley. Faber and Faber (2005)

Blue Velvet (Special Edition) MGM Home Video (2002)

Tags: Ambiguous ending · Black comedy · Coming of age · Crooked officer · Cult favorite · Femme fatale · Gangsters and hoodlums · Small town

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 cjKennedy // Feb 12, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Shadow of a Doubt is a terrific comparison that I’d never really thought of before, yet it’s right there in front of me.

    Im an unabashed fan of Lynch. I even like huge chunks of Lost Highway and Fire Walk With Me. Except for Straight Story, they all seem to exist in this odd dream state that no one captures quite like Lynch. Sometimes funny, sometimes nightmarish, always amazing and memorable.

    And yeah, Blue Velvet is still his high water mark in many ways.

    As much as I loved Inland Empire, I miss the lush sensuality of the cinematography in stuff like Blue Velvet.

  • 2 Adam R // Feb 13, 2008 at 8:28 am

    What impresses me the most on a technical level about Blue Velvet is Lynch’s framing. Watch scenes like the confrontation with Frank and Co. in the apartment hallway or the party at Ben’s: there are many characters in view but the frame is perfectly balanced and doesn’t feel cluttered, it’s almost like a painting.

    I always come back to Frank’s introduction to “the neighbor boy” and subsequent ride to Ben’s. How horrific must that be for Jeffrey? One minute he’s sky high as a dopey guy turned hero to two women, the next he’s being psychologically dominated by a group of men who barely seem human.

    Great insight as always Joe, I didn’t know anything about Dino’s involvement.

  • 3 Chuck // Feb 15, 2008 at 6:29 am

    I think Blue Velvet is one of the finest movies ever made: period. I tend, even with movies I love, to play the “its so great with the exception of this” game that drives people not as into movies crazy sometimes. Can’t play that game with Blue Velvet. Nothing to change, and its the perfect balance of everything that has ever fascinated David Lynch. The real ballsyness of it though is its unexpected, un-ironic sentimentality. And, as you guys have said, its really damn funny.

    It terms of favorites, Mulholland Dr. is my FAVORITE Lynch movie, but BV remains, again as you guys have written, the high water mark of Lynch’s career. What a beautiful, one of a kind picture.

  • 4 Marilyn // Feb 18, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Joe, As usual, you’ve found a lot of information to illuminate a film we all think we know very well. I agree that this is his high-water mark (though I’m a big fan of Mulholland Drive), giving us something that seems familiar but skews us out of our expectations. This is what the great Martin Scorsese wanted After Hours to be.

  • 5 Piper // Feb 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    The biggest feat Lynch was able to pull off with Blue Velvet was to make the surreal seem so real. No one artist has been able to warp good old fashioned America the way Lynch does.

    While his other movies have taken the strange too far, the all-American backdrop of Blue Velvet kept Lynch honest in his material and the material was so strong that his audience followed in step which is a testament to Lynch’s talent.

    I have been a long time fan of Lynch but this, along with Twin Peaks, might be my most favorite.

    “Dennis Hopper, whose white trash intensity almost puts a crack in the frame”

    Great line Joe. Great post.

  • 6 Tim // Feb 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Since Inland Empire came out and I fell head over heels in love, I’ve gotten into the bad habit of thinking of that film and Eraserhead as the be-all and end-all of Lynch’s art. So I thank you for reminding me of how good he can be when he wasn’t actively trying to make the audience go insane.

    As far as being the director’s high water mark among his “normal” movies, I don’t think Blue Velvet is quite as good as the pilot episode of Twin Peaks (a series that, as has been noted, covers the same ground as BV, but in a serial TV way that somehow strikes me as infinitely more subversive), but I’d stack it up against Mulholland Dr. any day, as much as I love that film. MD is a lovely head trip, and a fine experiment in genre, but BV is more audacious: it takes all sorts of safe and comfortable tropes like Capra’s small towns, Fifties pop music, boy detectives, and robins as a sign of rebirth, and proceeds to pervert every one of them, and it does this without seeming even slightly exploitative.

    Now I have to go lie down and imagine the film with Mirren instead of Rosselini – my head refuses to get around that concept.

