A look back at the David Lynch 1986 masterpiece
Revisiting “Blue Velvet”
“Blue Velvet” is David Lynch in peak form, the cult movie released on September 12th, 1986, represents (to date) his most accomplished motion picture. The film maker probably never intended it, but critics in 1986 saw in “Blue Velvet” a reference to Reagan-era politics: treacherous and deceitful behavior covered up by a colorful and squeaky clean surface. In a tour de force opening sequence, which has been widely praised, brightly-lit, Technicolor picture postcard images of middle-class homes and tree lined lanes into a dreamy vision on the edge of nightmare. College boy hero Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) and Nancy Drew high school innocent Sandy Williams ( Laura Dern) delve into a mysterious case revolving around a severed human ear, and Jeffrey moves from boy scout to voyeur to participant, plunging into a nightmare of sex and sadism he’s alternately repulsed and obsessed by. One of the many pleasures of “Blue Velvet” is watching this multi-layered, intricate mystery unravel and develop, and it would be criminal to give anything else away. It is completely unpredictable, and the characters, just like the plot, are true originals. MacLachlan is a perfect center for the movie, Rossellini is superb as the tortured singer, Hopper is very, very creepy as the kidnapper, and Dern is outstanding, giving one of her best performances to date, and bringing much depth to her role, as well as her sweet, tender relationship with MacLachlan.”Blue Velvet” also involves a masterstroke of style and atmosphere. Lynch wonderfully gives the movie a film noir feel, but it also has a small-town, postcard essence, which mixes together brilliantly to create a look and feels never before seen on film. The American Dream is alive and well, but the rot and corruption are still there, concealed beneath the blades of grass, ready to emerge.
Directed by: David Lynch
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Watch the original 1986 “Blue Velvet” trailer
Article originally published by Ken Warren, 2017
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