Movie Review: Blue Velvet

This was one of the last of David Lynch’s films that I watched. I’ve heard that it was a masterpiece of sorts but the first time I watched it, I left feeling indifferent. I watched it again last night after several months and I’ve noticed more.

A man finds a severed ear in a field and places himself in the middle of a dangerous situation.

I first heard of this film when I was in eighth or ninth grade, I don’t remember which. I bought one of Roger Ebert’s books and saw how the film wasn’t rated that high. It wasn’t until I became more aware of David Lynch in college that I knew that I had to see this sooner or later. It wasn’t easy to find. The first time around, I caught it on YouTube, much to the chagrin of surrounding distractions. Now, I have the 2002 DVD print in my personal library for easier access.

With a film like this, the use of color is so deliberate that it takes on a painterly quality. The use of red in Dorothy’s room and the trademark red curtains in the nightclub, the eponymous blue velvet and sky, the pale green of the diner, the stark yellow jacket; all of them help make nearly each frame a collection of paintings.

I could not picture Kyle MacLachlan as a young college kid in this film. I have known him as Dale Cooper since I was introduced to David Lynch’s work. Sure, I suppose he could be a freshman or sophomore at most but it left me confused.

I take no pleasure in abuse, period. It’s not at all pleasant to watch, even if it is the desired reaction. That said, Dennis Hopper’s character is one I do not want to meet in person. I’m not sure if there is a way to reasonably approach him. He’s downright despicable but it’s all part of his character and all for the better(?).

While it is on the 1001 list, I also see that it was one of the 400 nominees for the AFI Top 100 for both years. It’s also the only Lynch film on the list. I wonder if, it is included when it comes time for the 20th Anniversary of the list, it will make the list at all or just wait in the wings for another ten years.

I would list it as one of his best; not the best but in the top five. It should be watched but maybe not with other people.

7/10

1001 MYMSBYD selection

400 Noms for AFI Top 100 for both years

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Blue Velvet

  1. Lynch’s movies are always ripe with some craziness, but this is definitely one of his best that takes a look at the side of America we don’t ever want to see. Yet, also have an idea that it’s actually there. Maybe it was a lot more shocking then, but it still works when seen today. Good review Thomas.

  2. Great review, love Brick Velvet as well! I’m not a fan of abuse against women in film either, so this one can be fairly uncomfortable for me to watch also. Still, Lynch is a bit of a genius and his visuals are always amazing.

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