  • 7 Jeremy // Feb 20, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I wish I was in love with the films of David Lynch as I used to be. I just haven’t really engaged with anything he has doen though since M. Drive…that said, Blue Velvet is an absolute masterpiece and still one of the most unnerving films I have ever seen.
    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on it and you do an excellent job at essaying many of its complexities.

  • 8 Robert // Feb 25, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Joe,

    A pleasure to read your review as always. One detail that opened up Blue Velvet for me (I think it was mentioned either in the DVD extras or in some interview with Hopper) was that Lynch’s script originally had Frank sniffing helium and not nitrous oxide. Helium has no psycho-physiological effects but makes the voice high pitched. Hopper thought at the time that nitrous would be a better choice since it’s often used for sex, but on later reflection realized that Lynch was right. Helium would’ve simply been sicker!

    Your comparison to Hitchcock is spot on, as usual. It might also be fair to compare Lynch to Fellini in terms of the surety of his filmmaking. Inland Empire was a good film (like some of your other readers, I find Mulholland Dr. to be his best work, both for its structural complexity and its emotional depth — its empathy — the latter of which I don’t think Blue Velvet or Inland Empire achieves), but for all of its problems (for me, his handling of the DV medium was a major one) it follows its own course and makes you accept it on its own terms like Fellini’s best work (or like Antonioni’s Red Desert to take another example). The Straight Story is a great film too for the same reason. Why it hasn’t found as much favor with hard-core Lynch fans is a bit of a mystery.

    Have you read David Foster Wallace’s essay on David Lynch in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again? And the short film of Lynch making quinoa on the Inland Empire DVD is not to be missed if you have a chance to see it.

    Keep up the great work!

  • 9 christian // Mar 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    This was one of the premier movie-going experiences in my life. It’s still my favorite Lynch film and I’m always surprised that few people note that if anybody was the progeny of Hitchcock, it’s David Lynch.

    If you’re interested, here’s my interview with him from 2001. He has the greatest voice in the world:

    http://www.lynchnet.com/mdrive/hgcs.html

  • 10 AR // Mar 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    One of my favorite movies, one that I’ve been meaning to watch again. So I can remember why I liked Lynch so much in the first place. My boyfriend dislikes most of Lynch’s other films, but he simply adores this one.

    And now that I’ve seen more Hitchcock, yes, Lynch is definitely his progeny. In a bastard surrealist kind of way.

  • 11 Billy P // Mar 16, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I forget what made me add your site to my rss reader a week or two ago (probably the guilt of being a filmmaker who reads more about music) but even still I would just skim through at best until your piece on Scarface. I learned more from you than I did from Oliver (he did a Q&A at my school) so I made my way back here today to find the review of Blue Velvet, another one of my favorites. I’m hooked and the good news is it looks like you’ve been doing this for a while which means I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

    It’s been a while since I watched this film, although I’ll never be able to forget Hopper as Booth. Lynch also delivers another twisted villian in Bobby Peru, played by Dafoe, in Wild At Heart. Lynch walks Peru, just like Booth, along that fine line of genuine/surreal/over the top that shakes the viewer to the core. To put the feeling into words… “This is really happening? This is really happening!”

    Oddly enough I also never have seen Mulholland Dr all the way through, even thought I’ve had the DVD for 3 or 4 years. After falling asleep to it two nights in a row I gave up on it. Maybe now might be a good time to try again as something tells me I can expect a review on it in the near future.

  • 12 Patrick // Mar 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I haven’t seen Blue Velvet since it was originally in theaters, so don’t feel I can really comment on it, but if you haven’t seen Mulholland Drive, definitely give it a try. I think the broad meaning is easy to ferret out, but getting at some of the lesser story points is difficult if not impossible. I think it was originally intended as a tv show, then that was scrapped and it was recut into a movie, so my guess is some stuff was shoehorned into the movie that didn’t quite fit, or at least there were plot points that there just wasn’t time to fill out.

  • 13 Aaron // Mar 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Great overview of one of my favorites Joe. The striking use of music is the one aspect of Blue Velvet that haunted me since the first time I saw it on VHS in the late 80’s. I recall hearing that Roy Orbison was stunned by the use of his “In dreams”, transforming what was intended by him as an innocent love song into something altogether more sinister. (With the expert help of Hopper and Dean Stockwell) Blue Velvet is also an example of Lynch’s almost instinctual approach to image making. Much like the ear , he often develops images or concepts independently and weaves them into his work. (Like the Bunnies in Inland Empire, or the Log Lady in Twin Peaks.) Lynch’s formidable skills as a film maker are able to draw these images into his work and create the haunting worlds he is well known for.
    Keep up the great blogging.

