U.S., 1986, 120 min, 2K DCP, Dir. David Lynch, Rated R, Park Circus
"Three decades after its initial release, David Lynch's Blue Velvet has lost none of its power to derange, terrify, and exhilarate." - Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
Depending on who you listen to, David Lynch's Blue Velvet is either one of the great surrealist films of all-time or one of the great American films of all-time. Neither assertion contradicts the other. It is, hands down, the greatest film Lynch has made to date. In the first of a lifelong collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti, Lynch discovers a kindred spirit, uncannily adept at translating recurring themes of good vs evil, light vs darkness, and the loss of innocence into spare, haunting scores forever embedded to Lynch's vivid imagery in the collective unconscious. A mystery of sorts, Blue Velvet takes place in Lumberton, "the town that knows how much wood a woodchuck chucks." The discovery of a severed ear in the grass sets the sleuthing in motion and involves such soon-to-be Lynch stalwarts as Kyle McLachlan (returning home from college) and Laura Dern, every bit as wholesome as Nancy Drew. Add to the mix a suspicious torch singer (Isabella Rosellini) and Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a pervert unmatched in the annals of depravity, and you have the makings of an instant cult classic. One would be hard-pressed to find another film that revels in the dark underbelly of seemingly idyllic Americana with such inspired frenzy and Baudelairian poetry. Blue Velvet brought rockabilly icon Roy Orbison back to international prominence near the end of an illustrious career. You will never listen to "In Dreams" quite the same way again.
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