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visitors since May 12, 2002
June 2, 2002
Blue Velvet

The last time I saw Stig we spent most of our time discussing notebook protectors, obviously, because that's what we do. But when we took a break from that I revealed that I'd never seen Blue Velvet. He was shocked. He was aghast. It's one of his all-time favourite films, and he's filled notebook after notebook with observations and reactions to it. I suspect that Blue Velvet could be the reason why he needed a notebook protector in the first place. Indirectly, Blue Velvet could be the reason why I now have a notebook protector myself.

A month or two ago, when I was wondering what sort of tattoo I should get for my NoPro, people suggested images of all kinds. But not Stig. He suggested the tattoo could be three words: "see Blue Velvet".

So, a special message to Stig: yesterday, I finally saw Blue Velvet.

And in honour of Stig and his Special Edition Walsh NoPro, here's a quick review of it.

There are some great things in Blue Velvet, but there are moments that just seem embarrassing. About a third of the way in there's a scene in a diner with Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern. He's trying to tell her what happened the night before, when he broke into Isabella Rosselini's apartment. He gets as far as saying "it's a strange world," and then he starts crying. This seemed massively implausible. Every tear seemed utterly ridiculous.

The most startling scene in the film is the abrupt arrival of Dennis Hopper. The first few seconds that he's on the screen are astonishing. He's violent and unrestrained and unpredictable. Up to this moment all the other characters have seemed tame and well behaved, so he appears in wonderful contrast. The effectiveness of this scene is also increased because we see it from Kyle's perspective. He's watching it all from a closet, terrified of being discovered.

What David Lynch does well is provide moments of surrealistic contrast. He's a very visual director, but he's also got an excellent grasp of how music can be used to convey character. The evil characters all have a maudlin, embarrassing taste in music, and like to hear cheesy old pop songs while they wreak havoc. You end up leaving the cinema humming a Roy Orbison tune, the meaning and effect of which has just been radically altered.

As a general thing, Blue Velvet seemed in many ways like a rough draft of Twin Peaks. But on skating on thin ice here. I've never seen Twin Peaks either.

But I'm fairly confident what Stig's next email is going to be about.

     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 03:02 PM in the Reviews category | Comments (0)
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