  • 14 Joe Valdez // Mar 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Craig: While I want to go back and watch Lynch’s other films (I remember enjoying Wild At Heart quite a bit) I agree with your assessment of Blue Velvet as his high water mark. That said, one of the things that makes Lynch an original among American filmmakers is that he never attempted to make the same style of film over and over again, when there was probably a business incentive for him to do so. Twin Peaks had the most similarity, but was at least novel in that it was a serialized TV show.

    Adam: If I didn’t know that Lynch went to Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, his framing and overall aesthetic would certainly have suggested an art school background. That’s a great observation and another thing that makes his work stand out. As for Frank and his lackeys, they remind me of Lee Marvin and his gang in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I feel as bad for poor Jeffrey as I do for Jimmy Stewart when he’s being tormented.

    Chuck: I’ve never seen Mulholland Dr. all the way through. I’ve also never heard a satisfactory explanation from anyone when I’ve asked them what it was about, so that, plus your appraisal makes me very curious to check it out now. Thanks!

    Marilyn: You and Chuck have me very interested in giving Mulholland Dr. a look. Both of you guys have cinematic pedigrees that put mine to shame. Thank you for commenting!

    Pat: I think you may have touched on what upset some critics at the time. This was the middle of the Reagan Years after all, and here was Lynch sort of mocking the wholesome Main Street values Reagan championed. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t love Blue Velvet though. I always appreciate your acerbic yet insightful commentary. Thanks!

    Tim: I believe you illustrated why the Rex Reeds of the ’80s were so upset by this movie, but I’ve always found Lynch’s take on Americana funny, as opposed to mean or spiteful in any way. Like you, I cannot imagine Helen Mirren playing Dorothy Vallens. She was such a siren in her youth – playing Morgan Le Fay in Excalibur – but Rossellini has more vulnerability.

    Jeremy: It’s possible we all go through our David Lynch phase, like The Doors phase in high school or the Ayn Rand phase freshman year of college. It sounds like you’ve moved on. As always, thanks for sharing your insights and eclectic taste in film with my readers.

    Robert: You cite some excellent source material there. I hadn’t read the David Foster Wallaee article. I wonder if he would still be alive if he’d watched more Disney films and less David Lynch. Anyway, thank your your comments and continued support here. It means a lot.

    Christian: Maybe if Lynch didn’t have to go through life like Brian DePalma – continually questioned about ripping off Hitchcock – that would be a good thing. Lynch almost defies a knee jerk reaction, even all these years later. Thanks for commenting!

    Amanda: Every comment you leave here contains at least two words I love. “Bastard surrealist” has my nomination this time. You should write more and I do not mean commenting here, even though I enjoy reading your erudite thoughts.

    Billy: That’s probably the most best approbation of my writing ability that’s come from anyone outside my family recently. Thanks! I would love for these articles to fill in what a lot of film school texts and reviews in the mainstream media don’t, so I’m glad you’re gleaming something radical here.

    Patrick: If the feedback here is indicative of anything, I should write about more David Lynch in the future and will start with Mulholland Drive. What more can we say about a movie that so many people seem to love, but for completely differente reasons? Thanks so much for participating in the discussion!

    Aaron: Apparently, someone close to Roy Orbison advised him to see Blue Velvet a second time after his not-so good first impression, and he understood better what Lynch was going for. The music was so vital to evoking mystery and wonder in this movie that I really should credit “music editor” Mark Adler. Superlative job on the sound, as you echo. Thanks for lending your expertise.

  • 15 J.D. // Mar 27, 2009 at 7:15 am

    BLUE VELVET is incredible film and probably my fave of Lynch’s. It has such a rich, textured atmosphere thanks to Frederick Elme’s lush cinematography (that seems to evoke the films of Douglas Sirk) and Alan Splet’s complex sound design work. For example, there is that absolutely sublime shot of Laura Dern emerging from the darkness as Angelo Badalamenti’s music swells dramatically. That shot gets me every time. Amazing stuff.

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